By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter
Trey Murrell has experienced a lot at 19 years of age — two months ago he became a father.
He named his newborn daughter after his mother Tracy Anne Marie, who passed away from congestive heart failure when he was seven years old after giving birth to his younger brother. He was raised by a single father.
Murrell graduated from Bowsher High School in 2021 and enrolled at Ashland University where he played football with a major in computer science. He’s moved back home to be closer to his girlfriend and daughter with plans to attend Bowling Green State University as a sophomore in the fall.
Brothers United has help him in this transition. BU Nation has provided him with the tools to become a father and a man. “Receiving advice from other fathers… it’s been a very [big] help,” said Murrell.
“It has lifted me to be a better father … it’s great to know that I’m not just in this alone.”
Through Pathway’s Brothers United Programs Murrell has gained life skills and an invaluable support system. “To know that I have them in my corner… [He mentioned BU leadership Julian Mack, Avis Files, LaSonya Jelks] “it’s like a second family … I also gained that connection with everyone in the group… we share personal issues… problems that are going on…. But we also share good stories as well. I haven’t really been necessarily able to do that.”
“You can actually speak what’s on your mind- you can vent to them and they will help you out… and that’s really great.” Pathway provides a space to be real and receive help.
“It like a support group, you tell them what’s going on and they support you 110 percent of the way. They try to help you with as much as they can”.
“We try to meet the needs of the people that we’re serving…” said Julian Mack, Case Manager for Brothers and Sisters United. “We have a variety of different programs that may meet multiple needs of an individual.”
Murrell has completed two programs: Brothers United and Brothers and Sisters United with his girlfriend. Brothers and Sisters United (BSU program) lasts two weeks. Pathways offers Bothers United, Brothers and Sisters United and Bothers United Healthy Start. Classes cover a range of topics from infant mortality to racial stereotypes and can last anywhere from 10 days to a month.
“We also do case management – how can we connect these gentlemen to the proper resources so that they can thrive,” said Mack. “For some that looks like home relief, career/ job training… it varies for each individual.
“The key is getting the needs met so that they can thrive as parents.” Murrell has received the communication, support and parenting skills needed to succeed as a new father.
About a month ago, a childhood friend of Murrell, who is a mother of two recommended him to the program. Now, he recommends the program to his friends as well. “I strongly encourage every young father, young mother or an experienced father or experienced mother to join [Brothers United],” said Murrell. For more information visit pathwaytoledo.org or call 419-242-7304.