Jamie Colleen is a Profession Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Domestic Violence Advocate, and Keynote Speaker.
Born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia on November 2, 1985 to parents Renee and Milton Miller, Jamie was a natural athlete at a young age. As well as a competitive gymnast, Jamie participated in volleyball and track and field. She maintained a regimen that would later become the foundation of her core strength and conditioning.
Jamie, the youngest of 4 siblings, was born with the soul of a fighter. At 19 years of age, Jamie was exposed to Martial Arts. She immediately developed a deep connection to the sport and decided she would then devote her life to her newly found passion.
With 10 plus years of experience under her belt, Jamie is a UFC Contender Series veteran, a former World Champion, and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She still continues to fight today.
Through many years of training as a Martial Artist, Jamie has since taken many different avenues to explore new endeavors. in 2012 Jamie was one of ten among thousands of women selected to spearhead Under Armour Women's new campaign: Redefining the Female Athlete. A proud Brand Ambassador, Jamie learned the fundamentals of leadership and how to apply those tools in her mission to empower others.
In 2013, life for Jamie and her daughter, took a grave turn. They were forced into a situation that landed them at a Domestic Violence Shelter. Ultimately, Jamie was able to turn a negative into a positive. Not only did Jamie and her daughter transition out the shelter, but she is now an Advocate for the very organization that saved their lives. Jamie also volunteers at the shelter where she and her daughter resided, by teaching self defense classes and fitness through the bootcamp program that she created specifically for the shelter.
As a powerful voice and advocate in her community, Jamie also represented Women Against Abuse at a press Conference with the Senator in an effort to pass new legislation for victims of domestic violence and sexual violence. The bill was passed in the winter of 2018.
Eager to rise to new challenges in her life, Jamie has taken on the role as a Professional Speaker, where she recently shared the stage with some of Pennsylvania's most influential Thought Leaders.
Jamie continues to strive to be the best version of herself by testing all limits posible, and setting a positive example for her daughter.
Read the Proof
I was experiencing one of the scariest nights of my life. We were fighting again. I felt a chill run down my spine. I was scared, so I found refuge in the bedroom and locked myself in. I pressed my body against the door and held tightly. Before I knew it, he punched a hole through the door - with so much force that I was cut and blood was dripping from my forehead. I looked down and I couldn't believe my eyes...I had red marks on my pregnant belly.
Each time I was abused, I was robbed of any sense of who I was. I was completely ashamed and hid my truth from people I loved. Until one day, I hit rock bottom. I held my daughter’s hand as we walked into a Domestic Violence shelter for women and children. Years of abuse came crashing down, but I also felt a weight had lifted, which then gave birth to a new outlook. This was my chance build my strength back from a lifetime of abuse.
My exposure to Domestic Violence began at an early age. As a result of that, we were evictied from our home; and my mom, my siblings, and I were forced to live out of a Uhaul and a crammed two bedroom apartment with relatives.
My only outlet was sports. Although I was a popular athlete, I buried the secrets of my home life. I concealed my pain with a brave face as if everything was perfectly fine. The truth was, I was suffering immensely and even contemplated suicide. Ironically enough, after high school, I found myself in abusive relationship. I adopted that same disguise and wore it throughout the six and a half years of abuse that I endured. I created a pretend world to keep myself sane, But the truth was, I was broken; and I was losing myself more and more every day.
In the shelter, I learned the prerequisite for beginning again was forgiveness. I stripped myself of all the bullshit. His way of still controlling me, lied in the bitterness, resentment, and blame that was harboring inside. I finally let it go. I was NOT a victim. I SURVIVED. I took responsibility for my life and my daughters in that moment. It wasn't our fault that we were in that position, but it was my duty to carry on. By taking my power back, completely changed the trajectory of our lives. Between the endless legal proceedings and his countless attempts to ruin my life, I discovered self love. I learned to accept my WHOLE self, imperfections and all. I no longer felt ashamed and unworthy. I was everything and more than what he said I could ever be without him. I had no choice.... I was bound and determined to be the mother that my daughter deserved and finally break the cycle of generations of Domestic Abuse.
They say that resilience means making a promise to yourself that you won't give up. It takes courage to find the resolve within yourself in order to stand strong in the broken places. It's all about mustering the willpower to ignite and nourish what already lies inside.
And I leave you with this. Be willing to love yourself through it all and teach your children to do the same.