The Chain Reaction Comes to Gardner-Webb

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2,600 High School Students Hear Rachel’s Challenge

High school students from across Cleveland County gathered in the Paul Porter Arena at Gardner-Webb University this week to learn about starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.

The Arena was silent as Adam Northam from Rachel’s Challenge told Rachel Scott’s story and invited students to be part of the movement she began.

Rachel Joy Scott was the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999. In a school essay she wrote just before her death, Rachel outlined a vision for changing the world through intentional kindness. Rachel’s Challenge is a cultural change organization seeking to bring that vision to fruition through programs for audiences around the world.

Gardner-Webb provided this opportunity free of charge to the high schools of Cleveland County as part of its character-building and community service initiative.

Over 2,700 students from Burns, Crest, Shelby, King’s Mountain, and Early College High Schools accepted Rachel’s five-part Challenge: look for the best in others, dream big, choose positive influences, speak with kindness, and start a chain reaction of caring for others.

Approximately 400 students stayed for the Friends of Rachel Club training session that included practical applications.

Students, parents, and members of the community are invited to the Paul Porter Arena on Thursday night at 7 to learn more about Rachel’s Challenge.

**More information is available at