Rachel's Challenge: student with 'Will power' leads school


by LaSalle Blanks, 13News


Posted on May 20, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Updated Monday, May 20 at 6:41 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH - Will Sexton is a student with a lot of will power, who has become a leader in the student-led effort to improve schools through Rachel's Challenge.

Sexton is an 8th grader at Princess Anne Middle School in Virginia Beach and president of the Rachel's Challenge Club at his school.

"For kids, I want them to challenge themselves to be nicer all of the time," Sexton said. "I want them to really think smarter and think more positively."

Sexton is using his title to motivate classmates and peers into believing in a program that promotes kindness and compassion, with the hopes of rooting out the negative behavior that leads to violence and bullying.

During the first Rachel's Challenge event of the school year, Sexton was on the microphone at a kickball tournament, raising money for Hurricane Sandy victims.

"I will develop myself in a positive manner, show honor, respect, and integrity," he preached to the crowd of students.  The students pledged, "I will always bring out the best in myself and others."

Sexton also led an effort to help Rachel's Challenge get off the ground at another school, Northside Middle School in Norfolk.

"Some people might be reluctant to it at first," Sexton told them. "We just don't stop trying and that's why it's been working for us."

In his three years at Princess Anne Middle School, Sexton has been part of many charitable community efforts. The students sent gifts to senior citizen homes, made cards for troops overseas and nurses who care for cancer patients and participated in Relay for Life.

The school has also had the biggest turnouts at two 13News Rachel's Challenge rallies at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex and Harbor Park.

In the fall, look for Will to take what he's learned to Kellam High School, which just kicked off its program this year.

13News recognizes Will Sexton as a student with the will to stand up and make a difference through Rachel's Challenge.