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June 15, 2017

DADS 2 GRADS: Reigniting the Power of Education

More than three dozen fatherhood program participants joined other attendees at our second annual DADS 2 GRADS on Saturday, May 20 at Midlands Technical College's Airport Campus. DADS 2 GRADS is an education summit designed to connect fathers to resources for degree completion, career exploration and personal achievement. The event is a collaborative effort between the Center, Midlands Fatherhood Coalition and several community partners including Midlands Technical College, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, United Way of the Midlands and Richland County School District One. 

The day began with a welcome from Midlands Technical College's Executive Director of Economic Development/Enterprise Campus Authority Chuck Whipple and Midlands Fatherhood Coalition-Lexington Site Director Savon Davis. Participants also heard from keynote speaker Kelly Simmons III, founder of KS3 Global, a professional development organization. Simmons used the power of motivation to deliver a message entitled "Discovering Who I Am". The speech encouraged attendees to believe in the power of education and to commit to a lifestyle of learning. 

After the opening session, participants attended breakout sessions that address the spectrum of educational need and advancement. Those without high school diplomas received guidance of completed requirements for their GED from Richland One Adult Education. Others gained valuable insight from Midlands Tech QuickJobs on how to pursue certifications to enhance their job skills and employability. Those ready to pursue secondary education, Midlands Tech staff provided assistance with navigating the college application process.

Closing out the event, participants got to hear from a panel on trades and certifications featuring representatives from Apprenticeship Carolina, YouthBuild and Project Hope (DSS).

We would like to thank all of our community partners who helped make this event a success. Their support and collaboration allows us to better serve fathers who are trying to become better providers for their children and families.

This program is part of Children's Trust of South Carolina and the S.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy's Community Support for Young Parents program. This publication was made possible by Grant No. P1AH000030-01-00. Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Office of Adolescent Health. 

Fathers participating in DADS 2 GRADS had the opportunity to apply for admission to Midlands Technical College.


KS3 Global founder Kelly Simmons, III delivers the keynote address for DADS 2 GRADS.