Dads and daughters gather together to envision a brighter future for themselves and the community

A Northside organization is committed to facilitating stronger relationships between fathers and their daughters.

By Jessica Enwesi | Contributor

The New Rules building on Lowry Avenue was teeming with excitement as fathers and their daughters created inspirational vision boards on Saturday, June 9.

 Eric Morgan poses at the event with his son and his two daughters, Angelina and Aliya Tchougo.  Photo by Jessica Enwesi

Eric Morgan poses at the event with his son and his two daughters, Angelina and Aliya Tchougo. Photo by Jessica Enwesi

The ‘Dads, Dreams and Donuts’ event was hosted by Beautifully, Classy, Driven (BCD), an organization that seeks “to motivate and push people to their ultimate success destination.”

The annual event is in its second year and is meant to give fathers and their children a relaxing space to creatively map out goals and envision future achievements while munching on sweet treats. 

Believing that BCD is the very essence of who they are, the CEO and the vice president of the organization, Markella Smith and Shemeka Bogan, expect their own husbands and children to be ambitious individuals who strive for excellence while maintaining the same expectation from their community. For this reason, Smith and Bogan started hosting the event in the same neighborhood Smith grew up in.

 Angelina and Aliya Tchougo participated in the crafts offered at 'Dads, Dreams, and Donuts.'  Photo by Markella Smith

Angelina and Aliya Tchougo participated in the crafts offered at 'Dads, Dreams, and Donuts.' Photo by Markella Smith

“A lot of the time people have ideas, but they don’t follow through with them. Most of the time it’s because they don’t have the support that they need, and they stop pushing for their goal,” Smith said. “We do this event to show people that they should keep pushing, that they have support. The Northside needs this, we need more positivity [in the community].”

Guests were able to use a plethora of magazines and art supplies to plan their future accordingly, take family photos in front of a black backdrop, make personally-designed thank-you cards and enjoy some much-needed family time.

Eric Morgan, a minister and youth mentor from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, brought his two teenage daughters, Angelina and Aliya Tchougo, to the event to showcase the importance of a father’s role in a household. 

Morgan, who grew up without a father, had a rambunctious childhood. He often found himself entangled in gang-related violence and systemic poverty that was difficult to avoid.

After years personal reflection and getting his life on track, Morgan became a minister at Light the Way Church in Cottage Grove and a mentor for a youth mentorship program named Zone 316.

Morgan has dedicated the rest of his life to utilizing community events such as ‘Dads, Daughter and Donuts’ to be a positive influence for his children and youth in the community.

“When people say that you can’t achieve something, that should give you the motivation to be successful,” Morgan said. “[BCD and I] are trying to unclog the youths’ minds that they can’t succeed. [Instead], they can use their minds to say and be whatever they want.” 

 

Kenzie O'Keefe