Risher Reaches Students Through the Youth Services Center


Seth Whittington

Cheri Risher inventories her food pantry. The center helps to ensure that no student goes hungry on weekends through a backpack program.

Seth Whittington, Staff Reporter

As members of Great Crossing’s community walk into the building and turn towards Cheri Risher’s office, they see words of encouragement and a door that is always open. “I want to break down any barriers students have to learning,” said Cheri Risher, the Youth Service Center coordinator for GCHS. “I want students to know I’m their biggest advocate.”

Risher is not new to a school setting.  Before working for Great Crossing, Ms. Risher worked in the Scott County Central Offices as a truancy liaison for Student Services.  She also has a Master’s in social work that has prepared her for the work she does for the YSC.

Ms. Risher supports students in many ways. She offers referrals for counselors specializing in all types of crises and provides items to take care of their basic needs. “If a student doesn’t have enough clothes and feels embarrassed, that may be a barrier to learning for them. If a student doesn’t have deodorant and feels embarrassed, they may have a hard time learning,” she said. Donated clothes and other items, such as toiletries, food, and school supplies, go to the students who may not have enough of them, or to students that experience tragedies, like a house fire.

Many kids rely on our Youth Service Center, and Ms. Risher is happy to be able to help take care of students at Great Crossing. “I’ve always loved helping kids. Kids have said I’m their second mom,” she said. 

While Ms. Risher’s job is to help students out in their time of need, it isn’t always easy. “The hardest part is when a student has a problem I can’t fix. I can always provide support and encouragement.”  She also wants students to be aware that conversations that they may have with her will be confidential. “As long as you aren’t going to harm yourself or others, or are being harmed,” she explained.

Ms. Risher is very important to so many students, and not many know about the Youth Service Center.  The office for the center is located in room 148, just inside the main entrance of the school, and Ms. Risher’s door is always open to students.   The Youth Service Center’s goal is to ensure success for all students, no matter what comes their way. Liz Daugherty, junior, met Ms. Risher when she was having a bad day. Someone suggested she go to the Youth Service Center for someone to talk to. There, she found Ms. Risher. Now Daugherty knows that she has a source of support when she needs it. She said, “Ms. Risher is very nice and very helpful. She’s my ranting lady.”

Community Support

Great Crossing High School’s Youth Service Center welcomes the generous donations from our community. Current clothing needs include sweatshirts, jackets, leggings, and shoes.  Donations of food are also welcome as well.  

Another opportunity to assist the Youth Service Center is through the Share the Joy program that provides holiday assistance to families.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child or family, please contact Cheri Risher in Room 148 or email [email protected].