Christopher A. Etienne, Sr., Letters from a Father: Gratitude and Pride (sponsored)

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Father and son, Christopher Sr. & ‘Lil Chris Etienne

Dear, Son:

My faith still is rewarded in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I am proud of your growth, development, and enthusiasm for learning. I have drawn from your youthful energy, and every day I reflect on what you display, which is good humor, courage, and idealism. If anything, you are intelligent and strong, but more importantly, you are kind, thoughtful, and full of passion. Of all that I’ve achieved, I am grateful to be your father.

What’s more, former U.S. President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama put it best when speaking about parenthood, stating, “this is our first task, caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged. And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we’re meeting our obligation?” As a result, I want to meet this obligation to the highest degree of fatherhood. It’s an obligation I hope our politics and our country begin to take seriously in the months and years to come.

Therefore, this leads me to the point of an attitude of gratitude. That means making a conscious effort to express appreciation regularly for the big and small things in life. Ultimately, when a person trains themselves to look at life through the lens of gratitude rather than disappointment, they will find themselves enthusiastic and more at peace. Unsurprisingly, son, seeing you display this vital character trait at such an early age is remarkable.

Moreover, the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy argued, “as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” So, that is why I don’t let a day go by without expressing how proud I am of you and how much I love you. The whole family is proud of you and loves you.

Father and son, Christopher Sr. & ‘Lil Chris Etienne

Lastly, son, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, good humor, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength. As a result, I’ve seen the future unfolding. And remember, I’ll be right there with you every step of the way. Love you!




Christopher A. Etienne: Director of Community and Governmental Affairs at NOLA Public Schools

Christopher A. Etienne, Sr.’s passion for public service comes from a deeply held desire to impact the lives of others while transforming his community. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, he was taught at an early age the significance of service, community strength, quality education, and the principles of social justice.

In June 2022, Mr. Etienne was appointed the Director of Community and Governmental Affairs at NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS). In this capacity, he is responsible for increasing public engagement and confidence in the school system.

Before joining NOLA-PS, Mr. Etienne served as a Legislative Aide to the former U.S. Representative Cedric L. Richmond and U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, both of Louisiana and U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes of Connecticut. In these roles, he was responsible for analyzing and drafting legislation that serves the common good, promotes racial equity, and supports economic mobility and opportunity for children and families of all backgrounds, especially the most vulnerable.

Mr. Etienne earned a Master of Arts degree in Political Science, with a concentration in Black Politics and a minor in Public Policy, from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). He was also selected to the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) Class of 2023.

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