What Makes a Legacy?

What Makes a Legacy?

Rachel DeGroot

As of Aug. 1 2016, Dr. Lance Hindt officially assumed the role of Katy ISD’s new superintendent, and being a graduate from Taylor High School, Hindt has high expectations for student achievement in the district. In a recent meeting for students who hold leadership positions for their graduating class, such as president or vice president, Hindt took the opportunity to discuss his mission for every student in Katy ISD. He feels that all students should have a legacy and be the change in places where change is needed most, but how does one become a legacy or even enact change in their community? Hindt lays before students a task that, at first glance, may seem overwhelming, but can be accomplished fairly easily with commitment and unwavering dedication.


Legacy can be defined in many ways, but is most often thought of as an idea or unique action developed throughout one’s life that influences the thoughts and behaviors of others after his/her death. An example of such a legacy is Rachel’s Challenge, which is a movement for a chain-reaction of kindness that was started by Rachel Scott after her death during the horrors of the Columbine High School shooting. Scott advocated for kindness within her school and dreamt of a world where kindness would become a chain-reaction. Taking it upon herself to set the goal to be kind to others in her school, Scott was not only making changes in her surrounding community, but also building a legacy that would profoundly impact generations to come.


Many people today look at Scott’s story and even Hindt’s challenge to be the change in the world as an impossible task that only certain types of individuals are able to successfully accomplish, but this is not true. One’s legacy is developed every day based on both large and small actions, as well as the words one speaks to others during everyday interactions. First, one must take time to decide what kind of image he/she wishes to portray to other people. Consider what personality traits are most prevalent in your day to day interactions as well as what mindset is necessary to achieve that image, then embrace these qualities and use them to build your image.


Deciding on certain qualities to embrace often comes naturally to people, as this decision is based on daily habits, but promoting these qualities and applying them to a goal in order to enact change in the community usually comes as more of a challenge. Fortunately, steps can be taken to change the community without even altering your daily routine. In order for this to occur, one must be prepared to dedicate oneself to a goal, such as Scott’s goal to show kindness to all people. Once you decide on a short term or long term goal that will influence your surrounding community, work to accomplish that goal by committing to represent it in your speech and actions. When others realize that you are determined to show kindness to others, for example, they will feel inspired to follow the change that you are embodying, leading to the birth of not only growing change in the community, but also a legacy for yourself that will influence the lives of those who come after you.


Leaving a legacy and inspiring change is often seen as a difficult task, but should be approached with a positive attitude. Hindt recognizes the talent of Katy ISD students, and even though we cannot all hold leadership positions in our graduating classes, we are still able to inspire lasting change and ultimately have a monumental impact on future generations.