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Community embraces Rachel’s Challenge

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Community embraces Rachel’s Challenge

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The Public Service Practicum (PSP) course brought Keyona Williams, one of the presenters of Rachel’s Challenge, to Grayslake North to educate the student body about the effect their words have on other people and to introduce Rachel’s five challenges.
“Rachel’s Challenge is a presentation created in memory of Rachel Joy Scott, the first student killed in the 1999 Columbine shooting. The presentation is about her legacy,” said Roxanne Bristow, PSP adviser.
Rachel’s Challenge has touched the hearts of many students, teachers, and family members.
“I have presented Rachel’s Challenge for four years, but I have been presenting in front of students for seven years,” said Keyona Williams.
Many are hoping that the impact of Rachel’s Challenge will remind the staff and students to appreciate life and live it to the fullest.
“Rachel’s Challenge has a profound impact on many students, but its impact on teachers also should not be overlooked. We all need time to step back and appreciate what is important to us in life, and the assembly provided the space to reflect on those people and places that make us who we are. A little reminder to show appreciation and gratitude and love is good for everyone,” said PSP advisor Emily Hinz.
Many of the students took away from this presentation that words do hurt and that compassion and kindness are key.
“There will be a number of other follow up activities that we are hoping the school will take on so it actually becomes more than PSP, and we are hoping that other clubs and activities will get involved,” Bristow said.
Rachel’s Challenge presents year round, but the busy months tend to be August through the end of October.
“We present a lot during the months of August to the end of October. We present to around 52 schools in that time frame, about 3-4 a week,” Williams said.
Additional activities were held on January 19 where the school started putting a positive quote in the announcements.
“After the presentation, everyone went back to their first period classrooms to debrief and write a letter to themselves expressing whatever they wanted about Rachel’s Challenge and any positive changes that they wanted to make. In addition, there was a community event that occurred that same night. It was open to all parents, students and teachers from other schools, and anyone else who wanted to see the presentation. We also have follow up activities that are meant to keep the message of Rachel’s Challenge alive throughout the rest of the school year,” said PSP member Angelina Caresse.
Rachel’s Challenge left a lasting impact on everyone in school including the presenter, Keyona Williams.
“The beauty of it is that sharing Rachel’s Challenge gets people to pursue their dreams, and it causes you to reflect on your own life and show kindness to people around you,” Williams said.

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Community embraces Rachel’s Challenge