When the idea to ride 25 miles in the Rodman Ride for Kids was brought to Harry Martinez's attention, he thought two things: he wanted to do 50 miles, and he remembered Rob Gronkowski is the Honorary Ride Chairman (Harry's a serious Pats fan!). When he found out how the Ride helps organizations like Family Nurturing Center, he was even more eager to participate.
In 2015, Harry volunteered to join a Family Nurturing Program after his partner was referred to FNC for support. Before the program, Harry thought of himself as a good dad to his daughter (Hannah, age 2), although he knew there was some stuff he could work on. "I would lose my temper," Harry says, remembering. "After the classes, I stopped and listend more. I changed my tone - it's not what you do, it's how you do it." As he co-parents with Hannah's mother, the skills he picked up from the Nurturing Program help. "I put myself in her shoes and I gained empathy."
Although he had thoughts of becoming a faciliator, things didn't start picking up for Harry until a few months ago when he bumped into his old facilitator, LaWaun Curry (FNC's Nurturing Program Specialist/Trainer), who recommended him to be a Fathers' Ambassador, stemming from his performance in class. Harry hopes to use his new role as a stepping stone to his eventual dream of becoming a facilitator and guiding young fathers who find themselves in similiars positions to his. "I have the power to teach other fathers how to use and develop their nurturing skills and bring them home to their families." Recently, he's expanded his work to include Fathers Helping Fathers, a new bi-monthly FNC support group for graduates of the Nurturing Fathers' Program.
As he starts training to become a facilitator in September, Harry is optimistic about his new role and place in the community. "I have a different outlook; I am more driven to the do the right thing. I want to get involved in the community and interact with people, spread the good news."
As for his preparation for the Ride? "Bike everywhere."
To sponsor Harry and help him reach his $1,500 goal for FNC through the Ride, click HERE!