Star of Queens: Xavier Arthur
Mentor at Forest Dale Inc.’s Fathering Initiative and Co-parenting Class
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: An alumnus of Forestdale Inc. himself, Arthur gives back to the program by mentoring parents currently enrolled in the Fathering Initiative and Co-Parenting Class, where he gives advice based on his previous experience. Whether it’s conflicts between parents themselves or legal problems, Arthur said he’s there to offer support and guidance.
“Sometimes things just aren’t going their way,” Arthur said. “I’m there to let them vent and to listen.”
PERSONAL: Born in Guyana, Arthur moved to New York 12 years ago. He currently works as an electrical installation instructor at Berk Trade and Business School. In his spare time, he likes to play video games, read and spend time with his two sons and two daughters.
FAVORITE MEMORY: One of the things Arthur said he appreciated about being an attendee of the Co-parenting Class and now as a mentor is the program’s tradition of having everyone say something they appreciate about the person who accompanied them, whether it’s their spouse, significant other or friend. He praises the practice for its ability to add cordiality to what can often be a confrontational situation.
INSPIRATION: Arthur said all of the success he got out of Forestdale Inc. from his own experience is what motivates him to give back to the program.
“I didn’t even know such a program existed,” he said. “I had no idea how to handle my situation. If it weren’t for these programs, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Arthur said that while Forestdale Inc. could always use more funding and volunteers, one of the tallest hurdles it currently faces is a lack of knowledge about its services.
“Fathers are suffering,” he said. “I believe they don’t know what to do.”
With more exposure, he feels that a lot more parents can get help with the problems they face.