When Kenny (left) walked into the Nurturing Fathers' Program graduation ceremony last Tuesday night, he spotted Shareef (right) with his girls and went straight toward him. "I could see my brother could use a hand."
Kenny and Shareef met fifteen Tuesdays ago at FNC's Nurturing Fathers' Program done in collaboration with the Whittier Street Health Center and supported by the Children's Trust. These young men admitted they had lots to learn about fatherhood - and they each had two great reasons to attend.
The men could relate with each other about the many challenges of raising two young children at the same time. Kenny's twin daughters (not pictured) are two years old, and Shareef's twin girls (right) are 9 months old.
During the graduation, Kenny held one of Shareef's daughters, while Shareef held the other, as the two men listened to their fellow graduates share their personal statements, "The Father I Choose to Be." and receive their coveted Nurturing Father caps.
When asked over dinner after the ceremony what stood out to him as the most important thing he had learned during the program, Kenny said, "I learned it's important to be sensitive and to show my emotioms with my kids. I just thought I had to be strong and be the provider."
Shareef shared, "I learned that I need to stay calm - no matter what is going on around me. I can't let anything distract me from doing what I need to do for my girls."
Both men said they want to stay connected through FNC's Fathers Helping Fathers support group twice per month. Kenny expressed that he was grateful to John O'Neil (FNC's Director of Nurturing Fathers' Programs) for being "with us every step of the way. He was so encouraging."
As Shareef bundled up his girls in their snowsuits and gently tucked blankets around them in their double stroller at the end of the night, both men agreed that it was hard to be a father to twins. Kenny was quick to add, though: "It's a blessing."
Learn more about FNC's Nurturing Fathers' Program.
We sincerely thank our 2017 donors, funders, volunteers, and partners, who made all of our programs - and therefore all of our Tuesday Stories - possible.