1st Annual Gerst Family Young Fathers Program Awards Salute Amazing Dads

Metropolitan celebrated a group of amazing dads and community partners at the 1st Annual Gerst Family Young Fathers Program Awards Banquet, held Thurs., June 9 in Chicago.

Graduate dads along with fathers currently in the Gerst Family Young Fathers Program gathered with family, friends and supporters to celebrate a year of accomplishments. Honorees included the following:

  • Lavelle Shaffer, Father of the Year. For fathers exhibiting special dedication and commitment to improving the lives of their children.
  • Jason Tolson, Stepfather of the Year. For men who are taking full responsibility and serve as a father and positive role model to their stepchildren.
  • Rayal Blackman, Unsung Hero. For fathers showing consistent dedication and hard work while overcoming past struggles.

Outstanding Community Partners also were honored, including:

  • Daliah Greene, Senior Officer, Chicago Police Department/CAPS
  • Frank Roberts, Community Outreach Specialist, Mid-South Workforce Center
  • Xavier Thompson, Branch Manager/South Chicago, U.S. Bank

Each was recognized for sharing their expertise, time and resources to help young fathers succeed in their endeavors.

The Gerst Family Young Fathers Program helps young fathers become employed, financially self-sufficient and raise healthy children. The program includes job readiness training and placement, money management training and parent education and support. Participants are encouraged to actively nurture and financially support their children.

Special thanks to the Gerst Family for their support of the program.

For more information about the program contact Nathan Wright at wrightn@metrofamily.org.

About Metropolitan Family Services
Metropolitan Family Services empowers families to learn, to earn, to heal, to thrive. Part mentor, part motivator, part advocate, since 1857 Metropolitan Family Services has been the engine of change that empowers Chicago-area families to reach their greatest potential and positively impact their communities.

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