Gregory Robert Smith is frank about his brilliance. “I am proud of who I am” says the 11 year old Robert Macon College Sophomore. Gregory started college when he was ten. Child prodigies like Greg are rare enough, but he is truly one of a kind.
It’s because of his mission. It is brilliant, beautiful and terribly, terribly important. Greg believes that violence is the world’s core problem, and that violence toward children is a crisis that needs immediate attention. He challenges us: “what are you going to do right now?” He has assumed for himself a leadership position, and he seems well able to lead us forward on behalf of children everywhere.
He is not only the founder of the United Youth Congress, he is a stirring motivational speaker. (But you need a few books for him to stand on so he can see over the lectern.) “When I look into my heart I see a group of people who have dreams, DREAMS that are being destroyed by violence, illness or neglect. These are the angry abandoned youths; the children left to survive on the streets or in over-crowded orphanages; the children who have witnessed military conflicts and atrocities, or violence in their homes; the children who have never experienced freedom while living under oppressive governments. What about their DREAMS?”
He anticipates that the United Youth Congress Convention will be a summit of a thousand children from around the world. It is being organized for July, 2001. His ambition is to present a platform on children’s rights to the United Nations and to Congress.
?I?ve never come across this and I?ve spent 40 years studying these children,? says Linda Silverman, director of the Gifted Development Center in Denver. ?He?s unique in all the world.?
Maybe so, but the veteran of David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and meetings with Nobel laureates like Desmond Tutu and Betty Williams is also a very normal 11-year old who likes sports and the society of kids in his own age group.
To learn more about Greg and his mission, and find out how you can help, go to his website.
To read the ABC news online story about him, click here.
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