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2024 Celebrate Dads and Dad Allies Award


The Washington Fatherhood Council is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2024 Celebrate Dads and Dad Allies Award! This award honors and celebrates the amazing dads and dad allies who help make Washington state a great place to parent and raise our children. Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations and to our sponsors for making this possible! 


2024 Celebrate Dads Award Winners


Thank you to these amazing Dads who are leading the way for men to become the fathers they aspire to be!


Francisco Rojas – Nominated for his efforts to maintain a connection with his child while incarcerated.  

Nominated by Michele Thrush: "Mr. Rojas has a 15-year-old daughter he has never met in person. He was incarcerated before she was born in California. At first her mother let Mr. Rojas call and speak to their daughter. He is a musician and would write songs about his daughter and sing them to her over the phone. He was only allowed to speak to her a handful of times before the mother stopped answering the phone or would tell Mr. Rojas their daughter wasn't home. He never stopped trying to be in his daughter's life. He would call and write her letters. He would have his sister and nephew check in on his daughter (as they all lived in the same city in California). The mother and her new husband went to court to attempt to terminate Mr. Rojas’ parental rights, but the court denied the termination petition. While Mr. Rojas was in Strength in Families program at Stafford Creek Corrections Center, he would struggle with reading as his second language is English, but he pushed through it. He sometimes struggled with the homework because he didn't know anything about his daughter, and it made him depressed. At our Parenting Inside Out graduation, Mr. Rojas brought his guitar and sang two beautiful songs he wrote for his daughter. He got a little emotional and so did some of the audience. It was powerful. Mr. Rojas participated on a virtual panel for the Fatherhood Council Provider Learning Series event in May 2023. This was the first time we had incarcerated fathers attend an event such as this from inside a prison. Mr. Rojas also participated in another Fatherhood Council Provider Learning Series event in October 2023. Late last year, the mother and stepfather moved with his daughter and changed their phone number. Neither Mr. Rojas nor his family have had contact with his daughter since then. Mr. Rojas continues to remain positive and not bitter. He hopes to have a relationship with his daughter someday and continues to be a role model to other fathers in this type of situation."


James Tidwell - Nominated for his efforts to be a caring co-parent and overcoming behavioral health challenges.

Nominated by Ron Hauenstein: “James Tidwell is an inspiring father. James spent five lonely years separated from his children. During that time, he experienced homelessness, a battle with addiction, jail time and bankruptcy. But he then decided that his children deserved to have their father in their lives. It took him two more years to complete a long list of requirements, but he was finally reunified with his children in October 2021. His steadfast commitment is the main reason James was named Co-Father of the Year by the Spokane Fatherhood Initiative in 2022. Anyone who spends time with James will quickly realize that his children are the focus of his life. Everything he does is oriented toward spending more time with them, to help them grow in their character and education. This commitment to a challenging goal is rarely seen in our modern culture. I have spent time with James and his children and have witnessed his love for them. His children clearly love their father and want to spend time with him. When I think of James, who grew up fatherless, I often reflect on how easy it would have been for him to give up on his dream to be a father to his children. He could have concluded that they would be better off without him and that he lacks the resources to be a dad. But he never let the dream die. He overcame his remorse, his shame and his past behavior and said, “My kids deserve a mom and a dad. I want them to have what I did not.” He then committed his life to making that happen. The joy I have seen on the faces of his children is ample evidence that his decision makes him more than worthy of the position he has longed for: Dad.


Nelson Rascon - Nominated for his efforts to advocate for his children who have special needs and creating an organization dedicated to helping fathers and families.

Nominated by Jessicah Kellam: “Nelson works every single day to bring his vision of serving fathers in the community and providing them care, support and advocacy. He never gives up on his community and those who work for and with him. Whether it’s educating fathers and agencies or doing the hard work to make sure fathers have access to care for them and their families, he strives to do more every day. I appreciate him putting the spotlight on the lack of care for dads. Through his own life experience as a father he shines for all of us.”


Jeremy Williams - Nominated for his efforts to be a caring co-parent and overcoming behavioral health challenges.

Nominated by Tiffany Muckley: “This dad was a rockstar and he got his daughter retuned to him. He jumped through some major hoops and has been successful. I have watched this dad graduate Family Treatment Court, advocate for his daughter who has special needs, and to get her into the best head start/preschool around. He made tough choices and decided to move in with his mother out of town and had a job lined up. Things didn't work out and his mother let his sibling who was using move in or stay regularly, and he decided to move back here into Oxford and do things a different way. He is part of Family Treatment Court alumni. If I remember correctly, he has three-ish years clean, is an active member in the recovery world, and a support to other fathers who are in need. He has helped open four more Oxford houses in our county and works in outreach. He is my go-to person to call when I am working with a dad and he needs support. I call him sometimes regularly for help and he is always there, ready to jump and to make a way for someone. If there were more dads, men and people in this world like him, we would be doing alright. He is very deserving of this and I hope he gets it because he never takes credit.”



2024 Celebrate Dad Allies Award Winners


Thank you to the amazing dad allies who are investing in men to be the fathers they aspire to be!


Marvin Charles, CEO and President, D.A.D.S. (Divine Alternatives for Dads Services) - Nominated for his trailblazing efforts to develop advocacy for dads, and a pioneer of fatherhood work in Washington state.

Nominated by Anne Stone: “Marvin and his wife, Jeannette, are the co-founders of D.A.D.S., one of the trailblazer fatherhood-specific organizations in Washington. They really set the stage for many that followed around how to welcome and honor fathers in building strong relationships and respect. They have been leading the way since 1999! D.A.D.S. gives fathers hope by walking together in a supportive community, helping navigate relational and legal barriers that separate them from their children and families.”

Also nominated by Lorraine Olson: “When I read through the [Fatherhood Council] values, it was difficult to decide the theme of my nomination because they excel in most of the categories! They took an adverse experience in their lives (trying to regain custody of their four children amidst former drug use, incarceration, etc.) and were determined to share their tips for navigating systems. They support, educate and provide assistance in overcoming the barriers to reunite fathers with their families. They partner successfully with other organizations such as the Department of Social and Health Services Division of Child Support and the Department of Corrections, and provide wraparound services tailored to each father. They leverage their lived experience to support the struggling dads by providing a sense of belonging, equity and inclusion. They have seen the generational results in their community. The Department of Commerce is proud to support their efforts and success!”


James Chambers - Nominated for his outstanding advocacy for incarcerated fathers and collaborative efforts with agency leaders.

Nominated by Tera McElravy: "Jim has been a champion for fathers for nearly 25 years. His journey began during his incarceration at McNeil Island Corrections Center. During that time, while trying to parent his young children from prison, he realized there were not many programs and opportunities for dads and their children to closely connect. Along with facility, administration and a team of other incarcerated dads, he helped to develop some of DOC’s first family-centered programming. That team also developed a book that was published, entitled “Where My Dad Lives,” which helped children understand what was happening to their father while dispelling confusion and fear. He and this team also helped to bring some of the first parenting classes to incarcerated fathers (Inside Out Dads), which is still being taught today. I met Jim in 2016 when he enrolled in a parenting class series I was teaching. Upon graduating the classes, he became my teacher assistant  and facility liaison for the Strength in Families program. He represented SIF at the weekly new inmate orientations and recruited numerous dads into the program. During his incarceration, Jim also assisted numerous releasing fathers with obtaining support and resources. Throughout his entire incarceration, Jim was able to maintain a close connection with his children (and grandchildren) and has always been a strong parenting presence in their lives. Jim’s championing of fathers continued after his release from prison in 2021. He immediately began volunteering for father support and advocacy groups in King County, with a particular focus on fathers releasing from prison. He continues to this day to be an advocate and mentor for the fathers of Washington state. He has been asked to speak at multiple professional venues on the struggles of fathering, especially from prison. Just this April 2024, he attended a national conference in Arizona in which he was a presenter. Jim also lobbies and brings political awareness to the issues of being a father in our state. I have always admired Jim for the commitment he has for his family, the men struggling to improve their lives after incarceration and, most of all, fathers. His dedication has been unwavering.


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