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“Give them the tools they need:” Fatherhood Summit encourages fathers be active in childrens’ lives

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Fatherhood Summit

MILWAUKEE -- Changing lives and lifestyles, one father at a time. On Saturday, October 7th an event designed to help fathers become more a present and positive influence in their kids' lives happened.

With different backgrounds and struggles, these men came together focused on one common goal.

Fatherhood Summit

"I'm trying to move forward to find another job I can support my kids with," father Jeffery Lenon said. "Trying to get back into their kid's lives."

The annual Fatherhood Summit put on by Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative has been helping men for the past 12 years overcome challenges and play a positive role in their children's lives.

Fatherhood Summit

"It's a very practical approach because we help them do things like get their driver's license back. If there are issues with child support, try to help them with health care, get them job training," Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Removing barriers to help turn lives around.

Fatherhood Summit

"We are trying to give them the tools they need to be successful," Director of Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, Mike Williams said.

Mike Williams

The resources, support and guidance provided during the two day event has lasting long-term effects.

"We have class on anger management anger, infant mortality, we are trying to educate dads," Williams said. "We are challenging dads to read to their kids, challenging dads to attend parent teacher conferences, take your child for a walk."

Sometimes it's the little things and even fun moments that help re-commitment and re-connection. This year's theme of creating a legacy had many attendees reflecting on their impact on their children and stability created for their future.

Fatherhood Summit

"A lot of kids and young men need their fathers in their lives to show them the right way. To put them on the right track," Lenon said.

If you missed the event, don't worry. The Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative is an ongoing effort. You can learn more about their resources on their website.