National Fatherhood Initiative’s® 24/7 Dad® Key Behaviors Workshop
Being Used to Enhance Fathers’ Skills


Benton Harbor, MI Present Pillars is helping fathers develop a set of behaviors that will help them gain new skills through the National Fatherhood Initiative’s® (NFI) 24/7 Dad® Key Behaviors Workshop. 


Present Pillars will facilitate the workshop for dads in Berrien County & Cass Counties. Dads will have an opportunity to develop and apply the 12 key behaviors of a 24/7 Dad that are associated with the five characteristics—or traits—of the 24/7 Dad (as identified in NFI’s evidence-based 24/7 Dad® curriculum). Those traits are: Self-Awareness, Caring for Self, Fathering Skills, Parenting Skills, and Relationship Skills.


The program is being facilitated by Sylvester Crayton, a Fatherhood Coach at Present Pillars. Crayton is a very vocal advocate for the importance of a father’s presence. His passion for reaching young men who grew up in situations similar to him is what led him to this work.


“Don’t let growing up without a father stop you from being a father.” said Crayton 


“NFI is excited about Present Pillars efforts to help fathers learn how to practice important behaviors of an involved, responsible and committed father through the 24/7 Dad® Key Behaviors Workshop,” said Christopher Brown, President of NFI. “Research shows that a major barrier to father involvement is a lack of skills in dads, many of whom grew up without fathers in their lives. At a time when nearly 20 million children in the U.S.—more than 1 in 4—live in father-absent homes, Present Pillars should be applauded for its efforts to help dads get involved.”


James Gunter, Executive Director at Present Pillars, expressed excitement about the launch of this new program. 


“We are always thrilled to be in position to affect the lives of children and families in our community. Healthy Father. Healthy Family. Healthy Community. We are excited to bring Coach Crayton on board to help dads find their way to being the dad of their dreams. Of course we realize that there is no manual to parenting, however, there are skills we can develop to maintain positive parenting habits.  


Developed by NFI’s fathering experts, the 24/7 Dad® Key Behaviors Workshop focuses on building behaviors that are crucial to a father’s success, such as taking care of his physical and mental health on a regular basis, modeling healthy masculinity for his children, disciplining his children in healthy ways, and building and maintaining a healthy relationship with the mother of his children. When offered as a follow-up to participants of NFI’s 24/7 Dad® program, this workshop deepens the learning of those fathers. When offered to fathers who have not participated in the 24/7 Dad® program, this workshop serves as an initial foray into becoming a better father.


The pilot will begin July 8th and take place every Monday until August 12th. For more information about the program, become a referring partner or sponsor a meal, please contact James Gunter at


In early 2024 Present Pillars Foundation cut the ribbon at The Pillar Center, located at 204 W. Main Street in downtown Benton Harbor. The Pillar Center gives dads a one stop shop for resources and services that are specifically geared toward the barriers they may be facing. Learn more at


Stay in the know.

Get a value-packed newsletter with up-to-date information on programs, events, and Southwest Michigan news delivered to your inbox.

Bridgman CGA