Jahkil Jackson, 15, understands how blessed he is to have a family that speaks life into him.
Since he was a young child, he was told that he was capable of doing anything—he took that to heart. He is a two-time published author, actor, content creator, student-athlete, and non-profit leader. Now, he’s a social entrepreneur with a national brand partnership.
This year, Crate & Barrel joined forces with Jackson to release a limited edition pillow collection, exclusively available on their website. A portion of the proceeds from this collection will be donated to Jackson’s organization, Project I Am in support of their mission to help unhoused individuals across the country. To date, he has raised more than $200,00 to provide care packages, dubbed Blessings Bags, to those in need. His efforts have garnered national attention and even a nod from Barack Obama.
“It was one of the best moments of my life,” Jackson told ESSENCE, recounting the moment he met the former POTUS at an event. “This Crate & Barrel opportunity comes pretty close to that too, to be honest. It’s a big deal.”
What’s an even bigger deal is that the young teen was the one who brokered the deal with the major retailer.
“I hosted a blessing bag stuffing at their headquarters in my hometown, Chicago and when I was there, at the end of my speech, I actually made a pitch for the Power Pillows to be in their stores,” he explained to ESSENCE. “And Janet Hayes, the CEO, happened to be there, and she was in tears after I spoke. It was really surprising. She said that she would figure out how to make it happen, and one year later, here we are.”
His Power Pillows don affirming phrases like “I Am Inspirational,” which is something he tries to instill in the people he works alongside at his organization.
“I’ve been incredibly blessed and I just want to spread that wherever I go and this partnership is a result of that.”