Innovator, Philanthropist & Speaker
Jas Founded Final Salute Inc. in November 2010 as part of her commitment to “Never Leave a Fallen Comrade”. Throughout her military career, she 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. That spring, she learned she would soon be deploying to Iraq and then a few months later she lost everything she owned due to Hurricane Katrina. She tried to shift her focus to her platoon that was counting on her for leadership in a combat zone. The very next month in September, she received a devastating diagnosis of an aggressive head, neck, and throat cancer, and was now unable to deploy. Her options were limited and posed some very hard choices. Because of her illness, she had to discharge from the military. But she needed complex full-time medical care, employment, and a place to live with her young son.
When searching for assistance, she was told there were no existing programs for women veterans with children. She found these options unacceptable. This led to her starting Final Salute. She was determined to ensure her fellow sister veterans had a resource in their time of need. She also wanted to ensure they were treated with the dignity and respect earned they had earned under extremely severe circumstances.
Final Salute has raised over $1 million dollars to support homeless women veterans and their children and has assisted over 900 women veterans and children. Jas also founded the Ms. Veteran America competition, honoring the women beyond the uniform and highlighting the service and sacrifice of every woman that has worn the U.S. military uniform.
Jas has been honored for her leadership and community service including:
- Oprah Winfrey Standing Ovation Recipient
- American Veterans Center Lillian Keil Award – Women’s Contributions to the Military
- CNN Hero
- People Magazine Hero Among Us
- YWCA Woman of Distinction
Jas has spoken to a wide variety of organizations and groups including:
Defense & Veterans Organizations , Corporate teams and groups, Women’s Groups & Conferences, Homeless Advocacy & Support Groups and Cancer Survivor Groups
NO ONE RSVPS TO A PITY PARTY
The first step towards changing one’s circumstances starts with admitting the need to change. This keynote uses the lessons Jas learned as a homeless veteran and a cancer survivor as motivators instead of excuses.
YOU DON’T NEED A CAPE TO BE SOMEONE’S HERO
Jas shares lessons learned from starting and building her successful non-profit organization to help others find and engage their inner hero.
THE “F” WORD
No, the other “F” word: FEAR. Fear can be the greatest motivator in your tool kit. Success isn’t about what motivates you, it’s about what scares you.
I’M THIS ABLED
Having a disability doesn’t mean losing capability. This keynote teaches those living with disabilities to focus on their “can” instead of their “can’t”.
WOMEN: THE SECOND CLASS VETERAN
This keynote addresses how women are not seen as serving on the frontlines and how this has affected their transition to civilian life.
SHE’S A B*** AND SO ARE YOU
This keynote teaches women that the single greatest asset in the success of a woman is other women.
A LETTER TO A SINGLE MOTHER
As the author of The Princess and the Pedophile, Jas shares her experiences dealing with a child predator and warns of the lifelong affects of children exposed to “families of acceptance.”
Jas presents a keynote highlighting her nonprofit Final Salute and offers insights and perspectives to start and run programs to assist homeless veterans.