Where shall I start? I’m Jamie, a mentor for teen girls. I have three cool little kids, a husband whom I adore, and big dreams I’m working to accomplish. Since about 1999 I’ve been dedicated to positively impacting the lives of young people. I started as a high school cheer coach, and then spent 8 years teaching business courses at my alma mater. I liked teaching, but I missed the joy and satisfaction of being a coach and a mentor. It’s been almost 15 years since I last coached cheer, and I still have close relationships with many of the girls from my squad. That is what motivates me… getting to know young women and making a positive impact on their lives.
In 2010, while eating an average school lunch, I googled 4 words that would change my life, “mentor for teen girls.” Those words led me to find a woman name Tami Walsh who runs a coaches training program called Teen Wisdom, Inc. After completing my training with Tami, I opened up a small, private coaching practice in Bellingham, WA. Fast forward five years, and my practice is thriving. Every day that I go to work, I get to make a difference in the life a girl. Pretty great, right?
On a personal note, my late teens and early twenties were ROUGH, I didn’t have anyone that I felt I could talk to. I had a great family, but I wasn’t in a place where I could tell them what was going on, so I chose to keep it all to myself. I obviously survived on my own, and you would too, but it is so much nicer to have someone to talk to. No judgment, just a caring ear to listen to your story and help you make a plan for your future. Trust me, it can make all the difference in the world.
“Be the person you needed when you were younger.”
When I was a teenager, I needed someone to listen to me without judgement, and to offer wisdom and advice when my choices weren’t allowing me to reach my full potential. This quote has been a guiding force in my life since 2000. I was just 22 years old, and against my better judgement I said “yes” to becoming a cheerleading coach to twelve teenage girls. Saying yes to this job changed the course of my life. I quickly realized that I found more value and meaning in this part time job than ever had in any other area of my life. My day job as marketing assistant for a local credit union quickly took a back seat to my real job as a mentor to an amazing group of young women. After three years of coaching cheer, I knew I would spend the rest of my years working with teenagers. I quit my job at the credit union and went back to school to become a teacher. In 2005 I landed my dream job at my alma matter, Bellingham High School, as a business and marketing teacher. I loved teaching for many years, but as my class sizes grew and standardized testing took over, I knew it was time for me to move on.
Being a life coach for teens is a dream. I play a part in helping them realize their full potential, and in return, they change the world.
In 2010, I became a certified life coach for teens through Teen Wisdom, Inc. and every day since has been an adventure. I went from running a small, private practice, to opening an education-based teen organization in my hometown of Bellingham, WA called Anchor Society. In addition to my private coaching, I now have my own classroom of sorts running groups and summer programs for teenagers.
“The most important thing I tell my clients during our first session is that I feel lucky to be here, sitting with them, and it is an honor to do the work I do. Being a life coach for teens gives my life a greater purpose. It turns out that the hardships I experienced as a teen have allow me to truly make a difference in the lives of my clients. Our past experiences, good and bad, shape us into who we are. It is not my intention to keep my clients from experiencing life, but rather be there for them to celebrate their successes and learn from mistakes. Coaching provides teens a safe place to be heard without judgment. It is my job as a life coach to help them reflect on their decisions, make changes when necessary, and above all, be happy. Every one of my clients has what it takes to be successful, sometimes they just need a little help believing it.”