Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins entered the world of journalism at the ripe age of 16 years old and won two awards even before reaching college.
Jenkins got his first taste of fame when he wrote an article on the then up and coming R&B group, Destiny’s Child for the Jacksonville Daily News.
“It was a great opportunity and from that experience, I learned how to market myself through the media.”
Because he was young and only a part-time worker for the Daily, the group’s publicist had to contact his journalism teacher for permission to conduct a follow up conference call with the group.
Jenkins said the conference call was so amazing, that he was able to get exclusive rights to do interviews with the group.
“I had the opportunity to learn how to be me, write, establish a team, but now my finances are stable enough to where I can take my visions all of the way,” Jenkins said.
Since then, Jenkins, a renowned and gifted motivational speaker has graced stages across America.
In addition to speaking, Jenkins has mastered a new way to inspire his audience through a combination of comedy, acting, singing and writing.
The Jacksonville, N.C., native is re-releasing his book, “Loving Myself: Diary of a Wounded Soul,” in February.
“I wrote the book at a low point in my life and at that time, I had been on the road for about four years as a motivational speaker and I had no inspiration,” he said. “I basically wanted to connect with people that were also letting emotional relationships interrupt their daily life, career, family, etc. by the time the book was released, I was able to really understand how much I was able to touch my audience with my story.”
The semi-autobiographical book started as a letter to a woman, telling her at that time in his life, he was compromising himself to be with her.
He said by the time he finished writing the letter, it was ten pages, so he decided to create a book about picking up the pieces and loving himself.
Jenkins has other accomplishments including being a columnist for the Herald-Sun in Durham, NC, a public speaker, an announcer and an in-game host.
He said his passion is to better his community and uplift people that he comes in contact with by closing the academic achievement gap among African-American youth.
With this, he has created a thought-provoking curriculum in a workshop for North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction.
“I was living in New Orleans when I began this project, right after I quit my job because I decided that I was going to be a full time motivational speaker,” he said. “I had no idea how I was going to pay my bills and somehow someone from that office got a hold of my business card and wanted to pay me $4,000 to speak at the department.
The kids that I spoke to were kids that had been expelled from school and before they could get back in they had to go through my program. It was really powerful and well received.”
As Jenkins continues to reach heights as someone twice his age, it is from his personal experiences, working in classrooms and in news, that he is able to write relatable and inspiring stories.
He mentioned that his work will in one way or another touch your life and change it with his message.
“My journalism is really the reason why I was able to do all of this. The biggest issue that I think will come to the forefront with the second edition of this book is that I am ready for a bigger stage. And from the business stand point, I am ready as a self-publisher and ready to do more. When it came out the first time, I was 23 years old and a recent college graduate. Now the look is different and the book is different, I am able to do more because I have a budget. I can actually do what I dreamed of doing the first time.”