You might know her voice from the HOT 97 airwaves, but off-air, radio personality and Brooklyn-native Jennifer Le, also known as Jen From BK, is using her platform to bring the next generation of women and youth creatives into the spotlight.

In 2018, Le launched Next Jeneration, a female-led film and television production firm based in Brooklyn, which she proudly said, “was a reality built on the faith and courage to realize a dream, to be creative.” With the company, she is setting out to diversify the media stratosphere by employing women and young people from communities who challenge boundaries and stereotypes with unique and imaginative story-telling.

Since its launch, Next Jeneration has garnered wide attention. Aside from in-house productions, Le and her team also offer a variety of production services for clients like MTV and NY Fashion Week. And last year, the company won Best Film Production at the Girls Impact The World Film Festival for the documentary “Who Is JENBKLYN.”

“I hate talking about myself,” said Le, humbled by the award. “But as I’m more in the spotlight, I’m learning that my story can inspire others. Still, it was mind-blowing: There were 2000 documentaries on politicians, community leaders, entertainment artists from around the world. It just shows that ‘sky’s the limit,’ as Biggie said.”

Passionate about uplifting women and youth from diverse backgrounds, Le makes time to volunteer with the Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy in Bedford Stuyvesant, an all-girl high school founded on the mission to cultivate the next generation of women leaders, and Apex For Youth, an NYC-based mentorship program that pairs underserved Asian youth with professionals.

As an Asian American, the cause is close to her heart, also because most people don’t pay attention to the needs of young Asian Americans growing up in underserved communities, she said.

Le is used to a busy full schedule, but this time of the year, she’s particularly jam-packed helping organize HOT 97’s Summer Jam.

Although the annual hip-hop fest takes place in East Rutherford, she’s proud to represent Brooklyn and excited about local talents like Flatbush rapper Casanova, who will be on the bill just like the bigger acts Cardi B and Meek Mill.

“And unless you’re in the building, you never know who’s going to end up on the stage,” Le teased.

Hot 97’s Summer Jam returns on June 2, to East Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.  

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Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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