September 29, 2023

Finding Your Purpose

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to know my purpose. What did God have in store for me? For as long as I can remember, I had dreams that one day I would be speaking in front of thousands and helping others.

One of my earliest memories is listening to Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker. My dad would put the cassette tape in his car stereo and we would listen together. I got so excited even at that young age because of the possibility that each person can make their mark in this world.


We all have great possibilities within ourselves.

We all have great possibilities within ourselves. We just have to learn how to apply those possibilities and make them happen. I suspect there was a reason for all this at such a young age because of the challenges I faced during the next 15 years. God knew I needed to understand that I could be whoever I wanted to be. I needed to know that when my family was at the bottom, struggling to survive, that we would make it and I should never give up.

There were years of hard time. There were ups and downs. Even when finances were at an all time low, I still knew I had a purpose in life. I knew my dad would eventually get a job and we would dig our way out of the financial hole we found ourselves in. As a family, we had to believe that we would make it.

You can never lose hold of hope. Even when hope is just a single strand of thread, hold on! No matter how low you get that you can make it. I think we always are trying to find where we fit and when we find it we then will live.

I encourage each of you to find your purpose now. You might be in the middle of your purpose and not even know it. Many times we are stuck in a process that has to take place in our lives in order to prepare us for what great things lay ahead.

Just as a book is laid out chapter by chapter there is a purpose for each chapter. If you skip a few chapters here and there, you will miss out on the joy of reading the book. You won’t get the full story.

Life is like that. Your purpose is right in front of you now and whether it is big or little it is your purpose. Grab it and start moving into your purpose. I can assure you that once you do, you will start being fulfilled and then before you know it you are in another chapter of your life. Your purpose will be come more and more clear to you and even grow into something you did not expect.

I get so excited as I speak about this. Don’t be scared to look back in your life and see the areas that might have caused struggle in your life or pain in your family. From this, you draw passion. That is often what directs you to your purpose. I remember when people put my family down because we didn’t have much, but my parents pushed forward, knowing there was more for them. There were many who said we could not start a university to educate adults. We firmly believed we could and, as a family, we made it happen. And each year, as I watch our students walk across the stage at commencement as they achieve their dreams of an education, I am so glad we persevered.

Know that you can go after your dreams and you can succeed! Take time now to reflect and learn what really makes you tick.

For many an education will help you find your purpose. My purpose is to help others change their lives through education. Knowing the education our graduates receive through CSU helps them find their purpose, gives me great joy and pride in the university we helped build.

Why am I so passionate about this? Because I lived it. I can relate to others who feel unfulfilled. I haven’t forgotten the road blocks and dead ends in the journey. I am so excited and happy to encourage others that whatever place you find yourself now, you can make a difference and go after your dreams.

Find your purpose! It could be right in front of you or just around the corner closer than you think.



  1. Raymond G. DeRienzo Jr.

    Dear Mrs. Cooley, after reading the article you wrote on this page, I have to comment on your words. I too have struggled with “what is my purpose in this life”. Like you, I’ve prayed daily and asked GOD to help me find what it is I’m suppose to do in this life. I’ve asked HIM the question time and again. You mentioned having your purpose right in front of you and not even know it. You also mentioned that you should grab your purpose (what ever it is you’re doing) and begin moving into it as this will help you to close chapters of your life and open new ones. This is so true and it has happened to me.
    I reached a point where I thought, this must be where GOD wants me because HE’s placed me in this position and hasn’t removed me as of yet. Apparently, there is some good reason of which I don’t know as to why I’m here doing what I’m doing. That being said, I decided to use my education and my past experiences to the best of my ability and perform to the highest standard I can possibly perform and when I’m done and GOD see’s fit to place me somewhere else with another duty assignment, then and only then will I be removed from my current duty and given that new assignment for HIS benefit.
    The example about life that you used in regards to “the chapters”, seems to be so true also. Each day is a new experience and each day brings its own challenges, both of which we must face. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life to see what GOD has in store. I’m sure it will be very interesting as it already has been. Thanks for the positive words about life’s struggles and how we must “hang on” to even the thinnest thread. Keep up your good work with the CSU Communicator. Take care and GOD Bless.
    Sincerely, Raymond G. DeRienzo Jr., CSU Graduate, Class of 2014.

    1. Chantell Cooley Post author


      I am sorry for the delay in responding. I have not felt well in a couple of months, but I am back on track now. I loved hearing your story and how you are going to take where you are now and do it with all you have in you. I too believe that God will move you on to something new in his timing.

      Thank you again for such encouraging words.

      God Bless,


  2. Justin duke

    I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful university. I graduated a few months ago and I still like to read the Empower U. As a fireman, I often read the columns on shift and they have proven very beneficial in dealing with some of the stressful situations that occur while on duty. I am encouraged every time I read an article. Keep up the good work and continue to be a voice for all of us who need to hear it!!
    God Bless,
    Justin Duke

    1. Chantell Cooley Post author


      Thank you for your encouraging words. I often wonder if I am connecting to others. I appreciate you taking care of the community you are in. I have a high respect for fireman. I hope you stay in touch. Thank you for choosing CSU.


  3. Chrystial Prater

    I really wanted to share how much your testimony has ministered to me. I am back in school again… getting closer to 50 and trying to make my way up the corporate ladder. Your words have given me inspiration to keep on keeping on…thank you so much for your light!!

  4. Tajudeen Ashafa

    Wow. I love this message! God bless you for encouraging others. Thank you for sharing it. As a human, we all have upstacles to cross in life and by the grace of God we shall achieve our aims in Jesus name (Amen).

    1. Chantell Cooley Post author


      Thank you for your comments. I am so glad to hear you are in school and moving forward with your education. Keep moving yourself forward and you will hit the mark!


    2. Chantell Cooley Post author


      Thank you for your comment! I appreciate you choosing CSU!