The Mission Continues Welcomes More Than 70 Military Veterans to Los Angeles to Launch New Careers in Service

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National Nonprofit to Host First-Ever Los Angeles Orientation Weekend, Including Volunteer Event at L.A. Dream Center

Through service – whether overseas or alongside neighbors in their home towns – veterans have the potential and the skills to inspire communities and lead a nation.

More than 70 post-9/11 military veterans will begin a new chapter of service to their country this week by leading the Los Angeles community in a service project at The Dream Center. The veterans are gathering in Los Angeles from communities across the United States for Alpha Orientation with The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping post-9/11 veterans find renewed meaning and purpose in civilian life through six-month service fellowships with local nonprofit organizations in their hometowns.

“The Mission Continues was founded on the belief that veterans’ service to their country does not end when they return home,” said Spencer Kympton, president of The Mission Continues. “Through service – whether overseas or alongside neighbors in their home towns – veterans have the potential and the skills to inspire communities and lead a nation.”

Alpha Orientation culminates with a service project on Saturday, January 26. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. that day, veterans will work side-by-side with community volunteers from throughout the Los Angeles metro area, to refurbish common areas and serve meals to patrons, helping The Dream Center fulfill its mission of addressing the immediate and long-term needs of homelessness, hunger relief, medical care, and education. The service project will conclude with the veterans taking an official oath of community service during a special post-project ceremony that marks the beginning of their fellowships.

“The Dream Center is about offering second chances and opportunities for many who have met life's tougher challenges head-on" said Pastor Matthew Barnett, Co-Founder, The Dream Center. "The 70 volunteer veterans of The Mission Continues will be doing a tremendous service for The Dream Center that will touch thousands upon thousands in the days and years ahead. They are our heroes. Not just on the battlefields, but for each person in need who will come through our doors."

The Dream Center service event is a central component of The Mission Continues’ 2013 Alpha Orientation, the group’s first-ever national orientation event in Los Angeles. Once they leave Los Angeles, the members of Alpha class –known as Fellows – will return to their homes across the country to begin service work with local nonprofit organizations. Throughout their service experience, Fellows are able to translate military experiences into civilian skills, gaining valuable work experience and pursuing a defined post-fellowship goal.

Among the members of Alpha class is Los Angeles native and retired U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran Jaime Magallanes. After serving more than 10 years in the Marine Corps including three combat tours to Iraq, Magallanes returned home, looking for a way to continue his service.

Through The Mission Continues, Magallanes will begin volunteering 20 hours a week at The Boys and Girls Club of Southwest County. At the facility, he will leverage his personal and military background to coach and mentor at-risk kids. He hopes to be a role model and to create an environment of safety and positivity for children in the community.

“A lot of these kids have a tough home life, but I want them to be able to trust me, like my Marines trusted me,” Magallanes said. “I want to be a role model and mentor to help them in their future, but I think they have as much to teach me about being a good father, as I can teach them about leading a purposeful life.”

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The Mission Continues Fellows and volunteers will work together to renovate The Dream Center’s common rooms, build an outdoor recreation area and feed local homeless individuals.

Interview Opportunities:

  •     70 Fellows of The Mission Continues (post-9/11 veterans representing four of the five military branches)
  •     Eric Greitens, founder and CEO of The Mission Continues
  •     Spencer Kympton, president of The Mission Continues

About The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues challenges veterans to serve and inspire in communities across America. Founded by former U.S. Navy SEAL Eric Greitens in 2007 upon his return from deployment to Iraq, The Mission Continues offers post-9/11 veterans six-month community service fellowships with nonprofit organizations in their hometowns. Through service, The Mission Continues has helped more than 500 veterans reconnect to their communities at home, offering a pathway to utilize their tremendous skills and leadership toward one of three ultimate outcomes: pursuit of higher education, securing full-time employment, or continuing in a full-time position of community service. For more information, please visit http://www.missioncontinues.org.

About The Dream Center
Founded in 1994, The Dream Center provides a range of vital services, including rehabilitation programs, transitional shelter for homeless families and victims of human trafficking, mobile hunger relief and medical programs, foster care intervention, and education/job skills training all targeted at rebuilding lives and families. The Dream Center’s long record of success has led to the establishment of more than 100 independent Dream Centers across the United States and around the world. For more information go to http://www.dreamcenter.org

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Laura L'Esperance
The Mission Continues
917-375-4930
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