Responsible Fatherhood Program recognizes 17 graduates, special participant

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition’s 24/7 Responsible Fatherhood Training concluded its first 8-week workshop of 2013 with 17 graduates.

The workshops  are provided by the Coalition as part of their partnership with the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division’s B.R.E.A.C.H. Project.

B.R.E.A.C.H. (Bringing Relief, Education and Assets to Children and their Household) is a volunteer program that offers support to fathers who are behind on their child support payments.

At the graduation certificate ceremony, the training program also recognized a nonparticipant, Ben Conner.

Ben Conner (left) is presented with a graduation certificate by Jack Johnson.

Each week Ben Conner drove his grandson Amos Conner (a participant of the B.R.E.A.C.H. program) and his two great grandsons to the fatherhood training classes held at the Wells Fargo at the corner of 6th and Main Streets. He would sit in the back of every class with Amos’ sons.

When Jack Johnson, the regional outreach director of the program asked Mr. Conner why he was coming to the classes with Amos and his great grandsons, Mr. Conner replied that his grandson was a good boy who made some bad mistakes in the past but, his two great grandsons were not a mistake. He thought these classes would build on the many lessons he has been trying to teach Amos about how to be a good father.

Jack was moved by the grandfather’s dedication to his grandson’s future.

“Even though he was not a B.R.E.A.C.H. participant, I thought it fitting that he should receive a graduation certificate as well,” Jack said.