What does fatherhood mean to you?

Fatherhood means being responsible in every single area of my daughter’s life – taking care of all of her needs, being there for her at any given time, striving to be a good role model for her and for her future. The list is endless!

What is the best part of being a dad?

For me it is realizing that I helped create a new human being. I can look into my daughter’s eyes and see myself. From the moment she was born, I knew that my life would never be the same and that the rest of my life would be full of joy. I’m learning more and more every day.

What is your proudest moment as a dad?

Every time I see my child I am proud. Proud of her, of me; proud of us! I am extremely proud of the issues and obstacles we have overcome these past few years.

What do you and your child do for fun?

Anything and everything! We really enjoy spending time together. We play soccer, take our dogs to the park, play "club penguin" on the computer, go to the movies and Chuck E. Cheese, put together puzzles and cook together. We are very easy going and like to be outdoors a lot. I can go on all day. We are always making plans!

What is the hardest part about being a dad?

To put your child’s needs above your own. You must do this all of the time. Once you’re a dad, that is what you are. And your kids are counting on it.

What kind of dad do you strive to be?

A dad who will fulfill and surpass my child's expectations and needs.

Describe your funniest moment as a dad.

There are so many funny moments that it becomes almost impossible to mention just one. After my daughter was born, I tried to be very careful while I was holding her. I was so careful that I ended up making funny movements to make sure I was doing it the right way! I’m sure that was pretty funny for others to see.

What would you hope that your kids would say about you if asked what kind of dad they have?

The best dad in the world. Down the road, I hope that she would say that I have been a committed, responsible and caring father.

What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received about fatherhood?

For the past two months, I have received a tremendous amount of advice every Thursday at the Nurturing Fathers Program. I’ve been able to get to know fathers from different backgrounds and learn how they’ve managed different situations with their kids. The advice I’ve received has been invaluable and I keep adding it to my tool box.

What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?

The moment I realized how committed I was to A'ilana. I made an oath to myself to do everything and anything to be the father she deserves.

Leonardo currently participates in the Nurturing Fathers Program at the Aurora Mental Health Center. Click here to learn more about this program.