Growing Into A Purpose


Pictured: Daishaun Hardnett (left) participates in a retreat with members of the university's community life staff. Photo courtesy of Ryan Williams.

by Jordan Grooters (M.B.A. ’19)

Daishaun Hardnett's decision to come to Cornerstone University was not a typical college admission story. Hardnett, a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, moved in just one day before classes began in 2017.

Today, two years later, Hardnett has fully embraced life in the Cornerstone community. A resident assistant in Quincer Hall (which he fondly refers to as "the Q"), Hardnett expressed his excitement and passion for creating an environment where first-year male students can learn and grow as Christians.

"What motivates me most in this position is the feeling I get when I see people find comfort and confidence," Hardnett shared. "I believe when comfort and confidence are established and discovered, a sense of purpose and creativity arises. People grow into who God created them to be—their purpose!"

But Hardnett's influence extends beyond the walls of the Q. He spent the past two summers as a camp counselor at Somerset Beach Campground (SBC) in Jerome, Mich., where he mentored and served students. In addition to his experience at SBC, Hardnett had the opportunity to be part of a one-day camp in inner-city Detroit, using basketball and sports-related activities as an instrument for sharing his testimony.

Hardnett's passion for working with youth stems from his own experience.

"Growing up, I wasn't raised in a Christ-following household; I wasn't part of any ministry or church-related activities," Hardnett shared. "I went to church every other month or so but nothing really serious or intentional. My work this summer and last summer has assured me of my passion and calling. I get excited to have the opportunity to do something and be something that I didn't have growing up."

Finding a home at The Revolution Culture Movement Church has been important to Hardnett's growth during his time in Grand Rapids and at Cornerstone. Hardnett also credits mentors like Geren Albury, Guthrie Collins, Jim Dekker, Jason Stevens, Brian Pickerd and Kenneth Russell for having a great impact on his spiritual life. Through classes such as Poverty and Justice, Spiritual Formation and Writing in Culture, Hardnett examined different viewpoints in faith and culture.

"These people and these courses have allowed me to explore different perspectives, and they have also helped me to see things from a kingdom perspective," Hardnett said. "I'll forever be grateful for every opportunity, and I will make the most of every opportunity I get because I come from a place where there are not many opportunities."