Who We Are

WhoAre We?

We are a gathering of volunteer leaders and staff who believe in the transformational power of purpose.

Discovering My Purpose is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization with Gold Status on GuideStar.

Our Values & Mission


To provide the resources and guidance for youth to discover their passion and purpose in life.


Youth thriving by discovering, developing and using their unique skills to make meaningful contributions to the world.


We respect and value diversity and want to create an environment that is inclusive of all, no matter age, gender, sexuality, religious and/or political background.


While the process works for all ages, Discovering My Purpose focuses on serving youth aged 14-24.

Board of Directors

Discovering My Purpose has a working and giving Board. They are a fundamental part of our success.

Executive Committee

Laura Garrison-Brook

President & CEO

Laura Garrison-Brook is CEO and founder of Discovering My Purpose. She 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. She holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies (summa cum laude) from University at Albany and the Certificate in Positive Psychology from the Whole Being Institute.

Robert Bales


Robert Bales serves as Treasurer. He is Executive Vice President of Finance & Operations of Quaero, a big data software company and Founder of Attolero, a cloud-based services firm that provides business support services for small and midsize nonprofits. Robert has a life long passion for serving nonprofits as a volunteer, board member and consultant. He graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with Bachelors and Masters of Accounting degrees.


Mike Buchanan

Secondary Education

Michael Buchanan co-authored the young-adult novel The Fat Boy Chronicles (2010) with Diane Lang & wrote the screenplay for the film of the same name. The book won the National Parenting Publication’s Gold Award, Mom’s Choice Award of Excellence and NY Champions of Character Award. Schools around the nation use the novel in their anti-bullying and childhood obesity efforts. The movie was seen by millions around the world & won multiple awards. Former State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said, “This book and movie will save lives.” Mike is a guest speaker at state, national and international reading and anti-bullying conferences. He is also the lead writer on a number of other documentaries including Spiral Bound (2015), Nature Matters (2016) & Saving Farm House (2019). He is also a retired math and science teacher of 32 years.

Julie Phillips

Higher Education

Julie Phillips is the Managing Editor for PaperClip Communications, a higher ed and K-12 publisher. After starting her career working on college campuses within student life, she now writes, edits and develops products for the folks doing this important work. 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.


Dan Brook

Strategic Advisor

Dan Brook has over 30 years of business experience having spent almost 20 years as an executive at General Electric Real Estate where he was underwrote and gained approval for over one billion dollars of real estate investments. He has also started a number of small businesses including three restaurants, two software companies and a real estate consulting company. His expertise includes business modeling, financial structuring and business strategy. He is excited to work with Discovering My Purpose since it represents an opportunity to help America's youth and to give back to the community. Dan has a B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Stay Connected

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