Friday, April 22, 2011

Penn Valley to host veteran leadership presentation

Mike Pereira, director of fellowship programs for The Mission Continues, will speak on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Little Theater (ST 101) at MCC-Penn Valley.

He will share his inspiring journey of finding meaning and purpose in the civilian world after returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will also discuss how his community college experience played a role in this transition.

The event is free and open to the public.

About The Mission Continues

Through Service Programs, Fellowship Programs and Thought Leadership, The Mission Continues seeks “to build an America where every returning veteran can serve again as a citizen leader, and where together we honor the fall en by living their values through service.” The Mission Continues, was founded in 2007 after CEO Eric Greitens returned home from service in Iraq as a Navy SEAL. Upon his return, Eric visited with wounded Marines at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. Without exception, each Marine expressed an unwavering desire to continue serving his country, even if he could no longer do so in the military. One young Marine even said,“I lost my legs – that is all. I did not lose my desire to serve, or my pride in being an American.” Inspired, Eric used his own combat pay and two friends pitched in their military disability checks to found The Mission Continues. His organization has grown and received numerous commendations and awards.

About Mike Pereira

Having served in Iraq with The Mission Continues' CEO and co-founder, Eric Greitens, Mike was exposed to the concepts that define the mission of The Mission Continues long before he came to work for the organization. Mike is from Bellingham, Wash. where, he enlisted in the Army in 2000 as an analyst. He served for six years active duty and one year as a contractor. Mike has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Coming home after his service, Mike began to feel the weight of his transition from soldier to civilian. He was diagnosed with a complex anxiety disorder and PTSD from his time in the desert. In 2008, Mike enrolled in Whatcom Community College. While a student at the community college, Mike founded and served as president of the school’s first veterans club. In addition to earning a 3.9 GPA, Mike received numerous awards for service from the community college, the Washington State governor, and US Senator, Patty Murray.

Determined to achieve success as a civilian, Mike reached out to Eric and came to learn about The Mission Continues' Fellowship Program. Mike applied for and was awarded a fulltime Fellowship in July of 2009. He used his Fellowship to bring together over 50 veterans and veteran supporters to address the needs of the elderly and disabled in his community through volunteer service. Inspired by this new opportunity to serve beyond the uniform, he now serves as the Fellowship Program Director for The Mission Continues in St. Louis, MO. Mike is currently working towards a degree in International Studies as he continues to grow in the field of service. Mike's priorities are defined by his desire to reach out and provide opportunities for veterans as they return home from their service. He believes the ability and strengths of our veterans are key to establishing strong communities.

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