Positivity brings you positive energy and good karma; don’t be the person always having your hand out be the person with the giving hand. Don’t look for anything in return come from the heart and what you get in return will be the gas that fuels your heart to keep giving and going. We are here on earth to help, uplift and love period. Your positive impact could make someone’s day or even save someone life. Once you feel the glow from your positive impact you will not want to stop being an example for the next group of youngsters.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Yuri Williams.
Yuri is a South Central native who followed his mothers footsteps and has been a Peace Officer for the Probation Department in a mental health unit for 20 years. After the passing of his mother he created the non-profit AfutureSuperHero And Friends. Yuri is very passionate about providing services for those in need from children, ill children, disabled, homeless, veterans, low income, animals and anyone in need. His heart for helping others is not just during Holidays, he is trying to make a difference everyday. He is a well rounded individual who lives with one goal and that is to share love and compassion to those in need in his community or a city near you.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit how you grew up?
Myname is Yuri Williams and I was born in raised in South Central Los Angeles, by my mother Lynda C. Hubbard who taught me how to be street smart as well as educated. Growing up during these times a lot my friends didn’t make it to their eighteen birthday. As a kid my mother stayed on me but during high school years I touched the water of hanging with the wrong crowd. The people I hung with told me Yuri your better then this and didn’t want me to be part of the problem. I look back now and thank god for being able to learn from this because I probably wouldn’t be here today.
You are currently leading a social impact organization. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?
My nonprofit organization AFutureSuperhero And Friends was formed to help uplift the Forgotten people such as veterans, seniors, elderly, homeless, ill children, disabled and those with low income, mentally disabled and even animals. We also use our Art Healing program to let the above create their own masterpieces which helps them free their mind thru our healing workshop. In order to make an impact I feel that you must gain people’s trust, a lot of people do things just for money or for the camera. I do things because I know how it feels when someone cares my mother was the best at showing me this and when that happens most of the time that can be a major factor in changing someone’s life.
Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?
My mother inspired me and helped me become passionate about helping other people. I watched here do it from when I was a kid until her last days in 2009 when she loss her eight-year battle with Cancer. For five years I was in a dark tunnel and I had to find a way to escape this pain. That’s when I decide to dress up as Spiderman and visit the homeless and ill children. I saw a lot of organizations doing it but my mom always said “when you do something do it better than but make sure it’s pure”. Thereafter, A Future Superhero And Friends nonprofit was born. I had many people doubt me and say your wasting your time the people don’t want help. I even had people tell me you won’t complete a fifty state tour. Mom always said “when they doubt you do it twice” so I made sure I visited those in need in every state and completed 50 States Blessing Tour twice.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?
The moment occurred after losing my mother to cancer. Watching her not give up suffer the last days and I told her she didn’t have to stay here and fight any longer taught me to respect life, respect those 24 Hours and never give up. The problem with a lot of people is that they are quick to give up if they can’t get to where they want to be quickly. I have learned that you must trust the process and lay out the blue print and then work on building the foundation. You must learn to accept that everyone won’t have the same drive and passion as you, so sometimes you must be able to see and accept it and do it yourself.
Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?
You must first find in your heart what you like to provide to those in need. I don’t recommend you do something you dislike just to please others because your heart won’t be in it. When I started my organization I took a pencil and note pad with me and jotted down every idea that came to mind. I learned early that you can’t be Michael Jordan all the time, you have to find people that fit each role in your project/organization. If you don’t find people with your same or similar drive it will be hard to balance the boat, some people do things for likes and some do it to steal information and start their own mission. It’s a learning experience but look for the people that have the same mind set and goals as you that will make a better organization when u have like minds.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
I think the most interesting story that has happened to me was after losing my mother. I will admit I was a train wreck that nobody knew about, I am pretty good at hiding emotion but losing my mom ate me up. But I can say there are three people who I met thru Instagram that gave me the idea of getting out of my slump.
Officer Tommy Norman, Hip-hop Trooper and Rodney Smith Jr. I will always be in debt with them. I watched Officer Tommy Norman police his neighborhood and also bless them off duty and watching him do this I realized if he is doing this as a peace officer so can I. Then I saw Hip Hop Trooper who dresses as a Red Starwars storm trooper at comic cons that’s when I got the idea to dress up as a superhero and visit ill children in the hospitals. So I combined Tommy Norman & Hip-hop Trooper and came up with the name @afuturesuperhero . At the time I didn’t feel like I had done much as hero so I had to earn my stripes. Then I met my now brother Rodney Smith Jr. this man mows lawns for the disabled, veterans, single moms, and elderly and has traveled all 50 states nine times. I was able to go to all fifty states with Rodney twice and bless people in need. I think if I had not met these three brothers i wouldn’t be doing what I love doing everyday and that’s sharing love and compassion to those in need.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?
