International Women’s Day: The Unexpected Outcomes of Hitting the Trails

March 8, 2018
By Vanessa Davids, Fellow Alumna

This post originally ran on August 30, 2016. We’re sharing Vanessa’s story again today,  International Women’s Day, as and example of the many women who have found new purpose serving through The Mission Continues’ programs. We need your support to send women like Vanessa to our 3rd Annual Women’s Veterans Leadership Summit in Washington, DC in April. Donate here today.

When I left the Marine Corps, I had my future all laid out. I had big plans for returning to school, having a second child, and supporting my (then) husband’s transition from the military had me feeling like I knew where I was going. Until I didn’t. When my husband became abusive, and I was forced to finally make a choice, I had no idea where my new path would lead. All I knew was that I couldn’t stay a minute longer.

March 8th, 2018|All|

An Update To Our Partners

March 6, 2018

You may have read about The Mission Continues in the news lately. Unfortunately, not all of the stories have been about the positive impact we’re creating with the veterans and communities we serve.

We want to take this opportunity to speak directly to you about concerns raised regarding the unauthorized use of our resources for Eric Greitens’ political activities. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the Greitens campaign’s action is the disruption it has created. It distracts from the work you and our team have done together to serve communities and veterans.

March 6th, 2018|All|

Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation Supports Veterans Making an Impact with The Mission Continues, in Partnership with Starbucks and Spotify

PRESS RELEASE

Veterans with The Mission Continues Report for Duty to Create Community Impact Across the Country.

Metallica presents a check from their charitable foundation, All Within My Hands to The Mission Continues

NEW YORK (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 28, 2018 — Metallica’s band members presented a donation from their charitable foundation, All Within My Hands, to The Mission Continues to help empower veterans creating transformational change for communities in need. The band’s contribution marks the foundation’s role as a 2018 Contributing Sponsor for The Mission Continues’ service platoons across the country.

Support from All Within My Hands is part of a greater partnership with Starbucks and Spotify for a charitable gift card sold at participating Starbucks stores nationwide. As part of the promotion, Starbucks and Spotify donated $1 million, divided between Metallica’s All Within My Hands, Chance The Rapper’s Social Works and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

February 28th, 2018|All, Press Releases|

A 40 Year Journey for Unity in My Childhood Community

February 27, 2018
By Derrick Clark, Platoon Leadership Team Member


As a child growing up in the inner city of Pittsburgh, I was always made aware of the importance of Black History Month. So when February came around, we students knew there was going to be some cool classroom projects, autobiographies, and pictures surrounding the classroom that month for us to learn more about African American culture and Black History.

