Superdads at Project Padres


EL CENTRO – Super heroes hidden in plain site attended the IVROP  Project Padres Superdads event on Thursday at the Eagles Lodge in El Centro.

Project Padres is an organization created by the IVROP in an effort to help and empower fathers of all backgrounds within the valley.  Whether they are single fathers, divorced, or just trying to become more in touch with their family Project Padres helps them out.  Thursday’s booster session was another of these efforts to help fathers in the valley.

According to Mark Perez, an IVROP recruiter, case manager, and facilitator, the idea for the session came from a quote about fathers; “A father is a son’s first hero and a daughter’s first love.”

There were two presentations that covered different aspects of fatherhood named “Hulk Dad” and “Captain America Dad.”  The Hulk presentation was focused around anger and how it affects children and family.  Captain America was the aspect of fun and laughter in a father’s relationship with his children.

Each of the two superhero’s qualities were brought up in the discussions and applied to the dads that were present. The Hulk presentation from Perez touched on the issues of anger and what can happen when it is unleashed, like the superhero in the slideshow’s theme.  Perez showed dads examples of healthy outlets that could help them express pent up anger before it hurt someone.

The Captain America session, presented by Adrian Gonzalez, talked about the fun aspect of fatherhood.  The fun included laughter and playing with their children.  On the flip side, the audience was told about the use laughter in a negative way such as teasing or “making fun of” and to not let that change the fun.

“The fun they have with you, their father, is priceless and it goes by fast,” said Gonzalez to the audience.

Participants and families were served food and prizes were raffled off at the end of both presentations.

Michael Conde, a second time attendee for the Project Padres event and a father who has been helped by the program, said that he would have to be a Hulk dad.  “Just by the description and how deep it touched me, I’m a Hulk Dad” said Conde.

One father, Henry Martinez, stated that he was not too sure about the super hero themes of the presentations, but understood the message that was begin given.

“The bottom line is being a good dad,” said Martinez, “No matter what happens now, I have to make it easy on the kids.

The biggest message for the fathers in attendance was to be a role model, a hero, for their children through their lives.

“That’s what we should be to our kids, a hero without super powers and without a cape,” said Perez.


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