Jamelle is a reformed/retired (with no benefits) high school math teacher. After spending 15 years in education, teaching from a small country school in Northeast Indiana to a school 40 miles from the border in New Mexico with enrollment larger than her hometown; then spending a few years in alternative education… she just couldn’t deny her calling anymore. She started Reason 4 Hope with her friend, with a goal of utilizing Jamelle’s passion for speaking to reach out to others who are struggling. Jamelle uses all of her experiences, her growing up, her past (the good, the bad and the ugly) to relate to others. She has never been afraid of public speaking and truly heard God calling her to speaking for Him in 2007. There is nothing she wants to do more than share the love, forgiveness, and hope she has found in Christ with others.
Adopted at birth, being an awarded athlete and honor student, then turning to partying as a way of dealing with perfectionism and “life’s pressures”; Jamelle’s adolescent and college years are a roller coaster of ups and downs in which she now uses to reach teens. Overcoming a divorce, job loss, and DUI (all as a Christian), are trials she uses to reach adults. Her dynamic personality shine through as she mixes humor and scripture, telling her audiences how she has went from “booze filled to spirit filled”! She is authentic and comfortable with who she is and how God as made her – crazy curly hair and all! Once you have met her, heard her share; you will not soon forget!
You can go to the Reason 4 Hope YOUTUBE channel to hear and see for yourself how she speaks so freely about her past. Her blog offers insights into her heart and her passion to offer hope.
John Deere Girl
I am organic, farm raised, corn fed, and 100% USDA certified—now there are some catch phrases huh? Most of them are true, however. My parents adopted me from birth and raised my brother (also adopted and not my biological brother) and I on a jersey farm (those are the cute, brown-ish cows that give incredible tasting milk). Living in LaGrange, IN—population 2000, give or take a spit, I was a tomboy with a capital “T”. I excelled in school, sports and 4-H (well, kind of. I did have a grand champion Jersey cow a few times. Okay, there was little to no competition, but still.)
I had always dreamed of playing college basketball (what real Hoosier doesn’t?), but I had to succumb to the fact that it was not going to happen after having 2 knee surgeries my senior year. I went to college, graduated from Indiana PURDUE Fort Wayne with a degree in Mathematics, a minor in Psychology and a certification to teach (1995).
I believe it is a falsehood the church puts out there that being a Christian means life is “easy” or “good”. I was raised in the church, went through confirmation, yet totally did the partying/crazy thing. I knew I was screwing up my life and was guilt ridden. Long story short, I accepted Christ in 1995, desperate for the forgiveness and hope that He offers. Yet, even with that, after pursuing coaching and teaching for 3 years, I quit. I gave up…on many things. A lot of things happened (some I caused), and I ran from God–feeling like I did not deserve His forgiveness. BUT HE CHASED ME DOWN!
Moved to New Mexico and started over…with God. He gave me a new job, new friends, new passion for teaching and outreach…but best of all, a new life in Him. In 2002, I got married and in 2004 we felt God calling us to move back to the Midwest. I got back into coaching. We had a kid in February 24, 2005. And I pursued Christ more than ever. It did not take long for me to realize, or actually have my ears and heart open, that public school teaching was not for me. I just had to share the Good News. Spent 1 year running an after school program, then taught at a faith based alternative school.
From 2006-2010 God spoke to me in ways I cannot describe. He did so through devotional time, reading (LOTS OF READING), prayer (LOTS OF PRAYER) and time in His Word. The more scripture I read, the more I wanted to read. I have never been afraid to talk (don’t laugh), what I mean is that public speaking is no big deal, it just comes naturally. During those 4 years, that “gift” grew. I think I can say I truly feel the spirit when I speak or preach. Finally, with encouragement, incredible amounts of support and prayer from my faith family, I stepped out of the boat and decided to truly allow God to use me how He wants.