UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) — Josh Neuman’s parents, Chris and Kristin Neuman, describe their son not just as a dreamer, but as a doer.
Josh grew up in the town of Marvin in Union County and developed a passion for longboarding from an early age. His experiences of descending hills in his neighborhood are well documented on his Youtube channel.
“His brother introduced him to a longboard and from then 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 racing down the hills in his neighborhood, often attempting tricks.
“He was longboarding every day. He learned to film himself and he realized that he could be sponsored. In six months he had his first sponsor. He was very motivated,” explained Kristin Neumann.
Josh’s drive seemed to know no bounds. His parents explained that in high school and 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 lure of social media fame and the desire to sponsor dollars, but by the constant pursuit of passion and the will to inspire.
Videos show Josh longboarding around the world, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Austrian Alps. His stunts have also evolved. His parents said a clip of Josh swinging from a hot air balloon was his first video to go viral.
“I’m envious of it all. It’s what I wanted to do all the time,” Chris Neuman said.
Kristin Neuman joked about her son’s extreme excursions, fondly remembering the various trips Josh had taken.
“Looking at them now, I was like, ‘What was I thinking? “But he was showered with a lot of prayers. I’ll tell you,” she said with a smile.
At 19, Josh founded his first LLC, NeuVision Media. The company is dedicated to videography and photography. His following on YouTube and social media was taking off, but he remained entrenched. His parents said that after selling clothes through his new business, he financed the construction of a new well in Uganda.
“Josh ultimately believed in the power of one. He believed one person could make a difference,” Kristin Neuman said. “I would just say of him that he truly believed one person could make a difference and that he would try to inspire others 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 grieving.
“It’s just hard to explain. It’s been almost eight months and it really hasn’t changed much since his death. We go through phases where we have good days and bad days,” Chris Neuman said.
While Josh is no longer physically with his family, friends and followers around the world, his spirit and his message are alive and well. His parents pointed out that there was much more to Josh than his impressive stunts.
“His sensitivity was people-oriented, as he was super sensitive to the needs of others. He would recognize it very easily,” noted Kristin Neuman.
Immediately after Josh’s death, his family planned to start a charity in his honor. The Josh Neuman Foundation was born.
The family asks people to “live like Josh”. They aim 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 just wanted to carry forward that legacy of charity, service and inspiration,” Chris Neuman explained.
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,” Chris Neuman said. “Charity is about giving people the things they need, but I think the main thing is to inspire a generation of people to live like this to care, to help others and to really live a good story. .”
To learn more about the Josh Neuman Foundation, Click here.
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