Family Formation Alum

Life for 49 year-old Toyea, father of six, has changed drastically since graduating from FFSC’s 6-week program in 2012. Incarcerated for years, he was released to a re-entry center, where he discovered a pathway to freedom and responsible fatherhood: “FFSC did a presentation and welcomed me and other fathers to attend the program,” Toyea said. “I was ready for a change, and I was tired of my old life and missed my children and family.”

While enrolled, FFSC help Toyea open up about his past through one-on-one counseling, group mentoring with other fathers and trauma informed care services. Along with parenting education, he learned how to build a co-parenting relationship with the mother of his children. “They helped me most with my relationships, both with my children and especially the mother,” Toyea added. “I learned how to listen and communicate with her.”

Despite his past, FFSC’s employment team worked with Toyea on prepping him for interviews and building a resume. “They found me a full-time job and through their resources, helped me find an apartment, too.” Thanks to the generosity of supporters who donated suits, Toyea walked into the interview with confidence: “Without FFSC, I would’ve struggled on my own,” he admitted. “I wouldn’t have what I have today.”

After years of saving up money from his job, Toyea bought a truck and trailer and began his own trucking business, hauling trees to paper companies: “I’ve always wanted to take care of my family by having my own business, and now I’m doing it!”

Charles Barnes, director of community outreach worked with Toyea and had this to say: “During these last nine years there were many ups and downs for Toyea, but he stayed the course and now reaps the benefits of his labor. I am proud that I have the opportunity to know him as a man and father. He represents the characteristics of what FFSC stands for.”

Today, Toyea is a doting grandfather involved in his children’s lives. “Anything is possible if you want it bad enough,” said Toyea. “The love for my kids and family forced me to make serious changes. So I finally asked for help and FFSC was there.”