Making Your Legacy


A mural at Washington Middle School in East Long Beach

We were given 30-days for a project where we must create something tangible that we can share on our resumes and our community. My partner and I were stuck on what to come up with. We were thinking about changing our school. In the front of the school, there is a small wall which says “Fountain Valley High School” and right under that it says, “Class of 1993.” That got us wondering if the class of 1998 paid for the building of that sign, and now they have made their mark on the school. Everyone who sees that will read class of 1998 and think that they built that. We wanted to to do something that will make us remembered at school. That’s when we came up with Make Your Mark: FVHS.


The sign that inspired us. From Class of 1998

We thought about a project that could be done in 30-days and could make us remembered by future generations. We could think of nothing. Then I remembered the old schools in inner Los Angeles and Long Beach, they all have murals. They have murals and do purposeful graffiti to enhance the school. We thought we could try to enhance the school and we remembered many middle schools who have a wall of tiles. These tiles are covered with personal messages and signatures of students at the school. We found out what we were going to do. We figured we could even sell the tiles on campus and install them around a stage in the center of the school. These tiles would be bought from Home Depot and sold individually to students for a low price and then they can paint the tiles at a table we would have set up right by the area they were to be installed. Once created, we would leave them to dry and then install them on a weekend. We would get mortar and hire someone who knows how to put tiles up.

Home Depot Tile


Sanded Tile

Sanded Tile (left) vs. Non-Sanded Tile (right)

This project was actually bigger than we thought. We realized that there was no way it could be done within 30-days, and on top of that we also had other classes’ works to deal with.  We spoke with our teacher and it was agreed upon that we would create the idea and plan, and execute it the following year. We set out to work on the plan which took awhile to complete. We created a How-To Guide on the project so it could be laid out in front of the school board to get the project approved. I went out to see how much the materials would cost. A small half pint of paint costs $3.63 and each tile costs $0.25 each. The tile plus the small half pint of paint cost about $3.88 and can be sold for $6.00 depending on how much cut the school wants. If they want 20% of the money, they would collect $1.20 and we would be left with $4.80. We would then subtract the amount of money we bought the materials for and we would be making a $0.92 profit with each purchase. It isn’t a lot but we really aren’t trying to get money off of the kids, we want them to feel remembered at school. I encountered an issue with the tiles and paint. When the paint dried on the tiles, it would peel off so I had to lightly sand each tile before painting so the paint has something to grip onto. We weren’t able to bring the project up to the board yet as my partner and I have work from other classes to take care of, but we have made the plan so when we do bring it up, it will be simple.


We plan on putting them up around the center stage.

What I learned from this project was that legacies don’t need to be something big or something that is even tangible. Memories can be your legacy at school. A legacy can be something you did with a friend and you remembered it and can come back to and say, I did this here. A legacy can be you carving your name into the desk in math class. It can be anything you did that you remember, because the whole point of a legacy is to be remembered. You don’t need to be remembered by people you don’t even know, you can be remembered by yourself or your friends. I learned that legacies can even be what you learned from school as you may carry some of that knowledge on through life (Not triangles, they are useless). A legacy to me is this blog I am writing, and all the posts I have written. All the things I have done in school that mean something is my legacy.

Test Tile

Our newly tested tile, the paint doesn’t peel!


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