Garland teen gets big surprise at Rachel's Rally in Frisco




Posted on May 5, 2011 at 11:34 PM

Updated Friday, May 6 at 4:22 PM

FRISCO - Thousands of children in North Texas have taken part in Rachel's Challenge. WFAA teamed up with the non-profit aimed at encouraging students to be kind and compassionate. Thursday, we got to see how it changed their lives.

A community-wide rally was held for Rachel's Challenge at the Pizza Hut Park in Frisco Thursday evening. It was called "Rachel's Rally," and 2,500 students took part, representing two dozen schools.
Students carried a large paper chain in which good deeds were written onto each link. It was all part of Rachel Scott's dream to make an impact. Rachel was the first victim in the Columbine shooting and her journals inspired Rachel's Challenge.

Thursday night, the biggest moment came near the end of the rally.

As the chain reaction of kindness filled Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Natalie Vinsey watched from the stage. While Rachel's Challenge has changed her school, Naaman Forest High School in Garland, it has also changed her life.

"It is good to have people that are outside of the family that are there and that will help me with whatever I need help with," she said.

Students collected more than $1,000 for the senior after her mother died last December. It was a heartbreaking loss for the teenager who lost her father three years earlier.

Her teacher, Lutitia Featherston, also helped Vinsey find money for college.

"Because of Featherston, I am now getting into a college that I wanted to go to for four years," Vinsey said. "And, if it hadn't been for her, I wouldn't have even been going to any other college."

The school's compassion for one of their own inspired others beyond the campus, kindness can make a difference.

At the end of the rally, Vinsey was surprised with a Mazda 626. The car was rolled out and presented to a teary-eyed and ecstatic Vinsey.

"It's amazing to see how they want to help other people," she said.

Vinsey starts school in the fall. But, before she can get behind the wheel of her car, she has to get her driver's license first.