Michael Daniels


Michael Daniels developed the highly effective and research-supported, "I have, I will, and I see” approach to character development through his own early life experiences.  Michael grew up in the inner-city of Grand Rapids, attended the public schools and learned first-hand how challenging school, work and life can be.Michael tragically lost his mother due to domestic violence when he was five.

He was raised by his grandmother and had limited exposure to others in a professional career.  He saw black people as only bag boys in the grocery store or hustlers on TV, and this shaped how he viewed himself. Like many youth today, Michael struggled in school  failing the third grade and never making positive decisions toward a career. In 7th grade, Michael ran away to live with his father. He experienced bullying throughout his high school years. A short-time later, he suffered another tragic loss when his brother was shot and killed in an incident involving gang violence.

 In his twenties, Michael worked factory jobs. He surrounded himself with a group of positive people who taught him to apply strong character skills to his own life. Ultimately, a friend of his, who was directing Cascade Engineering's nationally-recognized Welfare to Career Program asked Michael to help him launch a youth-support program called "Progressions." In time, Michael was given the opportunity to volunteer and teach Progressions’ courses.

 It quickly became clear that Michael had a calling to connect with, encourage and inspire youth. He taught them to apply the character skills we now know to be so fundamental to success in school, the workplace and the community.

 Drawing from his natural ability to connect with others and build highly effective teams, Michael stepped into the role as Executive Director of Progressions and has since led in this capacity for more than 15 years.