Nominating Organization: Combined Arms
Occupation: Non-Profit Management
Since 2005, T’Liza Kiel has been serving the community and our country in various roles as a volunteer and a professional. Starting in 2005, at the age of 18, she joined the US Army National Guard. She served in a combat deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2009 to 2010, at the age 22. After her honorable discharge, she found her calling in serving veterans and was offered the opportunity to do so through the Gulf Coast Center in Galveston County as a Veteran Peer Services Coordinator. During that time, T’Liza trained volunteers in mental health first aid courses, participated on panels focused on service members, veterans, and family advocacy for mental health in the military community. She managed a $200K annual budget for community activities, events, and programs for veteran community awareness.
In 2015, T’Liza then transitioned her role to Give An Hour, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop national networks of volunteer professionals capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. She was able to recruit and train over 100 mental health counselors to serve military service members, veterans, and family members in the Houston area. As her work continued to show an impact on the community, opportunities to continue serving developed.
In 2016, she began serving in another way in the Houston area as Mental Health of America of Greater Houston’s Veterans Behavioral Director. She managed the Veterans’ Court Mentoring Team of 12 employees. She selected & trained peer mentors for the program. She connected veterans and family members to local resources, referred to appropriate organizations/programs for VA benefits and assistance, managed transition issues, and supported efforts in suicide prevention.
Most recently, due to the outstanding work and impact she created in Sunnyside through Hope Farms | Recipe for Success and her engagement with The Mission Continues, she was offered the opportunity to serve as Alumni Engagement Director. Her role is to ensure that the 2,300+ current and future program veteran alumni are informed, connected, and supported as they continue to develop their skills and experience as community-based leaders. She is also able to enable veteran alumni voices to be incorporated into strategic and executional decision making within the organization.
For the past 15 years, nearly half of her life, T’Liza Kiel has served her nation and community to ensure that the military and veteran community in the Houston area thrives. She continues to be a leader of leaders within the veteran community in Houston. Her work is worthy of being recognized as a Hispanic Hero of our community.