(WIAT) — In some communities, children growing up without fathers in their lives has reached epidemic proportions. Divorce rates are high, and children born out of wedlock have created far too many fatherless homes.
In light of Father’s Day, we decided to check out a Birmingham program that’s breaking the cycle.
Local Pastor Van Moody of the Worship Center Christian Church started a Boys-to-Men mentoring program that incorporates fitness in building up young boys.
Moody says the interaction with the men can help build resilience in the boys.
“You get lessons on how to handle life,” Moody said. “Life is not easy. It’s not about what happens to you, it’s about what’s in you.”
This church-led program sends participants to God Speed Elite Fitness in Hoover to workout. It has drawn dozens of fathers who invest in growing boys to men, giving them a better chance of succeeding life.
One of the program’s goals is to help African American boys overcome statistics. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 58 percent of Black children are living absent of their biological fathers, compared to 31 percent of Hispanic children, and close to 21 percent of Whites.
Quinn Shipman also works out with his 6-year-old son Dillon at God Speed. Shipman says although he grew up without his father, he’s excited about being able to contribute to his son’s growth.
“It’s a special moment right now,” Shipman said. “Growing up without having a father in my life, right now it comes back to me. What I didn’t have, I get to pour into him.”
The next session of the Boys-to-Men mentoring at the Worship Center is Saturday, June 24th at 9 a.m. The program will include tutoring and mentoring.
Learn more about the program on the Worship Center Website.