Posted at: 01/08/2013 6:43 PM
By: Dan Conradt
New Help for Student Dads
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Individually, they can all be full-time jobs.
Trying to juggle them at the same time requires patience, planning, and experience.
Nate Howard has that experience,"I'm a father, I work for park and rec, I run my own business on the side, full time student."
And these days, he's wearing another hat
"I'm working as a male mentor with Riverland Community College,” Howard said.
Today, more and more men juggling school, work and parenting. And they say "experience is the best teacher”.
"We knew we needed somebody that was in the classroom and with the students, and that's what Nate's going to do," said Riverland’s Mindi Askelson.
"It's just a matter of guiding the student into the right direction of where they're going to find the support they need," peer mentor Nate Howard told us.
"Men won't come in right away for help, but if you get them in a conversation about something else often they will let go with what they need to know," said Riverland’s Mindi Askelson.
"We probably to our own fault don't ask for direction enough," added mentor Nate Howard. And that's where Riverland’s Parenting Center comes in.
"And this is a place where you can come in and we're all here asking for directions," Nate Howard said. "I think a lot of it is just in that social gathering where men feel they are not alone."
And since no two men are alike, the peer mentor curriculum is a work in progress.
"We are primarily listening right now to the student fathers to see what kind of help and what kind of support we can offer," said mentor Nate Howard.
"Men are more likely to share with the same gender ... other men,” said Riverland’s Mindi Askelson.
“Essentially this is sort of the boy's locker room of the student father" Nate Howard said.
“We want to try and help the student deal with those stressors. We can't take it away, but we can help them maybe work through it," added RCCs Mindi Askelson.
Grant money will be used to fund the peer mentor program.