Blog by guest blogger Molly Crabb
For many of us, Father’s Day is a joyful day spent cooking out, hiking, or tossing a ball to celebrate the fathers in our lives. But for Tyler, the day is bittersweet. Tyler is a 12th-grade student counting down the days until graduation [He graduated on May 28. Congrats Tyler!]. When you first meet him, you can tell he is a compassionate, thoughtful, and ambitious young person. He credits his father, who recently passed away, for making him into who he is today. When asked to describe his dad, Tyler says he was liked by everyone, had a great sense of humor, and could make engaging conversation on just about anything.
It’s hard for Tyler to talk about his dad’s passing, but the experience of pushing his dad’s wheelchair down the halls of Johns Hopkins Hospital after a surgery figures prominently in his memory. “All my life my dad always had my back; for the first time I had his,” he said, proud to have supported the father who dedicated his life to his children.
Nothing can replace his dad’s advice, but Tyler appreciates spending time each week in the LSSNCA Healthy Relationships program where he can get advice on navigating the relationships in his life. “Love Notes is continuing to shape me into the man my father was,” he says.
Like his dad, he will be joining the Marine Corps after graduating high school, a dream he has worked towards for years.
This Father’s Day, Tyler will remember “the greatest man he ever knew” and drink a root beer, his dad’s favorite drink, in his honor.
Tyler is a participant of our Healthy Relationships Education. With a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, we are in the DC and Prince George’s County schools teaching relationship skills to high school students through games and interactive activities. Through our Love Notes (High School) and Relationship Smarts (Middle School) curriculums, the program seeks to empower students to make healthy decisions about dating and romantic relationships, while providing tools and resources to avoid and prevent pregnancy, STI’s and engaging in other risk behaviors. Last year, our team reached 286 high school students in three DC schools.
We are six months into our second grant from the federal government. Thus far, the program has reached 140 youth, teaching at Friendship Public Charter School’s Collegiate Academy, Technology Preparatory High School, the Seed School of Washington DC, and Father Factor, a violence interruption community-based program. Summer session are starting up on July 7, and there’s still time to register!
If you are interested in bringing our Healthy Relationships Education to your school, church, organization, or youth please inquire on our website!