Volunteering Gives Disabled Veterans New Lease on Life

Alumnus Craig Schneider (not shown), BS ’01, helped organize the Jan. 28, 2012, Welcome Home the Heroes Parade in St. Louis. Proceeds from the parade will support The Mission Continues organization. (Courtesy America For Vets)

Post-9/11 disabled veterans furthered their education, improved ­employment prospects, and continued to serve their community by participating in The Mission ­Continues Fellowship Program, according to a new study by the Brown School.

The Mission Continues is a ­national nonprofit organization whose goal is to enable every returning veteran to serve again as a citizen leader. The Mission Continues Fellowship Program provides disabled veterans a stipend to serve as a volunteer at a nonprofit for 28 weeks, typically at social service agencies located in their own communities.

“Civic service programs for veterans such as The Mission ­Continues provide disabled veterans, who might otherwise see their future as ­extremely limited, with the opportunity to pursue a new path in life. For some veterans, volunteering at an agency that they choose provides the time and the place to develop new skills toward an alternative career trajectory,” says Monica Matthieu, PhD, lead study investigator and research assistant professor at the Brown School.

“Programs like The Mission ­Continues that offer disabled veterans social support and meaningful work have the potential to significantly ­improve their health, mental health and psychosocial well-being across their life course,” Matthieu says.

At press time, the editors learned that alumnus Craig Schneider, BS ’01, was one of the organizers of the Jan. 28, 2012, Welcome Home the Heroes Parade in St. Louis. The Welcome Home Foundation is raising money to support veterans service organizations. A percentage will be given to The Mission Continues to support its programs nationwide.

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