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Big Brothers Big Sisters Military Mentor Featured in New Civic Enterprises Report on Leadership and Our Armed Forces
Date:11/11/2009

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonia Meneses, a Big Brothers Big Sisters Military Mentor, is featured in All Volunteer Force (http://www.civicenterprises.net/allvolunteerforce/), a new Civic Enterprises study that reveals that men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces represent a new generation of leaders. The report, released at a Veteran's Day celebration featuring Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, discusses how service organizations, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as individual American citizens are key to tapping into this amazing leadership potential.

Meneses, a 12-year Army veteran, suffered significant hearing loss -- total loss in one ear and 80 percent loss in the other -- from repeated exposure to weapons fire during two combat tours to Iraq. She is deaf in one ear and has 80 percent hearing loss in the other. Rather than feel sorry for herself, Sonia, mother to a five-year-old son, has been a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clarksville, Tennessee. She received a fellowship from The Mission Continues, which provides veterans with financial stipends to offset the costs of volunteering full-time. Sonia hopes to return to school to become a registered nurse.

"'The Mission Continues' gave me the opportunity to believe in myself again and helped me realize that just because I am injured, and have my own disabilities that I can still be a great help to someone. I volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clarksville. I also volunteer to do community activities, which help children in our community. Big Brothers Big Sisters works hard to make things happen in our community and let our children know that we care, and that we are here for them. I love to see them smile and accomplish something that they never thought they would be able to. Seeing the difference that one person can make to a
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SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters
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