I just left the graduation ceremony for this year’s group of Teen Dads, and it was inspiring. This is a group of dads who many people in society might write off, who are dedicated, committed, and taking the steps necessary to become the fathers for their children that many of them never had. My family and I were fortunate enough to contribute to this program during the past spring, but the real benefactors are the children of these young men. Their fathers will definitely leave a legacy…they’re already planning for it.
One such young man, a rising senior at Benjamin E. Mays High School told me after the program that he’s excited about his upcoming senior year, and most importantly hoping to go to college. In fact he was admant about education being his first priority, (he mentioned Morehouse specifically) because he realizes the value of a good education in supporting his family. He wants us to stay connected beyond the program to continue to discuss ways to prepare him for college. Another young man came up to me and told me that he had almost finished reading my book and how much he liked it. I was humbled, honored, and proud of all his progress at the same time. Actually, he’s a special one. My wife and I are going to mentor he and the mother of their child…I’m looking forward to hanging out in the coming week. Honestly, I wish I could do the same for each of these young men, stay engaged as deeply, but at least we’ll stay connected and hopefully the seeds planted will continue to blossom.
One of the last activities I did with the group of dads at the close of my programming in the spring was have them write committment letters to themselves in the future. Tonight I handed back those committment letters to the dads as a reminder of both where they’ve been, and where they’re heading. I’m looking forward to hearing from them as they make good on these promises to themselves and their posterity.