Updated: Mar 27, 2019
What’s the goal of Fathers Forever, the nonprofit you founded?
As Executive Director of Fathers Forever, my goal is to help fathers chart a new course of fatherhood. The nonprofit serves to help fathers understand the importance of having an ongoing active role in the lives of their children, in addition to fulfilling their financial responsibilities.
What is the mission of Fathers Forever?
Our mission is to decrease the number of children being raised without the support of their fathers and decrease the number of non-support cases in our court system. In lieu of going to jail, fathers who are behind on child support are assigned to a 24 week program: The Joys of Fatherhood. The classes include Job Readiness Training, Parenting, Anger Management, Substance Abuse, and Destiny Development. We also provide our students with individual coaching throughout the program.
How did you get into nonprofit work?
I was hired by Wake County to work with mentally and physically disabled children. I began to develop a passion and eventually a knack for helping others find the resources they need to have a positive impact on the lives of families. Upon retirement, I started Fathers Forever.
What is the greatest challenge that you embrace?
The challenges I face in life and work are getting all fathers to understand the importance of their role in the family and more importantly their role as parent. All the fathers who go through our program get that message and turn their lives around to become productive citizens and actively involved fathers.
What gets you fired up?
I am passionate about bringing and keeping families together and teaching men to become better people. I want to encourage fathers to positively contribute to society and evolve into better parents through the work of Fathers Forever. Helping others is my gift.
What charities are you involved with?
Fathers Forever has a Simply Suits program- where we collect gently worn men's suits and dress clothes in order to provide them to the men in our program. We also donate suits to the general public who may need proper attire for church, a meeting, or a job interview. We work with churches, businesses and organizations to collect our inventory of suits.
What are your proudest accomplishments?
I am most proud of the 13 Fathers Forever graduation classes with over 350 graduates of our program. I am proud to say I have assisted in refocusing these father’s lives while helping them get back on track.
What inspired you become an author?
I just wrote and published my first book, Chat and Chew- 31 easy to read short stories that are inspirational, devotional, and practical with a touch of counseling and a mixture of therapy. The stories are also motivational, designed to encourage the reader to look at life from a different vantage point.
What's your educational background?
I have a B.S. in Health and Fitness Education from St. Augustine's University.
Tell us about your own struggles?
My biggest struggle was also my favorite struggle. Being a single parent of three young children was a huge task. But as I look back and see the successful people that they have become, I also see it as one of my greatest accomplishments.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I will continue to advocate for fathers and their families through the Fathers Forever support systems and program. Seeing the changes in the fathers who we work with impacts my life everyday. It’s my calling.
Have you always been a Carolinian?
I am originally from Benson, NC, where I grew up on small farm with my mom, dad, and six siblings.
What do you love about the Carolinas?
The proximity to the beach and the mountains!