About 200 students learned about one teenager’s desire to impact the world and create a “chain reaction of kindness” Thursday.
Darrell Scott spoke of his daughter Rachel Joy Scott’s life in the Lory Student Center Theater. Rachel died on April 20, 1999 when two students fired guns upon other students and teachers at Columbine High School.
“The things that really matter (in life) aren’t the big things, they’re the little things,” Darrell said. “I would give anything to have my daughter back for two minutes. I would give everything I own.”
Darrell used pictures and videos of Rachel and people close to her to illustrate her personality and the effect she had on others. He also read entries from Rachel’s diaries and essays to demonstrate her commitment to serving God and helping others.
“I have this theory that if one person will go out of their way to show kindness and compassion, it will start a chain reaction of the same,” wrote Rachel in an essay called “My Ethics. My Codes of Life.” “Learn to look beyond (others’) appearance and look through their eyes and into their souls.”
Darrell refreshed the audience’s memory of the tragedy by showing an NBC video illustrating what happened in the Columbine shootings.
“It showed his inner strength by coming out and doing (speeches) after tragedy struck,” said freshmen Mark Mangone, an open option seeking business student. “I think that his daughter’s legacy lives on through him speaking, and I think it’s what she would have wanted.”
Darrell also demonstrated that Rachel had an affect on people she did not know by telling the story of his meeting with David Berkowitz, the infamous “Son of Sam,” who terrorized New York City in the late 1970’s. Berkowitz sought out Darrell to tell him that Rachel’s writings from the book “Rachel’s Tears” had touched and moved him.
Darrell emphasized the impact that Rachel had on others by showing several videos of friends and teachers whom Rachel influenced. These people also told of an almost prophetic knowledge Rachel had that she would die before the age of 20.
“This will be my last year Lord, I have gotten what I can. Thank you,” Rachel wrote in her diary on May 2, 1998, eleven months before the Columbine tragedy.
Senior Nathan Witmer felt Darrell’s presentation gave a different view of the Columbine shootings.
“It revealed a side to the event that I hadn’t seen before,” said Witmer, a computer science major. “It was a more personal side than the impersonal TV side.”
Darrell ended his presentation by asking the audience to tell someone close to them how much they mean to them and to let God touch their lives.
“I don’t care how old you are, how young you are,” Darrell said. “You can start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.”