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.
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!
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!
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!
Dads Make A Difference - made a difference in my life. I participated in the Dada Make A Difference program in 1996 as a professional in the field. I was professionally impressed and personally touch by the curriculum so much I became a trainer for the program. After training over 800 participants during my tenure, I was blessed to see up close and personal the impact Dads Make A Difference has made in the lives of young women and especially young men. This program continuously makes strategic and intentional efforts to remain relevant. In addition, the capabilty to also be interculturally competent in its language and delivery of sensitive content is no small feat. Please join me in financially supporting Dads Make A Difference so it remains a timeless pillar in our community and beyond.
I have been aware of DMAD for more than 10 years. First as a colleague, then a trainer, and finally as a board member. I was always impressed with the committment and loyalty of those who were involved in the program. This program does make a difference in the lives of those they touch. I support them as a valued community partner.
How we form families is changing. The traditions of marriage, children and death till we part no longer represent the experience of many mothers, fathers and children. But the need for parents who are involved in the lives of their children remains critical. Dads Make a Difference provides a way for young people - both male and female - to consider this important need - from their perspective as a young person and also for the future family they will form. Through a youth teaching youth model, this critical conversation happens in the classroom and through youth serving programs. DMAD is an excellent example of prevention at it's best.
In my work with families, and with youth, the important conversation about when to have a child and who to have that child with has not been an easy one. DMAD was developed to help young people and their families consider the very important decision to become a parent. It was developed to include the young men in the conversation. It was developed to help young women recognize the importance of a father to their future child. For nearly 20 years, this program has been reaching out to help young people think and communicate about these issues. It has been evaluated and the results are very positive. It is a program that has changed lives. I am very proud to have been a part of this program and know that the work is not done. We need more opportunity to reach out to the next generation of parents with the information and the conversations provided by DMAD.
For the teen teachers Dads Make A Difference is the ultimate youth development experience. Not only do they gain personnal insights into the value of involved fathers but they demonstrate skills as effective educators and and leaders for younger students. I continue to be proud of these dynamic and dedicated youth.
I have been an advisor to the development and implementation of the program since its inception. Dads Make a Difference has been a critically important innovation to address the issue of parenting too soon and father involvement in Minnesota. It has played a seminal role in creating dialogue with youth about parenting, mentorship and positive peer advocacy that has contributed to why teen parentage has declined over the last several years thus creating positive futures and eliminating barriers to education and employment for thousands of Minnesota youth..
I was involved with Dads Make a Difference from the beginning as the first staff person and stayed involved for 9 years. Currently I am an annual donor. I witnessed first hand during my involvement the impact learning about responsible fatherhood had on teens and young adults. As a professional still working in the field of teen pregnancy prevention, there is often little focus on males and fathers. I don't know of any other organization and curriculum in Minnesota that educates about Paternity Establishment as DMAD does. I am proud that DMAD has sustained itself for almost 20 years
I was fortunate enough to see two sets of youth in training sessions. They were being taught priceless life lessons that you do not get in school. The questions they asked reflected that they were very attentive and absorbing the concepts taught. Every child needs to go through this course. The course provides valuable insight into making good life choices. Thanks. Bob Jackson, Hennepin County Child Support