October 4, 2023

How will you leave your mark on the world?

After my dad, Dr. Mayes (shown in photo with me), passed away in 1995, I began to think how you never think it will happen to you.

I can remember I was in charge of putting a video together for his funeral. I needed a song to go with the pictures of him, so I found this song called, “Let Your Life Song Sing.” It talks about your life being a song and when you are gone it will sing forever, whether your life was good or bad.

Your legacy sings when you are gone. You can still change lives years and years after you are gone by what you did while you were here on earth. Leaving a legacy is powerful.

I have talked with CSU students who often mention that getting their degree is how they are leaving a legacy for their family.  Their children see all the hard work they put into earning their degree. This effort becomes the example and legacy they pass on to their children, who then want to earn a degree as well.

Many of our students are the first in their family from generations back to get their degree.  One student told me how his father always wanted to see him get an education since he was not able to afford to pay for it for him.

Becoming educated is more than just a piece of paper. It is a gateway to creating a part of your legacy that can inspire and motivate others. We are so honored to help you build your legacy through education.

Top reasons to leave a legacy:

  • You might be the only one to leave a legacy in your family.
  • We all have a mark to make in life. For some, it is through education.
  • You leave something for your children to pass along to their children and so on.

How important has your education become to you and your family? What do you think about your legacy?



  1. Chantell Cooley Post author


    Thank you for your comment. I am extremely passionate about bringing value to others and helping them to realize their huge potential to go for their dreams. As you do this, you will carry out your legacy which passes down generation to generation. Have a great day and dream BIG!


  2. Claire Sidebottom

    This powerful story left me speechless and sober in thought to “always” press forward despite obstacles and striving for what is important. My education is beneficial not only for myself but my family. Thank you for sharing your story. I really appreciate it!

  3. Chantell Cooley Post author


    We are very proud of you as our student. I want to encourage you to keep moving forward. You are making a difference by getting your education. Keep me posted on how you are doing and I hope to see you one day at graduation!


  4. Ming

    I love this article. I teach here at CSU and I tell you, it’s the best job I have. Being surrounded by administrators, faculty and students who inspire me to be a better person is a blessing.

    1. Chantell Cooley Post author


      Thank you for your comments. It is professors like you who help us to change lives through education. We are very proud to have you with CSU and thank you for making a difference.

  5. Chantell Cooley Post author


    Thank you for your comment. You are for sure making your mark in this world. As a faculty you are making a difference in so many lives. I hope to here from you more in the future on my blog.

    Let’s continue to change lives together!


  6. Eddie Levins

    Over 30 years ago I can remember calling CSU, and the voice you would hear at that time was that of Dr. Mayes. I was a young soldier in the U.S. Army with an interest in getting a degree; however, because of life’s circumstances at that time it didn’t come to fruition. Yet, I’ve never forgotten the strong voice of Dr. Mayes who encouraged me not to give up. I completed my BS degree in criminal justice administration at CSU in June 2013. Dr. Mayes left a powerful legacy that continues through his children at the helm of this great institution of higher learning. I am now pursuing an MPA at Walden University and upon completion WILL return to CSU to complete my doctorate. Thank you Dr. Mayes – I’ll always be grateful for the seed that you planted.

    1. Chantell Cooley Post author


      Thank you for your kind post. I am so excited to hear that my dad made such an impact on your life. Dad was one to never take the word “no” for an answer. He was one to move mountains in his life. It is so exciting to hear you finished your degree in 2013. I am so proud of you. I appreciate your support for CSU and we are so excited to see you move on towards your educational dream. Keep in touch and continue to blog with me. Together we can encourage other students to keep moving forward and to never give up!


    2. Chantell Cooley Post author


      Thank you for your comments. That is pretty neat to hear how my dad was able to inspire you to continue with your education. We are so proud of you! Keep on pushing on and causing your legacy of education to change others lives!


  7. Darnell Davis

    During my senior year of high school so many of my friends were planning college after graduation. Like many 18 year old seniors, I was somewhat undecided on what path I wanted to take. Had I chosen college, it would have been paid for. On a spur of the moment decision, I decided to join the Army (following in my big brother’s footsteps). I made the decision that when I went to college, I would pay for it myself. It wasn’t the financial issue of college, it was the issue of me making my own way. I took some classes while on active duty (9 1/2 years), but never finished my degree. Although I wanted to go back to school, it seems as there was always something blocking my way (excuses, not reasons). After a family vacation to Colorado in the summer of 2011, something lit a fire under both my wife and I. We both decided to go back to school, no more excuses. She started in January 2012 and I started in April. I graduated with my AAS in April of 2013 and will graduate with my BS in November of 2014. I plan on pursuing my Master’s degree as soon as possible. She will graduate with her Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice in December 2014 and is transferring to Eastern Kentucky University for her Bachelor’s in Homeland Security. We both support and sacrifice for each other so we can both achieve our educational goals. We have a 6 year old son (graduating Kindergarten this year) and a 3 year old daughter and we hope what we are doing will be a very positive influence for both of them. It hasn’t been an easy goal to achieve by any means, but most things in life that matter usually aren’t. CSU has been perfect for me! I would love to return to CSU as an adjunct professor at some point and time. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given and would love to share them with anyone. I am very proud to be a CSU student. Chantell, your family has helped so many people realize a dream and you should be very proud!

    1. Chantell Cooley Post author


      You post is extremely inspiring to me and I know to others. The day you and your wife were inspired to return to college will be a day I am sure both of you will never forget. I am amazed how both of you set your mind to the task and went after your goal. It seems you never looked back but pushed ahead. Knowing that you are setting your children up for a legacy of education is pretty awesome!

      Thank you for your comments. I hope to see you at graduation and thank you for inspiring us all.


  8. ManipalBlog

    Most of what we leave our children and grandchildren are memories – of who we are and what mattered to us. We provide this legacy by being with our loved ones and through our relationships.