Teen - Rachel Joy S. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

March 25, 2009
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When you hear the term “hero,” you might picture Superman lifting a bus or Spiderman spinning webs from his wrists, battling villains with ultra-­super powers. But not all heroes are mythical – some exist, right here, right now, everywhere on the planet.

It doesn’t take laser eyes or flying abilities to qualify as a hero. In fact, there are no specific standards to meet; it’s about the way people live life, their accomplishments and goals, and what they do to impact others.

With that in mind, knowing the true meaning of a hero is like seeing the world in a whole different perspective, or putting on glasses that immediately clear the blurriness. ­Heroes are all around us. Some risk their lives every day for our sake, and for that we give them our thanks. Yes, the traffic cop who gave you a speeding ticket is a hero; it’s his job to prevent accidents that might lead to serious injuries and death. Firefighters and soldiers stationed in Iraq are heroes, facing constant danger with bravery and honor.

My hero is Rachel Joy Scott. I never knew her, never talked to her, never laughed, cried, or joked with her. Her ­story, though, is what makes her unique.

Rachel was a intelligent young woman full of ambition and dreams of becoming an actress. Rachel was anything but selfish, ­going out of her way to reach out to the less fortunate, spreading her kindness everywhere.

When a student was bullied and tormented for being handicapped, it was Rachel who stepped up and shielded him from further harassment. When a suicidal teenager was ready to take his life, Rachel was there to befriend him and prevent a death. When a stranger walked into McDonald’s to find shelter from the cold, Rachel did not hesitate to buy a meal for him. Touched by her sympathy and love, lives have been changed by Rachel Joy Scott.

Unfortunately, on April 20, 1999, Rachel was one of several victims gunned down in the infamous Columbine massacre, a shooting at a Colorado high school that claimed 12 lives and injured 23. It is truly a heartbreaking tragedy that the life of this teenager, who had such a good heart, ended amid hate and violence, but Rachel’s legacy of love hasn’t died. Throughout her life, Rachel’s actions have helped countless others. It was her wish to start a chain reaction that would spread peace and compassion. If everyone continued Rachel’s efforts to make a positive difference, society would definitely change for the better.

It wasn’t the way Rachel was killed that found her a place in my heart – it was the way she lived, her accomplishments and goals, and what she did to change others’ lives. She might not have superpowers, but one thing’s for sure: Rachel Joy Scott is and ­always will be a true hero. Her deeds will never be forgotten.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 22 comments. Post your own now!

itskendallraeyall said...
Oct. 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm
Rachel's Challenge came to my school when I was in 8th grade and that same year at my SGA conference I saw it again. Her uncle is an amazing man. I remember during the FOR Club meeting, I choked up and couldn't share my story with the other memebers, but when I saw him again he remebered me and gave me hug and said to "Stay strong". Amazing experience of my life <3
waterbendercarorainThis 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...
Jul. 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm
this is amazing very inspiring
TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm
I am touched.  Your writing is simply amazing, so fluent.  It's just flawless and truthful.  
TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm
I am touched.  Your writing is simply amazing, so fluent.  It's just flawless and truthful.  
MorganD said...
Oct. 10, 2011 at 10:16 am
This article is amazing. It really spoke to me and made me think about helping others. Which is what i'm going to start doing. I want to help others not because i need to, but because i WANT too!!
Babygurl15 said...
Sept. 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm
I loved this article. It was truly amazing and very interesting.
Fitzgerald96 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 31, 2011 at 12:53 am
I loved your article especially the part about, "it’s not how she died but how she lived..." I think it’s sad how it takes a person dying often times for people to listen to what they said while they were alive. This girl sounds like a true hero and it’s inspiring to see people living their potential that we all have to use our lives to help others.   
awesomefriend said...
Apr. 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm

she was a awesome person thatz why in ganna write abaut her ..my inglesh teacher told as to write abaut a incredible person .and i think i choose the righ person or hero..











Somika said...
Feb. 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm
I love this it truely is amazing.  I know a person like that she is truely a herp to me and has helped me so much
Ashlaf4ever said...
Jan. 18, 2011 at 10:18 pm
This article is truly amazing!
I AM IRONMAN said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm
Ilike haw you describe all the things shes done.
parisnpink86 said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 8:08 am

you're an awesome writter :)


ricky said...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 11:19 am
this is so pathetic i just want to go and bomb china.....i love rickybobby
Jellybean9898 replied...
Oct. 24, 2010 at 9:37 pm
How is this pathetic?  Everyone chooses their heroes.  They can be anyone, they didn't even have to do a good deed.  They can be parents, or family, or friends, or your neighborhood hobo.  Just saying, man, this story is totally NOT pathetic
Ryan N. said...
Nov. 11, 2009 at 1:37 pm
great article it interesting that i came acroos this name i reconized it but i didnt know where from them i read columbine i wrote her name in my paper on the columbine shooting tragic that people liker her haft to die. great paper well written good luck
CSHLo said...
Jul. 24, 2009 at 2:06 pm
You wrote this with such ease. A very well done!
SilentQ said...
Jun. 30, 2009 at 9:33 pm
If we forget what people have done it was like they never did it in the first place. Thank you for reminding us.
BriannaBeloved said...
Jun. 21, 2009 at 5:56 am
This article is beautifully written and very inspiring. It really touches deep down and personally..well done!
bebe23 said...
Apr. 22, 2009 at 2:26 am
this is truley inspiring!
Phoenix This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 18, 2009 at 8:12 pm
This is very well written, and truly inspriring. You chose an amazing person as the topic of your article, and I loved it.
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