Founder of True Up
As a boy, Frank Harshaw experienced some of the difficult challenges of growing up in foster care. With help and encouragement from others, he was determined to gain an education, a good job and an independent life.
Today, Mr. Harshaw, a successful businessman with a loving family of his own, is determined to help foster youth in Jefferson County and across Kentucky escape the common trap of poverty. He’s leading a movement, known as True Up, to ensure foster youth learn basic life skills and gain the education they need to become strong, independent adults.
Nikki Thornton is the Executive Director of True Up, which is a movement that empowers young people in foster care to lead self-sufficient, productive lives and recently partnered with Kentucky Youth Advocates to expand its reach statewide. She is the Board Chair for the Coalition Supporting Young Adults and JumpStartKY and serves on several other boards and committees. Nikki is a trainer for Trauma Informed Care, Love Notes, and Youth Mental Health First Aid and is a Certified Youth Care Professional, Level Three. Nikki is passionate about working with and supporting young people. She enjoys organizing, walking, and spending time with her children, family, friends, and dog.
Peer Coach Coordinator
Cynthia Schepers is the Peer Coach Coordinator for True Up and Kentucky Youth Advocates, using her experience to make impactful change. Cynthia is a foster alumni who graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Human Performance, and was also the keynote speaker at her graduation in 2019. Cynthia is a certified facilitator in Mind Matters, and has a passion to use that knowledge to advocate for the physical and mental wellbeing of current and former foster youth. She believes that youth who are properly equipped can take on any challenge that faces them, and that it is our responsibility as healthy adults to remove barriers to their success. In her free time, Cynthia spends time with her service dog Pepper, and loves to get a good workout in, whether that be lifting weights or dancing at Zumba.