Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Rachel's Challenge Essay

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
“We exist to inspire, equip and empower every person to create


a permanent positive culture change in their school, business and community


by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.” - Rachel’s Challenge



Have you ever heard of Rachel’s Challenge? Well, I hadn’t either until we had an assembly about it. Rachel’s Challenge is based on the Columbine Shooting that took place at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Two students with built up anger and hate opened fire on fellow classmates. Rachel Scott, 17, was the first killed, along with many others killed and wounded. Here’s where Rachel’s Challenge comes in.

In my school, the whole student body had the chance to accept Rachel’s Challenge. We chose to let ourselves reach out and make a difference in our school through kindness. Interested students remained to go through peer training, having the chance to stand up and tell about our feelings or concerns. I think that was the most uplifting part for all of us, because there are things that we don’t pay close attention to, yet we should. We need to make differences in the lives of those around us.

After the assembly, we were given five challenges: Eliminate prejudice, dare to dream, choose positive influences, use kind words and positive actions, and equally important: start a chain reaction. The challenge that affected me the most would be to use kind words and positive actions.

I feel that if a community or school such as mine can come together, making little changes every day by doing the simplest things, then could be more welcoming to others. Face Rachel’s Challenge! As she would say “You just may start a chain reaction.”

Rachel’s Challenge has become one of the most life-changing programs in America. Because students see violence every day, they don’t think clearly about the dangers spurred by teen violence. I have seen depression and suicide personally. It’s scary to know that there are teens who think about taking their lives or the lives of others. Just like the Columbine shooting, a student could bring a gun or knife to school and put everyone in danger.

Before Rachel‘s death, she wrote an essay titled “My Ethics, My Codes of Life”. Kindness was a big deal in Rachel Scott’s life. All her life she wanted to start a chain reaction, that could touch the lives of millions using positive words, attitudes, and actions. Today, so many lives have been touched and changed because of Rachel’s story.

Rachel’s words of kindness run through my mind daily. In my opinion she had an impact on our school for the better. I see some form of kindness every day, others helping someone out, thanking a student, or even saying ‘hey how’s it going?’ It’s in everyone whether we know it or not! Eliminating bullying and selfish acts will make our small section of the world a better place. After hearing the five challenges of Rachel’s, I look for that challenge every day in school and out.

I accepted Rachel’s Challenge. I believed everything she said, as her story touched my life and made me realize a lot of tragedies I never even thought about. This assembly was a life-changing experience. I knew that if I accepted her challenge, I could help our community. I can make a huge difference in many lives, just by being me.

Bullying is everywhere. I’ve seen it hurt and degrade others. You don’t feel liked, you don’t want to be there. Depressing, fearful thoughts run through your mind. Rachel has become a great influence on my classmates as well as myself. I am opening up more; talking to people I’ve never talked to before, smiling at ones I don’t even know, and getting more involved in my school.

You don’t have to be popular to fit in. You don’t have to be involved in sports to be noticed. You are you, so be yourself, learn from mistakes, and experience a great variety of experiences life has to offer. Thinking and staying positive helps not only yourself but others around you. Being yourself will get you going in life. It takes guts to be known for who you are rather than the person everyone wants you to be. Everyone needs to be honest with themselves and you need strength to become honest.

We got together with some teachers and created our own Friends of Rachel’s Club. It’s made up of students who accepted Rachel’s Challenge to ‘start a chain reaction.’ It’s great to have friends who really DO want to make a difference in our community.

· We took Rachel’s quotes and wrote the inspirational words on the concrete outside the sports complex for Senior Night.
· We signed a banner and hung it up for our community to see.
· We made strips of paper available for people who wanted to write on them and tell about something good that had been done for them or that they had done for somebody else. We are using those strips of paper to form a chain. The paper chain will form our own chain reaction in our own town to spread kindness throughout to everyone in our community.
Remember, “You will never know just how far a little kindness can go”





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

HiChanelThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm
I think it's really great your school has a club that's all about following Rachel's Challenge. We had this presentatino today in school and I cried through all of it. I have some friends who have considered suicide and it made me feel so greatful to be surrounded by them. Thank You for writing this essay. I hope more people are inspired to join Rachel's Challenge because of it.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback