Though the holidays are over, 15-year-old Remington Youngblood’s spirit of giving — and helping those in need — has not diminished.
In fact, in the last five years, the Lambert High School sophomore has only worked harder to help those in need, by expanding his student-led nonprofit, Change 4 Georgia, or C4G, which he started at age 10.
“We do a lot to help out around our community,” Youngblood said. “We help military veterans, their families, and we have five main initiatives: literacy, homelessness, military, environment and senior citizens. The one we focused on at [Brandywine Elementary] is our literacy initiative, and [in total,] we’ve collected over 215,000 books.”
On Dec. 12, the teen presented 2,000 books to the school, nearly doubling its collection.
Youngblood said he first started the organization in 2011 after being told he was too young to volunteer in many places.
“When we first moved here, I was like, ‘[this is] a new place, a new county, new people — I want to do something to help out,’ just to get involved in the community as soon as we got here,” he said. “I called about 15 different places but because I was 10, they all said age was an issue.
“That was disappointing, but I didn’t want to stop there, so I [said] ‘well if I can’t help out anywhere, I’ll start my own organization where I can help.’”
The determined 10-year-old began by focusing on one initiative.
“When I first started Change 4 Georgia, our main initiative was solely military and for about two years, we only did things to help the military,” he said. “Then after that, we started branching out.”
While the 215,000 books — collected for the literacy initiative — is impressive, he also said C4G has collected thousands of pounds worth of goods, cards and letters to send to troops overseas.
“All of it overall is very successful,” he said. “For our student veterans, we’ve given out several thousand dollars’ worth of scholarships. But my main goal was [never] just military — I wanted students to get involved because that was a big issue I had in trying to find community service opportunities.”
Youngblood’s junior executive board does just that, with his team comprised solely of students.
And, his mother said, Lambert now has a C4G club at the school and various school chapters around the county.
“They have a chapter at Pinecrest [Academy] and South [Forsyth High School]; his organization at Lambert has 130 members, which is huge,” she said. “Teenagers typically don’t do this sort of stuff, so for me, it’s been enlightening to see the compassion these kids are showing to others.
“Kids will do certain things, so I’m glad he has now five areas of service, because some people are really pro-military and some people like to help senior citizens.”
Youngblood, who serves on State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ student advisory council, has also become a consultant for other students on the council, his mother said.
“A lot of the kids in the state council that he’s a part of have started their own initiatives and they’ve contacted him,” she said. “They’ve started their own and that was part of his [goal]: not only wanting to be inclusive of students, but to inspire them to help out.”
For more information on Change4Georgia, visit change4georgia.org/.