I will never forget when I first I started I had business cards made and I went to 20 different schools to ask if I could speak to the kids about bullying. I think two months passed I was think out of twenty schools no one wants my free services? So I called every school and asked if they received my business card and letter. They all said “yes”, but the printing company put the wrong email and phone number on my business cards. I was so excited to be able to get started that I didn’t even check my business cards and they even spelled my last name wrong who spells Williams with three L’s? Moral of the story be sure and read everything first before turning it over because you may miss out on a blessing.
None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?
Yes I would say a lot of my support came from what I call my Instagram/ Facebook family. I remember posting on Instagram on September 11,2015 my vision and never would have thought that complete strangers would see my vision and help me. That year I was able to purchase my first authentic star wars Kylo Ren costume. I had set up a gofund me to raise 3,000 dollars and complete strangers helped me raise the funds years later I now have five different costumes and currently trying to raise funds for The Mandalorian costume. I will admit I never thought complete strangers from all over the world would help me plant the seed and help those in need. Their were people who I grew up with to this day look at my page to see me climbing the mountain but wont even cheer me on, and good people that’s sometimes the motivation you need to keep going.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
I remember there was a homeless veteran who I gave my business card and told him to call me if he ever needed anything. He called me at 5am one morning and this was my first time ever getting a call back. I was so excited because I couldn’t believe he reached out for help all he wanted was food and clothes. I posted the text message on my Instagram page and the people ran to help this man. He even ended up getting housing which even put the Icing on the cake. That’s when I knew I could make an impact in my community after my community I started hitting other cities. After that I started hitting other cities in California and after that I hit all 50 States not once but twice. My future goal will be to visit and uplift people in all 7 continents. I think I may be the first person to visit 50 States as Spiderman and another 50 States as Deadpool.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve? Yes
- Donate your time- I know times are difficult but sometimes the best thing you can do is volunteer and get involved. Find a mission you believe in and reach out and help you never know how many lives you could possibly change.
- Making a small donation- being a small nonprofit we rely on individual and corporate donations to keep the mission going. If you go out to a nonprofit event and enjoy it be sure and share it on your social media page or tell a friend this will help the nonprofit in the long run. Even by joining a Patreon account and donating a single dollar monthly can help an organization.
- Spreading the word-If you feel like our mission is powerful and doing enough to help those in need please tell a friend. I want to be able to reach as many people as I can but I need people to share our mission so we can guide you out of the dark tunnel.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- People will not believe in your dreams. Example: 50 states Tour- people told me you can’t do that you won’t get the funds, nobody will support you. Well let’s say I have completed 50 states tour twice once for the non-believers and a second time for the people to be shocked a second time. Someone will believe in you just keep doing the work and let it speak for itself.
- Help those in need at all cost- everyone will always need some help so reach out and get involved.
- Find that need- there are many of the same things out there try and find out what’s really needed and try and change and make it better.
- Don’t be upset when you don’t get what you wanted right away. I have done over 100 different events and sometimes I don’t get the volunteers or crowd turn out that I expected. I have learned to just work with what you have and give it your best, if you can get 1 person to come out then make sure you give that 1 person the best day of their life.
- Don’t let rejection stop your drive. When I started I thought you get a nonprofit and blessing would just pour in, but it didn’t come like that. A lot of calling companies, writing and a lot of hard work has to be done to gain people’s trust. I was denied 25 times once in one day I was mad for about five minutes then I smiled because I guess helping over 10,000+ people isn’t enough so I will keep going until they know my name.
If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
Positivity brings you positive energy and good karma; don’t be the person always having your hand out be the person with the giving hand. Don’t look for anything in return come from the heart and what you get in return will be the gas that fuels your heart to keep giving and going. We are here on earth to help, uplift and love period. Your positive impact could make someone’s day or even save someone life. Once you feel the glow from your positive impact you will not want to stop being an example for the next group of youngsters. The young generation must understand the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit, it takes times.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would have to say one of these gentlemen either Will Smith or Denzel Washington. Pursuit of Happyness and Malcolm X are both two of my favorite movies that I have watched over 10 times. Kids at work call me the bootleg version of Will Smith loll. Will just reminds me of myself and I would just pick his brain about what keeps his motor going. Denzel is just a cool guy and I think he is very knowledgeable and I think he would drop some gems, I always look for people I can gain knowledge from and he would for sure offer some great lessons.
How can our readers follow you online?
Facebook- Yuri Williams ,
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!