Fathers First continues classes one year after losing funding

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Total Action For Progress has a program called Fathers First.

It teaches fathers everything from job readiness to how to be a parent.

But last year, the program didn't receive the funding they relied on to survive.

Fathers First has had to downsize but didn't shut down thanks to donations and TAP's ability to reallocate money.

And it's a good thing too, we caught up with one father who says Fathers First changed his life.

Harmony means everything to Kenyatta Cole.

At just 12 days old, she is just one reason he decided to take a class with Father's First.

“The main thing I took from the class was selflessness,” Cole said. "You learn how to put your family, maybe your job, career, school in front of unnecessary things that you may want to do yourself.”

“I've really seen a change in how he wants to do things.” Nick Cline said of Cole.

Cline has worked with Cole through the whole process and the two are still in touch, after Cole graduated.

“He's more than just a teacher to me, he's a great mentor too, a good friend," Cole said.

“In my opinion this program is crucial. dads are a real under-served population in general, especially here,” Kline said.

As a fatherhood development specialist Kline is passionate about helping fathers like Cole.

And it was hard when the program didn't receive funding because of a clerical error.

“For a while it looks like we were going to be stranded, we weren't going to be able to do that program anymore,” Kline said.

Fathers First doesn't do as many programs as they have in the past, but plans to continue its classes.

Classes that not only help with relationships, but job readiness and how to keep a job and parenting.

“What it means to be a man and the father's role in the family and then we go into discipline and co-parenting and how to communicate with your kids,” Kline said.

It's helped Cole take a different approach in life.

“i wanna be around for her and as long as i'm around I’m gonna make sure I’m on the right track and and I'm gonna be the best father I can be and like I said with Nick's help and this class has put me on the right path,” Cole said.

Classes with Fathers First are completely free.

A new class starts next week.

They'll take on as many people want to participate and you can still register up until Monday evening.