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Our Mission is to restore hope by alleviating the drivers of poverty one life at a time.

Our vision is that we intend nothing less than to heal our culture one life at a time.

"Adverse Childhood Experiences are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today." -Robert Block, Former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics

The Pursuit of Happiness uses an approach of trauma-informed care, including an initial ACEs screening, to empower youth and their families with the tools they need to lead a fulfilled life.
Rather than asking “what is wrong with you?," The Pursuit of Happiness asks "what happened to you?"

In order to accomplish our mission, we will rely on core values spelling out the word “pursuit” to guide us in each step we take. 

Home: Who We Are

The Pursuit of Happiness will achieve our mission with four key pillars:

  • Counseling

  • Internships

  • Mentoring

  • Apprenticeship


Our holistic approach will collectively nurture the health, educational well-being, and professional preparation of each individual with whom we


Partnership, professionalism, principles
Unique counseling and individualized services
Respect families and restore hope
Support families in achieving desired outcomes
Understand through active listening
Investment, inclusion and integrity in everything we do
Trust our families and believe in teamwork

Briana Lee (director of community outreach) & Michael Gordon (founder & CEO)

"What if you could go back in time, five, six, seven years prior? What if you could intervene? What if you could help troubled children become whole?

This — love, attention, care — causes that.

'We are going to restore hope,' Mike Gordon said, 'one life at a time.'

Seven months ago, Gordon — husband, father of five, a man of faith — left a high-paying career to start a nonprofit. During a pandemic.


He began fundraising, networking. A well-known youth coach and community leader, Gordon reached out to many — elected leaders, foundation heads, friends.

Officially launched in April, his nonprofit is called The Pursuit of Happiness and focuses on interrupting cycles and patterns of trauma in young Chattanoogans."

-David Cook, Times Free Press

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