By Grace Usher
More than 1,200 community members packed into the Aquatic Center Relics and Rods room to attend the presentation of Rachel’s Challenge. The hour-long presentation was preceded by a community dinner.
Each school in the Lake Havisu Unified School District, Calvary Baptist Academy, and Telesis Preparatory Academy participated in individual presentations. The presentations ranged on graphic content depending on grade level, yet all had symmetrical core roots in “starting a chain reaction of kindness.”
“It’s gonna make an impact on me definitely. [The biggest thing I took] was to spread kindness. Today I sat by someone at lunch who was sitting alone and I am definitely going to help when someone is feeling lonely or scared,” said student, Emerald Noble, 13.
“When I picked up the kids from school, they told me they loved me. I kinda had a lonely day so that really meant a lot. When Emerald went in to get something to drink at the gas station, she bought a tea for a girl who looked hot from walking there from school,” said Amanda Noble, Emerald’s mother.
“I felt like it has already started changing things. It was pretty beautiful to have something for the community because they are always focusing on anti-bullying but I think that’s a negative as opposed to focusing on the kindness,” added Noble.
The event’s purpose was to inform the community of the goals and desired impact of the program.
“Biggest takeaways I took were: Do not put limits on what I do. Do not worry about what other people think about your dreams. I do not have to be average. Dream big. Record your journey, my children are watching me. It matters how you speak to your spouse, how you speak to your children, and how you speak to other people,” said Bonny Toy.
The challenge is not meant to stop with Tuesday night’s presentation. There will be continued opportunities for students to spread kindness with the Friends of Rachel clubs.
“I’m glad to see it paired with F.O.R. club and have it go into the future and not just a day and everyone talks about it for a week and its forgot. The most important part is to continue feeling it and not just the time being,” said Steven Matcheis.
Rachel’s Challenge will also host a five-day workshop for all 10th-grade students in the city to really focus on what spreading kindness means, the importance of having a positive impact on one’s surroundings, and practical implementation techniques for young adults.
“I think the message is so powerful yet simple that it will allow people to take the message and really turn it into action for the cause of Rachel’s Challenge,” said Vice Mayor, Cal Sheehy.
The decision to bring the challenge to Lake Havasu began when a member of Citizens for Havasu Schools, Marsha Cox, saw Rachel Scott’s father, Daryl, at the White House discussing the Parkland Shooting event.
She brought the idea back to the group and paired with City Council to bring the program to Lake Havasu. They have done so with great success and continued support.
“[Lake Havasu] is the first community to do all schools and community event in the same day,” said LHUSD Superintendent Diana Assier.
Rachel’s Challenge is set to continue to impact the community for years to come.