Legacy Of A Dream: Chantell Cooley, Co-Founder Of Columbia Southern University, Inspires Students To Dream Big At MLK Celebration

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Chantell Cooley, joins her former coach, Harry Breland, at MLK Celebration Saturday, January 13th in Purvis, Mississippi where she challenged the students to believe in themselves and work their dreams. Mrs. Cooley also donated copies of her book “Winning the Game of Life” to students who received special awards from the Lamar County School District.

MLK Celebration 2018 in Purvis, MS with Chantell Cooley

If there are enough high school students that will rise up, believe that and take a stand against all the others that come against them, it will be an uprising of non-violent resistance that will change our school systems.

The life of Martin Luther King Jr. will continue to be an inspiration to lovers of freedom all over the world. At a gathering in Purvis, Mississippi in honor of his work and legacy, Chantell Cooley gave a tribute to Dr. King in which she emphasized his impact on the world. She said that as a young man, Dr. King made a decision to make a difference in his world, and he was able to gather a following, impact the White House and legislation. Mrs. Cooley admonished the students not to wait till late in life to make a difference in their world. We should think, “How can you change a life now?” She said that when she was a high school student, she made a decision to reach out and befriend other students that were lonely and would sit by themselves, because she wanted to make a difference. “If there are enough high school students that will rise up, believe that and take a stand against all the others that come against them, it will be an uprising of non-violent resistance that will change our school systems.”

Mrs. Cooley is the Co-founder of Columbia Southern University and C.E.O of Waldorf University. She is an alumnus of Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she played basketball under Coach Harry Breland, who has been head basketball coach at the same school for 37 years. Mrs. Cooley attributes her resilience and success in business to the life principles she learned on her high school basketball team. She further admonished the students to put value on the lessons they learn from their teachers and coaches if they want to accomplish their dreams. “If my coaches said I could do it, I knew I could do it, and my family and I went on to achieve great success.” After the event, Wayne Folkes, Assistant Superintendent of Lamar County School District and also a former coach of Mrs. Cooley, said, “As we go through life, we leave fingerprints, footprints, as well as heart prints. We ought to think about the heart print that we leave on people; our impact on their hearts. That is what lasts through time.”

The occasion was an opportunity to recognize the students, teachers and schools in Lamar County for special achievement in academics and athletics. Among the many students recognized was Mr. Noah Harris, a high school senior and basketball player at Oak Grove High School, Mr. Harris has been afforded an academic scholarship to Harvard. At the same event last year, January 2017, Mrs. Cooley was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian and Leadership award for in recognition of her achievements in life. A philanthropist at heart, the occasion also offered Mrs. Cooley the opportunity to reconnect with her alma mater and give back to the community. She donated copies of her book "Winning the Game of Life" to individual students as well as copies to the libraries of Lamar County, Mississippi. The book chronicles Mrs. Cooley’s and her family’s journey and struggles against poverty as well as the lessons she learned while she played on the Oak Grove High School basketball team.

The Martin Luther King Jr celebration was organized by the Concerned Citizens for the Progress of Lamar County, which seeks to be a bridge between the races and between the community and the school. It was hosted at the Spring Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Purvis, MS. Commenting on the attendance, Coach Harry Breland, who is president of the organization, was proud of their accomplishments. “After 30 years of organizing the event, the races are coming together and this year, we had almost 50-50 representation of both white and black people.” He called on the younger generation to step out from behind the scenes and take leadership roles in their communities and spheres of influence like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in order to leave a legacy for the next generation.

About Chantell Cooley

Chantell Cooley is the Co-founder of Columbia Southern University, a leading online university in America, C.E.O of Waldorf University, as well as Founder and President of Chantell Cooley Ministries. A successful entrepreneur and business woman, Mrs. Cooley is an energetic motivational speaker specializing in a range of topics on leadership, education, business and ministry.

You can follow Chantell Cooley on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChantellMayesCooley/.

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Michelle Ofori-Ansah
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