HAMPTON – Kecoughtan High School students are warriors when it comes to taking a stand against bad behavior and championing success.
Call it a modern day peace movement they’re undertaking – Rachel’s Challenge - to make the school a positive place and for students to strive to be a better.
"When you reach out and go sit at someone's table with them for their first day of school, it could really change their year," said one student.
"It's important that we not only talk but we listen to each other," said another.
Rachel’s Challenge gives young people the skills to start a dialogue and promote kindness as an answer to problems.
"I've been bullied myself and my friends have been bullied and being able to have everyone stand up and go no more bullying, the atmosphere is different since y'all have come the first time. People are nicer to each other,” said Lizi Savage.
"I don’t see people dogging on each other because of their sexuality or race or what they like to do or how they dress. I've seen a major difference," added Fury Thrash.
They’re using a growing chain of kindness to make that point. Each link represents an act of kindness by a student at school. Students say it sends an important message.
"Every time you commit even the smallest act of kindness, you're changing someone's life for the better. That's what this is all about," explained Thrash.
The students say the message is going out into the community, too, so others know Kecoughtan students are standing up for change.
"It's kind of like hope," Savage said.
Rachel's Challenge is a program inspired by 17-year-old Rachel Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine massacre. The program is designed to inspire, equip and empower every person to create a permanent positive culture change in their school, business and community by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.