July 3, 2015

By Mike Liguori

The Mission Continues 2

Veterans expect their hard work to be meaningful. We trained to be proficient in the military, and now that we’re out, we want to know that every choice accomplishes our objectives.

A big part of my job at The Mission Continues is to show how much veterans will get out of our Fellowship Program. So here it is.

Serve How You Want and Where You Want

The fellowship is a six month, 20 hour a week commitment to service at an organization of your choice. You choose where you want to serve and what you will be doing there. It’s the reason why each and every fellowship we’ve awarded since 2007 has been unique. From working with the homeless to training service dogs for wounded and disabled veterans, The Mission Continues Fellows are taking the next step in their service by helping those they are passionate about.

Learn and Grow

Let’s face it. If you avoid taking risks or experimenting, or don’t push yourself to the limits, you’re not growing. The Fellowship Program empowers you to take charge and tackle some of the challenges faced with reintegration. The most successful people in the world practice lifelong learning. No matter what the circumstance, they continue to seek self-improvement. If you take the chances, the reward is much greater.

Everything is Earned

I borrowed this from my days in the Marine Corps,  but we don’t give you anything at The Mission Continues. We don’t give out fellowships like ice cream on a hot summer day. No way. You’ll earn everything — including a stipend. We only want veterans who are ready to take the challenge to continue serving. You’ll go through some interviews with our programs team as we get to know you and your drive to serve. Think of it as a conversation. The more you put into your online application, finding a host organization that aligns with your goals, the greater the chance you will be selected. If you want to earn the Dove Eagle and wear with pride, you got to take the first step. So start your application today.

You’ll Get Connected

Once you’re a Fellow, we fly you out to orientation in a major U.S. city where you will meet other veterans from across the country who want to make a difference. It’ll be one of the few times in your life you will be surrounded by a group of like-minded folks who want to serve alongside you. In addition, we always get down and dirty with a kickass service project over the weekend. It’s a long few days, and you’ll drink from the fire hose. But we’re here to help guide you along

It’s A New Beginning

Volunteering is hard. Service projects are exhausting. Facing your fears, addressing your challenges is not for everyone. But the fellowship is a fresh start for some and a new beginning for all. It’s going to be tough balancing school, work, family with this program this intensive and rewarding. Nothing will make you feel better when you finish your fellowship and now are an alumni of the program. Your new beginning consists of platoon members, staff, Fellows and alumni who all wear blue and know that service isn’t just something you learn from the days in the military. It’s part of who you are from now on.

Mike Liguori is the veteran outreach specialist for the Northeast region at The Mission Continues. He is an Iraq war veteran and currently blogs for The Huffington Post.