We learned about Marcus Garvey, Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall, and a host of other well-known African American leaders. Some of us would even get to dress up and reenact their life stories in plays, skits and musicals.

~~~

Although it is not blatantly obvious, the undertones of segregation and racial discrimination are prevalent throughout Pittsburgh. To get a glimpse of how separated Pittsburgh can be, one would only have to step one foot into my childhood community, Homewood.

Homewood is a predominately African-American neighborhood in Pittsburgh. When I was a young boy in Homewood, the neighborhood was fun and recreational – there were plenty of activities for children to do around the neighborhood – a skating rink, sports programs, and the like. But the effects of poverty, low-income housing, underemployment, and the drug crisis of the 90’s have since crippled the community.

Pittsburgh has invested millions of dollars into infrastructure and community development, but Homewood was left out of the redeveloping plan. The community still provides programs for youth, but they are not well supported anymore — they have less funding, less manpower, and fewer resources.

Crime is still prevalent in the area and many children and residents have little to no one to look up to. A lot of its residents share the sentiment that no one outside Homewood cares about them.

The struggles of the community and its children resonate with me on a personal level. Like many children in the community today, I grew up with no father in the home. I had a single mother who was addicted to drugs, and it seemed at times that no one cared about the harsh realities of poverty-stricken families in less affluent, drug polluted, communities.

All we had was each other, and with the community being almost completely African American, it seemed as if the outside world simply did not want to deal with the issues in Homewood.

And yet, in the face of this adversity Homewood has always been a proud community.

February 27th, 2018|All, Editor's Picks, Mass Deployment, Service Platoons|

The Battle for (Bio)Diversity

February 23, 2018
By David Riera, Fellow Alum

Social equality – or the lack thereof — has played a deciding role in how communities identify, thrive, survive, or die. Every community — from the veteran community to the conservation community — has to actively find those voices that have been left out of the conversation, and empower them to be heard.

As I reflect on the works of African American legends like Dr. King, George Washington Carver, the Buffalo Soldiers, and other personal heroes of mine, I am prompted to be mindful where social, economic, and environmental justice for all can (and needs to) be intertwined.

Volunteering with the National Parks Conservation Association through The Mission Continues Fellowship Program catapulted me into my desired field: environmental conservation.

Now as a veteran, scientist, and conservationist, I’ve begun to think more about the social dynamics of conservation.

February 23rd, 2018|All, Fellowships|

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|

CarMax and The Mission Continues Announce a Two-Year Partnership to Benefit Veteran Leaders

PRESS RELEASE

Veterans with The Mission Continues Report for Duty to Make an Impact in Communities Across the Country

NEW YORK (PRWEB) February 6, 2018 — CarMax is committed to supporting veterans who are making an impact in their communities through a renewed two-year commitment to veterans nonprofit The Mission Continues. Since 2016, CarMax has been empowering veterans through The Mission Continues as they address pressing local issues and make meaningful social change.

The renewed 2018 partnership kicked off with a service project at Houston’s Roderick Paige Elementary School in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. CarMax, The Mission Continues, and the Greater Houston American Red Cross joined forces as more than 200 volunteers refurbished the school’s grounds and assembled 3,000 “disaster kits” to replenish the kits used during Hurricane Harvey. The project was part of The Mission Continues’ national MLK Day of Service campaign and CarMax’s Houston Strong initiative, dedicated to recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

February 9th, 2018|All, Press Releases|

I Felt Like Myself Again at Mass Deployment

February 9, 2018
By Heather Cereste, Mass Deployment volunteer

Veteran Heather Cereste volunteering at Mass Deployment with The Mission Continues

My first experience with The Mission Continues was as a participant of Mass Deployment, which was dubbed Operation Westside Surge (OWS), and took place in Atlanta, Georgia that year. My volunteer work up until OWS, while enjoyable, hadn’t yet filled the void in me, or given me a new life’s purpose.

I sought something more in my life, but, until OWS, wasn’t quite sure what.

Today I share this journey with you.

February 9th, 2018|All, Editor's Picks, Mass Deployment|

Now Accepting Mass Deployment 2018 Applications

February 5, 2018
Mass Deployment Applications are Open

If you want to spend an intensive week volunteering alongside civic-minded veterans from across the country, Mass Deployment is the service opportunity for you!

Join us June 21-28 2018 as we bring veterans together to show how veteran determination and skills can make a positive difference in a community in need. From this week you will forge bonds with fellow volunteers, learn and grow, and reignite your sense of purpose.

Applications are now open for our third annual Mass Deployment, Operation Watts Is Worth It.

We will select 80 veterans from across the country to help lead this mission. Throughout this week of high-octane volunteerism, emerging veteran leaders such as yourself will give their all as they take on tough community challenges in the Watts area.

February 5th, 2018|All, Mass Deployment|

Meet Latonya Wilson, Mark Weber Award Recipient

February 3, 2018

Latonya Wilson is a veteran and a breast cancer survivor. She earned a Mission Continues Fellowship in 2017, where her dedication to service shone brightly. Here is her story, and why she is exemplary of the values of our dear friend Mark Weber and the Mark Weber Award.

Latonya enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 17 and served for nearly 13 years, with deployments to Korea and Afghanistan under her belt. After separating from the military, she served overseas as a government contractor for nearly eight years.

During this time, she was diagnosed with breast cancer twice and underwent numerous surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.

By 2016, Latonya was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Many people might have given up at this point and been resigned to living out their days in search of relative comfort and peace.

But not Latyona. Inspired by the values she developed in the Army, Latonya dedicated her life to service again. She volunteered with The American Cancer Society, visiting VA Cancer Treatment Facilities to inspire and encourage female cancer patients, fed the homeless at shelters, and assisted a senior housing facilities with daily activities.

February 3rd, 2018|All, Fellowships|