In society, individuals are defined by their ability to make their own choices. Whether their decision merely involves two soda brands or addresses a more radical controversial issue, every individual possesses the ability to control their choices and determine their course of action.
On March 2nd, 2010, over 3,500 people in San Diego made the conscious decision to honor and remember 17 year old Chelsea King, whose life was cut short through the irreversible actions of
Since her death, Chelsea’s father, Brent King and his family have worked tirelessly to make something extraordinary out of the tragic event. With help from student ambassadors, juniors Jordan Tolbert and Jennifer Welch, Dr. King made time to speak to MC students about his experiences and the Chelsea’s Light Foundation.
“That day was an extraordinary day. It was extraordinarily bad and extraordinarily inspiring as well as humbling,” said Dr. King, beginning his presentation.
Throughout his speech, Dr. King shared several essential life lessons he had learned from his daughter during her illustrious and incredibly extraordinary life.
“Chelsea loved to learn. She loved the idea of getting smarter. The really cool thing about learning is that is happens every moment if you choose to let it happen,” . “You don’t have to go to class to learn […], you have to be willing to learn.”
In the five years following Chelsea’s death, King and his family have received an outpouring of community support which he has accepted and used bolster the formation of legislation such as Chelsea’s Law.
This bill, which was passed in September of 2010 in California, works on increasing penalties and parole provisions on sex offenders who have targeted or pose a threat to children.
The Chelsea’s Light Organization, founded by the King family, also works to provide scholarships to graduating seniors who are extraordinary in some way, unrelated to academics or athletic ability.
“This scholarship is for students who have done something extraordinary within the community, something that beneficial and defines them as an individual,” said King.
Through programs such as these, Dr. King hopes to continue Chelsea’s legacy and work for positive changes within the community and beyond.
For over 5 years, a event known as Finish Chelsea’s Run, has been held in San Diego. The proceeds generated from the race itself go towards funding scholarships and furthering the development of additional legislative acts.
Junior Jennifer Welch serves as student ambassador for the race and encouraging students to join the team and support the worthwhile cause.
“This year we have had more people than every sign up for the race. The race for me has always been so important and going into highschool I knew I wanted to work to get the community even more involved,”
After listening to Dr. King’s speech, Welch hopes to see many more students rally to support the Foundation and it’s cause. Due to the outpouring of support from the community, a horrible situation has become an opportunity to begin something extraordinary.