Rachel Scott was a 17-year-old student at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. She was a writer, and aspired to make an impact on the world. She was inspired by the writings of Anne Frank and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, less than a year before she died, she told her friends and family that she knew she was going to die young.
On April 20, 1999, Scott was the first person that was gunned down outside Columbine by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as they went on a murderous rampage through the school. Her brother Craig was in the library working on homework with friends when, after setting off pipe bombs in the cafeteria, Harris and Klebold burst into the library and started shooting students. Two of Craig's friends were gunned down right next to him. In less than 10 minutes, Harris and Klebold had killed 10 people and wounded a dozen more. All told, in less than half an hour, a dozen students and a teacher were killed, and 27 were wounded before Harris and Klebold turned the guns on themselves. Rachel Scott's funeral was broadcast live on CNN, and drew the largest audience in the network's history at the time.
In her writings, Rachel wrote about her desire to see "a chain reaction" from just one person doing an act of kindness or compassion towards someone else. Scott reached out to students that no one else would, such as new students, students with special needs, and students who were being bullied. One example of her reaching out to a new student was the basis for a public service announcement for the Foundation for a Better Life. After her death, her parents created the group "Rachel's Challenge." The group challenges people to take steps in their lives to make the world a better place just by doing a random act of kindness for another person. The group's message was so powerful, famous actors and athletes began supporting it. Chuck Norris dedicated his autobiography to Rachel's memory. Other athletes, after they retired from their sports, began speaking and doing commercials in support of the group.
Monday night, Colleen Kirk, a friend of the Scott family who was also a student at Columbine, gave a presentation to students and parents at Cape Henlopen High School. Earlier in the day, students attended two separate assemblies to hear about the group. The presentation featured Rachel's drawings and excerpts from her six diaries, as well as clips of interviews with her family and friends.
The group has reached nearly 19 million people, and has given speeches all over the U.S., as well as in Europe, China, Australia and New Zealand. Kirk says the group will have a presentation coming up soon in Bermuda.
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