The Rachel's Challenge programs are designed to liberate the inner desire to treat others with kindness and respect. The strategic, relational program content is based on the life and writings of Rachel Scott. Shortly before her death she wrote, "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." This simple, yet profound philosophy defuses bullying, disrespect, and prejudice, bringing hope where there is isolation and despair.
Although first held in high schools, Rachel's Challenge has evolved to include separate programs with age-appropriate content for elementary and middle schools, colleges and even corporate presentations.
There are also special programs for teachers, counselors and school administrators. The flagship event is an annual summit featuring nationally known presenters and clinicians. Additional topical professional development institutes are held throughout the year, and some courses are offered online.
The core component of Rachel's Challenge is a spellbinding and impassioned school assembly that tells the story of Rachel Scott and inspires a desire for change among students. It is unique in that the assembly is followed up with student training, a permanent school club and a community presentation. While it strives to inspire campus and community-wide change, Rachel's Challenge starts with individual students who have been motivated to release their inner desire to treat others with respect.
The results have been astounding. Representative of thousands of schools is an elementary school in Texas that had 90% fewer disciplinary referrals in the months after a Rachel's Challenge program was initiated. 78% more students indicated they would intervene in a bullying incident after seeing Rachel's Challenge. A High School in Illinois experienced 84% fewer out-of-school suspensions. Seventy-eight percent more students indicated they would definitely intervene in a bullying incident in their school after seeing Rachel's Challenge. Most significantly, in a recent 24 month period, Rachel's Challenge received more than 450 emails from students who indicated they had changed their mind about taking their own life after Rachel's Challenge made their school a better and more caring place.