Fifteen-year-old Jaylen Bledsoe is not your average high school sophomore. Not only is he a millionaire, but he’s the CEO of his own tech company, Bledsoe Technologies.
The Hazelwood, Mo. native started the company, which specializes in web design and other IT services, when he was just 13 far old. According to reports, the global enterprise now worth around $3.5 million.
Jaylen is not just a business man; he serves as the president of the Student Council and the Parent Teacher Student Association at Hazelwood West High School. He’s also a national speaker for a local youth entrepreneurship nonprofit called Independent Youth.
During an interview with Fox 2, Jaylen said he encourages all young entrepreneurs to “take risks.”
“As a minor, there’s nothing you can do that will shoot you down for too long. You can always jump back up and keep going,” he said.
On his blog, he added: “In light of recent media attention, I’ve been so busy speaking on the company and not thanking someone who should be thanked. I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior. Without him, I would be no where. He’s given me the blessing to have the company and profound success, but to also be a motivation to others.”
“I started my company at 12 years old, with little to no money, and look at where we are today,” he continued. “Often, my peers will say that I’m so lucky to do what I do, or how they wish they could do the same. Every time that I’ve heard this phrase, I get a sense of pride, knowing that I’ve had the opportunity to motive my peers.”
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Check Out This Gallery
1. Before They Were Famous!
Yes, like the rest of us, celebs took those awkward yearbook photos too! Click through to see what some of your favorites looked like and what they were up to before they made it big.
2. 50 Cent
Born and raised in New York, the rapper attended Andrew Jackson High School before he was busted by school metal detectors at 16. An arrested followed and he ended up confessing to his grandmother that he was selling drugs. Afterwards, the rapper was sent to correctional boot camp. Following his release, he adopted the nickname "50 Cent" as a metaphor for "change."
The Queen Bey grew up performing, but in the middle of setting the foundation for the superstar she is today she attended High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and later Alief Elsik High School, in Houston, TX. Destiny's Child began recording their debut album when she was just 15. How's that for extra curricular activities!?
The rapper -- whose real name is Marshall Mathers -- dropped out of Lincoln High School in Detroit at age 17 after spending three years in ninth grade due to truancy and poor grades. He started rapping with a school friend at age 14 and stayed on the high school scene after he dropped out, to testing out his freestyles on his peers.
Can you believe this is Prince!? The singer looked a lot different in his days of attending Minneapolis's Central High School, but he still knew how to jam. During high school he created a band with friends called Grand Central that performed at clubs and parties in the area (Prince was on drums and guitar). He also played for the school basketball team.
Born Stacy Ann Ferguson, the California-born pop singer attended Mesa Robles Middle School and Glen A. Wilson High School. She was a cheerleader, straight-A student and spelling bee champion, as well as a Girl Scout. She also started doing voiceover work and starred in Kids Incorporated in her younger years, where she was the longest running cast member appearing for six out of nine seasons.
7. Snoop Dogg
Snoop attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School and his famous classmate Cameron Diaz has shed light on what he was like during that time. "He was a year older than me....I remember him, he was very tall and skinny. He wore lots of ponytails," the actress told Us Weekly, adding, "I'm pretty sure I bought weed from him."
8. Mariah Carey
Mariah kicked off her singer-songwriter career while attending Harborfields High School in Greenlawn, New York by writing poems and adding melodies to them. She later teamed up with a friend, Gavin Christopher, and the duo wrote songs in the basement of his father's store senior year, including material that would later be on her demo.
Madonna later attended Rochester Adams High School where she became a straight-A student and a member of the cheerleading squad. After graduating, she received a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan, but her heart was in dance so in 1978, she dropped out of college and relocated to New York City to pursue her dreams.