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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

The Mission Continues Launches Innovative Veterans Leadership Program

The veterans’ nonprofit is kicking off the new six-month, intensive training program by bringing together more than 50 veterans for a weekend-long event in Newark

Press Release – NEWARK, NEW JERSEY (OCT. 2, 2018) – Veterans’ nonprofit, The Mission Continues, is empowering veterans as community-based leaders with the launch of its latest program, the Service Leadership Corps. The program is an opportunity for civic-minded veterans to serve on the community level, while further developing their leadership abilities. Through the implementation of the renowned Human-Centered Design framework by the LUMA Institute and custom designed educational objectives, veterans will learn new ways to identify and address our nation’s most critical issues as advocates for change.

The Service Leadership Corps (SLC) will provide veterans with an immersive curriculum that includes engaging workshops, online learning, collaborative assignments, and experiential learning. In partnership with non-profit organizations, Corps members will apply their training to address the most significant challenges within a given community.

“Veterans leave the military with the experience and motivation to be community leaders, but they often need an additional skill set in order to be successful,” says Mary Beth Bruggeman, vice president of program strategy for The Mission Continues. “The Service Leadership Corps provides that training and couples it with the opportunity for veterans to drive long-term impact in under-resourced communities around the country.”

Over 650 veterans applied for the inaugural SLC cohort, expressing their desire to be at the forefront of a veteran-led movement for community change. The program has attracted a diverse applicant pool ranging in education, gender, ethnicity and location. Veterans were selected based on their eagerness to tackle a challenging curriculum and motivation to learn and connect with others. The program officially kicks off October 19-21 in Newark. The first of four in-person sessions, the event will bring together over 50 veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves from across the country to begin the immersive, six-month training experience.

While in Newark, veterans will take part in workshops and activities to gain a better understanding of the following core values of the program:

Community-Based Leadership: The challenging leadership curriculum includes workshops, individual and group learning activities, guest speakers, creative assignments and more. Additionally, the curriculum will include skill and knowledge building including advocacy, cultural competency, public speaking, problem-solving, and assessing community-specific needs.

Online Community & Cohorts: The Service Leadership Corps Program involves both in-person learning opportunities and a virtual community to keep corps members connected to each other. The online community will allow corps members to learn together in virtual trainings and workshops and to collaborate while being in different cities across the country between in-person sessions.

Real World Application: During the program, veterans will connect directly with community organizations and take on clearly defined projects for the organizations, working to solve a real-time challenge in their community.

Personal Growth: Corps members will build confidence and abilities in problem-solving, resiliency, and communication through a cycle of learning and application of skills. At the completion of the program, corps members will have an increased ability to identify, assess and plan solutions to some of the biggest challenges national nonprofit partners are facing utilizing aspects of community-based leadership.

Service: Corps members will advance in the curriculum between in-person sessions while also beginning to apply their skills to real-time community challenges.

Between learning sessions, the 50+ veterans will take their training outside the classroom to lead a local service project at the Newark Boys & Girls Club campus on Saturday, October 20. The project is part of an on-going partnership between The Mission Continues and the local Boys & Girls Club to beautify the area and foster positive community engagement. During the project, veterans and local volunteers will refurbish facilities across the campus to benefit both local youth and elderly residents.

After returning home from Newark, Corps members will dig into their team-based virtual learning and work in groups with a non-profit partner as drivers for positive social impact. Corps members will emerge after program completion prepared and energized to forge ahead in their pursuit of community-based service. To learn more about the Service Leadership Corps, head to www.missioncontinues.org/service-leadership-corps/.

About The Mission Continues

The Mission Continues is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to build stronger communities through service. Our programs in cities across the country deploy veteran volunteers alongside nonprofit partners and community leaders to improve educational resources, increase access to parks and green spaces, foster neighborhood identity, and more. Through this unique model, veterans build meaningful connections and grow as individuals while creating long-term, sustainable local impact. To learn more, visit http://www.missioncontinues.org or follow us on Twitter at @missioncontinue.


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