Best-Selling Author | Student Athlete | Motivational Speaker | Philanthropist
Jahkil Naeem Jackson is a 2-time best-selling author, social entrepreneur, student athlete, influencer and founder of Project I Am, a nonprofit organization he created when he was eight years old to build awareness to homelessness. Now 15, Jahkil has already earned a reputation for himself as one of the world’s most influential changemakers. Jahkil has made it his mission to assist those in need who are residing on the street and in shelters.
Summer 2016, he was named a Youth Ambassador for Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, working in communities in the U.S. and abroad to serve those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. Winter 2017, Jahkil became a member of the WE International Youth Council, a movement that exists to make the world a better place. WE Day is also a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. Jahkil was a guest speaker for 2017 and 2018. Fall 2018, Jahkil became the youngest member of the Independent Youth group which empowers today’s youth to become tomorrow’s business leaders and entrepreneurial innovators. Jahkil was named Vice Chairman of the 2019 KidBox Youth Board of Directors, the 2020 Chairman of the Dreams for Kids Youth Executive Board and named one of BET’s 15 under 15.
Most notably, Jahkil was acknowledged as one of three influential people of 2017 by President Barack Obama and the Obama Foundation. Jahkil was also tapped to participate in Disney’s Be Inspired Black History Campaign, Lebron James’ #AlwaysBelieve 2018 campaign, Nike’s Until We All Win & You Can’t Stop Our Voice campaigns and is now a Marvel Super Hero and CNN Hero Young Wonder. Because of his philanthropy, has also partnered with the NBA, Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, Invisalign, as well as Crate & Barrel where he was selected for the Crate & Kids Youth Activist initiative and The Gap retail stores selected Jahkil to kick off the Spring 2021 Nxt Gen Gap ad campaign.
Named a “Social Entrepreneur to look out for” by Forbes, Jahkil has received praise for what he has accomplished so far by several community leaders, influencers and corporations, including Nike, The Gap, Lebron James, CNN and President Barack Obama, who recognized Jahkil as one of 2017’s three influential people, which included an inspirational tweet from Obama’s personal account recognizing Jahkil and Project I Am. Jahkil is a 2022 TedX Presenter, was awarded as a 2019 CNN Hero: Young Wonder and was also featured as one of the exclusive changemakers on Disney’s Marvel Project.
Additionally, Jahkil has spoken to thousands nationally in over 75 schools and organizations, inspiring youth to also be change-makers in their communities. He has had the fortunate opportunity to speak at WE Day, one of the largest global organizations galvanizing youth toward social change. There he spoke in front of over 15,000 Illinois youth. Additionally, Jahkil has been requested by other national organizations such as the NBA, Gatorade, Taco Bell, John Hope Reconciliation Center, Ernst & Young, National Minority Business Economic Forum, Social Enterprise Alliance and Young Entrepreneur Institute at University School to speak to youth and adults about his journey in creating Project I Am and its initiative encouraging youth of all ages to be involved in their communities.
Youth and adults have gravitated and been inspired by the pure passion and authenticity in Jahkil’s delivery and presence. He has the peer to peer influence, while still being an inspiration to those older than him due to his consistent example. He encourages the youth to not let their age be a deterrent when it comes to making the world a better place and encourages them to be changemakers in a way that makes them happy, gives them a sense of purpose and is helpful to others.
Due to the overwhelming demand for guidance, Jahkil created Don’t Wait To Be Great Social Entrepreneurship Workshop Series which brings community service and entrepreneurship together into one program designed to educate and enrich youth using classroom instruction and hands-on activities focused on the importance of philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship has great potential to mobilize youth to engage in efforts to achieve major social objectives, including employment creation, poverty reduction, inclusion and integration.
- Finding Your Passion
- Setting Goals
- Using Your Voice
- Rejecting Ageism
- Helping Your Community
- Being a Positive Influence
- Change Starts With You
In just a few years, Jahkil has led Project I Am’s efforts in raising $400,000 for the unhoused. Jahkil’s efforts have touched 100,000 men, women and children across the world! Along with the help of friends and family, Jahkil has organized distribution of toiletry blessing bags to those in need in Chicago, Los Angeles, Oklahoma, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Virginia, Idaho and more. He has also provided items of support to orphans in Mbabane, Swaziland and Ghana as well as volcano victims in Guatemala, and hurricane survivors in the Bahamas, Florida, Houston and Puerto Rico.
Jahkil is a motivational speaker on a mission to influence kids around the country to get involved in their communities. Since the pandemic, Jahkil’s pivot has allowed him to creatively engage over 1,000 youth from over 80 cities, including youth in London and India, to make and distribute nearly 25,000 blessing bags to those in need. Jahkil plans to continue to join forces with other like-minded youth to lead a life of service, encouraging them to find their passions and make the world a better place.
To encourage others to do their best at whatever they do, Jahkil created Trophies By Naeem, a line of shirts, hoodies and pillows. A portion of the proceeds from Trophies By Naeem goes to support Project I Am.