Local woman who helps veterans through 'Jonas Project' honored by L'Oreal Paris

Monday, November 9, 2015
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A local woman who created a program to help veterans start their own businesses is one of 10 women in the nation honored by L'Oreal Paris.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Teri Kelsall's son, Jonas, was a Navy SEAL who was killed in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan. A year later, she and her husband started a nonprofit organization in her son's honor.

"The Jonas Project is a nonprofit set up to help veterans start their own businesses," Kelsall said.

The Jonas Project guides veterans by helping them with their business plans. They offer website development and a network of professionals who further provide mentorship.

The nonprofit has guided veteran Teague Savitch with his business. He says he will soon be able to open up his own store.

"What they have done is they've provided me with some of those intangibles, like the piece of mind, which is really critical when you are somebody who doesn't have any background in doing your own business, and knowing that if I make mistakes, I can turn to them, and we can figure it out together," Savitch said.

For her work with veterans, Kelsall is being honored by L'Oreal Paris, an award only given to 10 women in the nation who are making a difference in the community.

"Whoever thought I would be recognized for what I'm doing," she said. "It is really such an honor to be recognized."

One of those 10 women will also receive $25,000 for her charity, but in order to get that money, you have to go online and vote. You can do so now through Nov. 20 at WomenofWorth.com.