(originally published on January 8, 2018)
Tuesday, April 20th, 1999 was a day many of us will never forget. Two boys walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and killed 12 students, a teacher, as well as injuring 24 others. One of the 12 students that were killed that day was a beautiful 17-year-old high school junior girl named Rachel Joy Scott. I first learned about this special young lady when I read “Rachel’s Tears”, which was written by her parents. I was very moved by her journey as a Christian and just how deep her faith was.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading not only about her life but also her personal journal entries. Rachel was not only a devout Christian, but she was very passionate about her love of both acting and writing. What also made her stand out in my mind as well as the minds of many others is that she was very kind was very non judgmental. Rachel treated very equally and that’s something that we all need to practice in our everyday lives.
On October 21st, 2016, the movie “I’m Not Ashamed” was released in theaters. The movie was based on Rachel’s life and her mom, Beth Nimmo, was directly involved with the project. The movie is now on DVD and Amazon Prime.
I recently had the blessing of being able to interview Beth Nimmo. I was thrilled when she agreed and Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding this interview, I believe that once you get done reading, you will be filled with hope, not sadness
So, without further delay, here is my interview with Beth:
1. Rachel had once stated that if someone did something positive, then it could start a chain reaction. Have you been able to witness that yourself as a result of your daughter’s wise words?
Over 23 million people have heard Rachel’s story through live presentations. We still receive many emails of testimonies of how Rachel has inspired so many to make a change in their life. Whether it is giving themselves permission to change their own life or change how they feel and treat others. It has been amazing to watch a transformation of a school or community that catches the power of kindness and compassion. The authenticity of Rachel’s life is what speaks the loudest. People and friends, who have given us their story, tell us about how she touched them in a special and honest way. Rachel was not afraid to touch their pain or help them through a hard time. Now through the movie of I’m Not Ashamed, even more impact is being felt.
2. How have Rachel’s siblings been since her passing?
It has changed everyone in the family. Rachel’s brother Craig experienced the most trauma. He is a survivor of the shooting. That day he was in the library where ten kids lost their lives. Both friends on either side of him were killed. He has suffered PTSD and has bravely fought to get his life back on track after witnessing such horror. Craig travels and speaks on his experience as well as a motivational speaker. Rachel’s older sisters, Bethanee and Dana were also forever changed. Both have been champions of Rachel’s story and Dana traveled for many years as a speaker sharing Rachel’s dream of touching “millions of peoples hearts.” Bethanee has spent many hours of working towards media information. Michael, her youngest brother has also traveled as a speaker and now works full time on product material for his Dad’s organization. All of the kids have worked to honor Rachel and keep her values front and center.
3. Were you happy with the way the movie about her life “I’m Not Ashamed” turned out? How involved were you in the filming process?
I am very pleased with the movie. I was involved in every way in which the story was told. It was very important to me that we told Rachel’s story with as much accuracy as possible. We used real stories with the names changed. Also I had a list of writings and drawings I wanted included. I had all editing rights and did my best to be honest and authentic. The goal of the movie is to show an honest portrayal of what young people go through living their faith in a public way. How hard it is and the rejection that many kids face when trying to be faithful to their beliefs. We were nominated for a Dove award as the most inspirational movie of 2017. I’m Not Ashamed did not win but it was a great honor to be nominated.
4. We know that along with spreading the Word of God, Rachel enjoyed writing and acting as well. Do you think if she were alive today, she would have been involved in stuff such as starting her own YouTube Channel and blog, or anything similar to those?
I cannot speculate as to what Rachel may have done with social media since it was not available in that way during her lifetime. However, I am confident that with all of her dreams and goals, she would have pursued those interests in any avenues that were opened to her. She dreamed big. She wanted to be a writer, actress and missionary to start with. Rachel was full of life and if an opportunity came along, she would definitely consider it. Basically, she wanted to do it all. There were no boundaries in her dream world.
5. When it comes to Rachel’s life, what do you think are some of the most important things she would want us to have learned?
The most important values Rachel believed in is –love God and love others. In her short seventeen years of life, she figured out what was most important. God and others. Rachel was a very giving person whether it was of a material nature, giving time or just being a friend. She believed in viewing life and people through a lens of love and forgiveness. She practiced what she believed. I know of times when her generous nature was taken advantage of, but it never discouraged her to do the right thing.
6. What are your goals moving forward when it comes to honoring Rachel’s Legacy? What can any of us do to help?
I will continue to speak where I am invited and share the story of how Rachel died confessing her love for God. School programs are still be presented on Rachel’s behalf and now with the movie, we are hopeful more opportunities will present themselves. My contact information can be found on: Racheljoyscott.com where we share Rachel’s life.
Thank you very much, Beth. It was very touching that you continue to spread both the message of Christ and your daughter’s legacy. I wish you the best of luck as you continue your journey and will always be praying that God will continue to bless you and your whole family.