‘Live A Good Story’: Family of Union County longboard influencer launches foundation to honor late son
UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Josh Neuman’s parents, Chris and Kristin Neuman, describe their son as not only a dreamer, but a doer.
Josh grew up in the town of Marvin in Union County and developed a passion for longboarding at an early age. His experiences riding down hills in his neighborhood are well-documented on his YouTube channel.
“His brother introduced him to a longboard and from that moment on, it never stopped,” Kristin Neuman explained in a recent interview with WBTV.
She explained that her son fell in love with the activity, pushing himself to get better and better. Videos of Josh show the young man riding down hills in his neighborhood, often attempting tricks.
“He longboarded every single day. He learned how to video himself, and he realized he could be sponsored so within six months he had his first sponsor. He was very driven,” elaborated Kristin Neuman.
Josh’s drive seemed to know no limits. His parents explained that through high school and into college Josh became more than just a skateboarder. He became a thrill-seeker and world traveler, but his parents noted that Josh was not driven by the allure of social media fame and the desire for sponsorship dollars, but by the constant pursuit of passion and a willingness to inspire.
Videos show Josh longboarding through locations all over the world, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Austrian Alps. His stunts also evolved. His parents said that a clip of Josh swinging from a hot air balloon was his first video to go viral.
“I’m envious of it all. That’s what I wanted to do all the time,” said Chris Neuman.
Kristin Neuman joked about her son’s extreme excursions, fondly recalling different trips Josh had taken.
“Looking at them now, I was like, ‘What was I thinking?’, but he was covered in a lot of prayer. I will tell you that,” she said with a smile.
At age 19 Josh founded his first LLC, NeuVision Media. The company was devoted to videography and photography. His YouTube and social media following was taking off, but he remained grounded. His parents said that after selling clothing through his new company, he funded the construction of a new well in Uganda.
“Josh ultimately just believed in the power of one. He believed one person could make a difference,” said Kristin Neuman. “I would just say about him that he really believed that one person could make a difference and he would try to inspire other people to do the same.”
In February of this year, the unthinkable happened. Josh was one of four people killed in a plane crash in Iceland.
Josh’s parents said they are still dealing with grief.
“It’s just hard to explain. We’re almost eight months into it and it really hasn’t changed much since he died. We’re going through phases where we have good days and bad days,” said Chris Neuman.
While Josh is no longer physically with his family, friends, and followers around the world, his sprit and message are alive and well. His parents emphasized that there was a lot more to Josh than his awe-inspiring stunts.
“His sensitivity was geared towards just people, like he was super-sensitive to needs of other people. He would recognize it very easily,” noted Kristin Neuman.
Immediately after Josh’s death, his family made plans to launch a charitable organization in his honor. The Josh Neuman Foundation was born.
The family is asking people to ‘live like Josh’. They’re aiming to provide clean water, food, and shelter to those in need.
“Josh was a very caring person. He truly cared about people and cared about the world and we wanted to just carry that legacy of charity and service and inspiration forward,” explained Chris Neuman.
Josh’s father said the other major point they want people to embrace is Josh’s message to ‘live a good story’.
“We want them to be inspired,” said Chris Neuman. “The charity is about giving people the things that they need, but I think the bigger picture is to inspire a generation of people to live like that to care, to help other people and really to live a good story.”
To learn more about the Josh Neuman Foundation, click here.
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