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Rachel's Challenge with NRJC


On May 6, 2009 approximately 3000 local students attended Rachel’s Challenge at the Wesbanco Arena in Wheeling, WV. Included in this group were the students from the Northern Regional Juvenile Center and Pressley Ridge @ White Oak.

This large event began with a small idea. A few months ago I had the opportunity to attend Rachel’s Challenge at the West Virginia Industrial Home and was so impressed with the response from the students there that I wanted to bring it to my school, the Northern Regional Juvenile Center. I approached the facility director, Linda Scott, with the idea and she agreed that this would be a wonderful opportunity for the students at NRJC.

As the plan evolved, the idea of inviting all of the local schools began to grow. Linda and I started sending out letters to all the middle and high school principals on both sides of the Ohio River asking if their school would be interested in attending the event. The response was phenomenal! With the financial support of Youth Service Systems and Northwood Health Systems, NRJC was able to rent the Wesbanco arena.

In addition, these agencies purchased Rachel Challenge banners for each school in attendance and two schools were chosen to receive Friends of Rachel curriculums. The presentation is so compelling that the audience was completely silent. Some students and adults wiped away tears as the story of Rachel Scott was told. After the presentation the presenter, Dave, returned to Northern Regional Juvenile Center and spent time with the residents. The students were very attentive and asked great questions.

At 3pm that afternoon, additional training was held at the Wesbanco arena for students and adults that were interested in continuing the program throughout the school year. There were approximately 50 persons in attendance.

Lara Sawinski
School Counselor - Northern Regional Juvenile Center
Posted: June 3, 2009