Philadelphia 1st Service Platoon Expands Operation with the Help of JROTC Students

After 2 years of working at Edison High School, Philadelphia 1st Platoon is expanding their operation to include additional schools throughout the district.

In order to ensure that the expansion and growth is done in a strategic, human-centered way, our staff (City Impact Manager Stephanie Grimes and Regional Project Specialist Marvin Cadet) traveled to Philadelphia to facilitate a visioning and design session with stakeholders from the Philadelphia School Districts Office of Special Education and leadership and JROTC students from Martin Luther King High School.

Continue reading “Philadelphia 1st Service Platoon Expands Operation with the Help of JROTC Students”

How I Was Inspired to Become a Platoon Leader

December 8, 2017
Anthony Fedele, Platoon Leader

Anthony Fedele volunteering with The Mission Continues

Before I became a platoon leader, I was unsure of where I was headed. I was lost, floating in the sea of confusion, misdirection, and distraction.

I was first introduced to The Mission Continues through their Mass Deployment program. That intense week of service made me feel as though someone had pulled me up onto the ship, gave me an oxygen mask, and patted me on the bum saying, “Go this way…”

I felt alive again.

After Mass Deployment I decided to travel to visit service platoons in the Northeast. I was in awe of the platoon leaders’ selflessness, community-driven motivation, and commitment to service. These were individuals who showed me what the word “leader” really meant.

Anthony Fedele volunteering with The Mission Continues

This inspired me to become a platoon leader too, and to grow into the shoes of my predecessors.

Being a platoon leader has given me the opportunity to do just that — bring veterans and civilians together. Together we have contributed almost 1,600 volunteer hours in Philadelphia this past year.

Platoon leaders have the ability to bring people together for a common cause. To benefit both our veteran brothers and sisters and the communities in which we belong to that have been desperately waiting for leaders like us to show up. We know deep down inside our actions have had a real impact on our community.

I have seen our youth volunteers grow throughout the year. They started out having no idea what tool names were, and now they are able to build planters, benches, dugouts, and sometimes even share their newfound knowledge with adults.

But the most impactful experience for me is being able to watch veterans transform through this process too. Being able to see that light reignited in their eyes as they work with the youth, teaching and coaching them throughout the day.

I can see that hole inside them start to close up just a little bit.

People often ask me why I do the things that I do here in Philadelphia. Here is my answer: I have been fortunate enough to find a new direction to follow and as I continue down this path, it is on me to be the one who turns around and reaches back into the darkness to the next individual who is looking for that guidance.

Our Mission Continues.


Report for duty in your community with The Mission Continues. Serve with a Service Platoon at an upcoming service event near you or apply for a fellowship. You can learn more about our programs on our website and stay updated on the latest news and announcements on Facebook and Twitter.

Learning and Growing at the Platoon Leader Summit

November 10, 2016


This past week Platoon Leaders and Team Leaders gathered in Philadelphia for our annual Platoon Leader Summit. Over the weekend they learned skills from experts and each other that will help them create kickass service events, build relationships in their communities, and cultivate a thriving platoon.

Our Platoon Leaders are dedicated to making meaningful and sustainable impact in the communities they serve. They all have different leadership styles and different perspectives they bring to the table, and each person has something to help their peers learn and grow. Continue reading “Learning and Growing at the Platoon Leader Summit”

Leading the Pack

June 16, 2016
By Amber Johnson

Jamal high five

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”