Rachel’s Challenge comes to BHS

Ben Ryan, Staff

“Seeing how such a little act of kindness can butterfly to so much more, and on the other spectrum, how minor acts of unkindness can lead to tragedy was eye opening,” says Jordan Kawulicz, a sophomore. Rachel’s Challenge, a national program that promotes kindness and compassion in schools arrived to Bethel High School late September and students and teachers alike were moved by the power of the presentation.

“Rachel’s premonition of her death was frightening, it made it seem like she had a purpose in her life” says Junior Allison Leavey. “It makes me wonder what mine is.”

“I think there is a Rachel inside all of us,” comments Mr. Shaboo. “I appreciated how they compared Rachel to Anne Frank. It shows that throughout history there have been people that really lived for the sake of kindness.”

Wildcat Word caught up with Bryan Gallinger who presented the September 30th program. Gallinger got involved with the powerful program in 2003 after meeting Rachel’s brother, Craig.

“It’s very rewarding seeing how (the program) impacts kids, especially in the training for the club after the presentation,” explains Gallinger. Bethel High School students who were moved by the presentation were encouraged to start a club to continue Rachel’s mission for acts of kindness.

Senior David Suske is one student involved with starting the new club. “We are putting together a new student committee, the goal of which is to make new students feel welcome, kind of what like Rachel did,” says Suske. “We are also thinking about collecting soda tabs. Clubs across the country do it and once we get a truckload we will have it melted down and we will donate it to hospitals.”

The new club will continue Rachel’s values through adhering to the tenants of Rachel’s Challenge:

1. Look for the best in others. Eliminate prejudice in your life.

2. Dare to dream. Write down your goals to concrete them, and keep a journal along the path.

3. Choose positive influence. In order to become a kind person, surround yourself with media and people that make you a better person.

4. Speak kind words. You never know what a little act of kindness will cause. When someone having a bad day is angry at you, don’t be angered back, try to look at it from their perspective and help them.

5. Most importantly, cause a chain reaction. “People never know how far a little compassion can go.”

For more information on Rachel’s Challenge and the new club, contact Mrs. DeBenedetto.