BY BEVERLY SMALLS
“We are very proud of his work, and we believe he is the youngest (NAACP) Chapter President in the country.” said Deborah Maxwell, New Hanover County NAACP President.
The twenty-two year old Elizabethtown native devised a plan to wake up Bladen County’s African-American residents and other concerned citizens. Reactivating the NAACP was a main strategy. Daniels accomplished his goal.
An African Methodist Episcopal Zion minister, he is also an active student leader at Livingston College. “I’ve always been a little different,” Daniels said.
While a student at East Bladen High School his leadership skills were being developed as he approached an advisor and addressed the need to organize a debate team and a History Club. Both extracurricular activities were developed and subsequently honored for exemplary standards of excellence.
An Eagle Scout, Daniels was also a teen mentor for a popular Bladen County afterschool program. He revamped a local youth center’s exterior property, cleared grounds, designed and built picnic tables/benches, and secured other playground items to create a safe setting for the community’s children.
He created a new program, YIP, Youth Investment Plan, as an organized effort to intensify the NAACP’s assistance to youth from public school matriculations through college or early young adult careers.
“They need follow-up relationships through high school and college,” Daniels said emphasizing that many community programs tend to attract youths and then fade away before they complete goals for developing successful high school graduates and young adults.
He is currently engaging NAACP activists and other leaders throughout the country to develop a program for millennials. SOFT, Securing Our Future Today will point that special population toward consistent roles in a variety of efforts like voter registration drives, national discussions, and participations in volunteer and internship opportunities.
The current Livingston College Campus Minister, Daniels became accustomed to interstate travels and meetings when he acted as a spokesperson for the Cape Fear Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
“I was elected Lodge Chief for the Cape Fear Council,” he said. During his tenure the organization operated, “in the black,” and like the Bladen County NAACP, memberships increased.
Being a voice for the voiceless, and resolving issues are ongoing personal lifestyle practices, he said.