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What does LEGACY mean anyway?

There are many ways to define legacy. I look at a legacy as a way to leave something better than it was found. My first experience with leaving a legacy was while I was attending high school at Mead in Spokane, Washington.

As a Junior in high school, I had the opportunity to work part-time for the Department of Ecology. I was specifically hired to help the high school establish a waste reduction program. I thought that recycling was a good thing and that everyone should be doing it. I was also surprised that the school, nor the district had this program set up already!

My journey as a member of the Ecology Youth Corps (EYC at the Department of Ecology) started with completing a waste audit at the school. You can imagine what that meant. The Environmental Science club and I got together and audited the type of things that were thrown away in classrooms, offices, and kitchen and determined how much of it could be recycled vs. thrown away. That led to a recommendation to the school principal about the to be better to our planet and save money. The recommendation was a slam-dunk. We were able to get the recycling program developed and started before the end of that same school year. This involved training for students, faculty and staff as well as coordinating with the local waste management company.

My senior year in high school, the Department of Ecology hired me for a subsequent year. The goal: Take the waste-reduction intiative to the next level by incorporating it district-wide. After a meeting with the district Superintendent, an agreement had been reached. Since most of the logistics had been worked out at Mead already, the Environmental Science Club and I focused our time on going to each of the schools and doing short assemblies to talk about how, what, and where to recycle their items and the impact that they would be making by recycling.

Twenty years later, when I returned to the high school, I pridefully saw the blue recycling bins in the common areas and remember, that even though I didn't know it at the time, that was my legacy in the Mead School District.

So, I wonder what other legacies I have left. More importantly, what legacies are YOU leaving in your lifetime? Do you have family to whom you want to leave a financial legacy? Do you LOVE a non-profit organization and want to share your time or talent with them?

As a Financial Coach, the definition of the word legacy is always evolving for me. Whatever you want your legacy to look like, have a guide to help you get there.

Peace be with you always!

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