It’s little things like this that put our full faith in humanity. Last month, Billy Earl Dade Middle School located in Dallas, decided to host a Breakfast with Dads for the male population of the school. Out of the 900 student in the school (90 percent of the student population comes from low-income families) 150 male middle school students signed up for the breakfast, however organizers worried that some would show up without a male figure with them.
Rev. Donald Parish Jr., pastor of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church and also the even organizer told the morning news, “When a young person sees someone other than their teacher take interest in them, it inspires them. That’s what we want to see happen.”
A Call for Dad Volunteers
Kristina Chäadé Dove, children’s advocate and a vital part of the site-based decision-making team for the middle school, decided to call on male volunteers via social media.
Nearly 600 men volunteered to mentor the boys and the event got so big the school had to move the location from the cafeteria to the gym to accommodate all of the volunteers.
Photographer Stephanie Drenka, who works with Dove at Big Thought, a nonprofit organization that helps provide creative learning programs for young people, was in awe at the event. “I will never forget witnessing the young students surrounded by supportive community members. There were so many volunteers, that at times I saw young men huddled in the center of 4-5 mentors. The look of awe – even disbelief- in students’ eyes as they made their way through the crowd of ‘Dads’ was astonishing.”
The male mentors started the program led by Jamil ‘The Tie Man’ Tucker, with an icebreaker activity to help the students learn how to tie a tie. “It’s a male right of passage,” he stated as father figures helped the young men with their ties at the Dallas school.
Dove hopes to hold events like this again in the near future.