June 16, 2016
By Amber Johnson
Editor’s Note: This week we’d like to share an inspiring story of a veteran who, after a long military career, was inspired to start his own nonprofit focused on serving youth. DeRemer’s life and his work bears kinship with The Mission Continues.
It’s 7:30 a.m. on a spring morning, and Lee DeRemer is surrounded by 20 teenage boys, each full of nervous energy. Scattered around the edges of the group are bikes, helmets, and other gear. In front of them are 72 miles of Pennsylvania backroads.
They’ll be in Philadelphia by the end of the day, but they’re not riding just to reach a destination; they’re riding to learn they’re capable of the impossible.
Continue reading “Leading the Pack”
June 10, 2016
Last year we teamed up with Partnership for L.A. Schools (PLAS) to help youth in underprivileged neighborhoods. The Mission Continues was recently recognized for this work as “Community Partner of The Year,” a distinction given to a PLAS partner who “passionately and generously works to develop and strengthen the school community.” The award was given at the Up Awards, which are hosted by PLAS annually to honor parents, teachers, and leaders in the community that support PLAS Schools.
The Mission Continues 2nd and 3rd Service Platoons in LA served in the Boyle Heights and Watts communities, respectively. Platoon Leaders Richard Krykew and Majken Geiman have lead the way in both leadership and heart to make this partnership flourish.
Continue reading “The Mission Continues, Community Partner of The Year”
May 31, 2016
Earlier this month, The Mission Continues worked alongside 1st grade students at Democracy Prep in Washington D.C. to put together a Teacher Work Room. Our regional Executive Director Mary Beth Bruggeman and service platoon member Johanna Ciezczak joined the project, which took place on the last day of the school’s week of service.
The week of service was implemented by teachers who wanted to build a culture of community service for students. While there, we had a chance to talk to 1st grade students about the importance of service and tell them our story. Most important, we shared how much we enjoy serving at their school and why we do it. Continue reading “Partaking in a Cycle of Service at Democracy Prep”
May 20th, 2016
By Vanessa Thomas, Fellow Alum
As our nation honors military service and sacrifice on Armed Forces Day, I find myself thinking about one veteran in particular: my father.
He served 24 years in the United States Air Force. We were constantly on the go, moving eight times throughout my childhood. It wasn’t always easy, but the older I got, the more I understood that being a Master Sergeant wasn’t just a job for him, it was a purpose. The example he set ignited something within me too. While many of my classmates were dreaming of growing up to be a doctor, lawyer, or professional athlete, I had something different in mind.
I wanted to serve.
Continue reading “A Reminder of Why I Serve”
June 30, 2015
Alexis Wormley served four years in the United States Marine Corps. In the spring of 2014, nearly ten years to the day after leaving the military, Alexis was introduced to Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). The experience was the first step in his journey to discover a new passion – youth mentorship. It was while attending a WWP conference that Alexis was introduced to The Mission Continues and learned about the Fellowship Program. A few months later, Alexis found himself in Houston surrounded by veterans from across the country with experiences, passions and desires similar to his.
Continue reading “What Fellowship Orientation Did for Me”
February 19, 2015
I am always happy when a group of volunteers come to help out at our youth center. All the hard and unsung work you’ve done trying to make a difference in your community is somehow substantiated when people think enough to take time out of their schedules to help you out. It’s always a special time for me, but it’s never been as emotional as it was when the veterans from The Mission Continues came to our door. I felt an immediate connection.
My cousin Al Wooten, Jr. was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1989. His mother, Myrtle Faye Rumph, founded our youth center a year later in his honor. His murder and the potential impact of gang violence on our youth is a major driving factor in our lives. When I greeted the veterans who came to volunteer, I thought about the violence some of them had endured and how, despite their turmoil, they were here at our doorstep wanting to serve once again. It reminded me of my aunt pushing past her trauma to help others.
Continue reading “It Wasn’t Just a Project. It Was a Mission.”
February 12, 2014
Larson, center, at the Alpha Class 2014 Orientation service project.
The Mission Continues welcomed 80 veterans to The Mission Continues Fellowship Program in February of 2014, including Army veteran Pam Larson. For many, the opportunity to spend a weekend alongside a room-full of other veterans opens doors to stories and conversations not normally shared. Larson shared one such example with the Orlando Sentinel:
At least one third had service-related injuries, but the camaraderie makes it easier to talk about says Pam Larson, a 27-year-old Army veteran and single mom from Columbia, S.C. Larson laughed with a group of other vets about getting shot in the leg in Iraq. Civilians think it’s “crazy,” Larson said, but the story is easily shared among fellow vets.
“We all have our own battle stories,” she said. “It was our daily life. It wasn’t, like, a shocker…I was just doing my job.”
Continue reading ““We all have our own battle stories””
August 2, 2014
“I know the kids are going to go crazy on Monday, the ones that are here are already smiling, that somebody says there are people who love you…It makes them feel good. We feel like that just because you’re in the inner center doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the best.”
The veterans of 1st Platoon Los Angeles recently deployed to Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center. The center provides a safe and nurturing environment where boys and girls ages 8 to 18 can participate in academic enrichment programs and recreational activities exploring a world of opportunities.