Kappa Psi Chapter’s Brother Patrick Perry Blends Family, Fatherhood and Fraternity
Shares Family Motto of “Stay With The Family” to Encourage Closeness
It’s six o’clock on a busy Monday morning. The smell of scrambled eggs with cheese, lightly sizzling smoked turkey bacon, and slow cooked butter grits is seeping from the kitchen throughout the rest of the house; signaling the start the day. Patrick Perry–who has already been up for over 30 minutes–walks through his house preparing for one of his favorite moments of the day – waking up his two youngest daughters, Cheyenne and Brianna.
Patrick enters their room and turns on the corner light. He speaks softly as he touches Cheyenne’s arm first. “Hey, good morning sweethearts,” speaking to them both. “It’s time to rise and shine.” As both girls wake up slowly, he quietly leaves the room having checked off another task during his busy morning.
Patrick (2-02-TL) first joined Kappa Psi Chapter in 2009. He shared that the bond and principles he receives from Omega Brothers, in and outside of Kappa Psi, have helped mold him and given him the wisdom it takes to lead his family with integrity and vision.
Since 2009, Kappa Psi Chapter has stood firm with the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. in its partnership with the White House’s fatherhood initiatives and programs, under former President Barack Obama. The Omega Psi Phi Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative seeks to focus attention on the concerns and importance of fatherhood and mentoring.
Patrick shared that the Brothers of Omega have been both mentors and friends to him, having a huge impact on his life. “Most of all, Omega has introduced me to a network of seasoned Brothers who have already done what I’m doing as a father or are on a similar track,” he said. “It’s comforting to have a good network of older Brothers who I can seek advisement from or even just check in with periodically.”
Patrick utilizes advice from brothers as he and his wife, Charrsi, lead their blended family of six. The eldest kids, from a previous relationship, are Patrick Jr. (14), a rising 9th grader and Jazmyn (11), a rising 6th grader. Patrick shares split custody of them with their mother and her husband. Both Cheyenne (10), his step daughter and a rising 5th grader, and Brianna (2), a rising pre-K student, live full time with Patrick and Charrsi.
Patrick Jr. and Jasmyn live in the area and spend much of their time in the Perry household. In addition to alternating weekend custody, they are usually in the Perry home during most weeks and on the weekends.
Patrick Jr. and Jazmyn’s close proximity is good news, especially as Patrick works to keep the family operating as one unit. “It takes work to be consistent in what we teach and how we discipline in two different households, but it has worked well so far.” He added that one of his top priorities is teaching his kids that regardless of circumstances, they are all one family. It helps that the six spend so much time together and that Patrick has been in Cheyenne’s life since she was two years old.
Another challenge for Patrick has been navigating fatherhood as he raises Patrick, Jr. to be a young man. “My dad is teaching me to always respect and be kind towards others. Always be a leader and not a follower. Take responsibility for your actions no matter what,” Patrick, Jr. shared.
These lessons have allowed Patrick to see first hand the barriers of raising a young black man in America.”I’ve pushed him to be influenced by good decisions and not by others in a negative light concerning things such as sex, drugs and alcohol. It’s all a journey.”
This journey has lead the Perry family to adopt a family motto of “Stay with the family.” What started as a simple way to prevent the kids from running off in a crowd, turned into a humorous joke. The Perrys have since adopted the adage to convey the importance of family serving as the foundation for success in life.
“The key is to teach the kids to stick together at all times, no matter what,” Charrsi explained. “We want to encourage them to be close, defend and protect each other because family is important.”
Staying with the family also means supporting each other’s activities. Patrick, Jr. is a rising basketball star, playing year-round, and he has goals of playing both basketball and football at his new high school this year. Jazmyn loves to dance and has been doing so for many years. She’ll be entering a big chapter for her life this year – middle school. Cheyenne has been in competitive cheerleading, improving each year. She’s excited about finishing the year on a high note. Brianna can be found both running around the household, and running the household, the Perrys shared.
Looking forward, Patrick said he’s excited about serving as a working role model for other young fathers. “I’m not perfect and there’s no standard operating procedure manual for fatherhood, my message is that consistency is important. If you want to be an influential father, you have to sacrifice time, develop patience and be ready to deal with whatever personality the Lord sees fit to give your child.”
“One of the things that I admire most about Patrick,” Charrsi shared, “is the time and consideration that he gives to the kids, daily. Many times he has dropped his own plans to cater to the needs of the kids, and that is what real fatherhood is.”
Patrick agreed. “No matter what, always stay with the family.”
Bro. Garrett James | 3-SP08-TLL
Kappa Psi Chapter | LM #6184
Chapter Editor – FY 2015-2017