Rachel's Challenge comes to Arizona

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 6 at 1:45 PM

PHOENIX – On April 20, 1999, two students at Colorado’s Columbine High School went on a shooting rampage. Before the two boys killed themselves, they murdered 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 21 other students. Three more were injured in the rush to escape. The nation watched, riveted, as it unfolded on live TV.

The shooters’ first victim was Rachel Joy Scott, a vivacious 17-year-old who would become the inspiration for Rachel’s Challenge.

With the goal of inspiring and empowering people to create a positive cultural change by starting a chain reaction of kindness, Rachel’s Challenge was founded by Rachel’s father, Darrell Scott. Belo, the parent company of 3TV and azfamily.com, is part of that chain reaction.

Scott sat down with Kaley O’Kelley Wednesday morning to talk about his daughter and her legacy.

“There are elements of her story that are pretty incredible,” he said. “Rachel had premonitions that her life was going to touch the hearts of millions of people, and also that she was going to die before she was 20 years old. She wrote about both of those things.”

Realizing the impact Rachel’s story had on people, particularly young people, the Scott family developed a program for schools, reaching 2 million elementary, middle-school, and high-school students.

The program has grown so much that Rachel’s Challenge is now taking off in other countries.

The core of Rachel’s Challenge comes from an essay the teen wrote just a few months before she was killed. In that essay, title "My Ethics, My Codes of Life," Rachel challenged reader to start what she called “a chain reaction of kindness and compassion that would ripple around the world.”

“Today, that chain reaction is happening. One person can make a huge difference," he said echoing his daughter's words.

"I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same," Rachel wrote.

That's exactly what Rachel's Challenge is all about.

To learn more about Rachel’s Challenge you can contact Kasey Gilliam at 877-895-7060 (x710) or kasey@rachelschallenge.org.

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