Build It Forward Spotlight: Jeremy Kelley and The Surprise Gaming PCs

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If we had the time, we’d highlight the generous spirit of the AMD community on a daily basis, because there certainly seem to be enough stories to fill these limitless pages. Last week I wrote about Ian Johansen, someone who’s devoted a ton of time and money to spreading PC gaming cheer all year ’round. Today I get to introduce you to someone else selflessly “building it forward:” Jeremy Kelly, one of our Red Team Plus members who adds elements of surprise and education to many of his PC builds.

I sat here for hours trying to conjure up the best way to frame this particular blog post, and then Jeremy sent me the photos you see on this page. Kids next to their newly built gaming PCs, just exuding pure joy. The images speak for themselves — all that’s left is to give you the awesome backstory.

“#Payitforward or #PositivityThroughGaming are much more then simple social media hashtags to me. From the first moment I was able to help others get into the realm of homebuilt computers or upgrading an aging system I have been hooked,” Jeremy told me during a recent email interview.

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Jeremy is active in his community, and frequently looks for a “local deserving kid” who wants to learn how to build a computer but lacks the financial means to do so (I have to imagine that describes most kids). He’ll tell them “Hey I’m building a computer, want to get some experience so you can build your own some day?”

Once they agree, Jeremy teaches them about the components and how to build a PC from scratch, giving them guidance but letting them do most of the work. Then, to what must be their overwhelming surprise, he lets them walk away with the computer they just assembled.

“It’s my hope that every time they boot that system they get a little rush of pride as it was all their hands that built it.”

90% of the systems Jeremy builds for others are out-of-pocket, and on top of that he frequently contributes parts, assembly help, or just cash so that others in the community can take the baton and create their own Pay It Forward builds.

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I’ll leave you with a touching story from Jeremy in his own words:

“I really want to instill in people that nothing is impossible. For example, one build I did was for a very smart kid who was about 12 years old, and born with only one hand. As we were getting started he made the comment that he had never used a screwdriver before, giving me a slightly defeated look. It caught me off guard, and a quick glance at his Dad confirmed it. I told him ‘Well trust me, you won’t be able to say that after we’re done!’ With a little patience and a few ‘righty-tighty, lefty-loosey’ reminders he did a fantastic job. Being able to add simple skills to the lesson just adds to the satisfaction for me. Every build is unique, though, every experience is very special to me, and that experience is why I love the #PayItForward movement.”

People like Jeremy and Ian are inspirations to me and no doubt to hundreds if not thousands of others. I know I’m the marketing guy around here, but I fell in love with this community years before jumping onboard. People like Jeremy and Ian not only facilitated that, but also led me down my own path of “building it forward.”

If there’s someone in our community who’s making the world a better place, let me know. You can reach me personally via Jason.Evangelho@AMD.com, or by talking to me on Twitter.

Happy Holidays, and happy gaming!


Jason Evangelho is Sr. Technical Marketing Specialist for the Radeon Technologies Group at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies, or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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