HERO Dads Program
HERO Dads Program
Healthy. Empowered. Resilient. Open.
HERO Dads at Montefiore-Einstein is a FREE program designed to empower low-income, non-custodial fathers to achieve family and financial success. Funded by the Office of Family Assistance (OFA), and led by a team of psychologists, mental health counselors, and career development specialists, our mission is to help fathers to become involved and nurturing parents to their children, to form and maintain collaborative relationships with their children’s other caregivers, and to achieve financial stability.
HERO Dads Promo Video
HERO Dads Curtis
HERO Dad Marcus
HERO Dad Eddy
HERO Dads helps to address major life questions:
- Do you need a JOB? Do you need to find a way to achieve financial stability for your family’s future?
- Do you want to be the best DAD? Do you want to strengthen your relationship with your children?
- Do you want to be a better CO-PARENT? Do you and your child’s other caregiver need support navigating the struggles of co-parenting?
This program is supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $7.5M with 100% funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official view of, or an endorsement by, ACF/HHS or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements. These services are available to all eligible persons, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or religion.
Zero-cost Program Eligibility
HERO Dads is free of charge. You may be eligible to participate in this research study if:
- You are 18 or older
- You are a non-custodial parent (or have joint custody)
- Your non-custodial child is under 24
We provide our services in BOTH English and Spanish so fathers will find a supportive, safe community where they can obtain the skills and resources to become involved with their children, collaborate effectively as co-parents, and overcome barriers to achieving financial health. Services are provided both in-person and virtually via Zoom, determined as required by the research study.
HERO Dads Workshops
The HERO Dads workshops provide a great opportunity for fathers to spend some time learning about themselves and from others in a relaxed environment. We assist with childcare reimbursement, and provide round-trip Metrocards to help with transportation. Workshops are facilitated by parent coaches and career development specialists and are delivered over 4 weeks, 4 days a week, 1-2 hours each day, in a group format to 4-15 fathers. Daytime, evening, and weekend workshops available. Our workshops are delivered either in-person or virtually via Zoom. When in-person, our workshops are delivered at our Poe Building headquarters (2432 Grand Concourse).
- Parenting and Relationships
HERO Dads parenting and relationship workshops provide a safe space to learn new skills and become empowered, resilient fathers. Our workshops provide an opportunity to learn through discussion, teaching, and peer-to-peer learning with the help of clinically trained psychologists and mental health counselors.
HERO Dads employment workshops are facilitated by career development specialists and are designed to ensure that fathers are job ready upon program completion. Workshop topics include resume writing, job interview skills, budgeting, credit repair, job search strategies, and in-demand industries.
Parent Coaching and Career Coaching
In addition to the group workshops, enrolled fathers receive individualized parent coaching and career coaching from our clinically trained staff to ensure tailored support in reaching their family and financial goals.
Specialized Vocational Training
Fathers who complete the program are eligible to enroll in our FREE vocational trainings in specialized fields such as construction and protective services, leading to certification. Those interested in other fields will be referred to specific high-demand jobs available in the local community that best match interest and skills.
With over 20 community employer partners, HERO Dads offers exclusive opportunities for employment in many different fields, including construction, unarmed protective services, commercial building maintenance, IT, and retail and food service. In addition, fathers who find new employment, or who receive a promotion, while enrolled in our program, will receive transportation assistance and financial incentives after 30, 90, and 180 days of maintaining their new job.
Career coaches will also help fathers advance in their careers with help from community partners for additional education programs to improve employability and occupational skills training, as needed. We can help you obtain the training, certification, or degree that you need to further your career goals.
Family Events, Support Groups, Supplemental Workshops
Our core workshops are supplemented by additional workshops, support groups, and family events that we host about once a month.
Family Support Services
We work with you to find community resources and services to address any family stressors. We are partnered with many community-based organizations who assist our families in obtaining legal support, health care, food pantries, mental health services, and more.
Dad League is the ambassador program and face of HERO Dads. After graduating the program, select HERO Dads are nominated to join this exclusive group of fathers based on their ability to be exceptional role models for other dads in the program and for their communities. The goal is to spread the brotherly love that they experienced in the program to other fathers, assisting with program enrollment, engagement, and retention. Aside from recruiting new fathers to join the program, Dad League members provide support, mentorship, and assistance to HERO Dad members as they progress through the program. Becoming a member of Dad League requires times and commitment, so members are provided with rewards and incentives as they achieve specific milestones and goals.
Interested clients must participate in an in-person intake process. We also often host Open Houses where you can learn more about our program and hear testimonials from dads who have graduated from the program. Contact us to find out when we are having our next Open House or find out more information.
