David Hirsch, founder of Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, was recognized Wednesday at the White House for his work promoting responsible fatherhood in Illinois.
Being in the presence of old friends and new acquaintances was "uplifting inspiration" for the Barrington father of five. Ten people were honored as Champions of Change, an honor Hirsch had thought he was receiving when he was invited, but Hirsch and a number of others were recognized but not given the champions honor.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder each talked about why fathers are important and gave funny anecdotes about their lives as fathers.
Hirsch said he enjoyed the trip because he was able to be in the "presence of so many other people who are dedicating their heart and soul to greater father engagement."
"It was great to be around what I think is the core group of father advocates in our country."
Illinois Fatherhood Initiative is a statewide nonprofit organization with a mission of connecting fathers and children. The organization promotes responsible fathering by helping fathers become better parental figures, offering various programs in schools, hospitals and workplaces.