“I am one of those people that cares about others,” she says. “It makes me feel good when I can make others feel good too.” It’s a value that Rachel says has been a part of her since she was a child.
Her desire to serve God equally flanks her determination to help others. As she grew older, Rachel expressed a desire to be baptized and commit to God. Many thought she was too young to make such a commitment. But if anybody doubted her ability to make such an important choice, a story with a heroic ending has changed their mind.
When Rachel’s 17-year-old brother—a sickle cell anemia patient—had a medical crisis, she knew she had to do something. Rachel swiftly contacted her mom. Her mom told her to call emergency services. As Rachel spoke with the 911 dispatcher, she stayed calm and followed all the directions given to her—something that county authorities say even most adults struggle with. “That was the scariest moment I’ve ever dealt with, with my brother,” she said. “I stayed calm because I knew he was going to be fine.”
The six-minute call was submitted to the City of Avon. Because of the composure, maturity and courage Rachel displayed during that 911 call, she was awarded the Indiana Public Safety Communications Kids Hero Award.
Rachel was baptized in May 2022 during the last day of the Revelation of Hope series in Indianapolis. She hopes her baptism marks the launch of a lifetime of serving others. Partly because of her understanding of how COVID-19 has affected people’s lungs and hearts, she has already begun developing a plan for her future. “I think I’d like to go to medical school and become a cardiologist,” she said.
For now, Rachel says she loves helping at her church, and “Being there when other people need help.” She loves public speaking and sharing her thoughts with others. “I love public speaking because I get to share!” she said. She’s also an accomplished spelling bee champion, something she credits to confidence and lots of practice. In addition, Rachel loves reading mystery books and being in the great outdoors.
Rachel says her family is what keeps her striving for bigger things. “They encourage me to do good things, and they don’t let me down … I feel good inside.”
Samuel Girven is a student at Northview Adventist School in Cadillac, Michigan, and ASPIRE Academy.