After getting in contact with us, the next steps in the intake process may include:
- Phone Screen. You will complete a brief phone screen and then be scheduled for an intake at our South Bronx headquarters, one of our partner sites, or virtually.
- Intake. The intake, which takes 1-2 hours, includes an interview with a family support specialist and survey completion. It must be completed in person.
- Workshop Enrollment. Provided that you complete the intake process and the program is a good fit for you, you will be enrolled in one of our upcoming workshop series.
Once enrolled in our program, you have access to our services for ONE YEAR. This includes:
- Family Support Services
- Financial Empowerment Workshops
- Vocational Training
- Supplemental Workshops, Support Groups, and Family Events
- Parent and Career Coaching Sessions
- 6-Month Follow-Up
- Incentives and Reimbursements
**To receive any of the above additional services, you must attend one of the core relationship/parenting education workshop series.**
Learn More About Our HERO Dads Program
For interested fathers
We are here to help! We want to get to know you and help support you in building a solid foundation for your family. Please call or text HERO to 718-401-5050 or e-mail us at HERODads-UBA@montefiore.org.
- 18 or older
- Non-custodial parent (or have joint custody)
- Non-custodial child is under 24
Contact Us For More Information
For Potential Community Partners
- Does your organization serve low-income families in the Bronx, or any marginalized community in New York City or the tri-state area?
- Could your clients benefit from FREE services focused on strengthening families through parenting and relationship education?
- Does your organization provide relationship and/or parenting support, but need assistance with or training in delivering a more structured curriculum?
We have partnered with many organizations in the Bronx, New York City, and elsewhere in the tri-state area to bring our services to more families in need. We have facilitated our workshops wherever there are families who fit our eligibility criteria, as long as the organization can assist with recruitment and provide a space to deliver the intervention. We can also tailor our curriculum and structure our workshop format to fit the unique needs of your clients.
Meet Our Team Members
Traci Maynigo, Psy.D., Ed.M.
Program Director and Parent Coach
Traci is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in couple and family therapy, multicultural psychology, and maternal mental health. She has been researching and writing about relationship education, parenting, and diverse couples and families, with a particular interest in intercultural couples, for the past decade. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University, master’s in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. She has specialized training in Gottman Method Couple Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), and is also a Certified Bringing Baby Home (BBH) Educator, PREP 8.0 Instructor, and 24/7 Dad Facilitator. She also holds a faculty position at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Outside of HERO Dads, Traci enjoys singing, dancing, writing, and kickboxing. She and her husband live in Queens with their 2 children and dog.
To contact Dr. Maynigo, please email email@example.com.
Moshe Moeller, Ph.D., M.A.
Associate Program Director
Moshe is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in cross-cultural fatherhood, parenting, couples, family and group therapy, and paternal mental health. He is also an Attending Psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Over the past decade he has been conducting and presenting fatherhood and relationship education research and has been providing clinical services for fathers and families from diverse backgrounds. Moshe received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queens College and his master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University, Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology. He has specialized training in psychodynamic therapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) and Gottman Method Couple Therapy and is a Certified PREP 8.0 Instructor and 24/7 Dad Facilitator. Moshe also holds a faculty position at Adelphi University. Outside of work, he enjoys playing piano, spending time outdoors, reading, cooking, painting, and spending time with his family. Moshe and his wife live in Stony Point, NY with their 3 children.
To contact Dr. Moeller, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yerson F. Torres Cubillos, M.Ed.
Workshop Facilitator & Quality Assurance Specialist
Yerson is a bilingual workshop facilitator who provides effective and flexible training spaces for families in both English and Spanish. Yerson is also responsible for the oversight and implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). He evaluates program effectiveness and identifies opportunities to improve results. He develops CQI plans and oversees the implementation process to ensure program goals are met. Yerson received his bachelor’s degree in System Engineering from Corporacion Universitaria del Meta in Colombia in 2008, along with a Specialization in Formulation and Evaluation of Projects from the same university. He received his master’s degree in Education and Learning Virtual Environments from Universidad Cuauhtemoc de Aguascalientes, Mexico, in 2020. Yerson enjoys travel, animals, and spending time in nature and with his family.
To contact Yerson, please email email@example.com.
