May 2016

Posted on by Renee Morales

I often talk about the teen moms we work with at Parent Life, but did you know we also actively reach out to young dads as well? Over the last few years our dads program has steadily grown. Every week we have new young men walking through our doors looking for a support system as they help raise their children. The following statistics are why our young fathers program is so important.

FACTS ABOUT FATHERLESSNESS

In the United States, 23.9 million children live absent of their biological fathers. Fatherless children represent:                                                      

63% of teen suicides

70% of juveniles in state institutions

71% of high school dropouts

75% of children in chemical abuse centers

80% of rapists

85% of youths in prison

90% of homeless and runaway children

The majority of the guys we see at Parent Life did not have an active father in their own lives to learn from. We want to break this cycle of fatherlessness by providing our young dads the right resources to raise their children in a positive way.

I’d like to introduce you to Mike Vergara, our new Young Fathers Program Coordinator. Here is what he has to say about the impact the Parent Life ministry is having on dads and their children.

“When I started coming to Parent Life seven years ago, I was the only dad in a room full of moms. I always joke that in the beginning I learned how to be a really good mom. Looking back, that was the first time I realized there weren’t many resources for dads who wanted to be there for their children. As a fatherless father myself, I had to seek out every possible resource that could teach me to be, not just present, but active in my kids’ lives. That is where my passion for growing our young fathers group came from. I am now dedicated to helping young men take personal inventory of their char- acter, and to commit to cleaning up these toxic behaviors that keep them from being the very best they can be for their kids. Our goal isn’t to teach these young men a couple things and send them on their way. It’s to build relationships and friendships that could potentially last a lifetime and to share the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.”

Will you pray specifically for Mike and our Parent Life dads this month? These guys have made the decision to take responsibility for raising their children in spite of the many obstacles that come with being a young dad. The enemy is doing everything in his power to destroy families and the easiest way to do that is to start with the dads. As the statistics show, he’s been doing a good job of it for far too long. Thank you for coming alongside us with your prayers and financial support to help us break the cycles of fatherlessness in our community.

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