PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A Temple University student is taking her experiences to help others. She's creating a safe-space for other women.
FOX 29's Bill Anderson has the story.
An incarcerated father rarely involved in her life was the model that Temple student Kyshon Johnson first experienced as a child.
“When I was born my father was incarcerated. Throughout my life he’s been in and out of jail, he would be home for really short periods of time,”
She says her and her immediate circle of friends sadly weren’t even sure what a traditional family structure looked like until she traveled abroad.
“Imagine at 17 you’re in a new country and for 11 days for the first time you’re seeing a two parent household. A marriage and a healthy father daughter relationship.”
While sitting down on Temple’s campus, Kyshon explained that seeing the impact her host father had made her realize how important that role is and she wanted more.
“I’m on a mission to meet 100 women and I want to hear their stories about their relationship with their fathers.”
That mission is called '100 Other Halves'. So far, she’s interviewed 58 women and says she’s surprised by how many when given a chance wanted to share their experiences.
“When they sit down with me I ask them two questions, 'What motivated you to want to share your story and how often do you share your story?' The answer to the second question is always I never talk about this.”
The stories are by and largely for women, but anyone reading, “To The Father that Left His Family” and “To the Faithful Father of 6 Beautiful Daughters,” will be impacted and the stories have apparently already helped other women realize their experiences are nothing to be ashamed of.
Kyshon herself had to acknowledge that “I never realized that the rejection and someone saying that you’re not mine although I identify you as my father, it brings up questions am I good enough, 'Why don’t you love me, why don’t you want me?'"
To be clear '100 Other Halves' is not bashing fathers or men in general. There are as many stories of empowering fathers as there are absent ones. To Kyshon and the woman participating there’s a greater purpose.
“Understanding that your father wasn’t in your life or he was and the way it impacted you. But also realizing it impacted you and how you can change going forward.”
One experience opened her eyes now Kyshon hopes 100 could help open thousands of eyes, for goodness sake.