Irvin oversees and coordinates services within the HERO Dads Program (SHR’s partner program for non-custodial parents), including ensuring enrollment and retention, collaborating with quality assurance staff, and supervising ongoing case management. In his previous role, Irvin provided research and outreach coordination for both the HERO Dads Program and the Supporting Healthy Relationships Program (HERO Dads’ partner program for parenting couples). Irvin received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from New York University. He is committed to improving health equity for community members and families in greatest need, with a particular interest in preventive work that centers in healthy masculinity. Irvin was born and raised in the Bronx, and he is an avid sports fan.
To contact Irvin, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denyse Woods, Psy.D.
Denyse is a practicing psychologist specializing in serious mental illness, forensic psychology, parenting, and evaluations. She has a B.A. in Psychology from New Jersey City University. She received her M.A. and Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology from Saint Elizabeth University, where she serves as an adjunct professor. Denyse helps fathers achieve family success and stability in her roles as workshop facilitator and parent/relationship coach at Supporting Healthy Relationships and HERO Dads (SHR’s partner program for non-custodial parents). With a passion for social justice, Denyse seeks to serve and empower marginalized communities as she supports their emotional and behavioral functioning. She enjoys traveling, swimming, playing games, watching movies, and reading. Denyse and her husband live in New Jersey with their son and dog.
To contact Dr. Woods, please email email@example.com.
Christian Larios, M.S.Ed., C.R.C.
Christian received his bachelor's degree in Spanish and Fine Arts from The College of Mount Saint Vincent in 2009 and graduated from Hunter College-CUNY, with a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Christian has been working at Supporting Healthy Relationships since 2014, where he has held multiple positions, including recruiter and employment specialist. Christian has advanced training in Gottman Method Couple Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), and is a Certified PREP 8.0 Instructor and Certified 24/7 Dad Facilitator. As a bilingual clinician, Christian also facilitates Spanish workshops. He believes in the program’s mission: to provide a supportive safe community for empowering families with the skills and resources to develop strongly committed families and stable relationships. Christian lives with his wife, son, 3 cats, and 2 dogs in Yonkers, NY.
To contact Christian, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Minges, Ph.D.
Training Coordinator & Parent Coach
Mary is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in group and couples therapy (Emotionally Focused and Gottman Method Couples Therapy) as well as parenting and relationship education (PREP, 8.0, 24/7 Dad). She completed her graduate training at Adelphi University, Derner School of Psychology, with a focus in psychotherapy process and outcome research, which she continued during her postdoctoral fellowship at The Brief Psychotherapy Research Program at Mount Sinai, Beth Israel. Dr. Minges is passionate about her clinical work, taking a strengths-based stance, and helping clients to understand the purpose of their life strategies and how they can be problematic. Through this lens, clients are challenged to develop a deeper sense of self, in order to more authentically connect with their personal, family, and work life. She works with couples and families with a history of loss, trauma, or mental health issues, and emphasizes helping each individual within the family system to accomplish their personal and professional goals. Mary is a committed meditator who lives with her husband in New York, NY.
To contact Dr. Minges, please email email@example.com.
Lisbeth Parra, LMHC
Lisbeth is a bilingual mental health counselor who provides compassionate, comprehensive, and genuine services to both English- and Spanish-speaking families. She has received extensive training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, has received certification in Gottman training levels 1 and 2, and Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP) 8.0, as well as the National Fatherhood Initiative's 24/7 Dad curriculum. Lisbeth received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology and Human Relations from Pace University in 2017, as well as her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2019. Lisbeth completed her Mental Health Counseling internship at Supporting Healthy Relationships during her final training year and was subsequently hired as a full-time staff member. Lisbeth enjoys reading novels and writing poems, as well as spending time with her family and dog, Layla.
To contact Lisbeth, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erika graduated from Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania and attended Lehman College in Bronx, NY, in their Early Childhood Developmental Program. She has been working with children and families for over 20 years. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, children, family, and friends.
To contact Erika, please email email@example.com.
Data Analyst & Software Developer
Jay is a Software Engineer by profession, currently living in New Jersey. In his role, Jay uses his programming and analytical skills to manage large health care databases. He utilizes Python codes and SQL scripts to engineer and generate quality PHI (Protected Health Information), data reports, and program analyses. Aside from being an avid coder, Jay is also a passionate audio engineer. Ever since starting this hobby at the age of 10, he has engineered over 1000 shows for leading music and commercial industries. Jay is known to liven up our social events and staff parties with his audio systems and music, which we love! He keeps abreast of current technology and data manipulation by continuously broadening his knowledge in the fields of music engineering, software and data engineering, and analytical thinking. Jay received his B.S. in Computer Science from Mumbai, India, and his M.S. in Computer Science from Pace University, New York.
