PARADYSE'S STORY - THE IMPORTANCE OF FATHERHOOD
I know that Father’s Day is suppose to celebrate the efforts of your dad or a father figure in your life. I know it is very difficult for me to do such things, because my Dad is behind bars. My family and I try to show our love and appreciation for my father. The last time that I was able to hug my father was probably three years ago, when I was able to go to Soledad with Get on the Bus. Get on the Bus, is a non-profit organization that makes it possible for you to spend time with your Mother on Mother’s Day or Father on Father’s Day. That day, I was able to play games, blow bubbles, color, and take a photo with my Dad. It was a great experience and one that I will cherish forever. Being able to see my father physically and not behind bars or on the phone. Being there physically, has such a different impact, than talking through a glass. Taking through the phone or sending a card is nice but, being in present is so much better. It means that the I will have to wait to celebrate any type of events and achievements in my life, due to the delay of communication within the prison system.
The importance of Fatherhood is very crucial in life not only as children, but for young adult life. Fathers are able to teach you things that you will remember forever. I remember flying my kite with my Dad. Some things, that my Father missed and that I wish he was there for would be: Bring your Dad to School Day, Track Meets, Banquets, and etc. Father’s Day is very hard for me, because I have a parent incarcerated. I don’t think it will get easy due to the fact, of the emotional labor it has caused me over the years.
Paradyse Oakley, originally from South Los Angeles, graduate of Lawndale High School. Paradyse stays abreast of current events and is eager to learn new things. Paradyse is an advocate for We Got Us Now. Her passions are Health, Prison Reform, Education and being a voice for the youth in South LA and she aspires to become a Criminal Justice Lawyer or Public Servant in the Political arena.
Currently attending the University of California, Santa Cruz majoring in Political Science and International Relations. Paradyse is currently involved in NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers), BWA (Black Women Alliance), BSU (Black Student Union), Klesis, Youth and Government Intern, and DHE (Destination Higher Education) Coordinator, CUIP Intern for African American Resource Cultural Center Race & Ethnicity Lead.