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Father Helps Young Men Be Better Dads

Andre

Father Helps Young Men Be Better Dads

Andre Dandridge

Place of Residence: Detroit

Why He is a Game Changer: When Dandridge was a 21-year-old senior at the University of Michigan, he found out he was going to be a Father. He also found out that there weren’t many resources geared toward young Black men to help him prepare.

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“My first reaction to the news was not joy,” Dandridge told the Michigan Bulletin. “I knew the responsibility of being a Father was going to be a life-changing experience, and I didn’t want to be irresponsible.”

That’s when the idea for Dandridge’s group, New Young Fathers, came into being. He knew there were other young men out there who wanted to be good Fathers to their children but they likely did not have had the guidance and resources to help them do so.

According to the U.S. Census, approximately 50 percent of Black children are being raised in single family households where the Mother is the head.

African-American children living in  households headed by a single male account for only 3.5 percent of the total.

Now 39, and married with two children, Dandridge, a law school graduate, is hoping to help young men 25 and younger become better fathers.

Dandridge has used New Young Fathers to host meetings and workshops for young Fathers that deal with everything from anger management to parenting skills. The group has also produced DVDs and materials to help young Fathers. A rap CD with stories told from the perspective of young Dads was another successful project. The goal is to teach young men how to successfully manage their responsibilities in one of the most-important jobs in the world: fatherhood.

“When I found out I was going to be a Father, I had to make some conscious decisions about my behavior,” Dandridge said. “I soon found out that I couldn’t afford to buy both liquor and diapers.”

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