To contact Jay, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Jessy began her healthcare career at Montefiore Medical Group in 2007, and later worked as a Project Associate for Montefiore’s CMO Department. She joined HERO Dads in 2021 and provides CQI analytical and data support. She received her bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Mercy College and is currently working on her master’s in Business Administration from Western Governors University. She lives in Connecticut with her 2 children.
To contact Jessy, please email email@example.com.
Supervisor of Community Engagement
Cynthia received her B.B.A. in Finance and Economics with a Minor in Latin American Studies from Pace University. She has been working in the Social Services field for over 10 years, serving adults, children and families. She develops and maintains partnerships with community organizations and assists and supports couples and non-custodial parents get oriented from beginning to end, including pre-screening, onboarding, and educating clients about the HERO Dads Program and Supporting Healthy Relationships Program (HERO Dads’ partner program for parenting couples). She helps coordinate the Friends of Supporting Healthy Relationships & HERO Dads (FOSHR) partnership communications and quarterly meetings. Cynthia loves music and dancing.
To contact Cynthia, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clinical Intake Coordinator & Family Support Specialist
Born and raised in New York, Abraham holds a B.A. in Communications from SUNY at Buffalo. Taking the quote “You don’t grow in Isolation, you grow in Community” to heart, Abraham’s focuses on orienting fathers into HERO Dads and connecting them to community resources to ensure that their families are fully supported. When he isn’t working, Abraham enjoys spending time with friends & family, and is a die-hard New York Yankees fan. He continues to serve his community beyond work as a member of the National Urban League of Young Professionals, a nationwide, community service and advocacy organization dedicated to supporting the community through volunteerism, philanthropy, activism, and leadership development.
To contact Abraham, please email email@example.com.
Community Engagement & Family Support Specialist
Nola Ramos-Hilman earned her bachelor of arts degree from Lehman College where she majored in Sociology and minored in African American Studies. Nola shares a commitment to building stronger communities through service for marginalized individuals. Her professional experience ranges from working with people with intellectual and development disabilities, men who struggled with homelessness, women rejoining the workforce, and children with emotional needs. Nola credits her mom for her eagerness to help others. She also takes great pride in identifying as an Afro-Latina from the Bronx. When she isn’t helping people, Nola enjoys spending time with her two daughters, her husband, and their shih-tzu.
To contact Nola, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Engagement Specialist
As a Community Engagement Specialist for HERO Dads, Nicole develops relationships with community organizations to connect more families to HERO Dads services. As a Family Support Specialist for Supporting Healthy Relationships (HERO Dads’ partner program for parenting couples), she emphasizes the importance of overcoming potential barriers to employment and other case management issues that are potential stressors for couples. Nicole provides tailored support to couples seeking to improve financial literacy and/or are in need of career counseling. Nicole holds a B.A. in Psychology and is pursuing a master’s degree at Stony Brook University. Nicole is extremely family oriented and resides in the Bronx.
To contact Nicole, please email email@example.com.
Community Engagement Specialist
Faith is a 17-year experienced job developer who networks with major corporations, community leaders, and church groups to identify the needs of participants in all sectors by tabling at events and giving presentations to connect eligible participants to the HERO Dads Program and Supporting Healthy Relationships (HERO Dads’ partner program for parenting couples). As a Family Support Specialist for SHR, Faith creates job opportunities not just for temporary employment, but to help participants strive in a long-term career of their desire. She consults with participants about financial plans in order to empower their family to become financially stable. With Faith’s long and extended education in finance, she has a deep passion to help everyone become financially independent. Besides spending time with her family, she takes great pride in loving and spoiling her only grandson.
To contact Faith, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keith attended Westchester Community College and has been employed with Montefiore for 3 years. He has enjoyed the experience of helping others in any capacity and making clients feel welcome when arriving to attend programs. When he isn’t working, Keith enjoys spending time with his family and friends, cheering on his favorite basketball team, The Knicks, and is very much into music.
To contact Keith, please email email@example.com.
Yessica has been with Montefiore for 10 years. She attended Monroe College where she obtained her Associates degree in Information Technology. As a program assistant she operates all office equipment, including photocopier and fax machines, answers telephone calls and routes them to the appropriate staff member, and perform other clerical duties as needed. She enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends, loves animals and helping others when in need.
To contact Yessica, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HERO Dads in the News
16 Simple Men’s Mental Health Tips All Dads Should Adopt
Now more than ever our mental health is pushed to the limit. Sadly, many of those in need often don't seek or receive the help they need, especially Dads. For tips on how to cope with mental health, read the following article where our Program Director of SHR and HERO Dads, Dr. Traci Maynigo, is featured!