Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance selects their Board of Directors based on the following criteria:

  • Availability to meet on the first Wednesday of the month for Board of Directors meetings,
  • Skills to execute in a timely manner for the required position (s)he has applied for,
  • Fulfill the requirements as a Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance membership for the Board of Directors,
  • Complete a background check,
  • Complete the interview process, which includes submitting a professional headshot and short biography of self for site administrator to place on Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance website,
  • Professional courtesy toward others,
  • Have a desire to work with kids of all ages and even adults who have been or are being bullied.

The following people have completed and met this criteria and the Board of Directors Selection Committee is proud to welcome the current Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance Board of Directors to our family and to serve our community in the prevention and eradicating bullying throughout not only the Roanoke Valley of Virginia but also across the state (and eventually the country and world).

C. E. O. & Founder

Colleen Burns was born in Rutland, V. T. From being bullied during second grade through the ninth grade, alcohol and drug abuse, suffering through anorexia and bulimia, to dropping out of high school during her junior year at the second high school she attended, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, in 1990, Colleen received her high school diploma from Rutland High School in 1991, through a 15-week Adult Education Program. Through a life of struggles and three mental health disorders, Colleen earned a triple degree with a double minor at Appalachian State University: a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Communications with a concentration in Electronic Media Broadcasting and two Bachelor’s of Arts degrees in General Theater and English with a concentration in Creative Writing in 2005. Colleen graduated from Hollins University in Roanoke, V. A. in October 2018 and received her M. F. A. in Screenwriting.  Her desire is to be a martial art screenwriter, but she has had to put that plan on hold to concentrate more on Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance.

Colleen is a martial artist of 14 years. Despite a few martial art injuries and several hiatuses, Colleen holds various ranks in six different styles of martial arts, the highest being a Red Belt in Tae Kwon Do (one away from a Probationary Black Belt). She is also a Certified NASM Personal Trainer and plans to be certified in Fitness Nutrition Evolution by the end of 2019.

Colleen has graduated from Ray Higdon’s accountability coaching program, in which she studied social media and network marketing strategies to help teach others about social media and to improve their network marketing skills. She has also graduated from Brendon Burchard’s Top Expert’s Academy in 2018, in which she gained knowledge to further her leadership, speaking, network marketing, and mindset skills.

Currently, Colleen is pursuing a dual Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management and Global Studies & International Relations at Northeastern University Online, Boston, M. A. She plans to use what she learns in these programs to put Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance around the globe. Colleen is also currently a student at Robbins-Madanes Training.

As C. E. O. and Founder of Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance, Colleen Burns offers her story of bullying through national (and eventually international) speaking tours to help, improve, and inspire other bullied victims to speak out on bullying and stand up for themselves. The Alliance also will be offering martial art classes at Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance Community Centers, in which are bullying prevention centers that the Alliance plans to build throughout their existence. Colleen also offers her social media, creativity, and leadership skills to unite those interested parties in resolving and eradicating bullying throughout the state of Virginia and the United States (and eventually the world).

Colleen currently resides in Roanoke, VA.

To contact Colleen Burns, please email her at


Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of MOTIVATION magazine

Successful Entrepreneur and Business Leader

Best-Selling Author

National Anti Bullying, Anti Hazing and Suicide Prevention Consultant

Nationally Renowned Motivational Keynote Speaker

Positive Model, Coach and Mentor

Responsible and Accountable Dad

Veteran (served 10 years in the U.S. Navy)

Community Humanitarian and Philanthropist

– The Ty Howard College Scholarship Fund Program

Ty Howard is America’s Untie the Knots® Consultant, and Capturing Greatness and Passion Expert. Over the past 21 years, he has worked with and spoken to nearly 3 million teenagers, education professionals, student leaders, student athletes, parents, fatherhood groups, youth development professionals, and associations across the nation and around the world.

