April 17, 2015

Carla Alvarado_12

Carla Alvarado is an Army veteran and Mission Continues Fellow Alumna. She served her fellowship with Miami-based Veterans Oceans Adventures (VOA), a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for veterans to experience the healing power of water through sailing, scuba diving and kayaking.

I moved to Miami shortly after my tour in Afghanistan and separating from the Army. I reconnected with friends who were associated with VOA and was invited to volunteer. Once there, I soon learned about The Mission Continues and decided to apply for a fellowship. This has proven to be the best opportunity I have ever been a part of. I felt passionate about the mission and was truly humbled by my experiences and the opportunity to rehabilitate former service members.

During my fellowship, I was able to find the sense of commitment and responsibility that I had been longing for since leaving the Army. I have been able to positively impact local heroes of Miami, and bring them joy by providing an opportunity to utilize the water as a form of therapy as well as a safe venue for social interaction.

Alpha 2014 Service Project (8)Carla at her fellowship orientation in February of 2014.

The brave men and women I have worked with have been able to interact with other veterans and share experiences. The feeling of accomplishment is more than I could have ever asked for.

Carla completed her fellowship in August. During her six months of service, Carla helped coordinate and lead more than 20 events for veterans. She also helped increase VOA’s online engagement. In addition to her service, she continues to work toward completing her Bachelor’s Degree with honors.