I am an Illinois-native, born and raised on the south side of Chicago. I grew up with nine other siblings, two sisters and seven brothers all from the same mother. I'm the fifth born child and the middle daughter. My parents separated when I was about six years old. After my parents separated, my mother and siblings moved from our home to public housing projects. Shortly after my transition, I suffered years of sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse. I became vulnerable and ashamed and decided to leave home about a week after graduating from high school by joining the United States military at the age of 17.
“I’m at peace, at my pace.”
A few months after joining the U.S. military I became pregnant by a man I thought would fulfill the missing love I wish I received from my father. Throughout my military career, I struggled as a single parent while going up the promotional ladder, traveling back and forth to unaccompanied duty stations and combat tours. I eventually possessed a bond with my mother who was my only support system when I was unable to be in the same country with my daughter. I worked on an average of 12 hours a day for over 15 years while programming myself to hide my vulnerability.
It wasn't until around the year 2014 when I realized I have been depressed since the divorce of my parents. I never knew who I was which I always questioned to myself, Who Am I? Am I what they say I am? Am I mean? Am I ugly? Am I stupid? Am I smart? Am I wonderful? Am I beautiful? Am I just a black girl with an attitude? Am I worthless? I only knew how to be what everyone wanted me to be because that's what I was trained to do as a child and while serving in the military.
After being baptized in the name of Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost on January 3, 2016, I had my second breakthrough which revealed my journey in the military was complete. I medically retired from the U.S. military after serving fifteen years (with seven change of duty stations). I had developed severe anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I also discovered my identity and my calling to share my journey to inspire other women and young girls who struggle with depression and self-identity.
My company's name was inspired by my personal experiences and overcoming obstacles as a woman. After accepting my past I was ready to share it with others as I realized that was God's purpose for me.
As I looked back on my life I don't regret anything because it was a contributed factor in the brave woman I am becoming. I've attained a graduate degree and several certifications within twelve of the fifteen years working full-time in the U.S. Army while balancing as a single parent. I met friends that have empowered and supported me, and I now volunteer my time as a mentor for young girls in the local community.
Amitza is more than just a company; it's the face of all women that have fought and survived mental health challenges and traumatic events while balancing daily responsibilities. This brand is strength, connection, value, and growth. Amitza is authentic, and it is love.