October 4, 2023

CSU alumnus is first in family to earn college degree

I speak to so many students and alumni who tell me their stories about how education has changed their life and for many how they are first in their family to begin a legacy of education.

One such student is Trevor Johnston, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in occupational safety and health from CSU.  I had the privilege of speaking with him for a few minutes the other day, and honestly, I was very inspired by his enthusiasm and passion he has for education.

He grew up with parents who both were high school dropouts.  He also lost his mother at the age of 14 and his father some years later.  He mentioned he was the first in the family on his father’s side to attend college and to receive his degree.

“I was stuck in my career and I wanted to advance, so I turned to education to fulfill my dreams,” Trevor said.

His education with CSU landed him a job as an environmental health and safety coordinator for Dish Network.  Trevor and his wife have three children who all understand the value of education.  His wife has a master’s degree, too, so the legacy of education will be instilled in their children.

Trevor explained that education is a must for his kids and that he will pay for their education to help them get started on their journey.

I would love to hear from you if you are like Trevor — the first in the family to either be working towards a degree or be a college graduate.  Tell me your story in the comment section below and what it means to you to be the first to start the legacy of education in your family.

Pictured above: CSU graduate Trevor Johnston poses with his children. He was the first to earn a college degree in his family.



  1. Trevor Johnston

    Thank you Chantell it was awesome talking to you! I look forward to seeing other’s stories. My faith in Jesus, and a lot of hard work got me through!

  2. Harriette Means

    Congratulations to Trevor on such a major accomplishment.

    Even though I am not starting the legacy of education in my family; my father had a Master’s degree and my mother earned a Bachelor’s degree (both of them were educators). I want my mother to see me walk across CSU’s stage as a college graduate in four years. If I can accomplish that, I will be the first one of their three children to do so. This is one of my motivations in earning a degree. I want to make her proud.

    1. Chantell Cooley Post author


      I love your goal. Keep moving forward. You will complete your degree! CSU is here to help you all the way.

      Way to go!


      1. Trevor Johnston


        You are so right, the support that a student receives from CSU is above anything they could hope for. You guys have created a true attitude of caring for student success!

        CSU Rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Trevor Johnston


      You are contuning a great legacy, and starting a new one as well. Not only for yourself, but the next generation. I love hearing stories like mine of true life change! I pray for your success here at CSU!


  3. Hayward McGregor Jr.

    Outstanding job Mr. Trevor Johnston continued success. God Bless YOU!!