Rachel's Challenge: Columbine victim's story gave high school student hope

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by MEAGAN HARRIS / WFAA

wwltv.com

Posted on January 4, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 15 at 1:09 PM

DALLAS - Three years ago, Hope Davenport went to class at Lake Highlands High School, thinking it would be her last time.

She had planned to take her own life that night. "I had a bottle of pills and a rope in my room waiting for me," she said. Davenport, a junior at the time, says she felt alone and sad.

Her state of depression had spiraled out of control. The only out, in her eyes, was to end her life. But what she didn't know when she walked into school that day was that her perspective would change.

She sat with the rest of the student body as Darrell Scott spoke to the crowd about his daughter Rachel.

Rachel Scott was the first victim killed in the Columbine High School shootings. She's the inspiration behind Rachel's Challenge, a program that encourages service and good deeds. Her story is both emotional and inspirational and for Davenport it was both.

"They just ended up coming on the day that my plan was supposed to take place," she said. Davenport says it changed everything. "It stopped me."

That night, Davenport went home - moved the rope and put up the pills. She later told a student leadership class about her plan to take her life. The group, quiet at first, soon began to stand up and one by one, hugged her.

Hope Davenport had found exactly what she had been looking for - hope.

"Rachel. Rachel's challenge convinced me not to take my life. Because you never know the impact you're going to make on others," she said.

Davenport hopes to spread that inspiration with her own story. She has since graduated high school and gotten married.

She is now expecting her first child in December.

E-mail: mharris@wfaa.com

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