“Here’s my business card,” Remington Youngblood said after greeting us with a firm handshake. He took a seat by the fire and told us about himself. He likes to water ski. He founded a nonprofit a little over a year ago. An extra-credit assignment should help him clinch an A in math class.
Remington is 11. Eleven.
The Duluth sixth grader was looking for community service opportunities after his family relocated from California, without a lot of luck.
“I was too young,” he said. “I was a liability; soup cans might fall on my head.”
Remington was undeterred. When he won an essay contest last year, he poured the earnings into a charity of his own.
“I got $25,” he said. “If I was like most kids I would have spent in on video games. Instead I opened a Chase bank account for Change4Georgia.”
The organization, registered with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, aids troops and veterans and their families. The group has collected items for active military personnel serving abroad, and has adopted veterans who need help now.
“I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Youngblood and their awesome son Remington for adopting me and my son for Christmas,” reads a handwritten letter from a veteran posted on the Change4Georgia Facebook page. “My heart is full of joy knowing that there are people who do care and show appreciation for the service rendered to our country.”
Remington beams at such success stories.
“We are serving those who are serving us,” he said. “It’s a good feeling that you’re giving instead of getting.”
Photos on the Change4Georgia Facebook page show Remington speaking at public events and posing with veterans and public officials including State Sens. Butch Miller and Jack Murphy, State Rep. Mark Hamilton and Gainesville State College President Randy Pierce.
Remington’s parents, Chris and Rebecca Youngblood, credit early learning for their son’s extraordinary poise.
“I read every book in the library to this child,” Rebecca Youngblood said. “We’d go to the library and seriously, we’d check out 100 books.”
Chris Youngblood, a UPS executive, noted that Remington is still very much an 11-year-old.
“Sometimes he comes up to me and says, ‘Dad I just want to go be a kid,’” he said.
Despite his age Remington has attracted a legion of supporters, including Emmy-winning television host Aurea McGarry, who met him when someone nominated him to be honored at her “Live Your Legacy” event in September. She’s also featured in photos on the Change4Georgia Facebook page, participating in toy and clothing drives to benefit veterans.
“Anything I can do for him, I will,” she said. “When he spoke on my stage, every mouth dropped open. He’s like a little Zig Ziglar. He lights up the room. He’s so precious and positive and mature. You look at him and say, ‘Wow, I’m so glad to have met him.’ ”
Forsyth County school board member Kristin Morrissey met Remington about a year ago, when she heard him give a speech at his school about being proud to be an American. He later spoke at a school board meeting.
“Remington’s maturity, passion and spirit of patriotism for our country and our soldiers was truly inspiring,” Morrissey said. “Remington Youngblood is a shining example of what the youth of our country can do and that leadership can be demonstrated from a very young age. We in Forsyth County are proud of his dedication to our soldiers and hope others follow in his footsteps.”