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Rachel’s Challenge is a program where organizers believe in a chain reaction in kindness. It’s a new club at Homer-Center where students are encouraged to spread kindness and positivity among their peers. Homer-Center students and staff are here to start this chain reaction of positivity.

Homer-Center’s guidance counselor, Mr. Kurt Krejocic, is responsible for bringing this new club to HC. He first learned about this program when he was teaching his final days in Altoona. When he first saw the program he knew without question it was one of the best programs he had ever worked with. When one of the Homer-Center school board members brought it up, Krejocic explained what he knew about it since he had previous connection with Rachel’s Challenge.

From there, the possibility became a reality with the help and support of the counselors, administration, teachers, students and the school board.

The challenges of looking for the best in others, dreaming big, choosing positive influences, speaking with kindness and starting your own chain reaction is what Krejocic believes will be helpful and have an impact on the school as a whole. The students and staff at Homer-Center are great at buying into anything believed to be an asset to our school and students.

Krejocic believes this program will have the buy-in needed to not only continue, but make a significant impact.

“My goal is for students to reach the goals we set as a group and as individuals,” he said. “If this program has a positive effect on even one student, my goal was met. I do hope we can start to see the chain reaction of kindness discussed throughout the program, I am excited and looking forward to the implementation throughout the school and community.”

The inspiration for the club came from a student who lost her life in the Columbine shootings, Rachel Scott, who believed in always being kind to others. She wanted to create an impact on the world, and she did just that.

This club encourages students to be kind and to reach out to one another. “People will never know how far a little kindness can go,” Rachel had said.

Homer-Center student Nadia Fairman said, “We can use our ideas to better people’s lives. It lets the students be kind to one another, and let them know they do have people that care about them and notice them. It can be just as simple as, ‘Hi, how’s your day?’”

Everyone faces their own struggles, and it’s important to not let the student face them alone and not let the kids at school be another one of the kids’ struggles, but to help them through it.

“I think this club is a great way for students to take the initiative and create a positive, happy environment for their fellow students,” said sophomore Ally George.

This club will meet and discuss projects to do around the school to spread kindness. Many student leaders were chosen to have a 90-minute training to be the leaders of the club and to discuss new ideas. Many students even shared their own views on the club and how they can relate to Rachel, and how they want to help. The students broke up into small groups where they discussed project ideas: random acts of kindness, positive sticky notes on lockers and positive quotes on the announcements were just some of the ideas the students came up with.

As one of the club leaders, Ally said, “I am looking forward to all the creative projects this school will do and come up with. I am also looking forward to seeing the impact projects we will have on the community.”

Homer-Center students and staff are ready to start this new club and begin this chain reaction in kindness. They can’t wait to see where this club takes them and what impacts it will make in and out of school. It will allow students to embrace their creative side and come up with their own ideas to change this world.