Meet Tadric and Tatanya Robinson
Tatyana, 7 years old
Dad’s Occupation: Computer Systems Security Analyst 3
2nd Occupation: Musician
Primary Reason for Participating: I decided to participate in the DLG health challenge because most of my social media content consists of photos, and videos of my children and I. We are either playing, out and about, building things, or just plain spending time together. By being a part of this challenge, it allowed me to share the joy of fatherhood with others. I have two children, an 8 year old daughter (Tatyana), and a two-year old son (Jermaine). Since I’ve had my daughter the longest, we have built an amazing bond together. Besides work (except bring your child to work days), she goes everywhere I go. She’s always with me at my music gigs, especially church functions, rehearsals, receptions and balls that I play at. She’s my “roadie/tech”. Fathers, especially African American fathers, get a bad rep sometimes. I know the importance of being involved in my daughter’s life, and I realize I have a direct impact on the well-being of my children. It’s my goal to be the best father in the world, to always put my children first, and to remember that quality time with them is of the utmost priority. My role in my daughter’s life will provide her with the confidence, and strength only a father can provide. This was more than a challenge for me, it gave me a bigger platform to allow others, my peers, and other fathers to see that spending time with your kids is the coolest thing ever.
What have you learned from this experience? From this challenge, I’ve learned that no matter how busy life can get, you’ll always find time for the ones you truly love. Encouraging my daughter to exercise daily, eat healthy, and to spend time with family was and will always be a lesson to be taught forever.
While competing in this challenge, I started my daughter her own company. Since we like to make whipped shea butter together, she wanted to start selling it to friends and family, so I used my computer skills and created her a website TatyanasBeauty.com. This has been an awe-inspiring experience. Thank you for the challenge!
Meet Lutando and Laeila Hamilton
Laelia, 7 years old
Dad’s Occupation: I am a Supervisor at Philadelphia Adult Probation Parole Department. I directly supervise nine (9)Probation Parole Officers and indirectly supervise 1600+ probationers/parolees. I am also a fitness instructor for the YMCA. Where I lead weekly SPIN classes.
Primary reason for participating: There are many reasons I participated in Daddy’s Little Girl Health Challenge. I am a single father of three young children; I have two boys, Lutando Jr. and London but only one girl, Laelia. I wanted to increase our father-daughter time together and participate in health-focused activities, but my primary reason was to expose my daughter to new things. I also hoped by participating in the challenge Laelia would learn to love sports as much as her mother did.
Single parenting necessitates time management and organizational skills in regards to the children’s activities but not necessarily when it comes to spending time alone with each child. This Challenge allowed me to spend more one-on-one time with my daughter and introduce her to several new sports. Prior to this challenge Laelia’s only interest was dance. My wife Tiffany, Laelia’s mother, was very active. She was an athlete in high school and during her college years. Unfortunately, Tiffany passed away recently which prevented Laelia from talking to her mother about her athletic achievements. I am grateful for the challenge because it provided me with an opportunity to share my memories of Tiffany with Laelia.
What have you learned from this experience? My greatest takeaway from this Health Challenge is learning that Laelia is her own person and I cannot control her interests. During the challenge Laelia has played basketball and soccer, practiced gymnastics and also learned how to swim. When we started the challenge I assumed Laelia would love the same sports her mother did, but I was wrong. Laelia has fallen in love with swimming and the pool has become her favorite place, I cannot keep her out of it.
I have already won the Challenge; this experience has increased my family’s health, strengthened my bond with Laelia and introduced her to activities she may never have participated in.
Meet Kevin and Melina Nesbitt
Melina, Age 5
Dad’s Occupation: My name is Kevin Nesbitt. I am an Educational Administrator at John Jay College and Program Manager, as well as a Founding Board member of New Beginnings Charter School in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. I have worked in academia for twenty years and consider myself an advocate for underrepresented communities and for life-long learning across disciplines.
Primary Reason for participating in DLG: I have struggled with weight and health challenges all of my life, so much so that by the time I was 16 I had already been on Dexatrim, slim fast, weight watchers, and Nutrisystem, none of which had lasting effects, though Nutrisystem some more durable techniques. I have struggled with making health- physical and mental- a priority and something always gets in the way. While many people fear that their children will end up on drugs, or pulled into a life of crime, I worry about my children being pulled into short lived lives by heart disease, diabetes, or general obesity that a number of family members have suffered from. Daddy’s Little Girl’s Challenge helps me to course correct this for my most treasures asset- my future- now invested in my children, namely my eldest Melina Taylor Nesbitt.
What you have learned from this experience: I have learned that learning is truly best when it is self-motivated but also communal, and so being a part of this virtual community of fathers and daughters has been inspiring. I have learned that well-being can be incorporated in your life in microscopic ways that then have more lasting effects. When the diet falters, and you keep taking the stairs rather than the elevator, health will maintain itself; when work stresses you and you your environment isn’t as supportive as it can be , but you make outreach to a colleague – together you can analyze and troubleshoot a problem better than if you were on your own.
The confidence that I have in my daughter and her ability to solve life’s problems with me and without me have been strengthened. Daddy’s little girls challenge allows us to use health and wellness and fitness to frame important life’s choices like time management, choosing friends, saving money and planning for the future, and learning when to trust ourselves (body and mind)- and these lessons apply equally to my daughter as they do to me. When mind and body are in balance, despite my life’s many imperfections- a stressed marriage, worrisome siblings, and friendships lacking depth-all other parts of my life function more effectively- work, school, family, friendships, and romance. So in the end, I will not arrive at perfection, but perfect attempts and harmony through those efforts. Melina will too, Cheyne is on the way, and I hope Jewel will also feel the transformative effects.
Number of children and Number of girls: I feel as though I have at least 6 children on Saturdays when my four amazing nephews, and occasionally a couple of my adorable nieces join us for YMCA and other NYC tri-state area activities, but the truth is I have one wonderful daughter Melina Taylor Nesbitt, age 6 and my son Cheyne Alexander age 4. Finding time to ensure that both are healthy has worked well due to DLG. However, the long term influential impacts will be compounded with our time alone figuring out if she should/could do soccer in an almost all male club, if its cool that she is a girly girl yet still knows how to rough-house with the best of them; how to be compassionate but not overly emotional, and how to channel the emotions effectively through healthy practices.