Why Watts Is Worth It

June 29, 2018
By Regan Turner, West Region Executive Director

The Mission Continues launched our service platoon program in Los Angeles just over four years ago. Since then, we have engaged more than 1,000 local veterans and community members in service with our three service platoons, and have grown our local staff from two remote employees to seven full-time staff in an office in the LA Promise Zone.

It was actually right here in Los Angeles that The Mission Continues piloted our very first “operation,” which has now become our national model for collaboration and community impact.

Thanks to encouragement and introductions made by our friends at Bad Robot and The Wasserman Foundation, we connected with an organization called the Partnership for LA Schools more than three years ago.

The Partnership serves some of LA’s most under-resourced schools in Watts, Boyle Heights and South LA by providing their staff and community with additional resources to improve educational outcomes.

In speaking with the Partnership staff, we realized that they had not just one school in need of renovation work, but an entire portfolio of almost 20 schools that could use the help of The Mission Continues and our veterans.

Since our first project at Stephenson Middle School in 2015, The Mission Continues has performed more than 15 projects at Partnership Schools. We were honored to receive their Community Partner of the Year award in 2016.

Many of those school projects were in Watts, at Markham Middle School, Grape Street Elementary, Gompers Middle School, and 107th Elementary School, among others.

So last year, when The Mission Continues began looking across the country to determine the location of our 2018 Mass Deployment, Los Angeles — specifically Watts — was a natural choice.

June 29th, 2018|All, Mass Deployment, Staff Perspectives|

Volunteering Is the New Network

April 20, 2018
By Brian Wilson, Mission Continues alumnus

Brian Wilson is a Mission Continues Fellowship Alumnus and a veteran of the US Army. He is currently the Creative Technology Manager at Combined Arms in Houston, Texas. 

I have volunteered since I was 12. My dad talked to a person at the Parks and Recreation department in our small town and for six hours a week I pulled weeds at parks and picked

April 20th, 2018|All, Staff Perspectives|

Introducing David Diaz, Vice President of Regional Operations

April 13, 2018

We recently welcomed veteran David Diaz to The Mission Continues as our Vice President of Regional Operations. Here’s a sneak preview of the impact David plans to bring to the team.

 

How do you plan to support the mission as its new VP of Regional Operations?

I plan to support the mission of The Mission Continues by synchronizing our program execution for maximum impact. I see my

April 13th, 2018|All, Staff Perspectives|

To Truly Help Communities, We Need to Become a Part of Them

February 15, 2018
By Rahiel Alemu, City Impact Manager

I’ve discovered that “helping” is not as simple as it sounds. It takes a lot more than just “showing up” to make the kind of impact that is actually needed in a community.

I have always been passionate about nonprofit work, and have dedicated my career to the nonprofit sector. Part of what fulfills and drives this passion is my background and my desire to pay it forward.

Let me take you back twenty years ago when Ethiopia instituted the Diversity Immigrant Visa program. It’s a lottery system with a prize of a life-changing opportunity: a plane ticket and green card to America. With its unveiling, tens of thousands of people applied.

By a rare draw of luck, my family was selected.

February 15th, 2018|All, Editor's Picks, Staff Perspectives|

Introducing Our New Northeast Executive Director

January 19, 2018

Mohan Sivaloganathan, Executive Director - Northeast for The Mission Continues

We’re excited for you to meet Northeast Executive Director Mohan Sivaloganathan. While the Mission Continues community will get to know him in good time, we wanted to break the ice and let him introduce himself in these three questions.

January 19th, 2018|All, Editor's Picks, Staff Perspectives|

Humans of The Mission Continues

December 23, 2017
By Spencer Kympton, President

Over the year, marks of our individual identities were on public display like never before: on hats, stickers, and t-shirts – and almost inescapably – on our social media profiles, banners, hashtags, retweets and newsfeeds.

Unfortunately, our reactions to these displays have not made our country more unified.

Instead of embracing our differences as opportunities to understand one another, we’re using them as

December 23rd, 2017|All, Staff Perspectives|

#HoustonStrong: Rebuilding After Hurricane Harvey

September 7, 2017
Barry Mattson, Central Region Executive Director

It has been heartening to see our Mission Continues family rally together to help us in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. As we have worked with Houston communities for years, it is saddening to see the damage done. While our platoon members and staff are focused locally with neighbor-helping-neighbor efforts as well as working with their operational partners right now, we are planning our long-term recovery efforts too.

I know there are no quick fixes for all that Houston has endured. We weathered this storm and we are committed to rebuilding our communities. We are adjusting the objectives of all five of our Houston operations to include long-term, ongoing recovery operations. This is what Mission Continues is all about — we’re in it for the long haul.

To help us with this commitment, many generous Houstonians and friends from across the country have stepped up as we’re getting closer to reaching our Hurricane Harvey response fundraising goal to help our veterans continue to report for duty in our Houston communities.

September 8th, 2017|All, Service Platoons, Staff Perspectives|

How We’re Going to Rock the Next 10 Years

August 24, 2017

Today is a big day for The Mission Continues — it’s our 10th birthday! Over the years we have strengthened and expanded beyond our core programs, and now have even more innovative opportunities for veterans to serve again, so that the next decade of service can be as kickass as the first.

The Mission Continues family is made by its people — fellows, alumni, platoon members, and supporters.

August 24th, 2017|All, Staff Perspectives|

Stepping Up to the Plate: Breaking Records in Baseball

May 19, 2017

On May 26-29th, two teams of amateur baseball players, including military veterans, will gather in the St. Louis, MO area in an attempt to break the world record of the “Longest Marathon Baseball Game” ever played. The game is being held in support of The Mission Continues in order to raise awareness for veterans. We empower veterans to reintegrate into civilian life through community service, and are excited about this opportunity to share our message with the greater population. The players will try to establish a new record of over 72 uninterrupted hours of baseball, surpassing their 2015 record of 70 hours, 9 minutes and 24 seconds.

You can join in on the fun by bidding in the silent auction or supporting the players! Prizes include a Big Cedar Lodge Get-a-Way and a Breckenridge Cabin Get-a-way.

May 19th, 2017|All, Staff Perspectives|

Undocumented: How One Word Changed My Life

May 5, 2017
By Nestor Ramirez, Staff Member

Imagine you were barred from legally getting a job, a driver’s license, or if you wanted to go to college, financial aid. This was my reality for many years and it made me fearful and confused. I want to share my story with you to show you the struggles and experiences that led me to find my purpose in life which is to contribute to my community and country.  And I want to discuss how my experiences relate to those of immigrants in America.

I was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. And when I was three years old, I was brought to the U.S. by my mother. She wanted a better life for me and my sister but she couldn’t bring us here legally. As a result, I lived the next 20 years of my life undocumented. A few years later my father reunited with us.

When I was seven years old my father casually told me at a family gathering that I was undocumented and that I was different from other people. His words seared in my mind. Undocumented.  How could one word change my life?  I didn’t feel different; I didn’t look different, but I was now set apart. Growing up I had a difficult time resolving in my head that I was undocumented and I was going to be legally barred from getting a job. At the same time, I had people around me encouraging me to do well in school. I remember in 7th grade my teacher told our class: “each of you has the opportunity to go to college and get a good job. You just have to work hard enough.”

May 5th, 2017|All, Staff Perspectives|