Photos by Dan Miller/DMD IMAGES
NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg accepts the National Fatherhood Award from Roland C. Warren, National Fatherhood Initiative President
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the keynote speaker at the first graduation ceremony of the “City’s Fatherhood Academy” held at La Guardia Community College. This program developed by the City’s Young Men’s Initiative, prepares 18 to 24 year old males for employment, and promotes responsible fatherhood and strengthens the family’s economic stability.
The program addresses the needs created by 18 to 24 year old unwed fathers who have not earned their high school diploma and who have been involved in the criminal justice system. They have few prospects available to them to enter the job market and provide for themselves and their families. The participants in the program are actively recruited from communities around the city. This first year’s graduating class of 22 students have achieved the following distinctions, 12 have obtained permanent employment, six will be incoming freshman at La Guardia College and four have passed their G.E.D. exam.
Human Resources Commissioner Robert Doar said, “I want to congratulate today’s CUNY Fatherhood Academy graduates who have taken personal responsibility for their education, employment and children.” …”I also want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership and investment in young men’s lives that will significantly help them and their families succeed.”
During the ceremony Mayor Bloomberg was presented with a Fatherhood Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative for launching and supporting the program. “We cannot overestimate the importance that fathers play in their children’s lives,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The CUNY Fatherhood Academy is promoting the goals of the Young’s Men’s Initiative to strengthen family connections and educational and employment opportunities by teaching young fathers to become responsible caregivers, while helping them learn skills that will increase their employment options.”
“La Guardia Community College creates opportunities for New Yorkers and helps individuals and families enter the middle class,” said President of La Guardia Community College Dr. Gail O. Mellow. “We are thrilled to join Mayor Bloomberg and CUNY in pioneering new ideas and in partnering with us to make CUNY Fatherhood Academy at La Guardia a success. Through this program young fathers will gain skills, become better parents and have new doors open for them.”
Roland C. Warren, President of the National Fatherhood Initiative said ,”Mayor Bloomberg’s innovative thinking and powerful leadership are making it possible for New York City to be an example for cities across the country on how to effectively serve whole families. Too often, dads have been left out of the equation, but Mayor Bloomberg is ensuring that the city’s agencies will serve them, which will lead to stronger families and a stronger New York,” as he presented the mayor with the National Fatherhood award.