White House Invites At-large Candidate to Fatherhood Forum

Posted on October 4, 2009

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At-large candidate for city council Eugene Schneeberg recently attended a White House Community Forum on Responsible Fatherhood and Education Success on Wednesday, September 23, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The Fatherhood Forum was cosponsored by the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the U.S. Department of Education.  The event brought together experts, practitioners and fathers from across New England to address the successes and challenges faced by fathers. Participants also discussed father engagement as a strategy for boosting positive education outcomes for children.

From 1:30 to 3:30 at the Radisson Hotel, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Senior White House staff were present at the forum to advance President Barack Obama’s fatherhood initiative. On June 22, 2009, the President announced his intention to begin a national dialogue to explore how individuals, families, community organizations, and government can work together to strengthen fathers and families and address the challenge of father absence in America.

“As a councilor I plan to support existing and create new fatherhood initiatives throughout the city,” said Schneeberg. “I currently am a part of a new group that recently started in Lynn called the Lynn Fatherhood Initiative. I know first hand the impact of growing up without a father, and also the rewards of raising my own two children.”

According to 2008 American Community Census data, 24% of children in Lynn live in low income families. 13.2% was the national poverty rate in 2008. 36% of female head-of-household families in Lynn live below the poverty line. The national rate of female head-of-household families living in poverty is 24.4%.

Schneeberg lives in Ward 7 and has been a resident of Lynn for 5 years. “This gives me a fresh perspective on the problems facing Lynn,” said Schneeberg, who has been Director of Operations at Straight Ahead Ministries in Lynn for the last 5 years. Straight Ahead Ministries is a faith-based regional organization serving incarcerated and gang-affiliated youth. Its mission is to “transform the lives of juvenile offenders.”

Schneeberg says “Straight Ahead’s impact is that the city is safer because previously violent or criminal youth are now working in school, going to college and or are now giving back to their community instead of acting out criminally or violently. We are helping to restore hope throughout the city.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs at Boston University, Schneeberg chose to work at the MA Department of Youth Services. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Family and Children’s Services of Greater Lynn and the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts.

“I’ve dedicated my life to working together with other concerned citizens to build on and promote the great things about Lynn and to clean-up and minimize the negative and destructive elements of our city.” Schneeberg lives with his wife Deitra, son Eugene, Jr. & daughter Genesis in Ward 7.

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