July 16, 2018

2 friends, 18 states, 4,000 miles—and hundreds of lives touched

The kids behind the Project Kares Coast-to-Coast tour wrap their summer road trip with a youth leadership workshop in Chicago

Jahkil Jackson, 10, and Khloe Thompson, 11, celebrate the final stop on their six-city bus tour where they led service projects and youth leadership workshops.

Editor’s note: The Renewal Project has been following two young change-makers who founded nonprofits that help those who struggle with homelessness. Eleven-year-old Khloe Thompson, founder of Khloe Kares; and 10-year-old Jahkil Jackson, founder of Project I Am, teamed up to form the Project Kares: Coast-to-Coast tour. Jahkil and Khloe are on a journey across the U.S. to provide homeless shelters with care packages and to teach leadership workshops to kids.

They kicked off the tour on July 7 in Los Angeles, where they joined volunteers and packed 120 bags for homeless individuals that were filled with necessities like shampoo and soap. They also made stops in Las Vegas, Atlanta, New York City, and Washington, D.C. This journal entry highlights their final stop—and Jahkil’s hometown—Chicago. See all of their journal entries here.

CHICAGO—It’s the end of a long journey, but we finally made it to our last stop. We arrived very early and it was raining, but by 11 it let up. Thank goodness.

Our last leadership workshop was amazing. We had smaller groups work on business plans, so I worked with one and Jahkil worked with another.

My group had the idea of launching a clothing line called Confidence Fashion Association so kids can have confidence in the clothing they wear and in themselves. There would be affordable options that looked trendy. Jahkil’s group came up with a YouTube channel called “2,4,6” that offered stations for kids of all ages who can tune in to different shows and not have to leave that page. Both ideas were really good.

Then we stuffed over 250 blessing bags and took them down to a shelter in Chicago. Lastly we had our wrap party at a really cool skating rink.

This trip has been amazing. Jahkil and I are just two kids trying to make a difference and we want to inspire other kids to make a difference too. There are so many ways to be a change-maker. It all starts with a plan.

My favorite part about this trip was hanging out with Jahkil, experiencing New York City, and visiting the Nickelodeon headquarters. It’s hard to pick just one moment that was my favorite because it was all so great. The Project Kares Coast-to-Coast tour finally comes to an end. Who knows, you might see us again doing this in other cities.

Project Kares by the numbers:

5: Nonprofits visited.

18: States the Project Kares bus passed through. (We played rock-paper-scissors was played in every state.)

120: Kids who attended our leadership workshops.

600: Blessing bags packed for homeless individuals.

4,000: Miles logged on the six-city tour.

100: Number of times we sang the chicken nugget song.

Lost count: Multiple nosebleeds, allergies, and asthma flare ups.

16: Average hours slept per person on the entire trip (according to Jahkil’s mom)!

Khloe Thompson and Jahkil Naeem Jackson

Khloe Thompson started her nonprofit Khloe Kares to help homeless individuals in her Long Beach, California, community.

Jahkil Naeem Jackson is the founder of Project I Am, a Chicago-based nonprofit that helps homeless individuals.