Her passion and dedication to veterans and their families leads to her history of challenges that she faced after she left the military. She faced homelessness, unemployment, lack of resources, support and peer help but her dedication working with military families, helping with Employment needs has gained the ability to feel that she is strong and important to be able to tell her recovery story. She still needs the tools to conquer her goals and the assistance from other military women to make HOPE4VETS the opportunity for other Military Women to find their purpose/dream.
With the help of our community, Military Women and their families we try to give HOPE back.
Sharleen Deary grew up on the island of Guam where she witnessed her mother provide shelter for the homeless while her uncles served them through the Catholic Social Services. She learned that no matter how much how much money you had or where you came from, there was no limit as to what people would do during anyone’s time of need. After she left the Air Force, Sharleen faced several challenges including rejection of benefits, lack of resources, and lack of peer support, and ended moving around until she reached Jacksonville. It was here that she finally gained access to benefits, found resources and a support group for women veterans. Sharleen decided she would advocate for, educate and assist women veterans so they would have access to the benefits and resources they deserve and be part of a women veteran sisterhood.
While Sharleen faced her challenges, she became Program Coordinator with the Northeast Florida Women Veterans assisting women veterans and their families and empowering them through the HerTOTALWellness program.
Sharleen wanted to do more so she became the Vice President serving on the Board of Directors with Hope4Veterans. In her role, she helps to make executive decisions within the nonprofit such as public awareness, social media, sisterhood, and peer to peer advocacy to help our women veterans and their families throughout the state of Florida.
Jeremy Geiser has been working in the Information Technology field since 2010. For Hope4Veterans he manages the website and refurbishes laptop and desktop computers for the laptop program. In his spare time, Jeremy also manages the financial wellbeing for the organization. Being married to a US Army Veteran for the last 11 years and helping her traverse the VA system puts him in a unique position to understand the struggles faced by many military families post active duty. Jeremy believes noone should be left without a lifeline to the outside world and his lifeline of choice is a computer.
Diana Ocasio spent almost 10 years serving in the US Navy as a Yeoman Second Class and Command Career Counselor before being medically discharged in 2016. During this time, she obtained her Associates in Administrative Studies, a Bachelors in Psychology, SAPR Victim Advocate Certification, and Suicide Prevention training. Diana has always been an advocate for social services and giving back to the community. She worked six months post service in child protective services, continuously volunteered with homeless shelters, and veterans’ organizations. Currently, she works for BrightRay Consulting as an HR Manager and tech recruiter, as well as with ONEHOPE Wine as a Cause Entrepreneur, continuing her mission to giving back to the community through fundraising.
Over the last 15 years, Diana has seen all sides of military life. First starting as a Navy wife and then joining the Navy herself, her and her ex-husband were a dual military couple raising a family, dealing with deployments, multiple PCS moves, child care plan issues, and the stress military life puts on a family. Unfortunately, these stressors led to her divorce and becoming a single mother towards the end of her military career. Now she experiences the struggles of being a veteran and adjusting to civilian life as a disabled veteran and single mom. Through her experiences she can understand both female veterans and female spouses of service members and the many struggles they face, which has been able to better equip her to help this special community. Diana is a mom to three children, one of whom is on the Autism Spectrum, which fuels her advocacy for the Autism community in addition to veterans’ families. After her military service, Diana and her family settled in the Central Florida area to be close to extended family and friends.
Kia Baker is the creator and host of “Hot Topics Live,” a live stream interview series, “The Female Veterans Podcast” and “Woman Warrior Stories” for “The Veterans Channel.” The goal of the podcast is to give female veterans a platform to share their real stories, good or bad, while changing the prevailing perception the veterans are men. After serving in the US Navy, she spent 20 years helping other veterans make the transition from active duty to civilian life. Her passion for empowering women and veterans inspired her to broaden her reach by connecting with organizations that advocate for female veterans. Her mission is to bring attention to the disparity between male and female veterans, shine a light on female veteran stories, help homeless female veterans and advocate for alternative therapies for sick and suffering veterans. Kia holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting and is also an alumni of the Milton Hershey School. She also works closely with Passageways LTD, a foundation that helps homeless veterans transition back to thriving in life, and The Barbara Giordano Foundation volunteering to give transformational workshops to female veterans. In addition she is a member of the board for Hope 4 Veterans, a nonprofit that helps female veterans residing in Florida through peer support. Kia is a graduate from The London Real Academy and now coaches rapid transformation Accelerators for the Academy.
Paula Steiner-Agid is a proud US Army Medic veteran, 1984-1986. She joined the military to see the world and saw Fort Hood, TX.
Paula has been in the VA system since her discharge in 1986. While receiving her healthcare at the VA has been mostly good, it was because of the not-so-good moments which got her involved. She had to help make changes for all veterans using the VA system. Over the past 30+ years, Paula has sat on numerous committees in Region 4, New England as a veteran representative. She has been involved in the Pact committee, which helped establish care standards, such as, wait times for appointment dates and time in the waiting room. Making both standards more reasonable and in-line with community based services. As the veteran representative, she also worked on the committee which developed the original Myhealthevet.
Paula was a Jr. Vice Commander in Chapter #15, Disabled American Veteran in Milford, CT. She has managed the Chapter’s Facebook page from inception to date. She chaired/co-chaired the Forget-me-not campaigns from 2010-2013. Paula was involved in other committees while active in the chapter, to include the By-Law and Parade and escorts.
Since moving to Florida Paula has not been active while searching for an organization that has the same goals as I have. She feels blessed to have found Hope4Veterans.