'Good Dads' graduate from New Pathways Program

Published: Jun. 7, 2019 at 5:59 AM CDT
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A new class graduated this week, but these aren't your typical students, they're dads!

Good Dads is the only organization in Southern Missouri focused on helping all dads be more engaged with their children. It began when business leaders across the Ozarks recognized the impact of father absence on child well-being and came together for the purpose of supporting father engagement.

Since the organization's creation five years ago, they've become a nonprofit and are constantly finding new ways to help dads be the best they can be. One of those ways is through their New Pathways for Good Dads Program.

The New Pathways Program was created in the spring of 2018. The goal of the program is to help dads overcome certain obstacles and hardships. Things like legal troubles, substance abuse issues, or hardships with employment. It can be any number of things.

Twelve men graduated from the program Thursday night. One of the graduates, Joe Cruse, talked about how it's changed his life. "Center yourself around your kids and write out the best plan for yourself," Cruse began. "If you've got yourself in order, and you carry yourself accordingly, and your goal is to be a good person, it will help guide you into being a good father."

The Founder and Executive Director of Good Dads, Dr. Jennifer Baker, said they expect a few dozen more graduates over the summer months. Dr. Baker also talked about the philosophy behind the program. "Everyone can be successful," she began. "You might need support, encouragement, and some extra resources to help you do that."

The New Pathways for Good Dads Program is free.

Dr. Baker encouraged those who are interested in any of the Good Dads programs or events to check them out by stopping by their location in Downtown Springfield, at 205 W. Walnut Street or calling them at (417) 501-8867. People can also visit their website and social media pages.