He hosts toy and blood drives, helps bring forth supportive services to the unhoused and veterans and visits children with terminal illnesses–all while wearing a superhero costume.  

Yuri Williams. (Courtesy photo)

 Yuri Williams, the founder of A Future Superhero and Friends, was inspired to create the nonprofit after he lost his mother, Lynda C. Hubbard, to cancer in 2009.  

 “I wear that mask to cover up my tears at times because I know these people are going through it. My job and duty while I’m there is to create a special moment,” Williams said. 

 He completed paperwork to make A Future Superhero and Friends an official nonprofit in 2017.  

Williams dressed as Deadpool Ross for art healing with the youth (Courtesy photo)

 Williams grew up watching his mother’s impact on the Los Angeles community. He felt inspired by her powerful and benevolent presence.  

 “My mom was a probation officer right on Crenshaw and Exposition. Before that, she worked at Central Probation Juvenile Hall, and I used to go to work with her on the weekends when she couldn’t find a babysitter,” Williams said. 

 Around seven years old, he recalls the changes he saw his mother make in the lives of the kids she worked with. She was only 5 feet 2 inches tall, but she commanded and received respect from many in the community.   

 Wanting to follow in his mother’s footsteps, Williams became a corrections officer and has been one for 24 years. 

 After his mother passed, Williams said his coworkers gave him 500 hours of bereavement because they knew how close he was to her.   

 Something changed when it was time for Williams to return to work after his grieving period. Before his mother’s passing, he would call her to wake her up in the morning once he arrived to work. That day, he called his mother. After the phone rang multiple times, it went to voicemail because, of course, she was no longer there.  This led him to break down in tears.  

 “I called the job and told them to give me an hour to get myself together. Then for some reason, I picked up the phone and created an Instagram account,” Williams said. 

illiams dressed up as Santalorian in front of a van full of toys for his 50 States tour. (Courtesy photo)

 The first person Williams saw on his Explore page was Officer Tommy Norman, and the second account that popped up was the Hip Hop Trooper. Both men give back to their community in an uplifting way. It resonated with Williams, who did the same.  

 Inspired by these local humanitarians, Williams created A Future Superhero and Friends. He got the idea from his coworkers, who would say he was a hero to the kids he worked with. 

 “When I’m no longer here, another future superhero is probably in the making. I am ‘A Future Superhero,’ and everybody who volunteers are ‘friends,’” Williams said. 

 Williams believes his superhero costume gives people nostalgia from childhood and they can find comfort in him as a distraction. It allows them to build trust, which is very important to Williams.   

“A lot of people give, but they say they’re gonna come back and they don’t. My word is [my] bond with everybody that I meet,” Williams said. 

Brenda Silva, a multi-certified caretaker for people with disabilities, met Williams at his nonprofit’s Super Mario screening event for kids and families with special needs. 

“I truly appreciate it as a mother to a child who uses a wheelchair, that someone would include my daughter’s specific needs to an event,” Silva said. “I still call locations and events to ensure it’s wheelchair accessible. We love attending A Future Superhero’s events because both my children feel welcomed.” 

Williams wears a Star War’s Storm Trooper costume with his daughter Jaedyn.(Courtesy photo) jpg

Williams said he often uses his paychecks to fund his nonprofit and occasionally receives grants. He believes the most challenging part of heading his nonprofit is convincing people to trust the nonprofit enough to donate.  

“I don’t know what else I need to do because I’ve been doing this for so long. Everything is documented on Instagram and on social media. I’ve had big sponsor names, I’ve been on Good Morning, America,”  Williams said.  

 A Future Superhero and Friends is holding a “Backpack 2 School Giveaway” on Aug. 5 at Rancho Cienega Park, 5001 Obama Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. According to the flier, the event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., offering backpacks, food, music, facials,  haircuts, face painting, and other resources.  

 “This day is for all those kids in the community where I come from because I know what it’s like to see other people struggling and also, I just want this to be a day of fun and enjoyment for the community,” Williams said.