Armondo De Pina
My name is Armondo De Pina and I want to share my experience with Stewart Perrilliat and Man 2 Man. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area and at the age of 14 my parents divorced. This is when life really changed for me and my siblings. I took the divorce very hard and struggled a lot as a teen without a solid foundation which led me to be in and out of various social institutions. Fast forward to 2011, and I now had fathered three children who were all grown but I had not raised them. I was in and out of their lives and did not really know what fatherhood was or what it meant to be a father. So, at the age of 40 when I found out that I had yet another child, I was, as one can imagined, full of anxiety and afraid of failing again. With this new child, the mother had an open social services case due to struggles with personal issues that I prefer to keep in confidence. But through a series of events navigating through the child welfare system, I was able to obtain full custody of my daughter, which led to a job opportunity with the Alameda County Parent and Engagement Program, helping other fathers with their custody concerns. While working in this program, I was introduced to the Alameda County Father’s Corp. It was there that I met Mr. Stewart Perrilliat at a training one afternoon. We started talking at a break and I openly shared my situation concerning my kids with Mr. Perrilliat, in particular, my oldest son, Robby who I had only seen once when he was 7 years old. After counselling me, Stewart referred me to one of the family therapy psychologists who was working with Man 2 Man. It was the counselling and work with this psychologist that led me to reach out to my son Robby and eventually develop a wonderful relationship that I am blessed to enjoy every day. We are closer than I could have ever hoped for and I give credit to Man 2 Man and their dedication to rebuilding fathers and families. Thank you, Stewart, and Man 2 Man!