The "I'm Not Ashamed" Special Broadcast on JQ99.3
Hosted by Jeff Veley
Listen to the complete "I'm Not Ashamed" Special Broadcast featured on "Ace & Jeff in the Afternoons", hosted by Jeff Veley. This broadcast aired on October 21st from 2-6 pm EST on WJQK JQ99.3, in West Michigan.
Stories Shared on Set
My Connection to Rachel Joy Scott
My name is Jeff Veley and I'm Not Ashamed to speak the name of Jesus. My life has been greatly impacted by Rachel Joy Scott and the events of April 20, 1999. I first heard the story or Rachel's faith in middle school. I was standing in the wings at a church, waiting to walk onstage for a drama. I saw Rachel's picture appear on the monitor next to me and heard her honored along with other martyrs, who laid their life on the line for their faith. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time, but I remember asking myself in that moment how I would respond if I had to choose to whether or not to stand up for Jesus even if it cost me my life. I'll never forget that moment in the dark backstage.
Moving many years later, I was working as in the social work field for a Christian organization. More and more of my young clients were coming in and sharing that they wanted to harm themselves and others due to being relentlessly taunted and teased. My colleague/dear friend and I decided to research the best ways to help young people with the issue of bullying and launch a program together. In my search I discovered youth speaker and social skills educator Brooks Gibbs. I quickly learned that the modern anti-bullying movement was birthed out of the Columbine Massacre. God made it clear that addressing bullying was my calling. Our program blew up overnight and God used my story to reach over one million people in eight countries just in the first two years. We even received the Golden Rule International Award. It was mind-blowing.
Years later, a simple phone call to Brooks blossomed into many opportunities to work together serving schools by teaching social skills to help kids make friends and manage enemies. Brooks got his start in Littleton, Colorado. His friends were personally impacted by Columbine, including his dear friend, Craig Scott, Rachel's brother. Brooks was involved in starting Rachel's Challenge, an incredible program that shares Rachel's story and encourages students to commit to being kind and starting a chain reaction in their school and community. Brook's wife, Jill personally ministered to the young man who became paralyzed at Columbine that day. He was with Rachel in her final moments.
This past year, I met another person who loves Rachel's family and was deeply impacted by her story. His name is Pete Vargas. Daryl Scott, Rachel's dad spoke in front of Pete's youth group years ago and the message changed Pete's life and healed a relationship that he had long prayed for. Pete quickly chased Daryl down and asked him why he wasn't in every school in the country sharing Rachel's story and his. When Daryl said he didn't know how, Pete committed to figuring it out. He surely did just that. Pete served as the director of operations for 13 years and grew the small team to a large organization which has reached millions of students with facilitators all over the world. When Pete and I met at an event last November, we just clicked. Today Pete and I work together through REACH Academy to help speakers, brands, and organizations in the education and faith-based industries reach more young people and those that care for them.
After all of these connections to Rachel's story, I felt like there was a piece missing. Despite consuming as much as I could about this young girl, I wanted to learn more. A simple phone call made that possible. John Hulett, my longtime friend and the former booking manager for my speaking engagements called to share that he was hired as the National Marketing Director for a new film called "I'm Not Ashamed, the Rachel Joy Scott Story". I was so excited for him! My excitement grew as Visible Pictures offered to fly me to the film set in Nashville, TN to meet the cast & crew as well as Rachel's mother. Holding Rachel's journals and feeling the presence of God on-set changed my life. It was that day that I decided to host the film in my town and create a broadcast to honor Rachel's life and introduce my radio listeners at JQ99.3 to the movie.
I am so blessed to have been a small part of the film promotion. Furthermore, I am so thankful to God for using Rachel in my life and the lives of so many others. Without her, I would not be where I am today doing what I love. Until we meet in heaven, Rachel thanks for living a life not ashamed of the name of Jesus. Love you.
Your brother in Christ,
P.S. I am committed to creating a chain-reaction of kindness as described by Rachel Joy Scott. My mission is to equip student with the social and emotional skills that empower them to face adversity, grow in resilience, and solve their own social problems. To learn more about my work in bullying prevention and peace-building through teaching the Golden Rule, please click here.