Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Rick McGregor was surrounded by negative role models. His parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunt all struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, leading him to experiment with marijuana at a young age. Gang initiation came next and before he knew it, his life was spiraling downward.
“As a result of my broken, abusive, and drug filled home, I grew up with little to no guidance, which caused me to seek love and acceptance in all the wrong places,” recalled McGregor.
“Because I didn’t have a safe place to clear space, I kept things bottled up inside.”
Fortunately, he discovered Christ and the encounter changed his life. He said, “I always knew I wanted better, but just never knew how to accomplish that goal until I was introduced to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at the age of 25 and from there, I had a change of heart and mind.”
McGregor’s faith in God motivated him to establish iMentor Global in 2010, an organization/ ministry designed to equip youth to make positive life choices and become responsible and productive members of the community.
Currently, iMentor Global offers three programs, Fades for Grades, Polish, and Hoops for Life.
“Fades for Grades and Polish are ‘disguised’ mentoring programs presented in a Barber Shop and Nail Salon setting. Students receive free haircuts and manicures as they engage in ‘shop talk,’” explained McGregor.
“Hoops for Life allows young men to come together with the common purpose of playing tournament-style basketball in a safe environment, while receiving and engaging in real, raw, and relevant conversations during intermission.”
More than 200 young people participate in the weekly programs held in several schools throughout Los Angeles County. The sessions cover topics such as communication, leadership, critical thinking, anti-bullying, decision-making, goal setting, and personal hygiene, just to name a few.
“Fades for Grades focuses on empowering school-aged males to make positive changes in their lives through mentors who have grown up in similar situations, with the added bonus of leaving the program with fresh fades,” said McGregor.
Source: LA Sentinel