Dads Make A Difference

Rating: 4.82 stars   71 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: PO Box 231 Stillwater MN 55082 USA

Mission: Dads Make a Difference (DMAD) addresses two issues that significantly impact the financial stability and self-reliance of families – absent fathers and too-early parenting. The value of healthy fatherhood is increasingly evident, with research, public policy, and communities all acknowledging the need for children to experience positive relationships with both men and women. Healthy fatherhood complements and supports healthy motherhood. Children benefit from the wealth of each parent's life experiences, different styles, and approaches to dealing with life. Yet looking at male socialization, we often see a scarcity of healthy adult male role models for boys and a lack of education about what it means to grow up to become a positive man and father. In many ways, our culture fails to provide boys and men sufficient direction and support in order for them to define and adopt healthy expressions of masculinity and fatherhood. Prior to becoming dads, young men often do not give a great deal of thought or attention to whether they would like to have children, how many, and what they want their families to look like. As a result, they don’t engage in conversations about family formation and planning. Young men need the ability to be partners in conversations about pregnancy prevention and family planning, an important aspect of their development and important to their long-term success.
Results: DMAD builds life skills so youth are prepared to think critically about healthy relationships, becoming sexually active, and the consequences of parenting too soon. Too-early parenting and absent fathers are identified risk factors for poverty. Youth are educated about the emotional, physical, and financial responsibilities of having children. Educated youth are more likely to make mature decisions about relationships, take personal responsibility for life choices including their readiness to parent, and understand how children benefit from father involvement and co-parenting. As DMAD youth transition to adulthood, their communities are strengthened because they are better equipped to make intentional choices about creating families. DMAD works at the most basic level to empower youth to be self-sufficient and reach their full potential by engaging teens in leadership roles and as the messengers to younger youth. DMAD works diligently on its outreach to youth of color as they are affected disproportionately by too-early pregnancy and by poverty. Having the important conversation about when to have a child and who to have that child with is not easy. DMAD was developed to help young people consider the very important decision about when to become a parent, to include young men in the conversation, and to help young women recognize the importance of a father to their future child. From October 1994 through Sept 2014, DMAD trained 3,046 teen peer educators from 170 schools and community agencies across the state. These teens in turn taught the curriculum to about 78,000 middle school-age youth in urban, suburban, and rural settings.
Target demographics: We train high school-age teens, boys and girls, to be peer educators of middle school-age youth using the DMAD curriculum in schools, community agencies, and faith-based groups.
Direct beneficiaries per year: About 500 youth
Geographic areas served: Minnesota statewide, about 70% metro and 30% greater MN. We have also done some national replication and have an international presence as well.
Programs: DMAD peer education promoting the positive involvement of fathers and educating youth about responsible parenting.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a part of the Dads Made a Difference (DMAD) family now for 17 years. During those 17 years I have filled many roles within the organization including teen trainer, adult trainer, staff, and board member. I moved from Minnesota to Oregon in 2009, which meant I was no longer able to fulfill those roles. What has not changed throughout the long history of the organization is the positive, lifelong impact it makes in young people's lives. The positive youth development model empowers young people to take charge of their own decision making. They become informed on life issues that will impact them at some point in the near future, and then they turn around and share that information with younger peers. In other relationships with young people, other positions I've held, I continue to reference the knowledge gained from teaching and training with DMAD. This program is relevant, necessary and a true investment in young people. I cannot imagine not supporting Dads Make a Difference.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This is a vital and much needed service to our youth & future generations. I have observed and heard many stories of what an impact this program can make. There is a value in programs such as this that touch the whole community.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Dads Make A Difference (DMAD) is a fantastic program and one I'm proud to have been a part of. In my previous position at a community agency, one of my responsibilities was to oversee the implementation of DMAD in the Minnetonka school district. I recruited young people to attend the training to become educators, then observed the delivery of the Dad's curriculum in junior high school classes. Watching the teen educators develop their capabilities over the course of a year or more was pretty incredible. Everyone involved in DMAD, from the educators to the students receiving the curriculum to their teachers, found their experience both enjoyable and valuable!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have the pleasure of serving on the board of DMAD and truly appreciate the contributions the organization makes to the community. The program and services offered do a great deal to education our young generation and promote healthy choices about relationships. I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful and positively productive organization.

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1 previous review
Rating: 4 stars  

Serving on the Board has been a great pleasure to see first hand how this organization impacts the lives of young people in such a positive way. The best part is always hearing the stories from young adults of how the program helped them make better choices throughout their young lives.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

As a board member for Dads Make a Difference, it has been a great pleasure seeing and being apart of the wonderful work the organization does throughout the communities. The program is outstanding and its useful purpose has helped so many kids over the years.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

Dads Make a Difference promotes the positive involvement of fathers and educates youth about healthy relationships and responsible parenting. These messages remain as important to young people today as they were when DMAD was started in 1993, some 21 years ago, helping to build the capacity of young people to develop strong future families that can contribute to strong, vibrant communities.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The learning from the training and the opportunity to present the curriculum to younger students were invaluable experiences in the lives of the teen fathers I have worked with over the years. The young men felt very respected, and they became empowered as they had a voice to address an issue that is dearly personal for them!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I am very proud and blessed for my experience with DMAD! I began by bringing teen fathers to the trainings who were rewarded in many ways: they felt validated by their vital role as young dads, they were inspired as they taught the curriculum to other students, and they had fun! After several years of bringing teen fathers to the trainings, I was able to bring my son & his buddy - it was another fun, rewarding and memorable experience that we'll never forget! Thank you, DMAD!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

Dads Make a Difference training for my Future Educators has been a great compliment to our program at Como Park Senior High School. It contains valuable lessons for our student/trainers, and for the young people they will go out to teach it to.

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1 previous review
Rating: 4 stars  

My Future Educators have received valuable training through the Dads Make a Difference program. They have gone out to junior high schools in the area, and have been able to prove their leadership skills.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 4 stars  

There is nothing as important as helping young adults make good decisions in their teens so that they have more opportunities with their futures. The education DMAD provides helps young adults form healthy relationships and promotes delaying becoming parents too soon by providing information about the challenges of parenting. It is realistic in its approach and inclusive in its definition of family and comprehensive by providing more than just sex education but also teaching decision making skills.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Dads Make a Difference is an amazing program that works with the community to build better relationships between fathers and their children; educate youth on what it takes to be a responsible parent and the benefits of having an active father. This program builds better parents of the future and helps facilitate better relationships within the family unit.

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Rating: 5 stars  

A former board member for 6 years, I witnessed first hand the impact this program had on teens and the education that is so badly needed for youth. I continue to contribute as a donor as I firmly believe in the education it represents and hope this education will become a part of every teens education in the future. Wish this education was available to me as a youth!!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with DMAD since 2008 in a capacity of a board member. Since that time I've witnessed the powerful message that is brought to young adults throughout MN. I am privelaged to work with such a dynamic group to provide parenting education to both young men and young women in our community about the aspects of parenting and challenges of parenting too soon.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Dads Make A Difference is vital in teaching young males/females about the positive and negative aspects of parenting or parenting too soon. It helps teach pre-teen/teens the consequences of their choices and how a successful parenting structure should look like.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing young men and women make proper choices and hearing stories of teens believing in what we teach and sharing it with others.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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