Central takes up Rachel’s Challenge

On Friday, Nov. 4, Character Counts! Student Life Team brought a speaker from Rachel’s Challenge to Hinsdale Central.

“Rachel’s Challenge is an organization that sends speakers all over the country to talk about Rachel, the first victim that died in the Columbine shootings. Our speaker was a close family friend so it was more emotionally charged than other presentations would have been,” Zoe Kafkes, senior, said. “He went through and talked about Rachel’s life and her ideals.” The speaker challenged students to make five small changes in their lives: eliminate prejudice, dream big, choose positive influences, act kindly, and start a chain reaction of one’s own.

“Rachel wrote an essay a week or so before the shootings about her moral code and that’s where all of the ideas for Rachel’s Challenge comes from,” Kafkes said. “She challenged her readers to be better people.” The presentation included testimony from Rachel’s brother as well as footage from the Columbine shootings, making for a moving and emotional assembly for Central students.

“Our presenter compared Rachel to Anne Frank and talked about the similarities that she had with one of her role models, Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Kafkes said. The assembly helped students gain a new perspective on their ability to make a difference in school and the wider world. As a result of the presentation, a group of students at Central have decided to take up this challenge and start a club of the same name for interested students.