Ty Howard, a.k.a. Mr. Untie the Knots®, is an internationally respected authority on self-development and business-development. He is an organizational development consultant, relationship expert, teacher, personal and professional development expert, and best-selling author. His solid background in research and practical strategies has made him a trusted source for professional and personal development guidance on five continents.

When Ty was an active part of the U.S. Navy and then Corporate America, he consistently excelled in highly visible positions including Human Resources Generalist, Executive Office Manager, Corporate Training & Development Manager, Intervention and Behavior Specialist Manager, Outside Sales Account Manager, and Sales Trainer. He managed, trained, evaluated, and led employee teams of four to 300 full-time and part-time personnel working in demanding and fast-paced environments.

Ty Howard is the founder, Chairman and CEO of InspiraGen Institute, LLC a successful, diverse professional and personal development firm based in Baltimore County, Maryland. InspiraGen Institute, LLC is a conglomerate of internationally recognized businesses:, Ty Howard SeminarsTM, Knots Free Publishing, Knots Free Media, MOTIVATION magazine, and The Baltimore Worldwide Speakers Bureau. They share Ty’s vision, discipline, and passion to inspire, lift, and provide tools for change and growth for individuals and organizations throughout the world.

Ty Howard and InspiraGen Institute, LLC provides 5 scholarships to deserving young college bound students within his community each year. Since the inception of the Ty Howard College Scholarship Program, InspiraGen Institute, Inc. has granted more than 25 scholarships, worth over 50 thousand dollars. Ty Howard is considered a dynamic professional speaker, humanitarian, business entrepreneur, and leader by all who have the privilege to encounter him! He does not just talk healthy habits, business, leadership and relationship development, he lives it.

For information on his programs and services, visit:

As the Advisor for Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance, Ty Howard offers his expert knowledge on bullying, his charismatic personality when he speaks during the events he will be coming to the Roanoke Valley for, his passion for leading and motivating people, and his expertise in communicating with the other Board of Directors to make Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance a local (and eventually national) anti-bullying program.

Chair, Committee Director of Training Seminars, and Outreach Coordinator

Stephen Niamke graduated from Roanoke Catholic School in Roanoke, V. A., and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in clinical social work from Radford University. He is the founder and primary trainer for Conversation Peace and serves as a clinical social worker with children at Dominion Day Services and with adults at East Mental Health.

Stephen also leads after school programs for youth which are designed to teach about healthy relationships and leads another program which focuses on co-parenting classes for adults going through divorce at the Children’s Trust and the Conflict Resolution Center.

His most significant achievement is the development and implementation of Roanoke’s Leadership College.

As the  Chair and  Committee Director of Speaking, Workshop, and Training Seminars for Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance, Stephen Niamke offers his leadership and clinical social worker experience to help educate and end bullying and also to build more peaceful communities across the state of Virginia and eventually the United States of America (and the world).

To contact Stephen Niamke, please email him at

Vice-Chair and Outreach Coordinator

Nathan Auldridge graduated from Salem High School, in Salem, V. A. After undergoing treatment for a brain tumor at Duke University in Durham, N. C. in January of 2006, he earned a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre with a Film Studies Minor from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, V. A. in December of 2008.

Nathan’s experience surviving cancer gave him an appreciation for the challenges vulnerable people face in society today. He advocates for the rights of patients with pre-existing conditions, and has worked as a Support Provider and Caregiver for children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome and other disabilities since 2010.

To contact Nathan Auldridge, please email him at

Historian and Outreach Coordinator

Matthew Jefferson graduated from Salem High School in Salem, V. A., and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Leadership and Ministry Studies at the Ohio Christian University Adult & Online Programs. Matthew currently works for an agency, in which he helps disabled children and teenagers. He is active within his church helping others through Outreach Ministries.

As the Historian for Your Life Matters Empowerment Alliance, Matthew will document how our organization has grown from its inception to now. He also offers four years of experience working with teens, four years of experience in Youth Ministry, and his passion and leadership skills to help  help end bullying throughout the state of Virginia and eventually the United States of America (and the world).

To contact Matthew Jefferson, please email him at