Season Two Brodettes

 

Antoinette Melvin, formally Barnhill, is a professional and lover of Jesus. She is a graduated from ECU with a Bachelor of Science in English Education and a Master of the Arts in English Literature concentrating on multicultural and transnational literature. And, as if two degrees were not enough, she also has a Bachelor's in Biblical Studies from the North Carolina College of Theology. She is the oldest sibling of four. She grew up extremely poor in a single-parent household where she learned to be a caregiver and independent woman very early on. Over the course of her life she has experienced varying degrees of trial and triumph that has worked to shape who she is today. P.S. She just finished her manuscript for her first book.

What makes her a brodette: First and foremost, I am a survivor. I will grind to get done what I need to get done always. I may not always enjoy it, but I see challenges just for what they are. You will not find me throwing pity parties for myself (or anyone else for that matter). I know that bad things happen to all of us with no exception, and you can either get over them or let them run over you.  Next, I have learned as I have grown in my womanhood to be unashamedly and unapologetically confident of my skill and intellect.

 

Joy Percoroa was born and raised in Southern California to Latin parents (Guatemalan and Argentine). She graduated with a degree in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin. Joy launched WOWW Campaign in 2014, which began with video interviews of female leaders in Austin, TX. She then launched her own podcast in February of 2017 which continued with the same concept and evolved in bilingual episodes with interviews and inspirational segments with women from all over the world.

What makes her a brodette: Her ability to lift the women around her and pursue her abuility to hustle all hours of the day to make her entrepreneur dreams come true.

 

Erika Weathers is single, with no kids, and a two time breast cancer survivor. She’s been a flight attendant 20 years and lives in Atlanta, Ga. She is inspiring actress and future book author

What makes her a brodette: I’m a strong, black woman hoping to also empower young ladies to reach for the stars to believe in and love themselves. I'm still a work on progress myself!

 

Jasmine Cordell- Armstrong is a nationally certified, and licensed Recreation Therapist who graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She obtained a Bachelors of Science in Recreation Therapy. Later she would join the Breakpoint Coaching Collective, under the mentorship of Dr. Patrice Carter, to become a certified life coach. Upon completion of the Collective, she pursued her dream to launch “Heart of the Matter Coaching.” In addition to her other accolades, this dynamic woman adds author under her belt as well. Coach Jasmine Ariel's freshman book as a co-author, Unleash Your SHERO, highlights the stories of 14 powerful women, who pushed past those things that cause us to become STUCK in life, to unleash their SHERO within. From within her chapter entitled, “Unleash the Darkness of Grief”, she will give you tools on how to become and remain UNLEASHED! Lastly, she was recently crowned Mrs. Black NC 2018.

 

Shaunlee Robben is newly divorced, single-mom trying to find a way to create a life and business that she loves; one that makes the world a better place and the people in it much happier with themselves. She grew up poor. Half white, half Mexican. Half Minnesota, half Texan. Completely misunderstood. Most of that misunderstanding came from herself - not really trusting who she was or even knowing. Trying to wear the masks and be the person she thought other people wanted her to be. In the end, Shaunlee found that just never works. Now, she’s working on strengthening her sense of self and identity beyond the roles she plays in service to others.

What makes her a brodette: I guess what make me a brodette is the fact that I am unrelenting. This can be a flaw at times (it's been a common complaint and complete from anyone who's been in a leadership position over me, lol). But for the most part I see this as an asset and what makes me a true brodette.

 

Anna Woods is a wife and mom of three. She has two girls and one boy. Her son has Down Syndrome and her oldest daughter has Asperger's and Sensory Processing Disorder. Her need to workout came from home has been required. She used to compete in weight lifting and CrossFit on a high level and all her competitors called her "Home Gym." It just stuck. Anna started sharing her weight lifting video's, tutorials and working out with her kids in her garage on social media and it went from there. She would share her story, her motivations, and heart and struggles within those posts and it became a movement. Soon, she was programming garage workouts for others, which in turn, became a Facebook community, and now an app, a nutrition program, sheFUEL meals, and apparel. Anna speaks at schools, community events, and businesses on the concept of "I am Enough" which to her is the foundation for self-belief and self-care.

