Catalina Foothills senior brings Rachel's Challenge message of kindness to school

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The students and faculty from Catalina Foothills High School were treated to an inspirational assembly that challenges them to be kind and compassionate.

Rachel's Challenge is a story of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School shootings almost 13 years ago.

Sarah Heiser is a junior at Catalina Foothills High School.  This past summer, she went to a camp and heard the story of Rachel's Challenge.

"I thought it was really empowering and really I guess inspiring and it really made you wanna spread the kind acts and make an impact on your community," said Heiser.

Heiser was so moved by the message of Rachel's Challenge that she wanted to share it with the rest of the students at Catalina Foothills.

Wednesday, she got that wish and Patrick Kassab from Rachel's Challenge shared the message with hundreds of students in the gym.

"It's sharing the message of kindness compassion given to us by Rachel Scott who was first victim in the Columbine tragedy in 1999," said Patrick Kassab.

Rachel died at the age of 17.  In an essay she wrote, she said she wanted to make a difference in the lives others by a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.

Her message has spread all over the world and to over 16 million people.  Heiser feels the message will stick with the students at her school.

"I think a vast majority of the students will be really empowered," said Heiser.

After an hour speech with videos and interviews, tears were shed and students were touched.

"I am really inspired.  I think that the biggest message that I took away from it was that I can really make a difference in the world as long as I am kind and compassionate towards other people," said Catalina Foothills High School senior Jennifer Oneal.

"I think its a great message for everyone to get out there and be kinder and look for the best in others and I feel they can really effect thousands of people just through the kindness of 1 or 2 people," said Catalina Foothills High School senior Courtland Watters.

If students choose to accept the challenge, they were encouraged to sign a Rachel's Challenge banner that will hang at the school.

Learn more about Rachel's Challenge.