What does fatherhood mean to you?

Fatherhood gives me the opportunity to lead, give back and carry on my family’s heritage. Most importantly, fatherhood means love and time.

I didn’t grow up with a father and I was fortunate to learn many skills from other males in my community. I also think that fatherhood means looking out for other children in the community who may not have a male role model to look up to.

What is the best part of being a dad?

When you are out in public and hear other adults mention how well mannered your kids are and list their accomplishments. It is incredibly gratifying to hear that from people who aren’t members of your family.

When my kids are the first people I see after a long hard day at work, they are always able to put a smile on my face.

What is your proudest moment as a dad?

I can’t really narrow it down to one moment. Being present in my children’s lives so that I can love, nourish and provide for them makes me proud.

What do you and your child(ren) do for fun?

I try expose my children to activities either I experienced that made a difference in my life or experiences that are non traditional to this busy life or concrete jungle that many inner city youth are accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. We go hiking together, play sports, jump on the trampoline and read books together.

What is the hardest part about being a dad?

Discipline! It’s incredibly difficult to say no and discipline a child when they make mistakes as they learn new things.

What kind of dad do you strive to be?

A father who is present and there when his child needs him. This can be hard with my family’s busy schedule, but I always strive to be reliable and loving.

Describe your funniest moment as a dad.

It would have to be when my youngest daughter was starting to talk.

Whenever she said “somebody”, it came out “youngbody”. One day she had an accident and ended up wetting herself, but her pleas for help came out as “Youngbody please help me!”

What would you hope that your kids would say about you if asked what kind of a dad they have?

I would hope that my kids would say that now and forever my dad has loved and cared for us. He protects us and gives us guidance even when we don’t want it.

What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received about fatherhood?

“To be a good dad, you also need to be a good listener.” I give this advice to other dads now.

So often, dads get caught up in other things and it’s hard to listen. Being a good listener also goes back to giving your children your time. You can’t listen to your kids if you’re not present in their lives.

What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?

Once again, it’s not one moment. It’s inspiring just to wake up every day and know that my kids are all here and they are all healthy. I know that I’ve been given another day to keep going and protect and provide for my children.