The Ultimate Fatherhood Challenge (UFC) project is a group of high-risk fathers in downtown neighborhoods ages 18-25 who are engaged in realistic leadership development in order to learn essential skills in parenthood.
“We are dealing with everyday problems such as child abuse, child neglect and helping these guys become better dads,” said Oscar Rodriguez, UFC program director.
Rodriguez is in charge of facilitating appointments with the fathers, meetings, quarterly trips and family gatherings.
The group meets weekly from 5:15-6:15 p.m. on Thursdays at First Presbyterian Church of Fresno, Room 206 (1540 M. St.). Members are welcome to bring their children to meetings, as childcare is provided.
UFC Member Johnny Trujillo has become a mentor to other fathers in the group. He said the group focuses on developing concrete goals for each member.
“Especially with someone who has never sat with their child to read, we like to set these goals for ourselves and our children,” said Trujillo.
The group has quarterly trips and family gatherings like trips to the zoo, walks in the park, BBQ’s and community service.
“We clean up parks and plant tress because it’s not just about changing lives in your own household,” said Rodriguez. “But about being accountable in your community too.”
The program began in Oct. 2011 with three members and has grown to 26 members and averages 14 members every week.
“Hopefully next year we get a couple more guys who want to take on leadership roles and become mentors for new members we hope to have in the New Year,” said Rodriguez.
For more information, contact UFC Program Director Oscar Rodriguez at 559.470.4134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.