My Childhood Mentoring Story Part I, is a series introducing the founders of the youth mentoring organizations featured in the inaugural NW Orlando Mentor & Volunteer Recruitment Fair held on Thursday, October 26th at Ivey Lane Park Recreation Center.
ORLANDO – The fourth Q&A in this series features Pastor Daniel Ings, the founder and executive director of Boys2Men Mentoring (B2MM). The mission of B2MMis to create responsible leaders by providing educational enrichment, mentoring, and life transformation skills. We strive to be the change-agent in fostering excellence in the areas of education, health, and social well-being in urban and diverse communities; ensuring that the needs of the whole child are met.
A graduate of “the great” Jones High School, Ings went on to attend Valencia Community College. In his previous roles he served as a Community-Based Prevention Program Manager for 5 years and was a Prevention Specialist for 10 years, continuing to impact the lives of children. Today, he also serves as the Senior Pastor of The Glory Center Church. Here we’ll delve into Pastor Ings answering the call to serve.
MAN UP Mentoring, Inc. (MU): Who was your mentor as a teen or young adult?
Pastor Daniel Ings (PDI): Surprisingly, my mentor was not a male, but it was a female. Her name was Bettie Jones-Hudson. She was a traveling evangelist that traveled the world. She knew my parents’ years before I was born, but later as I grew, I would go to her revival services and because of the call that was on my life, that I had not acknowledged yet, there was an instant connection.
MU: How did she influence your life?
PDI: She influenced my life in various ways. She allowed me to travel with her ministry and I was her drummer for about 10+ years. My first time flying on an airplane was with her. Because she was very studious of the Bible, it made me want to study more and prepare for my ultimate destiny of being a spiritual leader, Pastor, and now a mentor.
MU: Why did you choose her to mentor you?
PDI: I believe that she chose me because she saw the potential and God’s hand that was on my life. I witnessed various miracles, healing of individuals that were ill, and transformation of so many lives.
MU: What was the turning point or defining moment that changed the course of your life?
PDI: I believe that my turning point was when I finally decided to accept my call into ministry. I remember running from it because of being a pastor’s son all my life, and I felt that I needed to experience some of what the world had to offer. Because of her continued guidance and support in my life, I was able to travel to various places that resulted in me wanting to prepare myself for a life of ministry, being a Youth/Senior Pastor, and now a director of a program that influences young boys to make positive choices.
MU: What was the hardest lesson you learned early on?
PDI: To truly obey the laws of the land. I received my first speeding ticket at age 17. I remember driving to N.C., and I was pulled over by the police for the first time. My heart was broken. After paying that large fee, I learned a dear lesson.
MU: What words of wisdom did your mentor share with you that you are still applying today?
PDI: My mentor shared many words of wisdom. The one that stands out to me in this season of my life is, “the compliments of people can inflate you, but their criticism can also deflate you.” In other words, always remain humble and teachable.
MU: What makes your organization unique or sets you apart from other at-risk youth mentoring program?
PDI: I believe what makes our organization unique is that we take the time to build relationships and our mentors are very involved in the lives of our mentees. From support in the school and at home, we are more than a Tuesday through Thursday program. Impact comes in many ways. Our boys receive pop-up visits to their homes. Many of them are able to shadow their mentor and see that hard work and determination does pay off. They are able to receive skill-set training in: cash handling, counting inventory, gut-out complexes, installation of windows, gardening, and so much more. We believe that exposure is key.
MU: How has your community perspective changed or shifted after working with at-risk youth?
PDI: My perspective has changed because our boys that live in the community now understand that there are mentors/positive role models that truly care about their future. It has also shifted because we have law enforcement, OC Corrections, professional ball players, and other positive role models that come to our program and pour into our boys and connect with them on their level.
MU: In six words or less, describe the overall significance of mentoring at-risk youth.
PDI: They have the opportunity to tour another man’s life. (Look at the word, “MENTOR” and if you flip that word you get “TOR-MEN” or tour another man’s life. There has to be something about me as a mentor that will influence a young mentee to follow me).
About Boys2Men Mentoring: Boys 2 Men is a 501c3 nonprofit and non-sectarian organization that guides boys aged 10 – 18 through their crucial teen years toward healthy manhood. Meeting on a weekly basis. Every week, mentors show up to support teenage boys, providing them with a community of men who listen, encourage, and empower them to learn more go to b2morlando.org and follow them @b2morlando
About MAN UP Mentoring, Inc.: MAN UP Mentoring, Inc. (MAN UP) is community-based 501c (3) organization and an affiliate of My Brother’s Keeper Orlando primarily serving at-risk youth ages 11 through completion of high school or the equivalent across Metro Orlando, with a focus on delinquency prevention and intervention by providing social, educational and mentoring services. Established in 2014 by Orlando natives, brother and sister duo Christopher and Samantha Wallace. Currently, it is managed by an executive director, contractors, and a full-time staff of volunteers. MAN UP is overseen by a Board of Directors with more than 150 years of law enforcement and civilian experience, as well as advisors from the Orange County Public-school System and social services. Visit manupmentoring.com