Titus O'Neil has garnered quite the reputation for being one of the most caring and giving WWE Superstars in history. Titus attributes this to the guidance of some key mentors that intervened during a time where most were ready to discard him as a troubled youth.
In his new book, There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: How I Went from Stereotype to Prototype, Titus attempts to help others who may be going through similar struggles by detailing his journey.
When speaking to CBS, Titus opens up about the exact moment he feels his life turned around and the three key individuals that he considered a mentor throughout his life:
Titus On The Turning Point In His Life:
I was 12 years old. The man was Patrick Monogue. He was the president at the time for the Florida Sheriff’s Boys Ranch, which is where I ended up going right before my 12th birthday to get out of trouble and to hopefully take a turn for the better.
I’d been getting in trouble there too. They were getting ready to kick me off. I had just signed a contract that I wouldn’t get into another fight, and if I did, I understood that I would be sent home. Thirty minutes after that, I ended up getting into a fight with somebody. They had a meeting, and convened the meeting, and pretty much the decision was made that I was going to get sent home.
He called me in the office, and said, “I’m not going to send you home. I know I’m going to upset a lot of people, but I want you to stay here, because I believe that you can turn things around.” Then he asked me, “Why do you think you get into trouble all the time?”
I said, “I don’t know, man. I’m just a bad kid.”
He told me to lift my head up, and he said, “You know, there’s no such thing as a bad kid.”
Titus On Other Mentors:
Another guy named Charles Blalock, who I talked about a little bit in the book as well. Charles Blalock was the Superintendent of Schools in Live Oak, where the Boy’s Ranch was. He took me under his wing as well. He’s actually still alive. He’s actually on his way to Tampa right now to spend the weekend with me, because I have my back-to-school bash here, and he wants to come down and see it in motion.
He loves the fact that I can get 30-plus thousand people in the stadium, and all for a good cause, and giving away thousands and thousands of backpacks, and giving kids physicals and eyeglasses. He’s extremely proud of me.
I’ve only had three guys in life that I would consider father figures to me, Mr. Monogue, Mr. Blalock, and then Pastor Greg Powe, who passed away last year. All three of them were different men, but at the core of them all, they all loved me for who I was, and they wanted to see me be the best me.
Titus On WWE's Charity Outreach:
Our company has done a very, very good job of not only helping bring awareness to various causes and various issues, but I think they’ve also done an extremely good job of partnering with the right people and the right organizations. We have a great partnership with UNICEF now as well. That just opens us up for more opportunities overseas.
Obviously, Special Olympics is a great partnership as well. I used to work at a school that was, before I got into wrestling. I was the dean of students at a school that was for kids with disabilities. And so to be able to now partner and go to Special Olympics events and World Games and things like that, it’s kind of like how everything comes full circle, especially in the world of philanthropy.
You can purchase Titus' book on Amazon, here.