Rachel’s Challenge envisions schools full of hope, free from harassment, violence, and self-harm, where teachers are free to teach and students are inspired to learn.
Rachel’s Challenge addresses the root causes of school violence, bullying, prejudice, and self-harm through student wellness programs that build connection, hope and resilience. We improve school culture so that students are able to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally.
The Connection Solution
Rachel’s Challenge brings people together. We help break down the walls that lead to harassment, isolation, teen suicide and gun violence. Our programs are a catalyst that stimulates connection and hope, invites personal reflection, and ignites change. When people feel that they are not alone, individuals – and communities – are transformed. We see it happening in culturally diverse schools around the world every day.
Transforming a Tragedy
Rachel’s Challenge was created after the Columbine High School shooting, in honor of Rachel Scott and the other victims lost on that terrible day. As the first widely known mass school shooting, the Columbine tragedy was a catalyst for action for many people.
After Rachel’s death, her family discovered that she left behind a legacy of kindness and compassion – through her life, her writings, and the people she had reached out to. One after another, stories emerged about the profound impact of her simple acts of kindness.
Her family soon realized that Rachel’s story could help transform the way we relate to each other, and how we feel about ourselves. It provides an antidote: a path to ending school violence, bullying, self-harm and suicide. How? By creating positive connections that improve self-worth and mental health. Rachel’s dad, Darrell Scott, was asked to talk about Rachel so often that he and Rachel’s step-mom Sandy started a non-profit organization for school violence prevention that is Rachel’s Challenge today.
But why the name?
In what would be her final essay, Rachel wrote about the power of kindness and compassion, and challenged her reader to, “start a chain reaction.” Her request – that we all try kindness, to see how far it can go – is the foundation of our mission, and today we are joined in that mission by millions of people who have embraced Rachel’s challenge to act with kindness and end school violence.
Our live and digitally-delivered programs provide social-emotional learning and mental health content that brings connection, healing and hope. We help reduce bullying and school violence, and avert suicides, by creating a student-led culture of respect and kindness.
To learn more about our programs, click here