The mission of Frontline Dads is to facilitate the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and cultural development of African American men and “at-risk” youth by providing transformative programming that will empower them to assume leadership positions in their families, and communities.
The vision of Frontline Dads is to become the pre-eminent source for transformational programming in the Greater Philadelphia urban community while empowering African-American men and youth to become change agents and leaders who serve their communities with the tools they need to ensure the collective social progress of all marginalized communities .
Frontline Dads is a community-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2001 with a mission to provide cultural/educational programs and prevention/intervention services for youth and their families throughout Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania. Frontline Dads, Inc. is committed to rebuilding communities, by re-connecting families and empowering youth to become leaders. In an effort to break the cycle of dysfunction, self-destruction, fratricidal violence, drug addiction, and intergenerational incarceration which has devastated marginalized communities, Frontline Dads has designed a comprehensive, culturally sensitive, holistic curriculum that provides a multi-faceted approach to problem solving and community transformation that includes the introduction of non-traditional experiences, insights and resources. This transformative curriculum has produced many positive outcomes for the youth who have participated in the mentoring program including reduced juvenile recidivism rates, reduced school truancy, reduced school dropout rates, reduced school suspension rates, and increased school attendance, improved grades, increased social and cultural awareness, and improved self-esteem. Since being founded in 2001, Frontline Dads has provided service to more than 5,000 youth and families in some of the most high-risk neighborhoods in the city. It is for this reason that Frontline Dads is a recognizable and well respected leader in the field of youth development.
While founded in 2001, Frontline Dads became an official subsidiary of the Leon H. Sullivan Charitable Trust in 2003. Frontline Dads began conducting parenting workshops at Temple University in 2003 and has engaged with the community ever since. During that time, Frontline Dads has sponsored and/or participated in numerous community engagements including the Progress Ex-Offenders Conference; The Salvation Army Holiday Toy Drive; AIDS Education Month; “The Giveback” (Feed The Homeless Project); Hurricane Katrina Fund Relief; Haiti Fundraiser; Celebration of Black Writer’s Conference; the Black Male Development Symposium; The National Fatherhood Conference; Block By Block; Philly Roots Fellowship; Thinking For A Change; the "Men Can" (domestic violence prevention & awareness) campaign, "PEACEMAKERS" (violence prevention campaign), and, the Clean Community Project. Frontline Dads conducts mentoring programs across the city and has won numerous awards over the years for its positive contribution to the community. Frontline Dads has partnered with Youth Services Inc. to provide after-care services (mentoring) for youth being processed through Juvenile Justice, Family Court and DHS. In addition to providing mentoring services to “at-risk” youth, Frontline Dads also conducts parenting workshops and re-entry training support for returning citizens.
After spending 10 years under the umbrella of the Leon H. Sullivan Charitable Trust, Frontline Dads became an independent institution in 2012 and subsequently obtained its own 501c(3) designation. Frontline Dads specializes in addressing many of the stubborn social & educational dilemmas in marginalized and disenfranchised communities. Youth participants engage in a comprehensive leadership development program that includes college tours, career development, academic support, socialization skills, communication skills, leadership development, critical thinking, spirituality, goal setting, journaling, conflict resolution, one-to-one mentoring, and counseling. The young men receive direct support that will empower them with the ability to make informed decisions and to think critically as they prepare for adulthood. They are exposed to positive, professional men who can offer guidance, tutelage, and direct insights into their respective professions. The program is designed to provide alternatives for young men who may have limited resources and a limited view of the options available to them. Many of these young men are disconnected from the education process and are alienated from society and are in dire need of a support system that will facilitate their development as responsible young men.
Through interactive activities, supervised instruction, hands-on experiences, lectures, psycho-educational field trips, and career exploration, the young men develop the tools necessary to make a successful transition into responsible adulthood. Some topics include social etiquette, dressing for success, resume preparation, interview skills, applying for college, parenting, self-esteem, and team building. The young men will have their thinking and behavior challenged by introducing them to possibilities, theories, and expectations that will allow them to transcend their current situation. A model of excellence is exemplified and the standards for participation is high. Measurable outcomes are implemented and every effort is made to help each young man complete high school, apply for college, gain employment, and pursue a fulfilling career, without falling into the negative traps of incarceration, drugs, and violence.
Reuben Jones is a Philadelphia native, father, activist, educator, motivational speaker, poet, published author, and entrepreneur. He currently serves as Executive Director of Frontline Dads, Inc., a community-based 501c(3) non-profit organization that provides mentoring, leadership development and comprehensive support to “at-risk” youth, single fathers, and formerly incarcerated citizens. Reuben also facilitates “Poets 4 Peace”, an anti-violence initiative to help end urban street violence by introducing at-risk youth to the arts. Reuben Jones served 15 years in prison for a 1986 robbery and was released in 2002. Since that time, he has transformed his life and his ability to help others by obtaining his Master’s Degree from Lincoln University (2009) and he currently works as a clinical therapist. Reuben currently serves as the Social Services Director for Focused Deterrence Gun Violence Reduction Strategy in Philadelphia. For his humanitarian efforts, Reuben has won many awards, including a proclamation from the Mayor’s Office awarding him the Lucien Blackwell Guiding Light Award. He has won a MLK Community Involvement Award from the African-American Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a recipient of the Black Male Engagement (BMe) Leadership award and grant from the Knight Foundation. He was named a “Philly Roots Fellow” by the United Way. He has been named by News One as a “Gamechanger”. And, he was awarded the “Community Quarterback” Award by the Philadelphia Eagles. Reuben was featured in the award-winning anti-violence documentary, “Beyond the Walls: The Road to Redemption”. His narrative poem “Lemonade”, from the Beyond The Walls documentary was nominated for an award. He was named a "Community Quarterback" buy the Philadelphia Eagles for his leadership and advocacy in the community. He serves on the Re-Entry Coalition in Philadelphia. He serves on the organizing committee for the Black Male Development Symposium, The National Fatherhood Conference, the Peacemakers Youth Violence Prevention Summit. He serves as a Commissioner on the Mayor's Commission on Universal Pre-K. He served as a member of Mayor Kenney's Transition Team. Reuben also served on Oprah Winfrey's "Belief" team. He is a member of the Human Rights Coalition and The Center for Returning Citizens. He is a NIC trained facilitator for the “Thinking For A Change” cognitive development program in the Philadelphia County prisons where he works with violent offenders and men preparing to be released. Above all, Reuben Jones is a humanitarian who believes in the power of transformation and is committed to violence prevention.
Mentoring & Leadership Development
Reuben Jones, MHS
Frontline Dads, Inc.