Leading the Pack

June 16, 2016
By Amber Johnson

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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”

Defining Passion

June 13, 2016
By Rhonda Schlumpberger, Fellow

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Passion is the act of having a powerful or compelling emotion or feeling. We hear this word used often in today’s culture: “I’m passionate about rock climbing, music, photography, riding horses, cooking, travel….” The list is endless.

But what about a passion for serving?

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The Mission Continues, Community Partner of The Year

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.

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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.

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Blazing Trails in Our National Parks

June 8, 2016

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Our nation’s national parks were originally protected by the military, and for the past few months, The Mission Continues New York 3rd Platoon has continued to do just that. The platoon has sustained involvement with the largest national park in New York, Gateway National Recreation Area, which is home to both wildlife and historic forts.

Together, they have protected New York Harbor for over 200 years. Today, they remain among the oldest military installations in the country. To preserve this rich history, platoon members have worked over the past few months to rehabilitate a nature and history trail within the park. This trail, which has not been open to the public for decades, can now be used in educational tours that are the backbone of interpretation at the park. As the summer tourist season is about to begin, the opening of this trail could not have come at a better time.

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The Detroit I Know

June 3, 2016
By Courtney Sloat

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They love their city and they don’t want to leave. They have lived here their whole lives and are proud of it. There’s a strong sense of determination and perseverance. Who am I talking about? The people of Detroit.

That’s why I was thrilled when I saw that The Mission Continues was coming to Detroit for an entire week, working alongside local community members and partners to help rebuild our city. I had just joined the Detroit Platoon in order to volunteer in my community while also connecting with fellow veterans in my area, and this seemed like a great opportunity. Continue reading “The Detroit I Know”

Partaking in a Cycle of Service at Democracy Prep

May 31, 2016

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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”

A Reminder of Why I Serve

May 20th, 2016
By Vanessa Thomas, Fellow Alum

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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.

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How I Found a Job I Love with The Mission Continues

May 16, 2016
By Stephanie Grimes, City Impact Manager

“How’s the new job going?” is a question I have answered no less than 50 times in the last month, as I recently took on the role of City Impact Manager in Pittsburgh for The Mission Continues.

Over the years, I have lived in a lot of places and been in lot of roles.  After graduating college, I moved to Philadelphia where I taught middle school as a Teach for America corp member.

A year later I married my husband, who was in the Army.  We moved from one duty location to another for the next four years. I found meaningful work in a number of jobs supporting high risk youth, had a child of my own, endured a few deployments, and in 2011 I finally ended up in Pittsburgh upon my husband’s discharge from the Army.

Truth be told, we had never even visited Pittsburgh before making the jump.  We crossed our fingers, told ourselves that we could make it through anything, and made our way through tunnels and over bridges to our new home.  In the years following my husband’s transition from the military, our family fell in love with our new city of Pittsburgh.

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