People We Thank

Discovering My Purpose is grateful for the support, research and wisdom of the people below.  Without their help, the creation of this charitable organization would not have been possible.

Donors The organizations and people listed below have invested in Discovering My Purpose financially and/or through in-kind donations.  We thank them for their generosity.
HL Logo

Higher Logic is an industry leader in cloud-based community platforms. Organizations worldwide use Higher Logic to bring like-minded customers and members together, by giving their community a home where they can interact, share ideas, answer questions, and stay connected. The community is where both people and organizations grow and succeed together.

How they help: Higher Logic provides the web and community platform that Discovering My Purpose rests upon.

Keystone logo Keystone Solutions is a team of seasoned digital analytics practitioners and subject matter experts. Keystone's focus is on helping clients align their strategic business objectives with cohesive Data Stream Management across channels, silos and organizations. Keystone focuses on bringing the right talent, tools and expertise to the table to make the journey to scalable data stream management achievable and profitable.

How they help: Keystone teams with Discovering My Purpose to provide digital analytics, search engine optimization, social media strategy, videography and marketing advice.
Marissa Goldsmith Marissa Goldsmith of Goldsmith Interactive is a digital analyst.  Her company assists people in understanding data, creating a Data Action plan, learning from analysis, A/B testing, and shoe-string user testing.  

How she helped: Goldsmith structured Google Analytics in order to accurately track all web traffic and user history so that Discovering My Purpose can make strategic decisions about SEO, social media strategy, and more.
Dhanus Dhanus Samsen is a freelance creative producer, specializing in videography and graphic design.

How he helps: Samsen was originally contracted by Discovering My Purpose to edit and subtitle all program videos.  As he came to better know the program and believe in its power, he volunteer to provide his services for free. 
Christine Walsh Christine Walsh is Community Program Team Leader for the Financial Planning Association.  Walsh helps connect financial planning professionals to have meaning conversations and peer-to-peer learning.  Walsh assesses professional development needs and manages a team of volunteer leaders to provide learning opportunities.

How she helps: Walsh serves on Discovering My Purpose's board as chair.  Discovering My Purpose has a giving board with 100% participation, so Walsh also makes an annual donation to the organization.
Rob Bales

Robert Bales serves as the CFO of an emerging big data software company while also launching a cloud-based services firm that provides business support services for small and midsize nonprofits at a cost effective price.  Robert Bales has a life long passion for serving nonprofits as a volunteer, board member and consultant.

How he helps:  Bales serves on Discovering My Purpose's board as treasurer.  Discovering My Purpose has a giving board with 100% participation, so Bales also makes an annual donation to the organization.


Michael Coleman is a student centered staff member of the College for Creative Studies. Over the past 20+ years he has mentored, supported and guided many students through academic and personal situations. His background in business provided the necessary skills to establish Keirdale Properties in 2011, which is a 100% occupied housing rental business.

How he helps: Coleman serves as a DMP mentor for youth interested in navigating the college experience, those attracted to the creative and business fields and those wishing to become entrepreneurs.


Julie Phillips is the Managing Editor for PaperClip Communications, a higher ed and K-12 publisher. She strives to help young people and those supporting them have the most positive experiences possible. Julie graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelors in Communication Studies and from Western Illinois U. with a Masters in College Student Personnel..

How she helps: Phillips serves on Discovering My Purpose's board as a director. Discovering My Purpose has a giving board with 100% participation, so Phillips also makes an annual donation to the organization.

Lance Ritchlin

Lance Ritchlin is owner of R-Star Productions, Inc., a Colorado firm specializing in content creation and strategies for businesses and nonprofits. He spent 20 years in nonprofit management and content development, building on an early career as a newspaper reporter and editor.

How he helps:  Ritchlin serves on Discovering My Purpose's board as a director.  Discovering My Purpose has a giving board with 100% participation, so Ritchlin also makes an annual donation to the organization.

Laura Garrison-Brook

Laura Garrison-Brook is CEO and founder of Discovering My Purpose. Garrison-Brook has worked in the nonprofit space for over 20 years, originally focusing on international relations, then later community development.   Laura has seen how purpose can make a difference in the lives of youth and believes that this is one of the most effective change agents that we have at our disposal.

How she helps:  Garrison-Brook serves on Discovering My Purpose's board as staff liaison.  She works full-time for the organization in role of CEO.  Discovering My Purpose has a giving board with 100% participation, so Garrison-Brook also makes an annual donation to the organization.

Researchers & Thought Leaders The academics below work in the positive psychology field.  Their findings have benefited Discovering My Purpose and the program that we provide.
Tal Ben-Shahar

Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar is a Harvard-trained psychologist and best-selling author of books such as Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness and Even Happier: A Gratitude Journal for Daily Joy and Lasting FulfillmentWhile at Harvard, he taught two of the largest classes in Harvard University’s history, Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership.

Dr. Ben-Shahar is a consultant and lecturer to executives in multi-national corporations, the general public, and at-risk populations. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages, and have appeared on best-sellers lists around the world.

How he helps: Dr. Ben-Shahar created self-discovery activities that are part of the Discovering My Purpose process - Positive Past exploration, Spell of Anonymity, Grounded Commitment and Authentic Action.

Prof Laura King

Professor Laura King serves as Curators' Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences at University of Missouri. King's research is broadly concerned with the human experience of meaning in life and well-being. Her primary interests include happiness, meaning in life, the narrative construction of identity, and personality development in adulthood and is a prolific research author.

How she helps: Professor King's Fantastic Future exercise is part of the Discovering My Purpose program.  Professor King's research finds there are health benefits and increased happiness for those who write about positive experiences, such as an envisioned Fantastic Future.

Prof Marty Seligman Professor Martin Seligman is widely known as the founder of positive psychology, the study of human thriving. He is director of the  Penn Positive Psychology Center, Professor of Psychology at University of Pennsylvania, and director of the Penn Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program (MAPP).  Seligman is a leading authority in the fields of Positive Psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism and pessimism.

How he helps: Professor Seligman and Dr. Neal Mayerson created the Values in Action Character Strengths, a scientific survey taken by all participants to help identify what they are good at. 
Prof Bill Damon

Professor William Damon is Director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence and author of The Path to Purpose, How Young People Find Their Calling in Life. The book is based on the findings of the Youth Purpose Project, a landmark four-year nationwide study of how young people from the ages of 12 – 26 struggle to find their purpose in life.

How he helps: Professor Damon validates the acute need that youth have to discover their purpose and documents via scientific research how those without purpose are more likely to experience anxiety, apathy, depression and disengagement.