Dulmage 1Cori DulmageBennett12th Lit/Comp7 October 2011 Rachel’s Challenge Have you ever thought about what one act of kindness can do? Well Rachel Scott did.Her goal was not to blend in with her peers, but to stand out by starting a chain reaction ofkindness to everyone she knew. Rachel knew she would not live a long life, and when she wasshot at Columbine High School in 1999, her goals and dreams continued to live on. Instead ofher family mourning over the loss of their unique daughter, they decided to make Rachel’sdreams come true. Rachel’s Challenge inspires people to be kind and compassionate to theirpeers and watch how one act of kindness spreads. Rachel’s Challenge is inspirational,motivational, and heart-touching to everyone who experiences it. Rachel Scott was not an average teenage girl. Rachel’s dreams and goals were beyond thethoughts of any teenager at Columbine High School. However, Rachel Scott’s future wasn’t howshe planned. On April 20, 1999, two students fired and killed Rachel Scott and eleven otherclassmates (Rosenberg). The killing was not said to be racist or subjected to a certain religion;the two boys just “hated the world” and wanted to do something that no one could haveunderstood (Rosenberg). Even though life might have ended that day for Rachel, the person shecontinues to be told through her family and everyone else who is impacted through her story.Rachel’s brother, Craig Scott, was affected dramatically by the Columbine shooting and did notknow how he was going to recover seeing his friends and classmates killed, let alone his own
Dulmage 2sister (Macho). Craig goes from school to school trying to prevent the mass killing that happenedat his school (Macho). “It is not easy for me to re-live this stuff”, states Craig, “but it is worth it”(Macho). Rachel Scott was a girl who “was friends with everyone” according to her mother(Tamburello). She stuck up for what was right and what she believed in (Tamburello). Rachel’sdeath didn’t attract thousands of people because of what happened to her; it was because RachelScott wasn’t labeled as “average”. She wasn’t just kind, but she made a difference and touchedso many lives, and continues to today (Tamburello). “I have this theory that if one can go out of their way to show compassion, it will start achain reaction of the same” (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). Rachel Scott’s words and motives werebeyond any student at Columbine High. After her death, Rachel Scott’s belongings were taken alook at, her journal in particular. The journal had been given to her parents to read for the firsttime and even though they knew how special their daughter was, they were blown away by whatwas written (Tamburello). Rachel wrote about her goal and drive to be a better person and herdevotion to God (Tamburello). She would often address her letters to God and tell Him that“they didn’t even have to ask, they could see him through her” (Tamburello). She wrote abouther struggles and the normal day life of a teenager (Tamburello). On the last page of her journalwas something that really motivated her parents to start Rachel’s Challenge. It was a paper thatshe had written, titled “My Ethics, My Codes of Life” (Scott). In this paper she wrote about whatwas important to her, and what she admired most. Rachel talked about first impressions withmeeting new people and that one can “look hard enough and you will always find a light, youcan help it grow” (Scott). Rachel also stated in her essay that her ethics and codes might beunrealistic for some, but if tried, then they might just “start chain reactions” (Scott). Rachel Scott
Dulmage 3wrote about “starting a chain reaction” a lot in her journals (Scott). She wanted to start that chainof kindness and compassion to everyone around her (Tamburello). Rachel Scott’s dream was not to just be nice to everyone around her; she wanted to startthat reaction to everybody (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). Her dreams and goals were very atypicalfor most teens, but not to her. Rachel wanted nothing more than to be labeled as anything butaverage, and she was not (“Columbine Victim Rachel…”). Instead of Rachel’s family mourningof the loss of their one-of-a-kind daughter, they decided it was only fair to let Rachel’s dreamscome true. Rachel wanted to make this world a loving and kind place, and even though she isunable to speak today, her words continue to spread. The mission statement for Rachel’s Challenge states: “We exist to inspire, equip andempower every person to create a permanent positive culture change in their school, businessand community by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion” (Rachel’s ChallengeStaff). Rachel’s Challenge travels to schools and businesses inspiring chain reactions of kindnessand compassion (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). A speaker stated in the middle of a presentation at ahigh school that “those little acts of kindness change lives and save lives” (“10 Years After…”).In her essay, Rachel stated, “People never know how far a little act of kindness can go,” andthat’s exactly what the staff of Rachel’s Challenge continues to share with their audiences. (“10Years After…”). Rachel’s Challenge has different levels of presentation that they share withmiddle schools, high schools, and businesses. In the middle school they focus on bullying andstand up for what you know is right (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). For high school they focus onwhat their purpose in life is (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). Rachel’s Challenge organization alsogoes to business where it is concentrated on leadership and the importance of being a leader to
Dulmage 4everyone in the work place (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). The staff claims that businesses or schoolwill never be the same after being exposed to Rachel’s Challenge (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). So many people have been impacted by Rachel’s challenge including entertainers,politicians, sports celebrities, educators, and two Presidents of the United States (Rachel’sChallenge Staff). With all of the attention from celebrities, Rachel’s Challenge continues totarget students (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). The stories of the lives impacted from thisorganization are what keep this organization alive (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). The lives ofdepressed and suicidal teens usually are affected the most by Rachel’s Challenge. The story of asuicidal high school student is one of the most heart-touching stories told by speakers ofRachel’s Challenge (Dulmage). The story is said that speakers came to her high school for athree hour presentation on the day of her plan to take her own life (Dulmage). She had no ideathat in the little time they had to share the life and goals of Rachel Scott, this would completelychange her mind (Dulmage). She shared her story with the speaker that day and told him that shehad planned to take her life but thanks to the motivational and inspiring act to stop the bullyingand start the movement of kindness, she completely changed her mind (Dulmage). Rachel Scottinspires everyone to be a better person and to really attempt to start the chain reaction of beingnice and kind to everyone around. “One act of kindness can change a life” said Rachel Scott (Tamburello). Through all ofRachel’s goals and desires, the aspiration to spread kindness was what really set Rachel Scottapart from the rest. She wanted to spread kindness to all and hope for that chain reaction to start.Rachel’s desire to spread kindness is still continuing today. “Those little acts of kindness changelives and save lives,” Rachel’s Challenge speaker, Dave Gamache, states during a presentation at
Dulmage 5a high school. Rachel’s Challenge speakers’ goal is to show students what Rachel always wantedto; the chain of kindness. Other speakers share experiences and thoughts of Rachel Scott, whichmake the presentation even more real. One speaker in particular is Darrell Scott, Rachel’s father,really knows how to turn a crowd around (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). Darrell talks about whatkind of person Rachel was and what she really wanted every high school student to understand(Rachel’s Challenge Staff). Rachel Scott did not want anything back; she never asked for areward for the things she did, all she wanted was to see the difference a little kindness wouldmake in this world (Tamburello). Rachel Joy Scott made an impact in this world (Rachel’s Challenge Staff). With herdesires to make a change, her goals to spread kindness, and the standard set for a true Heromakes Rachel’s Challenge the inspiring and life-changing organization that it is today. Rachel’sChallenge will continue traveling around the world, sharing the life of Rachel Scott and her goalsto make a difference in everyone’s lives. Rachel Scott continues to inspire and motivateeveryone to live every day like it is the last to be that person you want to be remembered as.“Tomorrow is not a promise, but a chance” (Tamburello).