Michael is a father to his beautiful daughter, Kalani, who is almost three. Michael participated in Healthy Baby Network’s 24/7 Dads program— a group-based program where fathers of all ages meet once a week for 12 weeks, for individual and peer support.
“My parenting journey started off a little rough. I was just a new dad who wanted to be in my daughter’s life. But as a first-time father I was thrown into a whirlwind, including family court and a lot of systemic barriers to get through…it seemed like I was guilty until proven innocent.
I was just excited - like so many other first time parents. But those barriers…they slowed everything down. I saw a lot of dads who just wanted to be dads, but the system is making that really hard.
I missed a lot of milestones, and I had to look within myself and find that strength to move forward and be positive. Now I’m here, with my daughter, Kalani. And that’s what it’s all about."
Today, Michael volunteers with young adults and teens to support them as parents. He believes the 24/7 Dads program’s support and education helped him get to where he is today.
You can make a real impact on the lives of families right here in Rochester. You are part of our story - ensuring every new little one enters the world full of promise, possibility, and opportunity no matter their income, zip code, or race. Together, we can change the stories.