My sister is trying to start a motivational program at her school called Rachel’s Challenge. It is a program that changes the way people think about other people in a positive way. Starting tomorrow, she is going to start a petition asking people to sign a paper and accept the challenge. Each petition will have information about Rachel’s Challenge, and the reason why she chose the program. Here is the information she wrote on her petitions:
Rachel’s Challenge is a non-religious, non-political, and non-profit organization made to change the way people think about other people, and to stop bullying and violence in schools and businesses. The organization was made in memory of Rachel Scott.
Rachel Scott was the first person killed in a school shooting at Columbine High School on April 20th, 1999. The shooting was caused by a student that was being bullied, and having other problems with people at the school. Her acts of kindness and compassion from her diaries have become a foundation for one of the most life changing programs in America.
The 1 hour program motivates people to a positive change in the way they treat others. (Which would go along great with the Anti-Bullying programs happening at the school now.) Entertainers, politicians, sports celebrities, educators, and 2 presidents have been impacted by Rachel’s Challenge.
Students, however, are the main targets in this challenge.
It is followed by a separate 90 minute training session with adult and student leaders to help keep the positive changes going in the school. The school will never be the same after experiencing Rachel’s Challenge.
Rachel’s Challenge has a mission to make sure schools have a safe learning environment for all students, and to take a stand against bullying and violence.
One of Rachel’s most famous quotes she wrote before she died said, “I have this theory, that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same.”
Also included on the petition is her reason for why she chose Rachel’s Challenge:
“On November 11, 2011, I celebrated a day called To Write Love On Her Arms Day. To Write Love On her Arms is an organization that was created in support of people that do, or have at one point, done some sort of self harm. Whether that be cutting, burning, or having an eating disorder. On that day, I wrote “Love” on both of my arms, and got 31 people to do the same; including 3 teachers. When I asked people to do this, of course everyone asked what the reasoning for the “Love” written on my arms. I told them about To Write Love On Her Arms, and why it was good to support the cause. The feedback I got from telling people about this really interested me. Most of the feedback I got from that day, was negative.
I feel very strongly towards organizations like To Write Love On Her Arms and a similar movement called The Butterfly Project, so some of the opinions I got back about it, in a way, offended me. Most of the people that I told about it, would make fun of people that self harmed, or would even say bad things about the people that would support the cause; including me. Some would say that the people that cut were “stupid”, “ignorant”, “attention-seeing”, “emo”, or worse.
Although I do not cut, or perform any other sort of self harm, I know that the people that do these things, aren’t any of the words that people call them. People that self harm do it for the temporary fix they get from their on-going struggle they have. People can turn to self harm after being bullied, having depression, or for just the feeling of pain; to know that they are alive.
What makes things worse, is that most people that self harm, or are depressed, come across as being the happiest people in the world. When in reality, they are hurting inside more than anyone could ever imagine. Looks can be deceiving. When someone says something offensive to someone, they would never know that these people beat themselves up over what other people think about them.
People do not understand that the negative words they use to describe some people, can hurt. Of course, I know I am not one to talk, because I have talked about people many times in my life. Everyone has; it’s a part of life. But because of the feedback I got from To Write Love On Her Arms Day, I knew that I needed to change. I knew that I needed to take a stand against the negative things people think about other people, for no reason whatsoever. I knew that I needed to make a change at my school.
That day, I decided to post my feelings about what I really thought of the feedback I got from To Write Love On Her Arms Day. After I got home from school, I knew I wanted to start something at my school that had to do with changing the way people thought about others, but I didn’t have a clue on how to do it. A friend of mine that I have on Facebook, read my status, and told me about Rachel’s Challenge. She told me that I would be perfect to start this chapter at my school. I read through the website, and thought it would be an amazing thing to start.
I know for a fact that students at my school are tired of the Anti-bullying programs we have previously had at the school, and most of them are not taking them seriously. I was one of them. I didn’t really think that the opinions of other people could be change by someone coming and telling them to change their ways. But after reading some of the stories of Rachel’s Challenge, and just the story of Rachel Scott, I know there is hope to stop bullying and the negative opinions of other people. Although, I know it won’t change everyone, I truly think it will make a difference at the school.
My sister is starting the petition tomorrow, and will also be presenting her idea. Say a prayer for her to give her strength and courage. If you agree with this challenge and would like to spread the word, go ahead.
Thank you for your time.