As a young boy growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s in Nashville, Tenn., Hank Booth struggled emotionally and socially, while searching for answers to questions such as: Who am I and what is my purpose in life?
When Booth started experimenting with drugs, his parents turned to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Texas.
Booth, who was 16 at the time, lived on Devereux Texas’ campus in Victoria from 1971 to 1972.
“My experience at Devereux Texas was extremely positive,” said Booth. “The group therapy sessions were especially helpful. I was able to break away from the destructive influences in my hometown, and I began thinking about life in a different way. I have fond memories of the mentors I had and, to this day, I think about the lessons they taught me.”
Charting a path to success
Booth went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in history and political science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Emory University in Atlanta. He then served four years in the U.S. Navy, and went on to have a successful business career at GE Capital and Coca-Cola, where he currently serves as the company’s manager of operational excellence.
In 2012, Booth jumped at the opportunity to give back to Devereux by serving on the Devereux Georgia Advisory Board. He was elected board chair in 2019.
“Every chairman of the board has a theme for their tenure, and mine is Servant Leadership,” Booth shared. “I often ask, ‘What is healthy for a person – outward focus or inward focus?’ I will tell you every time, the answer is outward focus. Nothing is more important than helping and serving others.”
Serving Devereux Georgia youth
In addition to his board duties, Booth leads a volunteer spiritual enrichment program for youth served by Devereux Georgia. The program offers spiritual hope and healing to individuals suffering from emotional pain.
“I started the spiritual enrichment program as a weekly offering in 2012,” Booth explained. “Any Devereux Georgia youth who wants to attend one of our meetings is welcome to attend. It is completely voluntary. Each meeting consists of an hour discussion, in which youth can become involved and ask questions. I believe these types of discussions can spur positive growth and change in a person’s life.”
While recognizing the blessings he has achieved in his own life, Booth is grateful to those at Devereux who helped him along the way, and for the staff across the organization whom he says “give 100 percent of themselves” to help those facing similar challenges today.
“I want the individuals we serve to know that I see them and understand where they are coming from because I have been there – and things will get better,” said Booth, who is married with two children. “I look back on my life, and all that I have accomplished, and it is clear Devereux had a significant impact.”