Stories

Summit County Fatherhood Initiative Creates Stronger Families

Troy is committed to helping his 11-year old son Xavier with his homework. And, even though he works a full-time job now, Troy attends nearly all of Xavier’s football practices and games. He is proud to be an involved and responsible dad.

Not too many years ago, Troy had several run-ins with the police and in 2002 he spent a year in prison. At the time he was leaving behind his 22-year old girl friend and their one-week old son, Xavier. While Troy was in prison his girlfriend was murdered.

When Troy was released from prison his first goals were to straighten out his life and connect with his one-year old son. Troy said “I had to make a serious change in my mind, the way I did things and the way I presented myself to my community. I didn’t have all the answers and I needed to go to someone or somewhere I could find guidance on fatherhood.”

Lucky for Troy and Xavier, Troy also connected with the Summit County Fatherhood Initiative. The Fatherhood Initiative is a county-wide collaboration that helps at-risk fathers develop healthy relationships with their children. The initiative provides education and resources to men who have been absent from their children’s lives. The result – stronger families and children who grow up to be responsible members of our community.

Troy knows there is a lot at stake in what type of father he is to Xavier – Troy grew up without his own father. But the positive impact that Troy is making in his son’s life is obvious. “With my dad at my games, I feel better and I care more,” said Xavier. “I love him a lot because he is a very good dad. If you make a mistake, he’ll make you keep going and going…make you lift your head up. My dad loves me and would do anything for me."

Find out more about the Summit County Fatherhood Initiative>