By KATHERYN SPENCE
KENNESAW, Ga. – The life of 25-year-old Natalie DeMarko has changed in more ways than one since she began working as the communications director of the Fatherless Daughter Project less than a year ago in Atlanta.
DeMarko recently earned her master’s degree in public relations from Ball State University in Indiana. In addition to her position at the nonprofit, she also works as a marketing and production intern with Mountain View Group and is a member of the Atlanta Hawks Event Marketing Flight Crew.
She began working as an intern for the Atlanta Hawks between her first and second year of graduate school. Her boss at the time was the husband of Denna Babual, who founded the Fatherless Daughter Project, and he recommended that she interview for a position.
“I hit it off immediately with Denna and we were anxious to begin working together,” DeMarko said.
Karin Luise and Denna Babuel, the founders of the project, co-authored the book, “The Fatherless Daughter Project: Understanding Our Losses and Reclaiming Our Lives.”
The book then turned into a documentary, which laid the foundation for the nonprofit. Their focus is to raise awareness, provide resources and education, and promote empowerment through mentorship for women and girls who no longer have a bond with their fathers.
DeMarko, being fatherless herself, attributes this project to changing her entire perspective on life.
“Our motto at TFDP is, from fatherless to forgiveness to fearless,” DeMarko said. “When people hear the word fatherless they may think of weakness, but we are fighting to turn that into strength and empowerment. At TFDP we do not bash men at all, we simply research and look at the real facts and statistics.”
The idea behind the project is to pair women with other women who can relate to and share their stories. They launched the Fatherless Daughter Tribe, a private Facebook page that allows women to openly talk about anything they are dealing with emotionally.
DeMarko plans and executes all events, updates board members on any changes, and sends out newsletters. She is in charge of all the content on the website, updates the blog, and conducts interviews and selects the featured “Daughter of the month”. She is also in charge of monitoring all the social media platforms and keeping up with their followers.
Angela Ramos, who is a business partner at Mountain View Group and a good friend of DeMarko, was a featured daughter on the website. Her story explains the struggles she faced growing up in a broken home, and what helped her to survive along the way.
“The experience of being featured on TFDP has motivated me to inspire others because our world is full of children that are neglected and fatherless,” Ramos said.
“Honestly the only downside of working for Denna is that I am unable to work full-time right now, because we don’t have the funds and we are still trying to become up and coming,” DeMarko said. “I have to hold on to this because I am so passionate about it and I cannot wait to see where we will be in six months.”
There are numerous ways to get involved with the Fatherless Daughter Project. Donations go toward the nonprofit and mentorship program for fatherless daughters. You can join its mailing list, share your story, and follow it on social media for the latest updates. Check out the website at www.fatherlessdaughterproject.com.