MELISSA JARBOE, 34

melissaExecutive Director of the Jamie Jarboe Foundation—Military Veteran Project

Dedicated  
Compassionate  
Selfless

Hero:
My husband, SSG Jamie Jarboe, taught me the true meaning of selfless sacrifice.  When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be successful, I thought that meant I had to work my way to the top of a corporation.  However, just as I was taking my partnership in a business I helped create, Jamie was wounded in the Zhari District of Afghanistan. Over the next few months, I learned that no matter what your title is, no matter how much money you make, the things that made me successful in life didn’t cost me a thing.

Involvement:
Christopher Reeves Foundation – Advocate & Speaker
Lazarus Foundation – Volunteer 
Gold Star Family- Member & Volunteer

"Seeing how Melissa turned a deep personal tragedy into a cause that she fights for relentlessly is what put her over the top for me. In a short amount of time, she has reached out to so many to start her foundation, and do big things for veterans and military families in the community. The level of dedication and passion she shows for her organization signified to me both personal strength and community leadership at its best."
– Angel Romeo

Melissa was a successful business owner that took a tragic situation and used that experience to make Topeka a better place.  Her foundation is already gaining national attention.  She stood out because of the positive spin she is putting on Topeka.”
– Brett Oetting