Jas Boothe, a former Army Officer who flips adversity on its tail! A Chicago native, Disabled Army Veteran, Cancer Survivor, Veteran and Disability Advocate, and Speaker who gave over 17 years of service to this great nation, Jas is also an Oprah Winfrey Standing Ovation Recipient, CNN Hero, People Magazine Hero Among Us, YWCA Woman of Distinction and US Army Chief of Staff Outstanding Civilian Service Awardee.
Jas travels the world speaking about Leadership, Diversity, Entrepreneurship, Intersectionality, Inclusion, and/or other motivating topics catered to client needs. Her Carnegie Hall-sized enthusiasm and serious yet comedic style delights her audiences as she relates her aweinspiring experiences. While in the Army, Jas deployed during the Operation Iraq Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom campaigns, and her military career was dedicated to working with and advocating for Soldiers and their family members.
In 2005, she was a single parent in the Army Reserves living in New Orleans. During her mobilization for a deployment to Iraq, Boothe’s life presented seemingly insurmountable challenges. That August, she lost everything she owned due to Hurricane Katrina but, rather than succumb to her losses, she shifted her focus to her platoon whose lives relied on her leadership. However, the next month she received a devastating diagnosis of aggressive head, neck, and throat cancer and was unable to deploy. She faced limited options, difficult choices, and, because of her illness, discharge from the military. Yet, she would not go down without a fight!
In need of complex full-time medical care, a job, and a place to live with her young son, Boothe was told there were no existing programs for female Veterans with children and that she should explore welfare and social services just like every other single mother. America had forgotten about the women who serve, fight, bleed and die alongside their male counterparts. She found these options unacceptable and was determined to not only find her own way but make a lasting change that would benefit others like her. After extensive cancer treatment including radiation therapy that left life-long side effects, Boothe was able to stay in the Reserves and immediately began looking for full time employment and housing.
While living with her aunt in Missouri, Boothe accepted a job offer from the Army National Guard and, later, returned to full-time duty in Washington, DC. Boothe’s struggle led to her determination to ensure her fellow female Veterans had a resource in their time of need. Jas Founded Final Salute, Inc in November 2010 as part of her commitment to “Never Leave a Fallen Comrade.” Final Salute Inc has provided over 15,000 days of transitional housing and assisted over 7000 women Veterans and children in over 30 States and Territories. An excellent storyteller and News Maker, Jas is also featured in the documentary “Served Like a Girl”, which follows several American women who were wounded in action and are now transitioning from soldier to civilian after serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Boothe holds a BA in Mass Communications from Mississippi Valley State University and dual MAs in Human Resource Management and Management and Leadership from Webster University.
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