My reflection on my fellowship was a Life changing experience, socially, academically, politically, and economically. The things I wish I could have known when I started my fellowship:
1. The Lasting relationships that would developed.
2. The resources Bush Foundation has
3. All the continued support from staff
4. Former Bush fellows welcomes support and relationship building
5. Being a Bush Fellow is well respected in our community.
6. The Amount of exposure from social media and community support
7. How important your assigned mentor is to you.
The things that stands out the most during my fellowship is the learning experiences and community engagement with fathers.
1. Fathers seeing themselves has valuable assets to their families and their community was very valuable.They also learn to build a community that helps them fulfill their role as one of the most important people in their children's lives.
2.Creating a support system of family members, peers, and faith leaders around single fathers was a rewarding experience
3. Creating sustainable partnerships with foundations, local businesses and church groups to support fathers and children will create positive outcomes in our community.
What surprised me the most with my fellowship work:
1. The lack of resources for fathers.
2. How our government system is not structure to keep families together but provides more benefits if your separated from each other.
3. The lack of role models for fathers in the African American Community.
4. Fathers are the least involved in their children lives because of personal guilt and government bureaucracy
5. Fatherhood issues has now become my life work.
6. Its alarming how many issues in the African American Community are connected to Fatherlessness. Drugs, Bulling, gangs, prostitutions, theft, and high school drop-out rates.
7. The amount of learning I received from shadowing my mentors, community leaders, professors, and writers, and fathers.
8. How valuable support groups and small organized conversation for men/fathers can be effective, especially in barbers or around sporting events.