As the eldest in her family, Jamie-Lee was an excellent role model to her three younger siblings and other Maori students at her school. Despite dedicating most of her time to her studies, she took time out for the school Kapa Haka Group, the girls' touch team, and also to tutor year 8 and 9 students in mathematics. At school, Jamie-Lee's passion was for art and design and her dream was to study at university.
Having completed her Bachelor of Design, Jamie-Lee is currently doing a Master of Design by Project at Unitec: an exploration of the Maori Paradigm, referencing the creation stories and processes of haputanga and how these ideas may exist as an occupiable space. Being awarded an Interior Designers Educators Association (IDEA) Post Graduate Scholarship has allowed Jamie-Lee to travel to Brisbane to present her research to international delegates at the IDEA Symposium.