Marcus Meneese and ‘Stronger Than My Father’ Steps Up for Boys in need of a Dad: Finally a ‘Lobbyist’ for the Fatherless

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Publisher’s Note: I often speaks about ‘God-Wink’ moments in our lives — I realize not everyone believes like I do. I’m glad I’m not alone in my realization that positive moments that are highly improbable do exist. Is there a message in these God-Wink occurrences? I think so…


The late Dr. Carl Jung spoke about it as well. 
Synchronicity is a word coined by Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung to describe seemingly coincidental, yet meaningful events in the external world that do not have an obvious cause.

Jung believed that many occurrences labeled as “coincidences,” are not actually due to chance. Instead, he believed that these occurrences are directly related to the observer’s mind, and serve to provide powerful insight, direction and guidance.
Source: ArtsofThoughts.com, Carl G. Jung (1960), Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, Princeton University Press, 2012, p. 44. https://artsofthought.com/2020/05/30/carl-jung-synchronicity/

This morning I was thinking of myriad of problems we face as a society. Issues from increased violence, addiction, incarceration and more. In my opinion, these problems in many cases are linked to the fatherless. Just this morning there was a convenience clerk murdered in my hometown of Smyrna. The clerk Nick Patterson was someone’s son, brother and friend. As a state lawmaker I see all these lobbyist and they are numerous. There is even a book of lobbyists that is roughly 68 pages and 5 lobbyist per page. Sadly, there is not one who is advocating for the fatherless (If so, show me who it is).
As a society, ask yourself, what are we, as a society doing to help solve the issue of young men and women growing up without a father.

The statistics below are alarming:

I recently watched this video of the response of a young boy when the drill sergeant asked him “Now you’re not an adult until your eighteen…do you want me to be your daddy for the next 8 years son? The boy responded “yes sir…I have no daddy.”

 

 

In 2010 the Tennessee Department of Corrections annual budget was $600,000 —now it has amassed to $1,200,000,000 billion. Much of that is due to the growing fatherless rate.
Many thanks to Dave Gould, Publisher of Main-street Media, journalist Ashley Pelham and broadcaster Joe Dubin for helping to bring awareness to this epidemic our nation is facing. 



By Ashley Pelham Main Street Nashville

Marcus Meneese knows that many young men will wake up Sunday with no father to celebrate, but he’s trying to fill in the gap for as many as he can.

In 2013, Meneese founded Stronger Than My Father, an organization that provides mentoring for young men who don’t have father figures.

Marcus Meneese Stronger Than my father

Although Meneese grew up with his dad at home, he started learning more about the effects of absent fathers in 2003 when his mom asked him to be a big brother to his 3-year-old cousin.

As he started researching fatherhood, he saw that many men without fathers will continue the fatherless cycle with their own children.

 

In 2010, as a way to start mentoring, Meneese started a local baseball team, which allowed him to connect with several young men.

One of those young men was Marquise Anderson.

Anderson, a junior in high school at the time, said he didn’t get in trouble much, but he had issues at home.

Meneese stepped in as a mentor. They met regularly through the baseball team and also lunches from time to time.

Meneese’s father gave Anderson his first official job: cutting grass.

Meneese wasn’t “invasive” or like a therapist to Anderson.

“He had a unique way of figuring out things, of getting things out of me without asking directly,” Anderson said.

Meneese told Anderson different ways that he wouldn’t have to go through the same cycle he saw other families going through.

“What really stuck out to me was ‘It won’t always be this way,’ “ Anderson said.

Anderson got a scholarship to Tennessee State University. He graduated in 2018 with a degree in exercise science. Meneese was there, even paying dues for Anderson’s senior year.

In 2013, Meneese decided to start an organization for his mentoring. He felt God was telling him this was the work he needed to do. He started mentoring one young man at a time.

In 2016, he started Hope Leadership Academy, a before- and after-school program at Smith Springs Church of Christ.

The program started with four kids in 2016. Today, about 100 kids are involved.

Meneese hopes the program helps kids read and do math on grade level, but it’s also a way to start a mentoring relationship.

Meneese also has a summer camp at the church with 50 to 90 kids and hosts other community programs.

But this fall, Meneese is getting ready to step back into mentoring, this time more strategically with a goal of mentoring 100 young men.

This fall, the first cohort of 25 young men will start a yearlong program. Next year, they will have the opportunity to continue or leave the program.

To read more great MainStreet Nashville content visit: https://www.mainstreet-nashville.com/news/stronger-than-my-father-steps-up-for-boys-in-need-of-a-dad/article_73c7e4fc-edb6-11ec-982b-8b7940871188.html