As a community still in mourning approaches the day when Poway teen Chelsea King disappeared, a local teacher is planning out a month that will celebrate the teen’s positive impact.
Teacher Jen Strachan’s “Chelsea Challenge” is a list of positive daily actions to celebrate Chelsea’s life. The 17-year-old was kidnapped, raped and murdered three years ago while running around Lake Hodges.
Friday, the “challenge” is to smile – not too difficult, but it’s one of the things family and friends most loved about Chelsea, Strachan said.
Saturday, Strachan and other teachers and students in Poway will be making someone laugh. The next day, they’ll thank someone for making a difference.
In the years since the tragedy, Chelsea’s family has been actively working to promote a positive message in Chelsea’s honor. In speaking events at schools, Brent King, Chelsea’s father, tells young students about the pleasant lessons he learned from his daughter, and avoids dwelling on the details of her murder.
Strachan, who also works with the Chelsea’s Light Foundation, came up with the idea to commemorate each day leading up to the three-year anniversary of Chelsea’s death with a positive act. She ran it by Chelsea’s parents, who helped brainstorm the 28 challenges.
“Everything that happened to Chelsea was so negative that her parents wanted to do something to make it positive,” said Strachan, who also teaches at Bernardo Heights Middle School. “We could mourn the loss, but that’s not she was about. This list is about remembering what she brought to our lives.”
Strachan’s hope is that students who participate will learn a little more about Chelsea and the kind of person she was.
The “Chelsea Challenge” leads up to the Finish Chelsea’s Run 5K Run/Walk. Click here for more information.
Here’s the “Chelsea Challenge:”
- Make someone laugh
- Tell someone thank you for making a difference
- Ask someone how their day is & really mean it
- Perform a random act of kindness
- Learn something new
- Say hi to someone you don’t know
- Make a list of the people you are thankful for & why
- Open the door for someone
- Eat lunch with someone new
- Tell your parents thank you
- Pick up trash that is not yours
- Forget Hallmark. Do something nice for someone who doesn’t have a “Valentine!”
- Fist bump someone new with a smile
- Thank the custodians for doing what they do
- Try something new
- Learn to say hello friend in another language
- Tell someone you love them & mean it
- Give a high five
- Ask a teacher how their day is or if you can help them
- Hug your brother or sister or a family member
- Stay healthy...no junk food
- Listen to a new type of music & find someone who likes it
- Watch NBC/BBC/CSPAN news hour to see a global perspective
- Give a friend a note that compliments them on a positive attribute
- Create your own make a difference list for March