Legacy of Rachel's Challenge impact endures

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by MEGAN HARRIS

WFAA

Posted on March 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 30 at 10:15 PM

News 8 has partnered with Rachel's Challenge to promote the power of kindness in North Texas schools.

We have highlighted events where students are giving back to their community in a chain reaction of kindness, helping to overpower the consequences of bullying.

But the Rachel's Challenge program is about more than just transforming lives. It's about saving them, too.

Three years ago, Hope Kincheloe went to class at Lake Highlands High School thinking it would be her last time.

"I had a rope and a bottle of pills ready in my room," she said.

After years of bullying and depression, Hope had decided to take her own life.

She kept her daily pain to herself; Hope never told her parents. She only opened up on the pages of her journal.

I lay here crying all the time
I can no longer rhyme
Thinking death is the only way
Not wanting to see another day.

Hope never carried out her plan, because it was on that very day that Rachel's Challenge held an assembly at her school.

She listened. She cried. And she realized her life was worth living.

"I would have missed graduation, my brother graduating college... I would have missed my son," she said.

Rachel's Challenge is named after Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado.

Rachel had her own journal, one that was pierced by a bullet on the day she was killed.

Inside were ideas, words, and a philosophy that would change many lives — including Hope Kincheloe's.

"Rachel's Challenge truly saved my life," she said, choosing to move beyond the bullying.

"Nothing in this world is worth taking your life over," Hope said.

On Thursday, News 8 and Rachel's Challenge are hosting a town hall meeting at Utley Middle School in Rockwall. We'll discuss the challenges of bullying, and explore ways to empower students and parents. The forum starts at 7 p.m.

E-mail mharris@wfaa.com

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