New “Streak Dads” program brings father figure into the school

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A new program, Streak Dads launched in August, 2013 at Galesburg High School.

The program organized by the NAACP and the Galesburg High School aims to mentor students by providing them with positive, male role models.

Parent volunteers come into the school, five days a week, from the time classes start, until dismissal.

While some students require just a high-five or a simple conversation, many other students need one-on-one time to tackle tougher issues.

Denzel, a 18-year-old senior at Galesburg High School, says his father has been absent from his life for nearly a year.

“I have a one parent household, my mom has been raising me, my dad has been in and out of my life,” Denzel said.

Denzel says he just had a birthday, but his father didn’t call him. However, the emptiness he feels at times, is filled by the support he receives from his Streak Dad.

“It was kind of sad, when I turned 18 last year and I didn’t get a call from him but it was cool, because I knew they had my back,” said Denzel.

Dwight White, a Streak Dad, says he, too, didn’t have a father growing up and this program allows him to give students the things he didn’t have.

“We talk about how you wear your clothes, and what’s important in your life, think about having a career,” said White.

White says if he can just reach one student, he knows he would have made a difference in his community.

“If I can get just one child or man, ten years from now, who comes up to me and says, ‘Mr. White, you changed my life,’ it’ll all be worth it,” said White.