Meet Jamerika Haynes-Lewis, Founder at Clever Jam Communications, consulting firm offering motivational speaking, facilitation, and strategic communications guidance.
A journalist, motivational speaker, and advocate for children in foster care, Jamerika is using her personal and professional experience to support the needy and vulnerable. Growing up, life was hard for her family. Her mother struggled to make ends meet and consequently, Jamerika was placed in foster care when she was five. She moved around the system till the age of 18 which determined her to have a different life than the one she experienced. She wanted to do better and do something valuable in life. Applying for college and getting an education was a way out and to develop an important skill set.
Haynes-Lewis found her passion in communication from English writing to new reporting. She holds a bachelor’s degree in B.A Communication from Washington State University. Throughout college and her early career, she worked in print and television news. She also worked as a communication specialist for non-profits, where she assisted in getting their message out there. She is a motivational speaker who speaks to kids in the foster care system and leads several youth empowerment workshops. She is also the Ms. Evergreen State 2020 through the USA Ambassador Pageant. Her platform is ‘A Chance to Succeed: Empowering Youth in Foster Care.’
Coming to her company, Clever Jam Communications is based in Seattle, Washington. They offer motivational speaking, facilitation, and strategic communications guidance. Jamerika speaks in public events about her experiences in foster care as a keynote speaker. She strives to share a message of hope, especially for those who have felt alone, unknown and forgotten. They facilitate engagement and learning workshops for professional development and organizational goals. They also assist with communication planning via newsletters, impact statements, and fundraising material for the audience to better connect with the organization’s mission. Through Clever Jam, she wants to inspire people to share their stories with the world. It is a platform for the underrepresented voices to be heard by the masses.
Her experience as a foster child in the past has given her a greater understanding of the lives of vulnerable children and families. She is able to empathize with their plight, and her professional skill set enables her to help manage the situation better.
Initially, she found it difficult to market herself and the company but she learned it over time. Now, she is trying to balance everything. She feels that it is important to value and protect your time. She believes in herself and likes working with confident people who excel in their craft and respect other people’s time. Although her events and pageants did get postponed due to COVID, Haynes-Lewis notes that no matter what life goes on. It was a catalyst of hope for her that eventually, things will fall into place as they have started to now.
Jamerika is a strong woman who is doing her best to make things better for the kids under foster care. She wants them to have a happy childhood, unlike she did, and to grow up to be independent adults. Leaving a message for the readers, she says, “No matter what you’re going through, you are not your circumstances”. “When people are going through a crisis or disappointment, it is easy to get stuck. Adversity is an opportunity to do a review on what our values are, why we spend our time in the way we do, and decide what we are going to do next. It allows us to heal and move on”.