“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. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”
Rachel Scott was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. A few days before her death she wrote that quote about how showing kindness and compassion can go a long way.
Although merely a teenager, Scott showed compassion to change the world, step by step.
Rachel’s Challenge, a nonprofit organization set on empowering every person to create a positive culture, was started after Scott’s father and stepmom realized Rachel’s writings made an impact.
That compassion and willingness to spread positivity is demonstrated in Springfield College’s own Kayla Bosse, Micayla Varieur, Madeline McDougall and a dozen of others who volunteer their time to share Rachel’s words and message.
“I think it is a good idea to open the eyes of everyone, whether it is college, high school or elementary schools and let them know that you need to be kind to people and that the little things do matter to someone’s life,” Varieur said.
Part of Rachel’s Challenge is bringing Rachel’s message to schools across the country through programing and presentations.
On Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Dodge Ballroom, Springfield College will be hosting its own Rachel’s Challenge presentation.
“The [Rachel’s Challenge] group comes and shows a clip of the Columbine shooting and share a lot of Rachel’s stories,” Bosse said. “She has a lot of philosophies about being kind to people.”
The emotional and heartfelt presentation is meant to exude how people should treat others and that one small gesture can go a long way in someone else’s life.
“This presentation saves lives,” Varieur said. “I think it is really important to show this side of life.”
And in return, the programs and presentations work.
Since the founding of the organization, Rachel’s Challenge has reached more than 21 million lives and continues to add another two million each and every year.
A survey of participants showed that after being involved with Rachel’s Challenge more than 78 percent would intervene in a bullying situation. On top of that, the organization states they receive hundreds of emails from students saying they have reached put for help while contemplating suicide.
“I think Springfield College already has this incredible, unique, accepting, caring community and I think for that social culture to validate [Rachel’s mission] and push those theories into the community, not just on campus,” McDougall said.
Spreading kindness, happiness and encouragement sound very similar to what Springfield College is all about. Rachel’s Challenge is welcome on campus and is sure to make a difference.