Influencer rewarded for his efforts

Photos Courtesy of Generation1st
Najee Jihad, who is also known as ‘Kid Problem,’ receives an award from Generation1st board member Jed Matricaria.

EAST ORANGE — Genration1st, a non-profit organization that champions the aspirations of first-generation college students in the United States, awarded Najee Jihad, aka Kid Problem, for his commitment to making a positive impact on young people.

Kid Problem is a social media influencer operating out of Irvington and Newark.

He is a self-made Big Brother to local youth and is on a mission to address issues impacting generational problems such as drug use, gang violence, illegal activity, poor mental and behavioral health.

Representing Generation1st, Jed Matricaria presented Jihad with the inaugural award and a check for $1,250 to support his efforts in front of his family and closest supporters at The Station at East Orange apartments.

“Najee has created a movement for empowering our youth throughout Newark, Irvington, and East Orange with messages of positivity.” Matricaria said. “We awarded Mr. Jihad not because he is a first-generation college student – he is not – but because his efforts align with our vision to cultivate the right mindset and build life-long skills that will help students we support throughout their life. What Kid Problem is doing will undoubtedly lead to countless children staying on the right path and becoming the first in their families to attend college. His efforts are bigger than one person, he is affecting real change in the community, and we are incredibly proud of him.”

Kid Problem posts videos that draw attention to issues in the communities.

He has more than 58,000 followers on Instagram.

Jihad turned his life around after suffering a gunshot to his face followed by severe depression and subsequent suicide attempts.

“One day I just realized I was waiting around for someone to help me when I was actually the one that needed to help myself,” Jihad said. “And, if no one was going to be a mentor to me, I had to be a mentor for everyone else.”

Generation1st is a tax-exempt non-profit organization serving first generation students, people who are the first in their family to attend college in the United States.
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Below, Jihad is pictured with members of his family.