Yesterday was my second year experiencing Rachel’s Challenge. For those of you who don’t know what that is, here’s a little back round information: Rachel Scott was the first person shot and killed at the Columbine shooting on April 20, 1999. It was a tragic day that no one will ever forget. But there’s something special about Rachel Scott, she had a lot of positive opinions and out looks on life.
.West Allis Nathan Hale High School had a guest speaker to come in and talk to us about Rachel Scott, how her kindness made a difference in the world and how we too can do something Rachel referred to as starting a chain reaction. The guest speaker last year (for current sophomores-seniors) talked about Rachel’s Challenge, Rachel Scott was an avid writer and wrote a lot of things in her journal, before anyone read her journal she wrote down 5 goals for herself.
1. Eliminate Prejudice: Look for the best in others
2. Dare to Dream: Write down your goals or keep a journal
3. Choose Positive Influences
4. Use Kind Words/ Little Acts of Kindness
5. Start a Chain Reaction.
When the presenter came to our school she said we should apply these to our every day life. That presentation for me was very inspirational, I cried last year and it was just such an emotional day for not just me but many other students as well. It was good for us though, not only did it help us as a whole realize that we could all be better people, but it was so informative and just so interesting.
So after the presentation last year, a ton of students were invited to an after thing. This is where Nathan Hale’s F.O.R (Friends of Rachel) club was born! I was so excited to be a part of the first “meeting” ever! There was at least 100 people at this meeting. We talked about what we were going to be about and how we were going to make a difference. So that club was established but nothing really happened with it. Until the end of last year, then we had a meeting where we met our 4 lovely advisers and elected people and all that jazz. So this year we’ve already been more successful and so far we’ve already done some pretty significant things and we’ve got a really awesome group this year!
So now we’re onto year two! This year it wasn’t as emotional but still emotional none-the-less. I also think I wasn’t so emotional because I kind of knew what to expect. So yesterday we did the second part of the Rachel’s Challenge. But yesterday the Sophomores-Seniors did Rachel’s Legacy and this year’s Freshman did Rachel’s challenge. So this year we learned the impact Rachel’s small acts of kindness made on her peers. She didn’t know it but she changed lives, as well as saved them. And again we were given 5 more challenges Rachel applied to her own life.
1. Appreciate Others: Write them or even tell them.
2. Respond to Needs
3. Be a First Initiator.
4. Be a See-Througher: Respect vs. Inspect
5. Forgive Yourself & Others.
As well as last years challenges I plan to take these five challenges and make them part of my every-day life. Because I think all of the things Rachel stood for are very important. It’s important to be kind and compassionate. A little kindness can go a long way. It not only makes you feel better but you could be making someone else’s day by doing something simple and nice. I think everyone can learn something from Rachel Scott, because she had a lot of good values and a lot of positive things to say.
I also think Nathan Hale’s F.O.R Club is really going to make itself known this year. We’re already coming up with a ton of ideas and we’ve already had meetings and all! It’s just such a great experience and I’m so glad our school got to be a part of something as special as Rachel’s Challenge/Legacy!
Some Questions For the Readers:
Have you guys ever heard of or seen Rachel’s Challenge? If yes, what kind of impact did it have on you?
How do you feel about this topic? Do you think it’s meaningful too?
What are some ways you spread kindness and compassion?
If you could tell Rachel one thing, what would you tell her?