GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — When it came to being a dad, Jaquon Curry will tell you one thing with certainty. He wasn’t ready.
“I wanted to be a better father than my father because my father wasn’t there,” he said.
Curry was 21 years old when his son, Jaquon Curry Jr., was born. With no father figure of his own, he looked elsewhere for direction.
“It would have been hard for me,” Curry said.
Today, Curry has the support of fatherhood specialist Calvin Foster and the Fatherhood Initiative of Healthy Start Triad Baby Love Plus.
“Enrich and empower, and really equip fathers,” Foster said. “There is no handbook. There is no rulebook.”
Despite being a subject matter expert, Foster is learning that truth firsthand.
“Ironically, having an 18-month-old myself. Being a new father, my wife and I are so grateful for the village that we had,” he said.
The program is for fathers whose child hasn’t been born yet or those with children who are less than a year and a half old.
“Classes and training and really just supporting them,” Foster said.
For Curry, it provided knowledge about everything from hygiene to diet.
‘How to change pampers and really play with my son and be there for him,” he said.
The program, however, is just as much about the father as it is about learning to be one.
“Giving these fathers some guidance and support to kind of go along with however their style begins to be created,” Foster said.
The support has carried Curry through the first year of fatherhood as he watches his son reach milestones.
“Saying ‘dada,’” Curry said. “Just wanting to play around, and I can’t do [anything] but smile at him because he’s mine.”
Foster, in the meantime, is looking to expand the support network with the inaugural Fatherhood Summit this weekend. There, they’ll cover everything from emotions and mental health to making sure fathers aren’t neglecting their own health, financial literacy, employment and education.
The summit is set for Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Refuge Greensboro located at 3008 Bessemer Avenue. As of Monday, there were 37 fathers or father figures signed up with Foster hoping to bring that number to 50.
If you’d like to be involved, Foster can be reached at (336) 279-3638. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.