Programs Don't Make Men. Fathers Do.
David Godsey - Attorney, Founding Member, President
"The characterization of a category of young men as "At Risk" often sets in motion a series of polarizing initiatives that many times further alienate and marginalize the group as a whole. That alienation is itself a social injustice, one that many incorrectly blame on unfortunate circumstances, when they are really the product of missed or overlooked opportunities. Fathers make men. Not initiatives."
mission & vision
We seek to turn “at-risk” youth into “high-potential” young men. AFP will accomplish this by showing these young boys what potential they have if they continue pursuing their education and make wise choices with the many decisions they are faced with. We hope to provide strong male role models who will serve as coaches that these youth can look up to and draw inspiration from so that they can mirror their choices in life.
HOW TO NOMINATE
We are searching for 250 males between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age. Anyone is free to nominate a young man they feel would benefit from the conference simply by filling out the short submission form. Members of the DFW community will select the participants from the entries submitted. Future conferences are being planned, so there are other opportunities if an application isn’t selected the first time.
WHAT AFP IS NOT
Our goal is to instill the desire to make educational pursuits a top priority. AFP will not promote the typical “dream career” paths that so many of our young men view as their best option such as becoming a professional athlete, comedian, or rap artist. Many have talent in these areas and they look up to men such as Jay Z or Lebron James as their inspiration. Nothing is wrong with this, but when our young men fail to reach the same heights, they are unsure what to do with their life. While we support young talent, our focus will not be extracurricular skills.
A young man’s path in early life is fraught with pitfalls and dangers that, if not wisely navigated, can have limiting effects on his contribution to his own livelihood, his family’s stability, and the condition of his community. If the Father’s promise is not fulfilled, we all are at risk.
A Father’s Promise seeks to infect young men with the disease of high ambition. Through our conference, workshops, and coaches, we plan to instill wisdom in our “at-risk” youth and open their eyes to the possibilities that come with choosing attainable and almost guaranteed paths to success.
In short, we want to change the aim of these young men as they approach adulthood. In return, we hope that these men will one day do the same for the children and other members of their community.
We want to turn the phrase “At-Risk-Youth” on its head. We’ll do this by first acknowledging that many of the same environmental factors that predispose a young man to social sidelining can also serve as motivation for becoming great.
We agree that marginalization was often a choice for these young men, not their fate. However, this potential success story typically requires the involvement of a very real, accessible, and fatherly role model. We believe that most of the men involved with AFP had some input from a fatherly figure that led to us achieving our potential. Now, we want to help the young men of our community in the same way that we were helped during our critical developmental years.
We have put together a team of outstanding men who posses the professional and life experience that allows them to relate to our youth in a tremendous way. These men come from all walks of life and they serve as leaders in our community in a multitude of ways. These men worked hard to succeed in their individual fields.
Our conference will feature doctors, lawyers, bankers, journalists, business owners, and many other professionals who will discuss the steps they took to achieve their goals and become successful through hard work and education. Many of these men will also serve as coaches to our youth, help them set goals, and plan a path to reach them - such as graduating high school, applying for college, and finding a job.
Justin Martin - Attorney, Founding Member,
"Having never met my dad, I was prime candidate for being what society calls "at-risk." But I was fortunate. In addition to knowing I had a Father (above), I had strong men who decided they wanted me to live up to my potential as a man. They changed my perspective, and my fortune, by helping me see that success comes a lot easier if you have someone successful to copy - someone who will show you how to get there. I can think of no better influence in a boy's search for manhood than a strong man."