Note: Mike has been active in Father’s Club since its inception in 2018. He has one daughter who recently graduated from BVHS and a son who is currently an active senior at BVHS.
It’s been a crazy, wild ride during my tenure with Father’s Club. From the beginning of figuring out what we wanted to be as an organization and how to best get there as men and fathers, to fine tuning our message and creating impactful situations in our kids’ and fathers’ lives. Despite the Covid years, we worked together to build a truly resilient group of men to lead the Blue Valley High School chapter. Because of these things, becoming involved in FC has been the best decision I could have ever made as both a father and as a man.
How it began.
My personal FC experience started from the very beginning when Vince Stephens and Brad Holdhusen first gathered the BVHS dads together to pitch the idea.
The idea of dads locking arms to impact our kids’ lives as well as building community amongst the dads themselves has had a HUGE impact on my life when I look back over the past 7 years. I was a freshman AVID advisor for my daughter Emily’s class right out the gate in 2018. My main role initially was inserting dads into the classroom to provide career presentations and activities like resume reviews and mock interviews.
I still remember the kids’ reactions when the dads doing their career presentations told them they went to college but didn’t really know what they wanted to do when they graduated. The kids’ heads snapped up from writing notes and you could almost read their minds as they thought “…wait a minute! I DON’T have to have my life all figured out before I get to college?!”
How it grew.
From there, I stepped into the BVHS Chapter Chair role and worked with 6 men to expand our steering committee up to its current 18 men (many shoulders carry a lot of weight!)
We work together brainstorming ideas of how we can have a more impactful presence within BVHS, then implementing as many as possible in the shortest window of time. Trust me, we bombed on a few and had many laughs as a result; however, we have made a huge impact on the Blue Valley community with many of our ideas.
It helped tremendously to have the support of former Principal Scott Bacon as well as current Principal Golden, not to mention the entire staff at BVHS.
There are two huge rewards that Father’s Club has brought to my life.
First is the ability to engage with all the kids and have them really talk to you about what’s going on in their lives, and have them shout, “Hey, Mr. Oppold!” when I’m walking around school or a BVHS athletic event. It is evident they trust and respect me and the other dads because we have shown we care.
Second is the community of men that I’ve met and worked with. There are upwards of 50-60 incredible dads that I would have never crossed paths with let alone ever gotten to know if not for my FC involvement.
FC has truly been a blessing to me and my family’s life. If your school has a Father’s Club chapter and you aren’t currently involved, I would strongly encourage you to get involved. It can be life changing. And if there is not currently a chapter at your high school, it might be time to start a conversation about launching a new chapter!