Father shares his experience in the first Fatherhood Initiative cohort

DonavinThis past spring I was fortunate enough to be a part of the first ever Marcus Foster Fatherhood Initiative training cohort. I can’t even put into words all the things this program has done for me, not just as a father, but also as a man. This program has given me the necessary tools I needed to elevate my maturity levels to the next phase of true manhood. The Initiative has not only changed my approach to parenting, as well as my approach to life and its daily challenges.

When I was introduced to the Fatherhood Initiative, I had no driver’s license, some legal troubles, and on top of those setbacks I am a young Dad of three. As you would imagine being a young man leading a family of five is stressful enough, adding no Drivers Licenses and active legal troubles into the equation. I was overwhelmed. My employment opportunities were obviously limited. Things got rough, but I never gave up. When I first got word of the fatherhood Initiative I was skeptical about coming to the program because of my pride, thinking I don’t need anyone’s help. I was also worried about what others would think, but once I set aside pride, and let go of worry, It became clear in my mind that the potential to grow, as well as the benefits I could receive to better myself as a family man were far too great for me to pass up this opportunity. So I wisely decided to plant a seed with Marcus foster Fatherhood initiative, and I can honestly tell you I’m growing now, more than I ever have before.

From Day One the program has greeted me, and every other dad in the program, with open arms. They provide fantastic food from some of the best caterers in the Bay Area to ensure everyone’s brain is fully functional during the trainings. Kids all ages are welcome, child care is provided by a certified teacher from Oakland Unified School District, My kids and I get full they have a blast while we Dads are adding tools to our arsenals for our journeys in becoming the best fathers we can be. The program offers a ton of resources for dads with almost any kind of setbacks, from child support, to driver’s license. If you feel like you have a setback as a dad that the Fatherhood Initiative doesn’t have a resource or a solution for, speak and your voice will be heard. That is one of the many things that makes this program so unique your voice, your opinion, your feedback really matter. Yes, we come together as a group and as Fatherhood we look out for each other and make sure each and every Dad’s individual developmental needs are met.

My favorite part of the program and what I think makes Marcus Foster Fatherhood most unique, are the guest speakers that come in to share their testimonies, success stories, and offer great advice, tips, and tools needed to be a successful father. whether  a single father, a co-parenting father, whether you have one child or ten children whether you have boys or girls the information from the guest speakers, the other Fathers in the program who have been where you are, and just the Fatherhood Initiative in general, will be beneficial to you. The trainings cover everything from employment, to child development, and personal development. As a Father, if you feel you’re the Number One Dad, and you don’t need personal development, you already know enough about child development, and you have a steady job so you don’t need any job training or work resources, then you can come give back and share your success story and give advice to some struggling fathers, to inspire them to get back on their feet. No matter what your situation all Fathers are welcome and can benefit from the Initiative.

A wise man once noted. “I was put here to take care of my family. But, how was I supposed to know that if I don’t care of myself, how are we supposed to grow?” Take a second to think about that. All fathers should want to take some time and invest it in themselves. As Fathers we have natural powers, roles, and responsibilities assigned to us and it’s our obligation as household leaders to know these roles and make sure they’re not just met, but exceeded, for our family’s sake. The more Fathers to whom we can spread the message to, getting them to invest time in themselves for development to better themselves and build a foundation for their families to grow, then more and more Number One Fathers will be recognized. Our children’s success rate will increase; more students will graduate both high school and college, which we know will increase their chances of a successful future. While simultaneously dropout rate, youth crime, and youth incarceration will decrease.

Are you a Father? The futures in our hands Let’s take charge and better ourselves and guide our kids in the right direction.