Board of Advisors, The Great Octave Foundation
As an artillery platoon leader in the Army’s 1st Armored Division, and later as the Battalion Commander’s Adjutant in Baghdad and Najaf, Captain Powers led his solders through one of Baghdad’s most volatile section. Powers was hailed by his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel William Rabena, as “one of the most talented officers I have known in twenty-two years of service in the Army.”
The war was far from over when Powers returned home to Western New York, intending to become a full-time social studies teacher. But, moved by his experience at war and driven to action, Powers sought to help those in Iraq whose voices are least heard — Iraqi children, many of whom have known only war their entire young lives. He returned to Baghdad and founded War Kids Relief, a nonprofit organization aimed at assisting the youth of Iraq, providing them the resources and education needed to avoid recruitment by radical and terrorist organizations. War Kids Relief was quickly recognized for its pathbreaking work and was featured on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams “Making a Difference” series and in a Newsweek cover story.
Jon Powers was born and raised in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence, NY and has deep roots in the Western New York community. He attended public schools, was an Eagle Scout, and joined the Army ROTC in pursuit of his education degree.