Each year, more than 800 male and female youth 12-18 participate in our Real Talk ATL abstinence until marriage and healthy relationships program.
That’s why we were thrilled when Earl Johnson, Director, Office of Family Assistance, US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), praised the program during a recent Future Foundation visit.
Johnson observed that “Future Foundation is the Ambassador for men and women and boys and girls in being better decision makers,” and told the audience that “Future Foundation is a place of hope for a lot of people.”
Prior to joining ACF, Johnson was senior Policy Advisor to Oakland, California Mayor Ron Dellums, where he was responsible for helping set policy and program goals for the city in the areas of workforce, health and urban affairs. He also worked with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on fatherhood initiatives.
While here, Johnson invited Future Foundation’s founder, Shareef Abdur-Rahim to speak at a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Peer Collaboration and Technical Assistance Workshop. Shareef’s talk, Engaging Non-Custodial Fathers as a Strategy to Achieving Self-Sufficiency, included a discussion of Future Foundation and its success in engaging non-custodial parents (particularly fathers) and their children, and the critical impact this approach to engagement can have on facilitating and ensuring a family’s successful progression to self-sufficiency.
During his talk, Shareef noted that “when I think of who I am as a father, I strive to be the example for my children, but particularly for my son, by modeling what it means to be a father: a provider of safety, love and support and a ‘teammate’ within our family unit that plays a role that cannot be fulfilled unless mom, dad, and children are all reading from the same playbook.
“That’s what’s missing from our community. This is why it is so important for Future Foundation to have this comprehensive model that no only supports youth but brings their family into the fold.”
At Future Foundation, we’re proud that we’ve been a Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI) grantee since 2006. HMI is directly affiliated with the Fatherhood Initiative that Shareef spoke about so eloquently—and something that Earl Johnson continually advocates for.