What Would You Say to 16 Year Old You?

With Chasity Cooper

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hi there! I’m Chasity – a communications strategist, journalist and creative consultant. I live in Brooklyn, New York but I am originally from a suburb right outside of the greatest city in the world Chicago. I love to read, write and drink (and study) wine. I am also the co-founder and COO of The Well – a social community for Black women at work.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I have received a great deal of advice over the last 29 years, but the one thing that has stayed with me is ‘to whom much is given, much is required.” It’s based on the Bible verse Luke 12:48 and it is particularly important to me because as I continue to reach certain heights both professionally and personally, it is a reminder that there will be difficult moments as I climb. But as I continue to dream bigger and want more for myself, the hard work is required in order to achieve those things.

What would you say to 16 year old you?
Let go of the fear that you won’t be able to be successful in doing those things that ignite a fire deep in your soul. Be passionate about what you love, but remember to extend yourself grace when things don’t go your way. Feel what you need to feel, but don’t stay there for too long. Most importantly, trust yourself.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
Your thoughts, feelings and capabilities are valid. Your voice matters and you bring value to each and every person and situation you encounter. Never ever apologize for who you are or doing what is best for you.

What do you love most about yourself?
My self-awareness. The older I have gotten, the quicker I have been able to recognize things about myself (good and bad) that can have a positive or negative on a situation. I spend a lot of time in my head (which isn’t always the best thing) but I am grateful that I’m not afraid to get to know myself better each and every day.

What motivates you most?
I’m motivated by community. Seeing people gather, connect and share their unique talents and gifts with one another brings me so much joy. I love being the plug! It reminds me that one – my work isn’t about me, and two – we need each other to get through this journey of life.

How do you manage your work-life balance?
I’m still learning how to do this (even after seven years of being in the workforce) but I think the most important thing for me is to make time for the things that I enjoy. Talking to my family and friends on the phone, taking long walks in my neighborhood, cooking and sipping wine, watching an episode of Bob’s Burgers uninterrupted – those are ways that I’m able to unwind and not focus too much on work and the need to always hustle and grind. The work will always be there – and yes, it is important to be productive. But spending time in building relationships is something that isn’t always going to be here. I want to make sure that I’m doing the best that I can to be the best sister, friend and daughter that I can be.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I love to journal, so making time to write and reflect is absolutely a way for me to grow and move forward each and every day. I also make time to read – whether it be a newspaper or a book – because I love words and it’s much more soothing to flip a page (rather than scroll down a timeline) and learn something new.

What is something on your bucket list?
I absolutely want to live abroad at some point in my life. Whether it be in Europe or South America – I absolutely want the experience of living in a different country.

What are your biggest passions?
Building community. Wine. Being a storyteller. Encouraging others in and out of my personal network to go for their dreams with as much might and power as possible, and to do so unapologetically.

More About Chasity

Chasity Cooper is a communications strategist, journalist and creative consultant who believes there’s power in owning your truth, and choosing how to tell your story. Professionally, she specializes in developing digital media strategies for small businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations. On a personal level, she is driven to uplift and elevate the stories and initiatives of her peers who are daring, bold and relentless.
As co-founder and COO of The Well, an intelligent community for women of color, Chasity is responsible for managing business partnerships, creating systems of growth for the company and developing editorial strategy.
A graduate of Syracuse University where she earned a dual degree public relations and marketing management, Chasity is a native of Chicago and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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