What makes her a brodette: My desire to be a part of a sisterhood of steel, with other women like yourself, unafraid to share our stories, struggles in an effort to draw us together for support, encouragement, and motivation.

 

E8 Angela Tims:

I am originally from Jonesboro, Arkansas and lived there for 21 years. I grew up an only child- my parents divorced when I was 14. I grew up active in choir and musical theater all throughout junior high and high school. I initially had accepted a collegiate choral scholarship from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), but I ended up staying in Jonesboro and attending Arkansas State University. I moved to Florida in May 2010, and started training powerlifting a couple years after my move. My first powerlifting meet was in June of 2015 and I was introduced to Strongman shortly after by a (then) good friend. My first Strongman competition was in October of 2015 and shortly after that, I did another powerlifting meet in November of 2015. Little did I know, I was carrying a little dumbbell in my tummy at that time. I suffered some prenatal depression. I was never the girl who grew up dreaming of a wedding, a house, and raising children. I didn't really want children, and I was fearful of pregnancy changing my body. It wasn't until the beginning of 2015 that I even started to entertain the idea of having kids, but I certainly wasn't ready when I found out I was expecting. My outlook on children has changed completely, and I cannot wait to have another! After a severe battle with postpartum depression for about a year, I am reclaiming myself and my confidence.

What makes her a brodette: I'm still learning who I am (as a mother and new woman) and what makes me truly happy. Each day, I find a little bit more strength and confidence than I had the day before. That, in itself, is something to celebrate. Maybe that's what makes me a brodette, I keep pushing forward despite speed bumps, insecurity, and setbacks. There are days I don't feel beautiful and days I don't feel strong and days I don't feel worthy. But I have learned those thoughts are lies. The truth is I'm beautiful and unique and badass!

 

E9 Trish Anderson:

 

I own Anderson Supply Co. . I have a small backpack shop in Nampa, Idaho where I make all the bags by hand. I am also a mother of two sons ages 14 and 16. I started Anderson in 2007 and have been making backpacks full time since April 2015. I started making them for Caffeine and Kilos and then branched off to make them for my own company in 2016.

What makes her a brodette: I have never felt like I really fit in anywhere! It has made for some tough moments over the years. But as I have gotten older, I have become more and more comfortable in my own skin. I am realized that I am not "different" I am just me! And that staying true to my goals as a girl and business owner are totally awesome! It's a tough but lucky path to be on! Quitting my job to make backpacks was very scary, but thankfully it has worked out. The past two years of running a business have given me "Brodette skin" well....I am getting there little by little anyhow.

 

E10 Sarah Goff

I’m a mom, a wife and a sewist! I love to do Olympic weightlifting also. I teach Sunday school at church and we just got a puppy. We live outside of Seattle and hike and play in the water as often as we can. I’m an army veteran and it makes me very patriotic. A year ago, I started Stitches in Steel to make custom workout gear for my friends in my Crossfit class. I had the opportunity to work with Cortney Batchelor this summer and that was fun! Now I’ve launched a website where I’m hoping to sell lots of fun custom and stock shorts and bras and whatever to athletes!

What makes her a brodette: The fact that I do my thing! I support my friends and work hard in the gym and in life. I pick fabrics I like and don’t worry about being trendy. I wear what I like - not what I think others will like. I don’t do things for Instagram likes. I do what works for me.

 

E11 Ashley Fregly

Gosh - where do I start? I was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin (Go Packers). I went to college in Colorado Springs, at the US Air Force Academy, where I met my now husband, Terry. I served 6 years on active duty in the Air Force as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. I met you, Natassia! While stationed in Okinawa Japan I started Shogun CrossFit, and was lucky enough to compete in the CrossFit Games in 2012. After my time in the military I worked for Apple for three years, until we had our daughter Harley in April, and now I am a "Pseudo" Stay-At-Home-Mom while I run my small custom sewing and embroidery business.

What makes her a brodette: Striving to meet my own definition of a brodette!

