Youngin Entrepreneur Reaches Local Kids and Uganda

By Dianne Anderson

At just eight years old, Jeremiah Jones decided to take a hard look at his life’s direction, and change his ways.

Until then, he had been involved with different sports and activities at the encouragement of his father, but he never could quite find his passion. He had another calling.

By age 13, he summed up his journey at a Ted Talks convention in Reno about how he wanted to make an impact and inspire other young ones to be leaders and not followers. As a result, he amassed his own following.

Today, Jones, 21, is a young self-made businessman who started with an idea to brand his life. His clothing line quickly took off. He had watched his dad for years closely behind the scenes in the music industry, where he learned how things worked and how ideas fly.

By elementary and into middle school, he was pushing up in popularity. Most kids wanted Jyoungin.

“It kept climbing when I first initially started the clothing brand, a lot of the parents wanted me to come and tell my story. Different people wanted to donate and asked for a tax ID number, ”he said.

While keeping the business side separate, he established his nonprofit and went heavy on community outreach with hands-on giveaways, holiday toys and turkey drives. He had big backpack giveaways. Everything branched into motivational talks, and mentoring youth through high school, and adults.

Since 2009, his program has rewarded over 100,000 students and athletes.

“We rewarded them in different giveaways with Ipads, school supplies, iPods, stuff to keep them engaged in what they’re doing so they can stay motivated, that I see what you’re doing and stay at it,” he said. “

Outreach in Uganda also took off where he partners with a village for the past two years. He started by sending care packages, and the kids created the Youngins soccer teams, one for boys and one for the girls.

“We reached out to them, the first time we sent them a package, we sent clothes, soccer balls, tennis balls, toys and some funds. We started a great relationship. The kids loved the merch[endise]. They were sending pictures back so we sponsored them every month, ”he said.

Locally, he holds free Youtube 101 workshops at Carmelitos Housing Project in North Long Beach, teaching kids and adults how to think about their own business. He shares his story, and by the end of the four-week course, they learn ways to take their business ideas front and center.

“I’ll be showing them how I capitalized on Youtube, putting my whole story out there, and teaching them how to capture the moment through editing and exposure,” he said.

His Ted Talk is almost half a lifetime ago, but he remembers how he didn’t miss a beat when his microphone fell off, probably because he had rehearsed for months. In the old storefront helping his parents at the Pike in Long Beach, he was only 12 when he was invited to do the talk. He never stopped preparing on weekends, and afternoons.

He was the youngest speaker.

“I wrote my speech, I practiced it every day for nine months until I knew it was like one of my songs,” he said. “They flew us [mom and dad] out to Reno, put us in a hotel. They picked me up in a limo and we had snacks, it was just cool. “

A year later, he took the initiative and sent a red vest from his Youngins clothing line to Colin Kaepernick, who wore it at an event, and his sales blew up.

His music, another of his creative outlets, is relatable. He has four albums out, a couple of singles, but he said his interests are varied and he loves being hands-on with all his projects.

“My latest single is doing well on the radio in various cities and states,” he said. “I would say all and everything I have going on is my passion, really.”

He’s always looking to reach more local partners and volunteers, but he said there are many distractions that drown out positive messages.

“Top distractions, keeping it real, gang banging, drugs, these young ladies prostitution,” he said. “There’s a lot of things going on, but when you go into the schools, there are things you can’t talk about to bring your program into school.”

It’s not that kids his age and peers from middle school and high school have a problem opening up. He said they don’t want to adults about what they’re going through.

“I’m that person they can relate to because I’m not judging them,” he said. “It’s making it personal, talking about different real life things going on in the world, being that person that they can talk to.”

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