It's not often that you find two retired Marine corporals hanging out with preschoolers, but retired corporals Jesse Smith and David Medrano each served more than 500 hours at KidWorks through their involvement with Mission Continues.
The Mission Continues is a national organization that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. Jesse and David met in a math class at Orange Coast Community College and both liked the idea of serving together at KidWorks.
For over a year, Jesse and David volunteered at KidWorks preschool and after-school programs doing whatever was needed! During the summer, they organized a group of vets to repair and clean the preschool before school began. They also donated school supplies, and provided support to the teachers in preparation for the school year.
Jesse said, "I grew up in Riverside, so I have a heart for communities like Santa Ana where there is poverty and other challenges. One of the main messages I try to impart to KidWorks students is that you don’t have to grow up in privilege to be successful. I tell them to work hard, and do the right thing. My plans are to become a police officer. KidWorks is teaching me how to talk with others, empathize and serve.”
"I loved my time at KidWorks. The students impacted my life as much as I impacted theirs." said David, "The highlight for me was volunteering in preschool. I got to work with the same students and it was fun watching them grow and mature over the school year."
Like all missions, they must come to an end. David and Jesse recently completed their 500 hours and will be working full time to completing their degrees. David is working towards a degree in software engineering and Jesse is completing a degree in sociology. We appreciate their significant contributions to KidWorks.