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Challenge Accepted

Challenge Accepted

The students of Littleton Colorado’s Columbine High School were peacefully enjoying their lunch on April 20, 1999 before their lives were changed forever; Organizers of the September Rachel’s Challenge project at PRHS are hoping to change the lives of Bearcats on Campus

On September 12, 2022, students at PRHS heard Rachel’s story for the first time. Rachel’s Challenge Representative Aaron Kinebrew explained the events of the school shooting, Rachel’s story, and five challenges for Bearcats. He urged students across two assemblies to look for the best in others, dream big, choose positive influences, speak with kindness, and start their own chain reaction.  These goals are inspired by Rachel’s notebook which was found weeks after her murder. The legacy of her kindness now drives a national campaign in U.S high schools to address active shooter violence, bullying, and culture needed for high school students. 

HISTORY

In 1999, Gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold began firing at students just outside of Columbine High School, leaving one dead, before moving inside to take the lives of 12 more in the library. The two gunmen left 13 victims dead, including 12 students and one teacher, the first being 17-year-old Rachel Scott. 

As the Scott family grieved the loss of their loved one, they stumbled upon her diary. Rachel’s diary, as well as essays she wrote in school, surrounded the message of kindness. Scott wrote about the idea that if people can be kind to one another it will create a ripple effect, making our world a more friendly place. The Rachel’s Challenge Program was then created in 2001 in hopes to carry on Rachel’s message and challenge students to be kinder to one another. 

“I have this theory that if they can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same,” Scott said.

 At the end of the assembly, Kinebrew invited anybody who was interested to join his training for the Rachel’s challenge club. The club is called the F.O.R club, which stands for Friends of Rachel. Theresa Clark and Stacy Woodruff are co-advisers. The participants of the F.O.R club meet on Tuesdays during lunch. Their goal is to bring more kindness to the campus.

“When you know somebody’s story, you can disagree with them, but when you know where they are coming from and the challenges they faced, it’s really difficult to look at them with hate in your eyes.”
Jennifer Bedrosian
Jennifer Bedrosian
“This club will hopefully have this campus seem more connected. We want to really feel like a family.”
Senior Torrence Kroener
Senior Torrence Kroener
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Bedrosian shared that F.O.R club is split into two lunches: lunch A and lunch B. Lunch A is currently working on creating a “chain reaction” with slips of paper where students can write when somebody does something positive. Lunch B is working on post-it notes posted around campus, sharing positive messages. The F.O.R will continue meeting throughout the year and make plans to enact change and more kindness around campus.

Featured Image by Savannah Rickard

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