St. Louis Post Dispatch: Hazelwood teen featured in national TV campaign for business success

Jaylen Bledsoe travels several times a week to meet with his clients. He manages 150 contractors working for him. He speaks to universities and Fortune 500 companies and advises celebrities.

Bledsoe, of Hazelwood, is 17 years old and hasn’t graduated high school yet.

He is one of four kids that cable channel Sprout has chosen nationally to feature during Black History Month.

Jennifer Giddens, vice president of marketing and digital for Sprout, says one of the ideas behind the monthlong campaign was to look at how celebratory figures from history could show their inspiration being reflected in today’s youth.

In the Sprout campaign, Jaylen is paired with entrepreneur John H. Johnson, who used his mother’s furniture as collateral to secure a $500 loan to start the publication Negro Digest. He ultimately became chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing Co. Inc. in Chicago, the largest black-owned publishing and cosmetics company in the world. Jaylen was 12 when he used $100 to start Bledsoe Technologies, an information technology consulting company.


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