HERO Dads Program

HERO Dads Program

Healthy. Empowered. Resilient. Open.

HERO Dads at Montefiore-Einstein, in partnership with BronxWorks, 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 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 if:

  • You are 18 or older
  • You are a non-custodial parent (or have joint custody)
  • Your non-custodial child is under 24
  • You are low-income (e.g., receiving public benefits, unemployed, at or below 200% federal poverty line)

Our Services

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.

*Due to COVID-19, ALL of our services are currently provided virtually. Once it is safe to do so, we will be providing both in-person and virtual services.*

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. When in-person, our workshops are delivered at our BronxWorks headquarters. Currently, due to the pandemic, we are delivering our workshops virtually via Zoom.

  • 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.
  • Employment
    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.

Job Placement

With over 20 community employer partners, BronxWorks 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 Advancement

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.

Program Enrollment

Interested clients must participate in the intake process in order to enroll in the program. 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. Check back often to see when we are having our next Open House, or give us a call!

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.

Eligibility

  • 18 or older
  • Non-custodial parent (or have joint custody)
  • Non-custodial child is under 24
  • Low-income (e.g., receiving public benefits, unemployed, at or below 200% federal poverty line)

If you have a question about eligibility or the referral process, please call or text HERO to 917-886-2512 or email HERODads-UBA@montefiore.org.

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.

Please contact us via calling or texting HERO to 917-886-2512 or email HERODads-UBA@montefiore.org to find out more about partnering with HERO Dads!.

Our Team

Montefiore-Einstein Team

Traci Maynigo, Psy.D., Ed.M.
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 tmaynigo@montefiore.org.

Moshe Moeller, Ph.D., M.A.
Moshe Moeller, Ph.D., M.A.
Associate Program Director and Parent Coach

Moshe is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in cross-cultural fatherhood, parenting, couples, family and group therapy, and paternal mental health. Over the past several years 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 Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) and Gottman Method Couple Therapy and is a Certified PREP 8.0 instructor and 24/7 Dad Facilitator. Moshe holds faculty positions at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Adelphi University. Outside of HERO Dads, he enjoys playing piano, spending time outdoors, reading, painting, and spending time with his family. Moshe and his wife live in Queens with their 2 children.

To contact Dr. Moeller, please email mmoeller@montefiore.org.

Mary Minges, Ph.D., L.M.T
Mary Minges, Ph.D., L.M.T
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 mminges@montefiore.org.

Lisbeth Parra, M.S, MHC-LP
Lisbeth Parra, M.S, MHC-LP
Parent Coach

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 HERO Dad’s sister program for couples, 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 liparra@montefiore.org.

Christian Larios, M.S.
Christian Larios, M.S.
Parent Coach

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 (HERO Dads’ sister program for couples) 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 and 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 clarios@montefiore.org.

Erika Torres
Erika Torres
CQI/Data Analyst

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 children, family, and friends.

To contact Erika, please email eritorre@montefiore.org.

Ricky Camilo, M.S.
Ricky Camilo, M.S.
Data Analyst

Ricky graduated with a bachelor’s in Information Systems in 2018 and master’s in Science in 2019 from Pace University. A Systems Engineer by trade, Ricky is a born and raised Bronx native and is planning on returning to school to pursue his doctorate in Computer Science. An avid baseball and basketball fan, runner, and book reader, if he is not at the track or trail, he is reading a book, studying, or spending quality time with his family.

To contact Ricky, please email ricamilo@montefiore.org .

Irvin Camarillo, B.A.
Irvin Camarillo, B.A.
Research Coordinator

Irvin provides research support and outreach coordination for the HERO Dads program and Supporting Healthy Relationships Program. Irvin received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from New York University. Prior to joining the team, Irvin coordinated several trauma-focused programs for families at New-York Presbyterian Hospital, working to improve access to early childhood mental health care and nutrition in Harlem and the Bronx. He is committed to improving health equity for community members and families in greatest need, with a particular interest in preventive work that centers healthy masculinity. Irvin was born and raised in the Bronx, he is an avid sports fan.

BronxWorks Team

Betty Ann Tamaisar
Betty Ann Tamaisar
Department Director, Workforce Development, BronxWorks

Betty Ann Tamaisar is the Department Director of Workforce Development at BronxWorks. In this capacity, she manages a portfolio of 14 outcome-driven, social service contracts focused on job readiness, vocational training, tax preparation and financial counseling. Having joined BronxWorks in 2010, she has steadily climbed the ranks, starting off as an Operations Coordinator in the department that she currently leads. Betty Ann has served as a Program Coordinator, Program Director and Assistant Department Director, operating programs focused on access to public benefits, health insurance and workforce development. Holding titles in different departments has allowed her to understand how the different parts of a human service organization can work together to resolve issues and create change. Mrs. Tamaisar holds a BA in Political Science and a Minor in Pre-Law from New Jersey City University, and a Master of Arts Degree in Human Rights Studies from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. In 2015, she was honored by New York Non-Profit Media as one of their 40 under 40 Rising Stars.

Deshana Hamid
Deshana Hamid
Director of Employment Services

Deshana provides the HERO Dads team with ten years of experience in father-focused and youth programming, including direct client services and program administration. In roles from Success Coach to Director, she has helped hundreds of fathers to achieve their goals of economic success and family stability. Deshana holds an Associate in Science degree from Manhattan Community College, is a master facilitation trainer for parenting and relationship curricula by the National Fatherhood Initiative (24/7 Dad) and Center for Urban Families (The Blueprint), and has a Family Development Credential from the University of Connecticut. A native New Yorker, Deshana also holds the title of “Momty” to her two youngest nieces; she enjoys painting, is a voracious reader, and is known for collecting sand from all over the world.

To contact Deshana, please email dhamid@bronxworks.org

Stephanopolis Brakye
Stephanopolis Brakye
Career Coach

Stephanopolis provides Case Management services for members of the Hero Dad program. Stephanopolis received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Baruch College in 2017 and was among a few students selected to participate in an internship at City Hall. As a Bronxite, Stephanopolis is passionate about providing high-quality, accessible social service programs to underserved, and disenfranchised communities. An avid Knicks fan, Stephanopolis also enjoys movies, music, and staying active.

To contact Stephanopolis, please email sbrakye@bronxworks.org.

Stephen Richburg
Stephen Richburg
Career Coach

Stephen provides individual coaching services to HERO Dads members. He utilizes Trauma Informed Care practices to address individual challenges related to parenting, relationships, employment, education and health. As a Fatherhood graduate Stephen brings unique insight to his role, assisting members to create achievable goals while providing support by connecting them to relevant resources. Married for 13 years, Stephen enjoys spending time with his wife and five children, listening to music and watching comedy shows. Stephen’s motto is: “Finding your passion leads to finding work that motivates and satisfies you."

To contact Stephen, please email srichburg@bronxworks.org.

Asia Sanders
Asia Sanders
Recruiter

Asia is a recruiter with the HERO Dads program. Asia has been a Community Organizer in the BronxWorks Workforce Development Department for 4 years. Passionate about providing high-quality social service assistance to residents of the South Bronx, Asia is a mother of 2 who enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

Ricardo Roman<
Ricardo Roman
Job Developer

A veteran of the Armed Forces with over 14 years of experience in Workforce Development, Ricardo is dedicated to the mission of uplifting under-served, economically challenged, and historically marginalized communities. Recognizing that many fathers are in need of industry-specific skills to advance in their careers, he provides job placement and vocational training development for members of HERO Dads. Ricardo migrated to the U.S. at a young age and has lived in New York City for most of his life. Ricardo has an Associates in Arts degree from Bronx Community College and has been certified as a Contact Tracer from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. Ricardo is a divorced father of 3 who enjoys spending quality time with his children and family, reading, and is an avid sports and movie fan.

To contact Ricardo please email rroman@bronxworks.org

Denise Dobie
Denise Dobie
Job Developer

Denise is a Job Developer with over 20 years of experience in non-profit and corporate employer recruitment. During her long tenure in workforce development she has worked with diverse populations including young adults, formerly incarcerated individuals, and vulnerable women in need. For the past three years she has worked with fathers in East Harlem to develop marketable entry level skills leading to long-term employment. At HERO Dads, Denise develops and manages partnerships with several prominent companies, particularly those that believe in creating economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities. Driven by her passion to empower families and provide them with tools for success, Denise’s motto is: “Teach one to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.”

To contact Denise, please email ddobie@bronxworks.org

Haidy Pena
Haidy Pena
Career Development Specialist

Haidy was born in the Dominican Republic to Dominican parents, and emigrated to the United States at the age of 7 with her mother and little brother. Her father later joined them about 8 years later. Her parents always taught her the importance of respect, dedication, and education in becoming a productive person in life. She received her elementary and high school education in New York City and was a Psychology major during college in Upstate New York. Dominican by heritage and Dominican New Yorker at heart, her passion has always been to help people, especially those who are limited in the knowledge of resources available to them. She initially worked as an administrative assistant and office manager for over 10 years. She then transitioned to working in the non-profit field and worked as an administrative assistant, housing specialist, and then case manager at BronxWorks, Inc. Because of her extensive experience in workforce development and her yearning to assist clients, she has become someone whom participants know and trust.

Maria Santana<
Maria Santana
Recruiter

Maria is a lifelong resident of the South Bronx. She was born to immigrants from the Dominican Republic who came to the United States for hopes of a better life. Maria has stated that whatever career path she chooses will be to serve and empower marginalized communities. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and a Human Rights Certificate from Hunter College. Presently, Maria is pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Labor Studies at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. She has a strong background in community and union organizing and is currently working as a Recruiter for the HERO Dads program.

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!

#mentalhealth #fathers #dadsmentalhealthmatters #parentsupport #psychology