Bras, Bootstraps, and the Bible
December 13th 2019
Dr. Antoinette Allen
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Military veteran and leadership influencer Dr. Antoinette Allen has had a fascinating life and now, she will share her unique story in a book that unpacks the fundamental support systems that helped her survive and develop true resilience in the face of adversity.
In her recently released book Bras, Bootstraps, and the Bible – Stories of Resilience, Allen explains how she used her inner fortitude and faith to endure numerous hardships and excel as a woman of color in the United States Military, growing from strength to strength over time.
Growing up in rural Charles City, Virginia, Antoinette could never have dreamed of what incredible experiences, challenges and achievements awaited her when she signed up to join in the United States Air Force in 1993. What followed was a remarkable career of 25 years in the service of the federal government including time as a senior leader in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 2010-2017 and as a military officer in the Virginia Air National Guard.
Antoinette used her 21 years in the military wisely, developing her skills and acquiring several qualifications including a master’s degree in Behavioral Science, a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Development and an associate’s degree in Logistics from the Community College of the Air Force. In 2017, Antoinette received her Ph.D. in Education from Old Dominion University.
Her certifications in the areas of Leadership and Emotional Intelligence and mediation opened up the doors for her to grow into a skilled and passionate leadership influencer, eventually starting her own business called Two Cups of TLC, LLC - an educational consulting company that empowers clients with memorable learning opportunities like coaching, training, keynote speaking engagements, and custom course design.
“My career in the military was wonderful,” she says, “It helped shape me into the woman I am today. While I experienced discrimination and plenty of adversity, I also gained an internal fortitude that still carries me now,” says Antoinette.
During her career Antoinette also received several accolades including the Department of Justice Attorney General’s Award for Equal Employment Opportunity in 2013, the Squadron Officer School #1 Briefer Award, the Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal.
But it’s not just her achievements that are discussed in Bras, Bootstraps, and the Bible – Stories of Resilience. Rather this book explores the many highs and lows of her life and career, stories she hopes will inspire others to look to their own inner strength to survive and thrive. It deals with empathy, diversity, forgiveness, inclusion, leadership, and resilience.
“Bras represent our support networks of family, friends and community, Bootstraps is our internal support systems and the Bible is our spiritual network - God, nature and sources of inspiration. Using this metaphor, I want to use my book to let others know they are uniquely designed to persevere and overcome whatever challenges they face,” explains Antoinette, “They should leverage all resources available - support systems, internal grit and spiritual networks first and foremost. I want Bras, Bootstraps, and the Bible to help women find their voices and speak their truth. I hope that this story can help others to heal and grow from their own hardships and tragedies.”
Antoinette believes that each and every person has a unique story that can be their own greatest source of resilience. By connecting with her readers, she seeks to empower them to explore and share their own stories without fear or apology.
“No one can take your story from you or make it theirs. It is your testimony of courage and your personal badge of honor. My military experiences shaped who I am, but readers can take my stories and apply them to their own lives and see how these life lessons can be adapted to their own lives.”
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