Occupation ▪ Community Engagement Specialist at Build Baton Rouge
Children ▪ Sai, 17; Brooklyn, 14; and Jolie, 8
Hobbies ▪ photography, poetry, writing, and volunteering
Geno McLaughlin’s love for his community is unmatched. His weekends are often spent venturing from one location to another with his children in tow, volunteering his time throughout Baton Rouge. For Geno, he is at his best when he is serving others, working with them to determine their needs and finding ways to fulfill them.
His hands-on approach to life is reflected in his parenting, where he can always be found going from one school activity to the next. He’s an attentive father and a self described dream chaser, who encourages his children to do the same each day.
How would you describe raising your children?
G: I don’t know that I was prepared. I had to get used to it. Overnight, your life changes, but it’s very rewarding. In parenting, there are so many moments that you live for.
What do you like to do as a family?
G: We love movies and staying home and playing games. They will come to events with me and volunteer. We play board games and Uno. That’s when we are the most competitive.
What’s the greatest thing about being a dad?
G: You’re leaving a legacy. You want to work hard so they won’t have to experience hardships. Of course, they will have their own ups and downs, but you want to ensure they’re equipped for life. Being a dad is hard and expensive, but those moments make it worth it.
How has parenthood changed you?
G: It made me grow up quicker. When you’re younger, you’re very much about yourself, and becoming a parent means your kids are depending on you. I’ve experienced love in a way I never had before, and I have a deeper understanding of my parents, too.
What do you love most about your job?
G: I had a chance to marry my purpose with my job. I started in sales and marketing, but I truly found my happiness in helping people. I’m lucky and blessed to have found a space that allows me to help people.
How do you make time to relax?
G: I’m still learning. I say yes way too much, so I am trying to find a balance. Getting quiet time and allowing myself to recharge is important.
What kind of dad are you?
G: I set high expectations, and I’m fiercely protective and firm, but I encourage them to chase their dreams. I’m the soccer dad, the band parent, and the track dad. I am at their school way more than they want me to be!
What’s something you hope to instill in them?
G: A belief in self and that they can accomplish anything. There will be obstacles, but I’ll be there to help them jump those hurdles. I want them to know they have a duty and responsibility to help others because not everyone has the same in life.
Best parenting advice you have ever received?
G: You don’t have to do it all by yourself. For a while, I didn’t ask for help. I didn’t want to be a burden on anyone. I have learned to ask for help so I can be there for my kids.
What personality trait of yours do your children also have?
G: They’re all good kids and they enjoy helping out. My son is introspective. Brooklyn is thoughtful, and Jolie is loving.
What are some things you want to do that are still on your bucket list?
G: Travel more. I want to see their hopes and dreams come to fruition. I also want to start checking off my business venture ideas in my phone. I’m an idea person, and I have a backlog of ideas.
What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have?
G: We were made to communicate more. Without technology, we were able to be more creative. We created what we could not see.
Who are your greatest role models?
G: Professionally, my father. We’re almost mirror images of each other. He passed away a couple of years ago, and I often think about the conversations we would have today. My social side comes from my mom. It’s a balance.
Do you have any advice for other parents?
G: Admit when you’re wrong. We, as parents, make mistakes. It’s okay to apologize to your kids. Also, build up your young people because they’re our legacy.
The parenting item I couldn’t live without…my planner. I would be lost without it.
In my fridge, you will always find…juice.
Favorite book growing up…Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.
Music I’m loving…Daniel Caesar, Kanye’s Sunday Service, and anything R&B.
I feel my best when I…recharge. I am the most productive then.
My favorite television shows are…Top Chef, Power, and Black-ish.
My favorite ice cream is…Pralines and Cream.