Rachel's Challenge focuses on starting a chain reaction


Abby Landwehr

Rachel's Challenge presenter "JB" works with PHS staff and students after Wednesday's presentation.

JB from Rachel’s Challenge came to Powell High School to challenge students to start a chain reaction.

What might that challenge be? To be better individuals.

“I have this theory, that if one person will go out of their way to show compassion, it’ll start a chain reaction of the same,” JB said in quoting the late Rachel Scott, who wrote this shortly before her death. “People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”

Rachel was the first victim of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 when 13 people were killed and over 20 wounded. After her death, friends of Rachel began coming forward with stories of how her kindness changed their lives. Now, Rachel’s story is used to reach and inspire the hearts of millions of students every year.

“She did so many little things that we are all capable of, and changed so many lives,” PHS freshman Morgan Schmidt said about the presentation. “I know we are all capable of these things and taking one minute out of our day to make someone else’s. So now the ball is in our court; I think many of the students will become better people from it.”

The presentation focused on the following five challenges the program encourages everyone to try:

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

By showing students these different ways to make a difference in the lives around them, Rachel’s Challenge aims to inspire students to change the world, to empower others and to simply be better.

JB encouraged students to be better at looking for the positives in others instead of negatives right off the bat. Many of the students admitted that they judged others poorly based on their first look at someone. By doing this, it’s a great way to eliminate prejudice in our school.

He also told the audience to be better at loving ourselves.

“Write goals,” he said, “and keep a journal. Follow your dreams, and have BIG dreams.”

The presentation showed how Rachel knew she was going to have an impact on the world. She said this to herself and to others all the time. This program pushes kids to believe in themselves and in others as well.

Abby Landwehr
Students committed to making a positive change by signing the Rachel’s Challenge banner that will hang in the school.

The speaker also said to be better at choosing positive influences. Rachel once said: “Don’t let your character change color in your environment. Find out who you are and let it say its true color.”

Another of JB’s messages was to be better at speaking with words of kindness. Think about the words you speak to others. Use words to empower others, not tear them down.

And finally, Rachel’s Challenge wants students to be better about starting their own chain reactions. To be the marker where the real change begins happening.

PHS students have been called to change the world by Rachel’s Challenge. Only time will tell if students are up to the task, but they were left with one crucial notion: Everyone is worth something.

For more information, visit the Rachel’s Challenge official website.