Worcester Preparatory School faculty and students attended a Rachel’s Challenge assembly Sept. 15. The Rachel’s Challenge organization was formed in the wake of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in memory of 17-year-old Rachel Joy Scott, who was the first victim. Larry Scott, Rachel’s uncle, was the facilitator of the WPS presentation. The mission of the program is to equip and inspire individuals to promote a safer, more connected school community by replacing acts of violence, bullying, and negativity with acts of respect, kindness, and compassion. From heartwarming stories of how she impacted students’ lives to excerpts from her diaries, Rachel’s vision was to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion to change the world. Rachel’s Challenge honors her legacy by giving hope to children everywhere and making a lasting change that will have a positive impact in schools all over the country.
WPS senior Waverly Choy of Rehoboth Beach opted to attended the additional 90-minute Friends of Rachel training program following the assembly. The training encourages students to form a Friends of Rachel Club to keep the impact going in the school after the live presentation.
“We have had some incredible speakers throughout my 14 years at WPS; however, Rachel’s Challenge was the most thorough and moving program I have experienced,” Choy said. “What sets it apart is the amount of hands-on time they dedicate to not only sharing her message but also giving us the necessary tools and strategies to really transform our school. I have never seen a more inviting opportunity to share our experiences and be vulnerable.”
WPS School Counselor Allison Harman told Scott, “Rachel’s Challenge visited my high school, and I will never forget what a powerful influence your niece’s story had on my life. It compelled me to immediately start journaling and guided me into my profession today. I think Rachel’s message really resonated with students of all ages and instilled a lifelong lesson of compassion for others they will never forget.” For more information about Rachel’s Challenge, visit www.rachelschallenge.org.
Celebrating 50 years, WPS is an independent, college prep day school for prekindergarten through grade 12 students. Located in Berlin, Md., the private school attracts an average of 500 students from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. For more information, go to www.worcesterprep.org or call 410-641-3575.