Jeremy Jones is 20 years old. He’s also a clothing company owner, a motivational speaker who has presented at a TED Talks convention — and head of the nonprofit Jyoungin & Co.
This nonprofit, certified 501(c)(3) when Jones was still a teenager, focuses on academics, athletics and leadership, according to its website, and tries “to encourage young people to excel in all aspects of life”.
And on Saturday, July 31, Jones and her nonprofit will host a backpack and school supply giveaway for up to 500 children at Houghton Skate Park in North Long Beach. The event is the latest expansion of his charity, he said, and could not have happened without a partnership with a local WalMart.
“A few months ago I was speaking about the need for partners to help our mission grow,” Jones said last week. “Next thing I know, Walmart was donating two pallets of school supplies. He was from a site in Anaheim, where Garee, the manager, had heard of us.
Jones is hard not to hear.
He started his own clothing brand when he was 8 years old and started donating the profits. At 13, Jyoungin & Co. was a certified non-profit organization. His brother Ralph and his parents, Edward and Denise, made up the board of directors. He was also a member of the Long Beach Youth Commission, now called the Youth and Family Commission.
“We reached over 100,000 students,” Jones said. “I created a four-week motivational and mentoring course. We don’t just talk, we teach them the trades.
“The goal is not to succumb to peer pressure and be the best you can be,” he added.
Earlier this year, Jones said he wanted to expand his reach and decided to help young people in Kampala, Uganda. Jyoungin & Co. helped form a youth soccer team – also sending 50 soccer balls, as well as donating toys and sports equipment for the whole village.
Back home, Jones brought his motivation and mentorship program to the Carmelitos housing project in North Long Beach. That experience taught him how great the need is here, he said.
Future plans include adding Thanksgiving events and Christmas giveaways. How quickly that happens depends on the level of donations, Jones added.
But first, there is the back-to-school event.
“This is our first school gift,” Jones said. “Thanks to donations, we have plenty of backpacks and school supplies. Vice Mayor Rex Richardson said he would come.
“Now all we need is for 500 children to show up to get the supplies,” he said.
There is no need to register, Jones said. Activities will begin at 10 a.m. The event will include draws for gift cards and other activities.
Houghton Skate Park is at 1170 E. Harding St. To donate: jyoungin.org.