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Leading By Faith How Jaden Rabago Became Gen Z's Role Model


Leading By Faith: How Jaden Rabago Became Gen Z’s Role Model

At just 19 years old, Jaden Rabago has quickly risen to become an influential content creator and social media phenomenon. Originally interested in pursuing a career as a basketball player, his experience creating videos on TikTok has launched him into entertainment stardom. As he explains, it all started as nothing more than an extracurricular activity to fill his time during COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020.

“So for me, I feel like the first couple years I started in 2020, I didn’t look at it as much of a profession, more so I looked at it as a hobby of mine that I found very interesting,” Rabago remarks. With school closed and options for recreation limited, he “saw a lot of people on the app” and decided to give it a try himself, not expecting much to come of it.

But almost immediately, “a couple videos later, they actually ended up doing really good” and he discovered an audience receptive to his content. Receiving “great engagement and great positivity and great feedback” came as a surprise, but also inspired him to consider the possibilities this new pursuit offered.

The overwhelmingly positive response Rabago received from viewers revealed an opportunity to positively influence others. As he explains, “I didn’t expect any of this to happen at all. So when I feel like when I started to see the feedback and that I can make people’s days, I feel like that’s what strived me to to actually try pursuing something and actually try to see where I can go with this career.”

Jaden Rabago found creating content gave him a unique chance to lift people’s spirits. This realization motivated him to devote himself wholeheartedly to building his platform. “I just went on a grind and I just didn’t stop,” he explains. “I kept my faith strong because I felt like I could be successful.”

Leading By Faith: How Jaden Rabago Became Gen Z’s Role Model

Climbing the Social Media Ladder

Reaching 1 million followers on TikTok was a pivotal moment for Jaden Rabago. As he explains, while previous follower growth had been exciting, hitting that 7-figure threshold “kind of grabbed my attention to where I realized that I could actually do something and do something for the better.” Specifically, he felt empowered to leverage his expanding audience to “influence people to do the right thing, and show them that they don’t have to listen to everybody else to fit in.”

Another seminal achievement was receiving a 100,000 subscriber YouTube plaque alongside girlfriend Jalessa. Rabago reflects that the prize unlocked nostalgic feelings, allowing him to realize childhood dreams: “Growing up, I used to watch YouTubers a lot and watch unboxing and seeing people get that plaque.” Attaining a similar marker of success made him feel “younger me would be super proud of who I am today…and what I went through to be where I’m at today.” It created an almost surreal “360 moment” from past viewer to current creator.

For Jaden Rabago, the past year marked the definitive transition of his TikTok venture from hobby to profession. Having actively developed an audience and brand, he feels a responsibility to use that influence intentionally. “If I have been blessed with this opportunity to be able to influence the youth, especially being young myself, I feel like I could help lead them the right direction, especially in times that are going on,” he states with earnest conviction.

Jaden Rabago also hopes to inspire others to pursue their own ambitions. “I want to show kids and show people my age or whatever age that no matter what, as long as you have a dream and keep chasing it, anything is possible.”

Evolving as a Creator and Young Adult

At just 19, Jaden Rabago displays a maturity beyond his years, cognizant of the impact he wields through his platform and striving to affect positive change. Whether intentionally or not, he has become a role model for young people, a position he does not take lightly. 

Over the years, Rabago has evolved his content style, collaborating with different family members and eventually his girlfriend Jalessa. He reflects, “I’ve learned a lot and I’ve gotten different type of content making. So I could say, I don’t know specifically what I’ve missed out on, but I feel like I’ve done a lot of the categories.” This variety of concepts and casting keeps his videos feeling fresh.

However, Rabago shares that in spite of his early success, “I realized that I was still I felt like I was missing something.” It wasn’t until connecting more deeply with his Christian faith that, as he describes, “that void, that missing piece that I didn’t have when I found God, it was filled with.” The profound fulfillment of that spiritual awakening is what he now hopes to help others experience too.

As Rabago explains, incorporating messages of faith in his content stems from a desire to spread more love in the world: “I feel like because I have a platform that he has blessed me with, to show everybody in the world that the same thing can happen to them and they are not alone.”

He wants his audience to know that even in difficult circumstances, “when you find God…that missing piece of you is complete.” Ultimately for Rabago, spotlighting his spiritual journey is about trying “to make the world a better place” and touch people’s lives. While avoiding imposing beliefs, he utilizes his far reach to share a perspective he feels brought him internal peace – and could do the same for others.

Aligning Partnerships with Values

Mindful of his young follower demographic, Rabago carefully vets potential collaborations. As he explains, “I have to watch what I put out there because I know how easily it can be for someone to be like, oh, since he does it…I can do it because he has that.”

He feels a duty to set a positive example by promoting values-aligned companies. Even when offered major financial incentives, Rabago states he turns down deals “if they were having me promote something that wouldn’t fit what I would love to promote” because ultimately “I really do believe in trying to help [kids].”

Of his partnerships so far, Rabago particularly enjoyed working with Puma. Having admired the brand since childhood, he felt “special” to be selected as an ambassador. While grateful for every partnership, Puma’s household name status solidified that he had truly made it as an influencer.

For over a year, talent management firm RQ Media has represented Rabago. He raves that they “truly make me feel like I’m at top, like I’m not another one of these creators” by prioritizing his happiness over money. He appreciates that “they work with me to where I’m happy and where I’m more comfortable” rather than pushing him outside his comfort zone. Knowing RQ Media closely reviews potential deals, Rabago feels assured “everything’s safe” and aligned to his personal values.

What’s Next for 2024 and Beyond

Looking ahead, Rabago aims to leverage his platform beyond just social media fame. He shares, “there’s only so long that I want to be on social media, doing this and that for.” Alongside girlfriend Jalessa, Rabago has been working to launch a faith-based clothing line. As he explains, “God is who got us up from the bottom…so we feel like that’s the foundation.” By spreading “the Word of God through clothing,” he hopes to enact positive change.


Can’t believe she really made that🤣😭

♬ original sound – Jaden

For those looking to follow a similar path, Rabago stresses that “consistency is key.” He acknowledges that the grind can be exhausting at times: “you could feel like giving up.” However, he urges creators to push through those moments of doubt because “you could be right there from your next viral video and you don’t know.” Remaining diligent and persevering through challenges is imperative.

Beyond persistence, Rabago emphasizes the importance of believing in your own capabilities. “You are who you say you are, and you can become what you believe you can become,” he advises. Even when comparing yourself to top stars, “they’re literally just like you.” At the end of the day, Rabago underscores that “there’s no trick, there’s no anything. It’s just the belief in yourself.” With self-confidence and relentless drive, he firmly believes anyone can achieve their creative aspirations.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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