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Rachel’s Challenge

Greater Johnstown and Westmont Hilltop High School students are coming together to host a combined tailgate at Trojan Stadium on Friday night before the homecoming football game.

“We’ve been tailgating. So, it’s nice to come together with another school and have a big tailgate for a football game. I hope that they continue to do this,”

Proceeds from their basket raffle and t-shirt sales will go to the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center to kick off breast cancer awareness month.

They will also be holding a ‘food’ raiser for the Cambria County Backpack Project encouraging patrons to bring a single-serve pasta item.

“This is really about unity in our community. I think it’s just the beginning of many more opportunities where our students can come together and promote kindness promote our community as being a caring place where people work together. We know we’re better together,”

The collaboration is part of Rachel’s Challenge: an organization working to reduce violence by using kindness to break down harm.

It’s named after Rachel Scott, who was the first student killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.

“One part of Rachel’s challenge was the creation of a friends of Rachel club. It’s where you pull 100 students together, and then you designate 10 projects for the school year to create connection, belonging, and links of kindness chains that the program is founded upon,”

“Rachel’s Challenge addresses the root causes of school violence, bullying, prejudice, and self-harm through social-emotional learning programs that build connection, hope and resilience. We improve school culture so that students are able to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally.”

The collaboration is giving students the chance to connect beyond social media.

“The past few years with COVID, everyone has gotten separated. We want to come back together as a community,”

With a goal of putting the unity in community.

“Greater Johnstown has been a great partner to us throughout the years with the use of their facilities. We’re just happy to get together as neighbors, enjoy a Friday night, play some bean bag, and enjoy a football game,”

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