Meet Our Coaches
Mildred (Mily) Aranda has been an Operation Family Caregiver coach since April 2020, serving both English- and Spanish-speaking caregivers. Based in San Antonio, Texas, Mily has taught at New Mexico State University and the University of Texas San Antonio for the last 10 years. She has provided mental health services through both group sessions and one-on-one settings to individuals and families, including military veterans, students, and active duty members. Mily has two very close friends who are military, and she has been a part of their struggles and victories in life.
Jessica Maples has been a caregiver coach with Operation Family Caregiver since early 2019. Jessica is a veteran who served in the Army for 5 ½ years. She comes from a long line of military service, including both her parents, as well as her husband. Prior to working with Operation Family Caregiver, Jessica worked with an organization that sought to identify homeless veterans, providing them with housing and other needed services. After years of assisting her husband with the challenges he has from serving in the military, she has a keen insight into the struggles that veterans and their caregivers face. Jessica currently lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Britania Grajeda Esparza has been an Operation Family Caregiver coach since August 2019 and serves English and Spanish speaking caregivers. Based in El Paso, Texas, Britania previously worked in the Columbia River Gorge, helping survivors of violence as an advocate, running and managing an emergency shelter. Britania also created The Dalles Housing Solutions coalition, an initiative to develop affordable housing in the area. She attended Northern Arizona University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary studies in Community Development and Sustainability, as well as a minor in Human Behavior. She also holds a degree in Wildlife Biology and is a caregiver to her husband, a disabled Navy veteran.
Katie Newby is based in Michigan and has bachelor’s degrees in psychology and nursing. She comes to OFC with a background in dementia care and has served as a caregiver coach within another RCI program tailored to caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, RCI REACH. She also regularly volunteers in mental health and recovery fields, frequently facilitating large support groups. She has several family members who have served in various branches of the U.S. military and her best friend is a disabled USAF veteran. Katie is passionate about supporting caregivers because she has also found herself on the caregiving continuum personally and professionally, and recognizes the importance of finding understanding, compassion, and empowerment on the caregiving journey.
Myra Braswell is a graduate of South University and carries certifications in the field of Gerontology and Aging-related specialties. Her passion is working with those who are providing care for persons with dementia, and is currently working as the Clinical Coordinator for two grant projects that provide education and training for long-term care staff on dementia care, approaches, and protocols. Myra serves as a coach for REACH and Operation Family Caregiver at RCI. Being the daughter of a career veteran and mother of a veteran, gives her insight and understanding into the culture and lifestyle of veteran families and their unique challenges as caregivers. Having assisted in the care of her father, caregiving is both a personal and professional matter of heart! Myra works hard to establish a personal connection with those for whom she coaches or trains and aspires to make caregivers aware that they are not alone in their caregiving journey!