November 4, 2016
We are happy to welcome Renee Foster, our new City Impact Manager for Hampton Roads in Virginia. As a Navy veteran and former Platoon Leader, Renee is already familiar with The Mission Continues family. But we want to introduce her to you too. After interviewing her, we’ve put together a little Q&A about Renee.
Describe your city for someone who has never been to it. What do you see as its most urgent challenges?
Hampton Roads is the name of the geographical area encompassing seven cities. We have a large population of at-risk youth, and gang violence is the biggest issue here. I live in the area myself, and I think some of this is happening because there are not enough jobs for youth. Most of the jobs available to them are low paying jobs, so young people resort to selling drugs as the money-making option.
I also see a lack of father or mother figures in the lives of these youth, because some of them are living in a single parent households. A solution to that could be a strong mentorship program for teens and young adults to help them build job-related skills and get them to see beyond where they are now.
What drew you to The Mission Continues?
For me, being a veteran is a strong part of my identity. The thing I miss most about the military is the camaraderie and the structure. I was drawn to The Mission Continues because even though I didn’t serve in the post-9/11 era, (because I got out in ‘97), I still wanted to help the people who did serve post-9/11. I want to help my military brothers and sisters.
What is something you think everyone needs to hear about veterans?
I don’t like it when I hear people say that veterans are “brainwashed” or “reprogrammed.” I say veterans are humans too. We make mistakes and have our moments just like everybody else. We’re human. Even while we’re in the military and even when we get out, we’re human first.
What is something embarrassing that’s happened to you that is unique?
I am prone to trip when there’s nothing there!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love camping, fishing, biking, shooting and archery ranges — pretty much anything outdoors.
If you had to be a fictional character, who would you choose and why?
I would be wonder woman. I would be able to handle all things, be in different places in the blink of an eye, and be that invisible fly on the wall. I think the part I would love the most is being able to help people and do good.
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