• On Sunday, February 24th the Tempe Diablos in partnership with Channel 3 and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will host a charity game at Tempe Diablo Stadium to help raise money to further the implementation of Rachel’s Challenge in Tempe schools.

    The program has already been presented at KMS, Altadena, Aprende and Akimel A-el middle schools with Pueblo and Centennial scheduled for January 15th and 16th. Desert Vista will soon be the first high school to bring the program to its students.

    Rachel’s Challenge is a series of student empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying and ally feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17 year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school. Shortly before her death she wrote,

    “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”

    Rachel’s Challenge was started by Rachel’s dad and stepmom, Darrell and Sandy Scott when they realized that the writings and drawings Rachel left not only had an impact on her friends and classmates, but also resonated with students around the world. Although Rachel was a typical teenager who even wrote about her “ups and downs,” she had a passion and conviction that she would someday change the world. The Scott family knew her story and passion had to be told to inspire others to make their world a better place.”

    While her life was tragically cut short during the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999, Rachel Joy Scott’s shining example of kindness and compassion was not defeated that day.  Each day 160,000 students do not go to school because they are bullied, teased and harassed. By turning the story of a tragic death at Columbine High School into a mission for change, Rachel’s Challenge is helping create safer learning environments and making a world-wide impact.

    Greg Stainton, Tempe Diablos President, made the following comment following a recent presentation, “It was an incredible experience watching 300 6th and 7th graders in one assembly and 300 7th and 8th graders in another assembly sit in absolute silence for over an hour as this program unfolded in front of them. The program is very moving and many kids were in tears and hugging one another as they left the assemblies. Over 400 students volunteered for follow-up training. During the evening presentation for the parents, I had one couple ask if we were presenting again, because they wanted to bring their younger and older kids.  I had another parent ask if this was going to the high schools to which I was able to answer YES! Desert Vista has already put in their application.  This is a powerful experience that you should not miss”.

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