Jahkil Jackson: Founder of “Project I Am”

By Nonso Nwagbo

Renowned for his massive philanthropy, Jahkil Jackson is the famous “Project I Am” creator. Through the project, Jahkil looks to create awareness for alleviating homelessness in Chicago and beyond.

Even at a very tender age, his benevolence had already drawn the recognition of former U.S. President Obama in 2017. Jahkil also pushes to motivate and influence fellow kids to get more active and helpful in their communities.


Jahkil Jackson was born in 2007 to his American parents Na-Tae Thompson and Jamiel. He was born in Chicago in the state of Illinois, United States.

When he was five years old, Jahkil assisted his aunt in distributing food to the homeless in Chicago. The then little boy was unhappy to find out that people could not afford a home. 

Jahkil Jackson’s mother, Na-Tae’ Thompson, remarked in an interview that little Jahkil developed an unusual sense of responsibility since then. She noted that Jahkil was always eager to find out from them how he could offer help to people.

According to her, it was so much that Jahkil would be mad at them for not being able to give money to anyone on the streets asking for help. Since then, he has become determined to help the homeless in every way he can.

That strong desire later gave birth to Project I Am, his nonprofit organization focused on helping and creating awareness for the homeless. He founded Project I Am at the age of eight.


Having established the Project I Am at just eight, Jakhil Jackson has never looked back on his philanthropy journey.

Through the “Project, I Am,” Jahkil Jackson reaches out to the homeless by distributing Blessing bags. Provided in the blessing bags are diverse materials to help the needy. Such materials include wipes, deodorants, hand sanitizers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, and bottled water, among other things.

Jahkil Jackson is also one of the key workers in Dreams for Kids, a nonprofit organization founded by Tom Tuohy. He met Tuohy, a social entrepreneur, at a Holiday for Hope event organized by Dream For Kids.

From there, he became the youngest-ever student in the YES (Youth Enterprise Solution) program by the Dream For Kids. He has been working with them since then.

Jahkil is also a good tap dancer, breakdancer, and a great lover of basketball.


Jahkil Jackson’s Project I Am distributed their Blessing bags to more than 35,000 persons across different places. He has reached out to the needy in Chicago, Oklahoma, Washington DC, Idaho, Virginia, and Atlanta.

He has also distributed materials to orphans in Swaziland and hurricane survivors in Houston, Florida, and the Bahamas. In the summer of 2016, Jahkil became a Youth Ambassador at Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s top anti-poverty organizations.

He also became a member of the WE International Youth Council in 2017. His most notable achievements came in 2017. President Barack Obama acknowledged him as one of the top three influential people of 2017. 

The same year, he won a national award, the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, as one of the top 25 difference-making young people. In 2018, he became the youngest member of the Independent Youth Group, an organization geared toward youth empowerment. 

Jahkil became the Vice Chairman of the Kidbox Youth Board of Directors in 2019. He was also named the Youth Board President for Dreams for Kids. Jahkil has also been featured in the Black History Campaign by Disney and the #AlwaysBelieve campaign by Lebron James in 2018.

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