By Rebecca Palermo
Michelle Carter’s voice fills with pride when she talks about her 15 year-old son, Donovan. “He’s incredibly mature and responsible. He doesn’t see himself as doing something remarkable—to him, he’s just doing what he’s supposed to do,” said the proud mom, who is a member of the Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. Private Facebook group. Donovan is the father of twin toddler girls, named London and Paris, and he won custody of his daughters so that he could take responsibility for them, take care of them, and raise them in the supportive, loving, and conscientious way that he was raised.
A typical day in Donovan’s life is packed with responsibility and challenges. He wakes up early in the morning to get the girls ready for their day and to get himself ready for school. His stepmother comes by the house to take the girls while Donovan heads to school. He’s a good student who is engaged by his classes and teachers. He takes school seriously and even plays on the school football team. After school and any extracurricular activities are finished, Donovan heads home to parent his two daughters, doing everything from playing with them to feeding them dinner, bathing them, and putting them to bed. His proud mom works the third shift, and while she’s at home to support him after school, Donovan is self-motivated and takes charge of parenting his girls on his own.
Donovan admits that at first, he was overwhelmed by the responsibility of taking care of his daughters, especially when they were infants. But he went to see them everyday in the NICU, learned to care for them.When he saw that their mother was in a challenging situation, he decided that his home, with the support of his mother and his stepmother, would be the best, most stable environment for them. When the judge granted him custody of his girls, he stated that he was proud of the man, and the father, that Donovan was becoming.
His teachers and his coaches agree. He continues to do well in school, and his teachers know about his situation and are heartened by the fact that he is committed to his education while raising two daughters at a young age. He recently signed up for vocational school, and will begin to pursue a career in the culinary arts, for which he has always had an interest and an aptitude.
Donovan still makes time for his friends and for being a teenager. When the girls’ mother has them for the weekend, he’ll go over to his friends’ houses and enjoy being a kid. But when he’s on the clock as a parent and a student, his incredible maturity and resolve shines through. Michelle believes that even though he knows that he’s made mistakes in his past, he has taken full responsibility for them, and has a natural inclination to do the right thing. In turn, he’s been rewarded with two loving, playful, happy daughters who are being raised by a committed father.
Sometimes, our sons are presented with extraordinary opportunities, and we ought to shout it to the world! Our princes are doing BIG THINGS! How is your son shining his light? If you have a *Content story idea, please share with by commenting in the Gifted Sons post on Facebook, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature him in our MOBB United for Social Change (MUSC)/MOBB United Messenger publication. Didn't know we had one? Visit www.mobbunited.org today to learn more about the organization. You’ll find the latest Messenger publication under the Community menu. We're waaaaaay bigger than the private Facebook group!
*Content topics include: Image campaigns to change perception of Black boys and men (photo, video, books, theatre, etc.) Educational seminars for members and the community at large (13th, Bullying, Legal Equalizer, Know Your Rights, Trauma, isow.com, Vision Board session, etc.) Forums and panel discussions Quarterly or monthly image campaigns Driven by Communications Committee Monthly virtual seminars with guest speakers Driven by Education and Engagement Committee in coordination with other committees for content and speaker ideas