Ashland University Takes On "Rachel's Challenge" To Spread Compassion, Kindness

8/15/11 ASHLAND, OH -- The Columbine High School tragedy in April of 1999 took many lives. For one of those lives, her message of kindness, compassion and character has since been carried on and will be shared at Ashland University this fall.

The Ashland University Center of Religious Life will present "Rachel's Challenge," a program inspired by Rachel Scott, the first shooting victim of the Columbine tragedy. The presentation will take place Thursday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. in the Jack & Deb Miller Chapel at Ashland University.

Rachel's father, Darrell Scott, created "Rachel's Challenge" programs inspired by her life and writings. He has shared Rachel's legacy with millions of people around the world and has witnessed Rachel's story become a proven catalyst for positive change in schools, businesses and communities.

According to Scott, when Rachel was 13 years old, she traced her hands on the back of her dresser and wrote in big black letters, "These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will someday touch millions of peoples' hearts." Her life and writings have impacted over 15 million students in live settings in the last 11 years as millions have come to hear Darrell Scott tell the true story of his remarkable daughter's belief that her life would impact the world.

The Ashland University Center of Religious Life is partnering with several other campus organizations to bring "Rachel's Challenge" to the Ashland University campus and the greater Ashland community, according to Dean of Religious Life Dr. Dan Lawson.

"Our objective in bringing 'Rachel's Challenge' is to shed light on issues of ongoing inhumanity, persecution, prejudice, discrimination and violence against fellow human beings and to train our students, as well as the greater Ashland community, to inspire, equip and empower others to bring a permanent positive change," Lawson said.

"It is the desire of the Center of Religious Life that each of us follow Rachel's example and learn to live with a courageous Christian faith in the midst of a real world environment, regardless of how frightening that may seem," Lawson said.

Rachel's Challenge is the largest school assembly/keynote program in America. It is designed to help school administrators, parents and students create a safer and more productive place to learn and achieve. The goal is to motivate and equip students and administrators to embrace new values of kindness and compassion so that no one is left behind because of fear and violence in their school.

Powerful footage of Rachel's life and the Columbine tragedy holds audiences spellbound during the one hour presentation that motivates and encourages people to make positive change in the way they treat others.

For more information on the event, please call the Center of Religious Life at 419.289.5489 or visit the "Rachel's Challenge" website at www.rachelschallenge.org<http://www.rachelschallenge.org>

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.