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Meet Jamie Mayes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jamie Mayes.

Jamie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started my journey when I was fifteen years old. I was encouraged to enter a public speaking contest by a school sponsor who knew I had a passion for writing. After my first competitive speaking experience, I knew I had a gift, and I knew God had called me to share my work with others. Following high school, I enrolled at LSU, where I earned my degree in English. I eventually started teaching high school English and went on to earn my master’s degree from ULM and my educational specialist degree from Northcentral University. In 2011, I began my journey as an author when I published my first book. Since then, I have authored seven books, including three collections of poetry, a collection of short stories, two novels, and a cookbook co-authored with my five-year-old son. Over the past ten years, I have spoken at over two hundred events with the mission to share enlightenment and empowerment with audiences. Two years ago, I launched Jamie Mayes Educational Consulting & Literacy Services, LLC., where my mission is to bridge the gap between parents, students, and the community.

The journey has required a lot of training, school, and hard work. It has demanded many long nights and financial investments. However, the journey has been worth it, and I have no regrets for any of the sacrifices I have made. If you dream big, you must be willing to put in “big” work. I know it will be pay off, and I am enjoying every day that I work within my calling.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This journey has not been comfortable. When I became a published author, I struggled to manage traveling to promote my books and working as a teacher. Quite often, I was exhausted, but I was determined to move my career forward. Managing a schedule as a speaker and teacher while enrolled in school was also challenging. There were many times I had to decline offers to speak and travel to fulfill my responsibilities as an educator. However, the lessons I shared with my students also became valuable tools I have used to help schools and lead literacy and writing workshops. My students were my motivation to start my company.

One of the greatest struggles has also been making the necessary financial investments to continue my education and build my brand. As an educator and single parent, I’ve had to make many sacrifices to help move my company forward. At times, these struggles also affected my motivation to keep going. Despite the challenges, I have always regained my composure and maintained my passion for my calling.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I work to help improve student literacy, provide workshops that promote positive emotional and mental health support for educators, and coach parents to advocate and engage with schools regarding their children’s education. My specialization is increasing school performance scores and ELA testing scores. I can help schools improve student performance, build positive parent and teacher relationships, and proactively manage student behavior using the methods I developed in my classroom.

Writing allows me to tap into my passion and creativity. I have always admired the words of the great Toni Morrison who said, “If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must write it.” I hope to one day be pictured alongside those authors I have admired so much; I know it takes a lot of work, but I am committed to the process.

I am most proud of my work as an author. It gives me the chance to engage with audiences in a very comfortable and authentic way. It allows me to exchange information through a more natural approach and to connect with young and old audiences. Accepting my call at a young age has allowed me to grow and evolve in how I see the world and how I aim to connect with my readers and listeners. I also think my experiences as a black woman and educator set me apart from others.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I live a life of faith, so I do not believe anything has happened by luck. I have sought God for my purpose, and He has opened doors. While I have had to grow in patience and learn many lessons, the journey has been worth it. The more I have increased my faith, the more I have been blessed.

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Image Credit:
Photo by Bernadine Mayes of Mirror Image Photography (1st picture), Photo by Photo-gen-ic (Mommy and son picture)

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