Over the past year, I have been serving with The Mission Continues, which is a veteran led nonprofit that empowers veterans to to find purpose through community impact. We deploy veterans on new missions in our communities so that our actions will inspire future generations to serve. Nationally, I have had the opportunity to serve in various cities across the country that face challenges especially with financial hardships causing them to be unable to update or maintain their existing structures. The Mission Continues is able to help fill that gap through in-kind donations of supplies, equipment, and labor to help those community in need. It provides us, veterans, an opportunity to continue to serving, beyond our military commitment, in new ways.
In Minneapolis, I served on serving on an American Indian community building garden beds.
In Detroit, I spent a week helping to convert an unused tennis courts into a basketball court at a local high school, and then built tables for a local farmer’s market.
In San Francisco, I was able to attend the Women’s Leadership Summit and built benches along the bay at a local park. While there, I was also able to attend a workshop by the nonprofit organization, She Should Run, encouraging women to run for office. The co-founder and facilitator had a candid and intimate conversation with me afterwards encouraging me in my path to running for office.
In Philadelphia, I built benches for a local high school.
Finally, in Chicago, I built garden boxes for a local elementary school’s garden.
Through each of these trips, I was also provided a well-rounded professional development experience in continuing to refine my leadership skills. My sense of service and creating a positive impact on the community is part of who I am. Each trip also provides me a better appreciation and understanding of other cultures, different areas of the country, their history, and challenges other communities face. Upon my return to the Houston and Deer Park area, I am able to apply those learned experiences and professional development on our own community for continued progress and community impact.