I never would have thought my life would have turned out the way it has so far. I worked hard, but it wasn’t my work ethic that opened endless doors of opportunities and relationships, it was never losing faith in God and myself and taking risks no matter how scared I was. This is my story.
I always knew I wanted to be in front of the camera since I was a child. Anytime someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said “on t.v.” This is all I ever wanted to do and the only thing I ever pursued since I was in high school. This was my purpose.
I kick started my career by teaching myself how to start a blog and YouTube channel in 2009. Both platforms started with inspiration, in which my first video I said I wanted to work for The Chicago Bulls and meet Oprah – Within one year, both of those became a reality. This is when I knew you could achieve anything in life, and be careful what you wish for because it can happen.
I was a part of Oprah’s “No Phone Zone” campaign in 2010 where I demonstrated the dangers of texting and driving. Following the taping, I told Oprah I wanted to be the next her, just the Filipino version. Oprah’s response was one of the many things that motivated me to keep going until I achieved everything I ever wanted.
“Jen, the next me will be you, just keep doing what you’re doing because someone needs to be that voice.”
Later that year, I became the first correspondent for GowhereHipHop, interned for NBC Chicago and was the first production intern and youngest person in front office for The Chicago Bulls – BullsTV.
When I wasn’t doing interviews or intern duties, I was taking classes at Columbia College Chicago and obtained my Bachelor of Art’s Degree in Journalism. After graduation, I became a correspondent for one of the biggest hip-hop blogs, HotNewHipHop (HNHH). A few months after that, I left the only home I knew and drove to Los Angeles with no plan or full-time job lined up in 2012 at only 22-years-old. I had to go because my heart knew there was more for me and ended up being the best decision I’ve ever made.
The first week of living in Los Angeles, I was promoted as the Senior Correspondent and Communications Manager for HNHH which I held for 2 years and started the next chapter of my life as a Production Manager/Correspondent for DJ Skee’s SkeeTV in January 2014.
Going on 8 years of being in the industry, I’ve conducted over 200 celebrity interviews, landed TV appearances on Diddy’s Revolt, SKEE Live and the Nellyville Season Finale on BET.
In 2016, I took my career and connections the corporate route, to build and launch an app, LiVideo in which Lil Wayne was our partner. I learned so much about business, but most importantly, I learned so much about myself and knew the corporate route was not for me – the security of a check killed my creativity and I had to pick between the check and my dreams.
I chose my dreams in August 2016 and became completely independent, determined to build my brand. In 2017, I signed a partnership with Complex Media and started my company, DeLeon Direction, which focuses on consulting, production, influencer marketing and talent booking.
Today I am focused on curating content from my interviews, inspirational videos on YouTube, blogs and my podcast, continually growing DeLeon Direction and building my brand to inspire and change the world through my story, personality, values and faith in God.