The Mission Continues commits to engage more than 300 post 9/11 veterans in four classes of Fellows over the next year - with classes beginning quarterly. The 6 month Fellowship places Fellows at non-profit organizations across the country, serving 520 hours with a non-profit as well as completing a brand new curriculum that focuses on reflection and goal setting. Fellows work with Mission Continues staff as well as other partners to successfully complete monthly assignments, reflections as well as explore additional opportunities to serve and inspire in their communities. Mission Continues Fellows are charged with selecting their own non-profit organization where they will serve, addressing social issues that are important to each individual Fellow. Mission Continues Fellows receive a cost of living stipend during their 6 months of service. After successful completion of the Fellowship program, Mission Continues Alumni are assessed (through surveys) after their Fellowship as well as 6 months post-fellowship to measure outcomes: employment, education, and/or a permanent role of service in their communities. The Mission Continues believes that this program helps veterans ensure successful transitions after they have successfully completed their military service, resulting in stronger, more productive citizen leaders in communities across America. The fellowship program is not meant to be the 'end', however, only the beginning for veterans as they begin the next chapter of their lives, better prepared to secure employment, continue their education or serve in a more visible role in their communities. Survey results from Mission Continues 300 Fellows in 2013 will be gathered and published in 2014.
The Mission Continues recruiting team works with all branches of the military to attract veterans to apply and serve as Mission Continues Fellows. Additionally, the team works with the VA, other military Veterans organizations, as well as past Fellows to help promote the program nationwide. To date, Fellows have served in 42 states plus DC and The Mission Continues is actively recruiting Fellows to serve in all 50 states. The Mission Continues will conduct surveys of Fellows at the end of the 6 month Fellowship program as well as 6 months post-fellowship to determine and measure outcomes. For example, the 68 Fellows that began January 28, 2013 will complete the Fellowship program July 28, 2013 and will participate in a survey - as well as another survey in January 2014. The start dates for 2013 classes are: January 28, 2013; May 6, 2013; July 22, 2013 and October 28, 2013.
Many veterans struggle to find purpose at home without the structure, mission and camaraderie of a military unit. Successfully transitioning from a life in the military to life as a civilian can be challenging for many veterans. The Mission Continues is committed to supporting veterans successful transitions by empowering veterans to serve as civic leaders, re-establishing this sense of purpose and camaraderie and strengthening communities.