My Transition Was Easy, Finding Meaning After Service Was Not

By Heather Byington

On paper, I’m one of those vets who lack job stability and goal attainment after serving. Nearly four years after retirement, I’m back to square one. I wear many part-time hats: platoon leader, personal trainer, student, and Lyft driver.  It’s not the traditional definition of success, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Mission Continues Jobs and How To Get Them

By Caitlin Zbikowski, staff

My name is Caitlin Zbikowski and I’m the Manager of Talent Acquisition & Onboarding at The Mission Continues. Eight years ago, I began my search for employment. I was a Senior at the University of Missouri – Columbia (“Mizzou”). I aspired to work for a nonprofit organization in St. Louis (my hometown) after I graduated.

I had never heard of The Mission Continues before. They never came up in my searches. I had never thought about working with veterans, which was very strange because my brother was a post 9/11 veteran. After I started reading about their mission, vision and the programs they had to offer veterans like my brother, I WAS HOOKED! I really put my heart and soul into my application and interviews, so when I was extended an offer, I cried a little.

No more about me though. Let’s shift gears – talk about you – and what you can expect as an applicant.

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The Mission Continues Announces Upcoming Change of Command As It Embarks On Three-Year Strategic Plan

PRESS RELEASE

  •  President and veteran advocate, Spencer Kympton will depart at the end of July, and has selected Mary Beth Bruggeman, VP, Program Strategy to succeed him.
  • Nana Adae, Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase, will be the new board chair, succeeding John Tien, Managing Director, Citigroup
  • With these changes, two high-level leadership positions in the organization will be held by women.

NEW YORK, March 11, 2019 (PRNewswire) – The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to continue their service, and empowers communities with veteran skills to generate visible impact, today announced a “passing of the guidon” effective August 1. Spencer Kympton, President, has decided to step down as of July 31, and the Board of Directors’ has approved Mary Beth Bruggeman as his successor. Long-time board member Nana Adae was also elected new Board Chair as John Tien’s seven-year Board service, and four-year term as Board Chair, comes to an end.

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Including Women in our Stories of Service

By Aryanna Berringer, volunteer

No one’s story should be suppressed or ignored, but all too often, that is the case for women veterans. We strive to empower women veterans to be leaders in and through our programs. We want to highlight one such story in anticipation of our 4th annual Women Veterans Leadership Summit and in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Aryanna Berringer is a Women Veterans Leadership Summit attendee and an active volunteer with our Pittsburgh service platoons. Here is her story as told by her. If you’re as inspired by these stories as we are, consider donating. Your support empowers women veterans to realize their full potential as civic leaders.

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Is it Enough? A Piece of Justice Blues

By David Riera, platoon member

I can remember being in school when Columbus Day was still on the calendar and MLK Day was celebrated as part of Black History Week. Now in 2019, almost 22 years after my last Black history report in U.S. History class, and 12 years since I received my honorable discharge, I reflect back and note that a day or a week was not justice at all.

As we completed our 2019 MLK project at Brownsville Middle School in Miami, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many other civic and community groups come to lend their strength, ‘cause three hours of raking dead leaves is no laughing matter, but at the end we all had smiles on our faces.  

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Celebrating a White Season through Blue Service

By Alwyn Rodriguez, volunteer

Yesterday

As the holidays came to a close, I took some time to reflect. I am truly grateful for my ability to continue to serve.

When I was discharged from the military, I went through numerous financial, professional, academic and even spiritual setbacks. The few holidays I can remember without having my family, not being in a comfortable bed, or eating my mom’s home cooking, was not ideal.

My time in the U.S. Navy seems both far and close at the same time. Yet I felt being able help and mingle with different people, especially when the holidays roll around, gave me a sense of purpose. But the holidays when I was with my brethren was spent in unfamiliar waters and lands, surrounded with mostly familiar faces was uplifting.

I rediscovered my esprit de corps when I joined The Mission Continues, and continue to flourish, to be more involved, and to improve others’ lives and the environment.

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The “Why” Behind our Annual Survey

By Heather Pekios, staff member

If you’re reading this, then you have likely received an email from our Research & Evaluation team requesting your feedback on our third Annual Survey. In the past, we asked about what brought you to The Mission Continues and how your participation has impacted you.

You helped us develop the  Empowered Veteran Index framework and focus our programming on connectedness, personal growth, and community impact.

Your insights also helped our programs become better. We listened to what is working and what is not to make improvements to our existing programs like Mass Deployment. It also led to the launch of our Service Leadership Corps when we saw the desire of our veterans wanting to serve in a new way.

In short, survey respondents have helped us to become stronger as an organization, to strengthen our programs that are empowering veterans as community based leaders, and to become even more inclusive as an organization.

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