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John O’Leary welcomes Columbine shooting survivor Craig Scott on the Live Inspired Podcast to share what we can do as a community to prevent another tragedy like Columbine from happening again.

It’s been 24 years since the unimaginable tragedy that took place at Columbine High School in Colorado — one of the deadliest mass shootings at a high school in U.S. history. Thirteen people were killed and 21 were wounded at the hands of two students.

Craig Scott is a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting. He was in the library, where ten students were killed, including two of his friends that had hidden next to him under a table. Craig escaped only to learn his sister, Rachel Joy Scott, was the first person killed.

For more than 20 years, Craig has dedicated his life to making a difference in schools. In speaking with more than a million people, Craig has positively impacted school cultures by sharing lessons learned from Columbine and challenging students to value themselves and others.

Today, Craig joins us to recall details of that terrifying day, his journey of healing and what we can do as a community to prevent another tragedy like Columbine from happening again.

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  • “I’m alive to make a positive impact.”
  • Craig sister Rachel was intentional about connecting with those with special needs because they are often overlooked, those who are new in school because they don’t have any friends yet, and those who are picked on or put down by others.
  • April 20, 1999: Thirteen people were killed and 21 were wounded at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
  • “You are not your story. Your story is the path and journey you’re on.”
  • Watch Craig’s interview with Katie Couric here.
  • By sharing his story, Craig has impacted millions of students and helped prevent more than a dozen school shootings.
  • On the back of a dresser in her room, Rachel traced her hands with the sentence: These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and someday will touch millions of people’s hearts.
  • “I never wanted Columbine to be an excuse for me to fail or mess up.”
  • “What you’re going through today can be the fertilizer for the growth that you need.”
  • Rules never change a person’s heart. While Craig recognizes there are a number of factors that go into making our culture safe and whole, overall he believes we need to model kindness, compassion and important life principles.
  • “People are not evil. There are evil things in people’s heart.”
  • Learn more about Craig Scott’s life-changing work here.

Did you enjoy today’s conversation?

Don’t miss my conversation with Dr. Art McCoy. Art’s radical yet practical intervention as Superintendent has transformed his district from a “dropout factory” to a 100% graduation rate. This inspiring conversation will spark unity + offer you concrete ways to be a change agent in your community. Listen to Dr. Art McCoy on ep. 266.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.



  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and No Excuses by Kyle Maynard.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Purity of heart.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. My computer because it’s where I keep all my journals and pictures. My sister’s backpack.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Jesus, George Washington, Viktor Frankel and Nelson Mandel.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. From my father, "Follow spirit."
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. I would give myself a poem my dad wrote and it’s called “In the Quiet”.
    In the quiet, I find peace. Where the outside noises cease. Where my mind has settled down and my thoughts no longer race. In the chambers of my spirit, I have found a sacred place. Where the unseen things embrace me. Where the invisible is real. There and find the treasure that activity would steal. Hear the whisper of the poets that have beckoned us to know. Of the inner sanctuary that we seldom ever go. In the quiet of our being, creativity is born. And it rises to the surface to a world that’s hurt and torn. Deep within me, love replaces all the anger and all the fear. In the stillness is knowing who I am and why I’m here.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. A son of God who helped a lot of people.