MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) — Each week, WCCO This Morning is rewarding a hard-working, dedicated parent who loves what they do.

This week, Angela Davis went to Maplewood, Minn. to surprise this week’s winner.

Between his job at Home Depot in Maplewood and classes at Century College in White Bear Lake, 25-year-old Drew Nachtsheim doesn’t have a lot of free time. But as anyone can see, he has a lot of love for his 5-year-old son Hayden.

“He is hilarious, really smart,” said Nachtsheim. “I love him. He makes me laugh a million times a day.”

Nachtsheim fought to get custody of Hayden after his ex-girlfriend, the boy’s mother, gave him up.

“When I first got him, I didn’t have any experience with kids at all. I got a phone call saying I had an opportunity to get custody of him and I called my dad and said I am going to need some help,” said Nachtsheim. “He was kind enough to help out. I was scared.”

Co-worker Sandy Keffer nominated Nachtsheim after hearing him talk about Hayden at work. In order to arrange for WCCO-TV to deliver his prize at work, they told him he needed to come in for a staff meeting.

Nachtsheim, who is taking college courses in hopes of becoming a psychologist, said being a father is one of the most rewarding parts of his life.

“It doesn’t matter what else is going on,” he said. “I enjoy it and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Each week, WCCO selects a new Just 4 You Parent, so keep those entries coming. You can nominate a deserving parent, grandparent or guardian online.

Comments (14)
  1. Esther says:

    I absolutely love hearing about dads who have made the choice to keep their children despite odds being against them! What a remarkable guy, I hope he is able to be encouraged (something every parent needs once in a while) and realize that there are people who care about and admire him. Have fun at the WILD game!!!

  2. Jake says:

    Congratulations, Mr. Nachtsheim!

  3. Heather Hussman says:

    My name is Heather and I am actually Hayden’s mother. I’m not going to write a 5 page story about every detail as to what happened between Drew and I and our son, but I will say there are two sides to every story. I did NOT “give him up”, as to what was said here. I wanted to clarify that for everybody who has automatic negative judgements towards me. Hayden is happy, healthy and well provided for by his father. Drew is a good dad to him. I do my best as a mother everyday for Hayden and continue to be a better mother and person. The past is the past and there is nothing I can do to change what happened, but I can change the future, and am doing what I can to make that happen. I love Hayden more than anyone could ever know and I will be positive and do what is needed of me to be a part of Hayden’s life.

  4. Julie says:

    It kind of disgusts me how so many people are so negative all of the time, and it’s usually when someone else is getting recognition for something great. Someone always has to rain on everyone else’s parade for petty differences and to further their own self-pity and make themselves feel better about the situation. Drew deserves this recognition. He has made a lot of sacrifices to make sure his son could have a great life. I don’t care about the past, the present is what is important, and it looks like things are going great for them. Yes, he is not the only single, working parent who is going to school to help provide a better future for themselves and their children. No kidding. There are plenty of people out there who deserve the same recognition, this is just the person that was nominated by someone who knows and cares about him. Where is the shame in that? If you people are so angry about it, then have someone nominate you for it, but judging by the comments you’re willing to make here on a public forum, I wouldn’t say that you probably deserve it anyway.

  5. family friend says:

    Actually he wasn’t and I would know because Heather and Hayden lived with my family for his first year of life. Whatever lies you heard are mistaken. Sorry.

    1. Family Member says:

      Then why did she abandon Hayden one night so he was put in foster care for months. Why didn’t she just give him to Drew??

  6. I'm not ignorant says:

    Wow people, way to respect the privacy. Don’t you think that the details were left out for a reason? Morons.

    Congrats Drew, keep up the good work. Your son is happy and well, you must be doing a great job!!!

  7. Heather Hussman says:

    To Julie and “I’m not ignorant”-I agree with both of you. Drew is doing a great job as a father to our son and I would not want my son to be with anybody else. Things are the way they are because of choices that were made in the past, but the present is what matters and so is the future. Also, the details were left out for a reason, so please respect the privacy of both me and Drew. Thank you, Heather.

  8. Erin says:

    Life is not pretty and we all do not fit into a nice little box like you may want it to. Don’t through stones until you have been in his place!

  9. Drew Nachtsheim says:

    Hahaha. Well, I suppose I should be angry about the rude remarks by these few ignorant folks. I’m going to take the high road here. This news segment represents me and speaks for itself. That segment, in itself, defends the negatives presented by these anonymous cowards. Hayden and I are very happy with our lives and only getting happier… maybe a few of you folks should try that sometime. Life is short, just be happy.

    1. Melissa Hagen says:

      Congratulations Drew! I couldnt be happier to have you raising my grandson!

  10. Kriss says:

    Drew you an awesome dad! You derserved the recognition and praise….just ignore the negative…..

  11. SomeoneUNo says:

    Happy Birthday, Drew!

  12. Melissa Hagen says:

    Happy Birthday Hayden! Drew, you are doing a fabulous job and have since the day that beautiful little boy was born. Ignore ignorance and continue to focus on the positive influence you are to Hayden which in turn will teach him to be a positive person. Your work ethic and desire to better yourself are the best influences.Unlike some. Congratulations! It’s well deserved.

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