Ball State junior uses speaking talent to 'empower, spark, liberate'

Ball State junior J. Lee speaks to a class about leadership. Lee has been promoting his brand and business, J. Lee Speaks and Associates, since June 2018. J. Lee, Photo Provided.
Ball State junior J. Lee speaks to a class about leadership. Lee has been promoting his brand and business, J. Lee Speaks and Associates, since June 2018. J. Lee, Photo Provided.

From a young age, Ball State junior Jalen Lee has had a gift for speaking. 

“I was put on this Earth to use my voice to impact people’s lives and to empower people,” Lee said. “My goal with speaking is to empower, to spark and to liberate.” 

Today, he is using his gifts to pursue his goals through the business he created, J. Lee Speaks and Associates. 

Lee said his father, Wesley Lee, was his motivation to start on the path he believes he was destined to walk— the path to becoming a motivational speaker. 

His father pushed him to create his first video on Father’s Day, June 17, 2018. The video was one of many in his Set the Tone Sunday series. 

“Once I had the courage to post my first video, it literally took off from there. I started to gain momentum with my videos and content,” said Lee. “At first, I had no idea that my brand J. Lee Speaks would blow up to the point that I’m at now. 

“It was just something I was passionate about. It was something I was gifted at. And it was something that I loved to do. I just wanted to shoot some videos and put them out for social media trying to motivate a couple people.”

Over the course of his journey at Ball State, Lee has been very active on campus with activities such as being an orientation leader, a resident assistant (RA), a board member of the Student Conduct Board, director of Live Entertainment for University Program Board, a prince of Ball State’s 2017 homecoming court and president of Ball State’s Delta Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. 

With every new challenge he takes on or new group he joins, Lee said he acquires new leadership skills and is able to hone in on his unique ability to speak. 

One of Lee’s orientation pupils, Zoe Nunley, said she most likely would not have applied for her job as an RA if it were not for Lee.          

“He told me about how to become an RA,” Nunley said. “He was the first person to pique my interest in the job. His enthusiasm and excitement for the job sparked my interest immediately.” 

While Nunley said she isn’t sure if he remembers her because she was one of 500 orientation students, she said Lee still left a lasting impact on her life. 

Beca Mussatti, hall director of Botsford/Swinford Hall where Lee was a RA, said she was not surprised by Nunley’s story because she has had the opportunity to observe his impact on 57 other Ball State students. 

“Jalen is very good at building relationships one-on-one with people, connecting with them and learning their story,” Mussatti said. “That’s [one reason] why his residents love him, because he did build that one-on-one connection with them and get to know them on a deeper level.”

Since starting J. Lee Speaks and Associates, Lee has hosted 27 events, including “Master U” seminars, “Empower U” workshops and one-on-one coaching. To date, Lee has gained more than 5,000 followers on his Instagram site

“If I can spark the eternal flame to change the world, that would be great…” Lee said. “I will use my voice until I die. I will speak my life into the lifeless.” 

Lee’s next event will be from 4-7 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Little Bethel Crosstown Community Center in Indianapolis, 3279 Winthrop Ave. The workshop, “Breaking Bread,” will include 10 small businesses for people to network with, as well as an open discussion for participants to get entrepreneurial experience.  

Contact Kayla Jackson with comments at


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