Paul Juarez volunteers as an instructor for a court-ordered parenting class called “Focus on Fathers” with the Christian ministry, New Day Services. His calling is to help struggling fathers in the Denton area become better parents.
“Nothing replaces having a Dad in your life,” says Juarez.
He knows because he fought hard to break the cycle of neglect and trauma with his family. Juarez’s own father was in and out of prison for most of his young life and the impact it had on him reverberated throughout his relationships with women and his own children. After a divorce and being separated from his two children, Juarez knew that he was on a path to continue the pain he had suffered with his own kids. He had to do something.
It was then that Juarez’s father came back into his life, a changed man. In prison he had found faith and became someone that Juarez did not recognize; it gave him hope for himself. This time, Juarez wanted to become like his father, who was now an example of the type of manJuarez aspired to be for his children.
Juarez shares his journey with the men in his class to show them that it's never too late to show up for their kids.
“You have a God-given right to be their father,” he says.
Tenth Place Hearst Journalism Award: Multimedia Narrative Storytelling Category