Rachel’s Challenge inspires positivity among students

Allie Daro

Allie Daro

  1. Look for the best in others.
  2. Dream big.
  3. Choose positive influences.
  4. Speak with kindness.
  5. Start your own chain reaction.

When you see those “rules”, they seem like simple reminders that you probably think don’t need to be mentioned for you to do them. Rachel’s Challenge, however, uses those five pillars at the core of their presentation, which Cody Hodges shared with everyone at David City Public Schools on Fri., Aug. 11.

Rachel’s Challenge is a story about a young girl named Rachel Scott who was the first student murdered at the Columbine High School shooting in Columbine, CO, on Apr. 20, 1999. Although some of the presentation talks about the school shooting and Scott’s death, the majority of it celebrates how she lived and the legacy she left behind.

In her life, Scott focused on being kind to others. She also kept journals with records of her thoughts, feelings, poems, and how she wanted to leave a mark on the world.

Leaving a legacy is exactly what Scott did. After her death, many classmates and other people she knew went to her family to share with them exactly how she had helped them, whether she knew the extent of her outreach or not.

In addition to reaching out and helping others while she was alive, Scott also left a legacy strong enough that over 18 years later, schools still have the option to learn about her and her life.

Although it might seem like another anti-bullying presentation that promises to help fix relationships if the presentation is followed and so on, Rachel’s Challenge focuses on promoting kindness and what they call FOR Club.

While FOR is an acronym for Friends of Rachel, it is also a reminder of what the clubs stand for. FOR Clubs aren’t anti-bullying, and they aren’t service clubs. They’re simply for kindness, compassion, respect, helping others, and reaching out; all five traits focus on being nice to people to slowly make campuses, then communities, and eventually the world, better places.

Whether they knew her in person or have seen a Rachel’s Challenge presentation, Scott has made a huge impression on the lives of many. And while people are impacted in different ways, Rachel’s Challenge is a step toward inspiring kindness in all of us here at DCPS.

In the wake of Rachel’s Challenge, students have been inspired to make DCPS a better place. As Hodges quoted in his presentation, “We don’t curse the darkness, we shine the light.”