WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Being a father is a year-round job. Unfortunately, not everyone gets a dad to help them grow. Enter our Extraordinary Person of the Week. He’s a role model to not just the kids in his own full house but also our community house. “Mr. Brad” Lademann is one extraordinary father figure.
“For me,” Lademann said, “it’s a conversation.”
Lademann is a father of three. He’s also a father figure and role model for at-risk kids in New Hanover County.
“Sometimes it’s more of a ‘hey man, you just need to pull it together,” Lademann said. “And sometimes it’s a ‘your teachers are done with it, you got to stop. here’s where you are headed, here’s where you could be, let’s go this way.”
Lademann works with the Communities in Schools program. He’s there in the schools for boys and girls when there is no father figure around to help guide them in the right direction.
“You don’t know what kind of difference you can make in a kid’s life,” he said. “You might go, ‘It’s only an hour a week,’ but that may be more than that kid has ever had for somebody showing up to care about them.”
Lademann does show up. He shows up for his three kids every day at home, and he shows up for the kids at Williston Middle School, like a 7th grade girl who was at risk of dropping out and getting into trouble every day.
“It got to the point through the school year,” he said of the troubled girl rebounding after getting some extra positive attention. “I would stand in the same spot every morning when the kids came in. She would come in and say, ‘Mr Brad, I got this,’ and it was a high five and she was off to class.”
He was the father figure she didn’t have at home.
“I told her, ‘After that, you got the behavior down a little bit, let’s work on grades,'” Lademann said of continuing the progress. “(I said,) ‘Let’s go that next step.’ So part of that is the father, the male presence and voice, ‘You got this, you can do this.'”
Being someone’s voice of inspiration and the missing piece of direction needed at a young age, well, Mr. Brad, that makes you extraordinary.
If you would like to know more about the Cape Fear Fathers campaign, click here.
If you would like to know more about Communities in Schools, click here.