December 2015 KSSN Spotlight
For the month of December, we are spotlighting Tony Jolliffi, Fatherhood Program Coordinator for Strong Fathers of West Michigan. The Strong Fathers initiative is a partner with many KSSN schools: Harrison Park, Sibley, Coit Creative Arts, MLK Jr. Leadership Academy, Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, Dickinson Academy, and Stocking.
The goal of Strong Fathers is to improve fathers’ ability to be fully and positively engaged in the lives of their children. They encourage fathers to play a more active role in nurturing and raising their children through a variety of educational activities like parenting classes and Dad Talk, and through father-family bonding opportunities like the annual Strong Fathers Flag Football event. Through their programming, Strong Fathers has reached over 1500 men and their families!
Tony says his favorite part of the job is standing on the front lines with men who don’t have enough passionate advocates, as well as watching relationships being restored and fathers gaining a renewed confidence in their ability to be effective dads. Tony knows his work is having an impact because of the intentionality of the Strong Fathers’ approach: they consistently gather information about the mental, social, and physical barriers that could be hindering a fathers’ full engagement in their children’s lives, and they use this information as a guide for developing their programs. As a result, the men they serve have expressed genuine gratitude for the variety of programs that they offer, and say that Strong Fathers speaks directly to their needs.
When Tony is not busy with Strong Fathers, you can find him spending time with his wife, Shena, and their children. He also coaches fifth- and sixth-grade football.
Thank you, Tony, for all that you do. You are doing very important work in our community, and you are a valued partner to KSSN!