More than 400 students take “Rachel’s Challenge” at Barry University Oct. 8
Contact: Julianna M. Klose
More than 400 students to take “Rachel’s Challenge” tomorrow [Wednesday] night at Barry University
National program remembers the life and example of Rachel Scott, first victim of Columbine Massacre
Miami Shores, Fla. – More than 400 students are expected to take “Rachel’s Challenge,” a nationally-recognized program based around the life of Columbine’s first victim, Rachel Scott, tomorrow [Wednesday, Oct. 8] at 7 p.m. in the Broad Auditorium at Barry University’s main campus in Miami Shores.
The program is one of the largest of its kind, and will be shown to more than 1.7 million elementary, high school and college students this year. It honors the life of Rachel Scott, the first person to be killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, and will be led by her uncle, Larry Scott. “Rachel’s Challenge” grew out of memories of Rachel’s acts of kindness, as well as the contents of her six diaries. By challenging students towards acts of kindness, the program has been shown to prevent suicides, reduce bullying and, in three known instances in 2007, prevent a planned school shooting.
During the presentation, students are asked to sign up for five “challenges” – to eliminate prejudice by looking for the best in others, to dare to dream and keep a journal of their goals, to choose positive influences, to use kind words and small acts of kindness and, by meeting all these challenges, to start a chain reaction with family and friends.
The program also gives students specific tools to ensure that the challenge becomes a reality – for example, all Barry students in attendance will be given a journal to keep track of their goals. Barry students have already begun to build a chain, each link representing someone killed or influenced by an act of violence. The chain will be hung symbolically in the auditorium during the event.
To spread this challenge to the greater Miami-Dade community, Barry has also invited elementary and high school teachers from both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
More than 1.25 million students viewed “Rachel’s Challenge” in 2007 and, since then, it has reached millions more through features on CNN, Fox News, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, Oprah and Dateline.
At Barry, this program is sponsored by the Center for Leadership &Transition Services, Office of Student Activities, Counseling & Psychological Services, Volunteer Center, Campus Ministry, Quality Improvement Program, the Dean of Students Office, the Division of Student Affairs and the Student Government Association.
For more information, please contact Lakima Garnett at (305) 899-3961.