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Rachel's Challenge

Roslyn High School & Roslyn Middle School
March 20-21, 2007

Rachel Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. In the years following her death, Rachel's family has honored her memory by presenting a program to audiences throughout the United States based on her life and writings. This moving presentation, "Rachel's Challenge", came to the Roslyn schools on March 20 and 21.

Though "Rachel's Challenge" begins by recounting the dreadful events at Columbine High School, it is not primarily a story about the senseless loss of young life. It is really an uplifting story about Rachel herself. Inspired by the diaries of Anne Frank, Rachel kept her own diary, and it was her private thoughts expressed in these diaries and other writings discovered after her death that form the basis of "Rachel's Challenge."

Rachel was an uncommonly caring and compassionate young woman who continually challenged herself to be a better person: to aspire to lofty goals, to seek inspiration from worthy sources, to be kind to others and to extend that kindness far beyond her reach. These, in essence, are the challenges of "Rachel's Challenge", and are meant to provide a meaningful antidote to the isolation and negative influences that contributed to the actions of the two young killers at Columbine High School.

The program was presented in a series of assemblies to all Roslyn students in grades 7 through 12 on March 20 and 21. On the evening of the 21st, "Rachel's Challenge" was presented in the Roslyn High School auditorium to an audience of parents, students and other residents as a Parent University program, sponsored annually by the school district and Roslyn's Laura Adler Teacher Center.

"Rachel's Challenge" speakers, all of them either members of the Scott family or close friends of the family, have presented the program to several million people in live audiences over the last few years. The young man who presented "Rachel's Challenge" in Roslyn is the best friend of Rachel's younger brother, Craig, who was also a student at Columbine High School at the time of the shootings. In addition to losing his sister, Craig saw two close friends killed right by his side, and he narrowly escaped being killed himself.

Rachel, who is shown in the presentation to have been an optimistic girl with a sunny disposition, nonetheless had premonitions of her own early death. At the same time, she expressed a powerful desire to make a positive difference in the world and to touch the lives of many other people. Through "Rachel's Challenge," her devoted family and friends have helped her to fulfill that desire.