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‘Boys to Men:’ Single mom helps solo parents in teaching their sons life skills



  • Dionne Brown, a single mom with a son now 18 years old, faced challenges in raising his son.
  • Dionne launched a ‘Boys to Men’ workshop to help other solo parents prepare their sons for adulting.
  • The focus of the workshop will be different life skills.

Single parenting isn’t easy, but together, solo parents can do so much.

This is one of the inspirations behind single mom Dionne Brown’s nonprofit Single Parent Connection Inc, which she founded in 2018.

Dionne “faced challenges” in raising her son on her own, and having experienced that, she wanted other “single parents to know that they don’t have to do life alone.”

Photo Credit: Dionne Brown/

“As a single mother who was raising a young man, I faced challenges when it came to teaching my son what he needs to know as he transitions into adulthood,” Dionne said. “I remember searching YouTube trying to find videos so I could teach him how to tie a necktie because this is something that as a woman I never needed to know.”

With the organization’s mission “to improve self-sufficiency and strengthen single-parent families through education, empowerment and support,” Dionne, whose son Jonathan is now 18, launched a ‘Boys to Men’ workshop to be held each week in June and designed for 12-18 boys.

Photo Credit: Dionne Brown/

Dionne believed that there are skills that are traditionally “passed down from a father to their son,” which will be the focus of each session.

Basic skills — such as fastening a tie, shaving, fishing, barbecuing food, doing automotive maintenance like changing a flat tire and an oil change, plumbing, preparing for a job interview, and understanding self-respect and respect for others — are among the topics of the workshop, which so far had 30 enrollees, including her own son Jonathan!

“Jonathan actually helped me with some of the workshop content when I asked him about some of the things he felt he needed to know how to do,” the solo mom said. “We are truly excited about this opportunity to make a positive impact in our city and to help single mothers in need of support in raising their boys to become productive and responsible men.”

Photo Credit: Dionne Brown/

Dionne partnered with the Men’s Ministry of The Blended Church in Indianapolis. Aside from Boys to Men program, her organization also offers other resources for single parents — from education scholarships to money management workshops.

The mom hopes that people, especially single parents, will be inspired to make a difference, and to stop doubting themselves and their abilities. She has also always wanted to encourage support systems in making communities better.

“Things are definitely different when you are a woman trying to raise a young man,” she said. “My son didn’t have the benefit of being raised in a two-parent home, but I made sure I taught him all that I could to prepare him for success as an adult.”

We wouldn’t be surprised to see Jonathan growing as a fine young man in the coming years.