 

E12 Jocelyn Rich-Pendracki

 

I was raised by a single father on the outskirts of Philadelphia, PA. In the same house that my grandfather bought for his mother in WWII.  Always having an interest in art, but specifically photography ‪beginning at about 13 y.o. I also got the bug to travel from a young age when my mom would ask me "do you want to go and see if the ocean is still there?" and we would drop all that we were doing and just go.  My dad got me my 1st camera at that time and I was hooked. I dreamt about going to art school but knew that with my financial background that was all but out of reach.  After HS and a failed semester at community collage (because I couldn't pay tuition) I went to work at an art store.  I went w/ a friend one day to his recruiter.  I learned that Photographer was one of the jobs available.  I signed up delayed entry and that was the beginning of my amazing career and avenue of growth, experience and self discovery. Since BMT in SA, Tx, I have been stationed at NAS Pensacola (Tech School), Ft. Meade MD (Tech School 2), Vandenberg Ca, RAF Molesworth UK, Minot ND, (back to) Molesworth UK, Syaracuse U (Where I met my amazing Husband Andrew), NY, Ramstein Germany, Kadena, Okinawa (where our wonderful, son was born), Seymour Johnson, NC and now Fort Meade, Maryland.

What makes her a brodette: I am myself, I like to continue getting to know myself, I don't like all of myself all of the time, I always drive to improve that which I can. I have faced and continue to face many obstacles but don't let them beat me.  I would like to think that I am a survivor, and someone who makes her goals come true through persistence (although patients isn't a word I would use to describe myself). I try to stay positive, albeit 'passionate' (I have a temper), and see the lessons life has to show and to lift up my fellow human whenever possible.

E13 Rachele Atreus

I recently became United States Navy veteran and single mother of an 8-year-old little girl with autism, developmental delay and brain damage. I spent 10 years in an abusive relationship that I finally found the power to leave one year ago (just about exactly one year ago). I grew up in a family of 14, the four oldest of which are half siblings and there is a seven-year gap between mean and the youngest of the first four. I am the oldest of my mom's 10 kids, so I grew up as the baby of the four older kids, but the oldest of the 10 youngers. My parents were extremely religious and home schooled us, so I was incredibly sheltered as a kid, through about the age of 20 when I joined the Navy. The only times I got out into the real world was playing soccer which I did from age 8-19, and doing theater, which I have a associates degree in. I started getting into fitness around 2012, and I dabbled in both strength and distance running for a few years. I did strongwoman, ran a half marathon and trained for a full, Olympic lifting, CrossFit, and finally settled down with powerlifting around the time I left my ex-husband. I used the gym as an escape from my home life, and when that chaos went away, I was able to remain in a single sport because I was no longer needing something new to distract me every 6 months.
I compete with the USAPL, and went to Nationals in October 2017. I am an ambassador for Stitches in Steel, and train out of Arlington Strength and Conditioning.

What makes her a brodette: I think I have had some life experiences that other women can learn from or relate to, and I want other women to feel empowered to do what they want. I tell my story of living with an abusive husband, of raising a special needs daughter, and of coming out of an upbringing that was almost cultist in its extreme religious practices, so other people can maybe feel like they can overcome whatever they have been through.

 

E14 Kristen Arnold 

 

After graduating with a B.A. in Special Education from Seattle Pacific University, I began teaching in 2006. My career started in New Orleans, LA, after hurricane Katrina. Following that, I taught at the University of Washington's Haring Center (EEU), specializing in communicative and behavioral therapy for toddlers who have Autism. I returned to Spokane in 2008 to obtain my Master's in Teaching and Elementary Endorsement at Whitworth University, spending January developing a Picture Exchange Communication System for students with Autism at the Joy Center and leading staff training sessions in Ethiopia. Upon graduating, I worked as a primary teacher for Spokane Public Schools' Title 1 program.  Leaving Spokane brought an opportunity to teach for the Department of Defense Education Activity in Okinawa, Japan, due to my husband's career in the military. I taught high school special education at Kadena High School and coached track and field, followed by a year teaching third grade at Stearley Heights Elementary. I currently live in Tucson, Arizona with my husband who is a Combat Rescue Officer in the Air Force, and my son, Blake and daughter, Audrey. Being a parent of a child with Down syndrome has been a remarkable journey, and he is the joy of my life! My daughter AJ was  born in November, and we are so in-love. I love exploring each new city we live in, reading, working out, hiking, and spending time with my amazing and crazy family! I love CrossFit, and have been a certified coach since 2011, competing since then also. I was fortunate to compete on three teams at the CrossFit Games in 2012, 2013, and 2016. The most enjoyable professional development training I've attended was the Adaptive Athlete seminar, as I learned how to adapt workouts to meet a variety of individual's physical needs.

