by Eric Haun ’12
It is safe to say that Steve Maieli ’08 is a man with an abundance of valuable knowledge and experience, but that is not what causes this Air Force veteran and St. Joseph’s College alumnus to stand out. It’s what he does to share his knowledge and experience with others that makes him special.
Before earning a B.A. in Human Relations from SJC’s Long Island Campus, Mr. Maieli served four years in the United States Air Force. He has since earned a master’s degree in school counseling from Long Island University and is currently making strides to encourage other veterans as they tackle life’s challenges after leaving the United States Armed Forces.
“St. Joseph’s College gave me the necessary building blocks to prepare me for my future, but it also prepared me for going forward with my education and earning a master’s degree,” Mr. Maieli said.
“Studying human relations at SJC taught me how to work with people in a counseling setting. My professors were great and they all had their own unique way of teaching and sharing experiences.”
Since graduating, Mr. Maieli has found a career that fuels his passion – he is currently working as an employment counselor for the New York State Department of Labor where he assists other veterans who are adjusting to civilian life after serving in the United States Armed Forces. In addition, Mr. Maieli is the founder of TransitioningVeteran.com, a website that allows him to further help others as they travel a path similar to his own by providing information about services and organizations that are dedicated to helping veterans.
Inspired by his own experiences when he returned home from the Air Force, Mr. Maieli used his own savings to start the website as a way of reaching countless other veterans who were unaware of the services available to them. Since 2008, he has been providing information and making valuable connections while inspiring other veterans to be successful in their return to civilian life.
“Many of our returning veterans are going to school today and do not know about the benefits they are entitled to,” Mr. Maieli said. “My goal for the site is to make these resources readily known to all veterans while branching out to connect with additional organizations in order to provide them with further assistance.”
His dedication to serving veterans earned Mr. Maieli, along with other representatives from state, county and nonprofit organizations, a coveted spot on the John P. Jennings Advisory Panel. Established in 2011 by Army veteran and New York State Senator Lee Zeldin, the panel works to assist Long Island veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Mr. Maieli also volunteers with The Soldiers Project Long Island Chapter, which provides free counseling to veterans and their families.
“Having the ability to help someone improve their life, guide them through difficult times and to watch them overcome and be successful is an incredible feeling,” Mr. Maieli said. “Being a veteran myself and now working with veterans is a very unique experience. We all have our stories and it’s a real honor to work for fellow veterans, hear their stories and be given that opportunity to help them in any way I can.”
His inspiring passion for sharing experiences and helping others is what rallies other veterans to attend college, establish new careers and utilize veteran benefits, and he urges students to take advantage of their education and understand that what you learn can someday impact the life of someone else.
Never short on inspiration, Mr. Maieli offers this advice: “For those veterans who now find themselves in a classroom, understand there is support out there on campus. Don’t hide that you are a veteran. Be a mentor for others and connect with your college’s veterans club.”
Special Thanks to Valerie and Eric, and also to the St. Joseph’s College Alumni for their support. – Steve