Being a parent is a full time job that never quits. In Muskingum County the Forever Dads program teaches fathers to be just that.
Sunday’s event congratulated dads who completed the 13 week Nurturing Fathers for Life program. A Program designed to keep father’s in their children’s lives. Accomplishing the class led dads to make emotional pledges. Their promise is to take what they learned and apply it to their own lives.
"It is an opportunity for us to turn the hearts of father’s to their children and abolish father absence," said executive director Burl Lemon.
Those involved feel the Nurturing Father program is life changing. It gives men a chance to be the men and fathers they know they can be by addressing what can happen if a father is not in their child’s life.
"Many men won’t go for 13 weeks to a program, they won’t go the distance. These men went the distance," said Lemon.
Among those in attendance was alum Michael Mills. He is a single father of two who went through the program 4 years ago. He tells his kids plant good seeds and you will grow good gardens. Without the Nurturing Fathers program he would be different.
"It gave me a better understanding. Being a single parent taught me to put myself in their position. I still get emotional about it," said Mills.
The experience gives him pride for himself and his kids.
"They are my greatest asset in life. No matter what I accomplish in life, wealth or whatever … That’s my boy,’ said Mills.
Mills is currently trying to begin a similar program in Perry County.