The Building is Gone, the Legacy Lives On!

Life can be wonderful! Especially if you are doing what you love to do.  That is exactly how I feel when I am assisting others to identify their natural abilities so they can select careers or degrees to complement their strengths. This is also how I feel when I am able to speak, share my abilities, gifts and talents with others. It is through sharing that I have been able to transform generations allowing a legacy to live on.

On August 13, 2016 I had the distinct honor to speak at Excelsior School Alumni 44th School Reunion. This was a very special moment for me. It gave me the opportunity to express my appreciation to my family, teachers and the community of Excelsior, West Virginia that I am who I was born to be.

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My sister introduced me as a speaker, a life and career coach, a facilitator and a mentor. Before I earned these titles, I watched my mom mentor over 200 children in our community. The teachers of Excelsior and our parents were our heroes. They instilled in us a sense of achievement, courage, self-confidence and pride in who we are. The Excelsior community understood then what we now hear from so many “It takes a village to raise a child”. Within the community, we were more than neighbors; we were friends. Friends who would step up and help without being asked, friends who would give you their last to ensure you and your family could eat and feel protected. In addition there were friends who invited you to live with them so you could get a start in life.

The theme for the reunion was “The Building is Gone, the Legacy Lives On”.  

Yes, the legacy lives on because the legacy is in each and every one of us who attended the Excelsior school. We now have an opportunity to serve as role models and to share memories and interpersonal skills that we were taught. You see many of our parents were taught by some of the same teachers. My mother attended the school and so did all 12 of her children.  The bricks are gone but the memories, the teaching, the sharing, the community unity and the love that we received remains. It remains in me and now in everything that I do as part of my company, GAMMS Unlimited Life & Career Coaching. The teaching platform that I use is from the backdrop of the love and nurturing that I received as a student growing up in a coal miner’s town.  In spite of being the eighth child born, I still had the love and care that enabled me to be a nurturing, encouraging, inspiring, and a giving individual.

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My giving allowed me to honor two families that evening as part of my keynote message because they played an important part of my life while I was a senior in high school.  I honored these two families with a plaque on behalf of their mothers and fathers who are now in heaven. These presentations were made not only because of what they did but also to emphasize that we must never under estimate the impact you can make when you take the time to impart words of wisdom or give a child a helping hand. Do not think it goes unnoticed!  I remembered and will always remember that these families assisted me in my journey towards becoming the person I am today. My way of paying-it-forward is to be a life and career coach, a facilitator/teacher, a speaker, and a mentor. These hats provide a platform for me to carry out my mission to transform generations. My mission is to transform how people work, live and build a career: One generation at a time, one person at a time, one student at a time. I realized in sharing with a friend the other day that my mentoring expands four generations when I considered the ages (a 2 month old infant, a young lady in the 7th grade, a 40 something year old Entrepreneur and an 88 year old senior citizen who loves to share stories of her life’s journey). I consider this a blessing to be able to share my time to listen and to share my stories and wisdom with these magnificent individuals.

When I am no longer on this earth, I know my legacy lives on because it is not only the breaths that I took, but also the moments that took my breath away when giving my time, talent and resources to help others. Thank you for reading this article but now it’s time for you to begin leaving a legacy. What will be your legacy? You can begin writing about your memories in a journal, or share stories, or take time to volunteer in your community, or just impart your wisdom into another person so their road in life can be easier. Do not forget to take time for yourself to enjoy moments-that-takes your breath away.

To the Excelsior community, thank you for this opportunity to share how you have played an important part in my life’s journey.  Now, I challenge you also to Journal the Journey and join me in Journaling!

GAMMS Unlimited is a life and career coaching firm that meet with parents of students in middle or high schools, college students who are looking to understand their natural abilities to select the appropriate college major or a career field that they find fulfilling or to assist those in transition (unemployed, underemployed or wanting to understand their purpose). This is done as part of our 3-D Process. Discover who you are; Design your blueprint for life and Develop your strengths and opportunities.

Maxine is the author of Transformation: Write + Share + Live journal and guidebook to record your journey. It has encouraging prompts to keep you writing and telling your stories. It is now available at

Call us today and let’s us help you get started on your journey! 919.349.1726