Shelby Valley High School is located in the southern part of Pikeville, Kentucky. The school is fortunate in that U.S. Route 23 traverses its surrounding area. Route 23 is one of only two four-lane highways that pass through the county. This makes this part of Pike County more attractive for businesses; unlike many other counties in Eastern Kentucky, where employment opportunities are slim to none, several small companies dot the route, employing people with marketable skills. There is a daycare center, a nursing and rehab center, a sandwich shop, a small florist, a diner, and a gas station there. The county seat is just eleven miles to the north, so those with reliable transportation find employment there as well.

At Children Incorporated, we believe in every child’s potential – and we take every opportunity we can to ensure that all students in our program realize that they are capable of having bright, promising futures.

Passionate about the mission

Adjacent to the new Valley Elementary School, Shelby Valley High School has an enrollment of approximately 597 students. The school was built in 1990 as a consolidation of two old high school buildings. Shelby Valley became affiliated with Children Incorporated in 1998, as the students who were enrolled in our program at the local middle school moved up to high school. In addition to core curriculum, Shelby Valley offers fine arts, as well as career and technical education. Extracurricular activities include clubs and sports. There is a large athletic complex on the campus, and sports are a big part of student life at the school.

The Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) coordinator at Shelby Valley High School is Shannon. Shannon is passionate about FRYSC’s mission, and she is a strong supporter of our organization. On a recent trip to Pike County, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, visited with Shannon, who gave her a tour of the building and grounds. She also made arrangements for Renée to meet and talk with a couple of our sponsored children, including Ryan* and his mom, Paula*.

Ryan pictured with his mother, Paula, and Renée.

Encouraging Ryan

Ryan, an only child, and Paula live in an apartment complex located just a few lots behind the school. Ryan is in the twelfth grade and has been in our sponsorship program since he was five years old, when he started kindergarten. Ryan’s mom has some disabilities and is unable leave the house for work.

As they talked in the resource center, Paula told Renée that Children Incorporated has meant so much to her family over the many years that Ryan has been in our program. He has had a few different sponsors since kindergarten, and he has appreciated the help he has received from each of them. Ryan always enjoys writing to his sponsors to let them know that he is grateful for their support, and how helpful it is for his mom to not have to worry about how to get him clothes, shoes, school supplies, and other things he needs as he is growing up.

Ryan told Renée that he has participated in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for all four years of high school. Renée could tell from her conversation with him that he is an extremely serious and responsible young man. Ryan expressed that he would like to attend the University of Pikeville, and major in computer science and criminal justice. Renée was excited to hear that he is interested in receiving a higher education, knowing that attending an excellent high school like Shelby Valley and participating in great extracurricular activities like ROTC, Ryan has a good shot at getting into college if he sets his mind to doing so.

Before their meeting ended, Renée made sure to encourage Ryan to continue working hard in school to make his dreams come true. At Children Incorporated, we believe in every child’s potential – and we take every opportunity we can to ensure that all students in our program realize that they are capable of having bright, promising futures.

*Names changed for individuals’ protection.



You can sponsor a child in Kentucky in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at


Education, Stories of Hope, Kentucky

written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

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