2014 is a special year for NFI. It marks our 20th year of working to “change fatherhood” by ending father absence and connecting fathers to their children.
To celebrate the fathers and families whose lives we’ve turned around, we launched this series of videos, blog posts, photographs, and stories to highlight how our work has strengthened fatherhood since 1994.
At NFI, we know that Fatherhood Changes Everything. From poverty, to crime, to school achievement, to child abuse—every issue we care about is affected by whether or not a child has an involved, responsible, and committed father.
When we connect a father to his child, heart to heart, lives change, communities change, and our entire nation is the better for it.
This video reveals how NFI’s programs affect an individual life. This is one story out of many.
Each video in this series was created from the book “Choosing Fatherhood: America’s Second Chance,” a photography book created by Lewis Kostiner. Lewis spent years going around the country, photographing dads who were going through NFI’s programs at community-based organizations in their neighborhoods. The result was a compelling photo book telling the stories of dads working hard to make their children’s lives better.
In this video, we spotlight Randall Gonzalez, who attended an NFI workshop in his community to learn how to be a better dad. Read his words or listen to them on the video, they are a powerful if you take time to listen. Let Randall's words remind you that you are vital to your child's life.
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"I tell my daughter from time to time, 'Remember, you can ask me anything you want. Even if I'm embarrassed, I'm still gonna answer you.' I remind her that I don't get embarrassed about my handicap. I'm trying to build a good rapport with her and talkig to her about trust. And I try to let her make as many decisions on her own as she can while she is young, so that she gets better at it when she is older. I am not going to expose her to everything. I am not going to hide things from her. I just want to make sure she is ready for life and ready to be happy. Another thing, I refuse to spank. My father spanked me. His father spanked him and on up the line, so I'm breaking the chain. It takes a little more time and a little bit more patience, but I think in the end it's going to be better for her." —Randall Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas)
How have you changed fatherhood?