What makes her a brodette: As a college professor, wife of a Combat Rescue Officer, mother of a kiddo with Down syndrome, and athlete, I have to persevere continually through mental, emotional, and physical challenges daily.

 

E15 Amanda Clegg

My name is Amanda and I am a Health & Life Coach. If I had to describe what I do in one sentence, it would be that I teach people how to be happy. I struggled for years with addiction, an eating disorder, body image issues, food intolerances, anxiety, depression, hormone imbalance, self-doubt and perfectionism. Now, it is my mission to serve people through what I have raised up against. My purpose is to teach the world how to listen to (and trust) their hearts rather than their heads, embrace their uniqueness and weirdness, face their fears with strength and courage and create the life of their wildest imaginations. It is about become aware of your fears and the cycle that has been keeping you stuck, igniting the spark of their soul, and learning they are able to do and have whatever, and I mean whatever, they want. It is about stepping into your highest self - your heart self. Living through that. And owning it. Society's definition of life doesn't fly with me. I believe (and know) it is all about play, pleasure, fun, exploration, adventure, laughter, connection, and love.
I'm bringing it back to where our hearts, mind, and soul align. Where that infamous balance lives. Where peace is. Where connection is. Where our best life is.

What makes her a brodette: Well, I like to believe that when I am free from my fears and truly connected to my heart - I am all of those things that I mentioned above. I know that when I am living through my heart, I am unstoppable.

 

1 Year Anniversary Kortney Olson

 

KORTNEY OLSON, FOUNDER & MFCEO OF GRRRL CLOTHING

Kortney Olson knows what it’s like to drag yourself up from the bottom. After surviving a rape, an eating disorder, depression and drug and alcohol addiction all before she was 21, Kortney knows how important it is to turn trauma, pain and despair into power, strength and confidence. 

As part of Kortney’s mission to empower women across the world, Kortney founded Kamp Konfidence, a prevention-based wellness experience camp for teenage girls aged 14-17. Kamp Konfidence taught girls to look beyond the messages hammered into them by society and develop self-love in a non-judgemental, fun and friendly environment. 

Seeing a greater need out in the world, Kortney took the principles behind Kamp Konfidence and turned it into an international clothing line. GRRRL clothing was the first clothing line to not use traditional sizing, rather using the measurements of female athletes to guide women to the right fit. GRRRL refuses to use photoshop and/or airbrushing and uses women from all walks of life to model their product – women of different races, abilities and experiences. Under Kortney’s inspirational leadership, GRRRL continues to grow and spread the message of radical self-love and gender equality in the face of society’s bullshit one GRRRL at a time. 

Kortney is a powerhouse speaker that will have you hooked from the very first moment. Guided by her intense passion to see women deal with their issues and take their power back, Kortney gives a no-holds barred tour into her darkest days so every woman, no matter what her story, can see there is hope on the other side. Kortney is no textbook psychologist; she knows her shit because she’s lived it. 

Besides being an Australian Women’s arm wrestling champion, Queensland state Brazilian jiu jitsu champion, 3 time international bodybuilding competitor, author, TV personality, certified personal trainer and Olympic lifting and crossfit coach, Kortney is a self-appointed “teen whisperer”, often taking time from her busy schedule to speak personally to kids struggling through puberty, bullying and the challenge of growing up in today’s world. Kortney isn’t just a figurehead, she gets down anad dirty where it’s needed most. 

If you think you’ve seen Kortney before, it’s probably because you’ve seen her smashing watermelons with her thighs on the Internet or TV or being described as the "woman with the world's deadliest thighs" by Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics; a title she holds with pride.

What makes her a brodette: She owns every part of her story and uses it to empower other women.