Rachel Joy Scott

by Molly Puckett from Fredericksburg, Virginia in United States

147541Statements against violence in schools; Bowling for Columbine filmEric Gay, AP, NTB scanpixMost of the world knows about the tragedy of the Columbine Shooting in 1999, but not many know about the incredible person who was the first fatality. Rachel Joy Scott was born in 1982. In her high school years, she was bullied for sharing her strong belief in God and Christianity. Two of these bullies were the perpetrators of the shooting at Columbine, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Rachel Joy Scott was a hero because she included everyone around her and had empathy for others. Her kindness and compassion for everyone, as well as the small things she did to save the lives of those around her, make her someone I look up to.

Rachel is known for having empathy for others. I find that empathy is one of the hardest things to have, because we often don't think about what other people are going through before we judge them. In her famous essay “My Ethics, My Codes of Life,” written before her death in 1999, she wrote: “Until you know them and not just their ‘type,’ you have no right to shun them. You have not looked for their beauty, their good. You have not seen the light in their eyes.” (Rachel Scott). She talked about how, according to research about human nature, first impressions happen within three separate interactions. She said that we have no idea what people go through in their lives and therefore should never judge or shut people out because of those interactions. She wanted to reach out to everyone, to help and care for everyone, no matter who they were or what they went through. 

Rachel Scott also saved many lives, whether she knew it or not. Saving someone’s life is one of the most important things someone can do. People often don't know what one small thing can do for someone. For example, there is a story of a girl who was saved by Rachel. She planned to kill herself when she got home, but Rachel asked her to eat lunch with her and her friends. This small act of kindness saved that girl’s life. Rachel wrote in “My Ethics, My Codes of Life:” “My codes may seem like a fantasy that can never be reached, but test them for yourself, and see the kind of effect they have in the lives of people around you.” (Rachel Scott). You never know if something will help the world unless you try it. Rachel knew that all life on earth mattered.No matter what happened to you or what you have done in your life, you matter. 

147546Protest against violence in schools"National School Walkout" by Phil Roeder is marked with CC BY 2.0.Rachel was known for her kindness and compassion towards others. In “My Ethics, My Codes of Life,” she wrote: “Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer. 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” (Rachel Scott). A chain reaction is the key purpose of kindness. One action, one word even, can change the world. These words and actions have carried on over 20 years past Rachel Scott’s death through the Rachel Challenge. 

Rachel’s Challenge was started by Rachel’s father, Darrell Scott. It was started in order to spread compassion and save people’s lives, just like Rachel did. It is dedicated to spreading kindness, creating a positive school environment, and ending school violence. 

Rachel Joy Scott was a hero because of her kindness and compassion for others; her willingness to include everyone; and the amount of lives she has saved, through both her own actions and through the Rachel's Challenge. A friend of Rachel’s, Lauren Beachem, said: "In my eyes, she was just one of those kinds of people you know you won't ever meet again. She was the kind of person only born once."

Page created on 3/29/2022 6:50:54 PM

Last edited 4/2/2022 9:51:27 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Rachel's Challenge - An anti-bullying and school violence organization made in honor of Rachel.

Extra Info

"About Rachel Joy Scott: How Her Story Saves Lives." Rachel's Challenge, 9 Aug.



Margaritoff, Marco. "Why the 'Martyrdom' of Rachel Scott Is One of Columbine's

     Biggest Myths." All That's Interesting, All That's Interesting, 17 May



Shepard, C. "Rachel Joy Scott." a Columbine Site,



Simpson, Kevin. "Colorado News." The Denver Post Online - News,  


“Rachel Joy Scott Memorial: Code of Ethics.” Racheljoyscott,