Rachael's First Week aims to educate HS seniors, college freshmen about good choices
Thousands of students from Central Indiana will move away from home for the first time to start their freshman year of college over the next couple of weeks. It will be an exciting and challenging time.
One mother has made it her mission to make sure it's not deadly
Rachael's First Week at college was her last week.
Two years ago this month, Angi Fiege dropped her daughter, Rachael, off at Indiana University for her freshman year. But, Rachael didn't live to see her first day of class.
Rachael went to an off-campus party thrown by friends, with friends during Welcome Week. She was drinking, she slipped down some stairs and suffered a severe head injury. Her friends didn't realize the severity of her condition and unfortunately, she didn't get the medical attention she needed until it was too late. Rachael died hours later.
While her mother still grieves, she works to educate other college freshman to avoid the same pitfalls.
"I remember her sitting on her dorm bed, a pretty tearful goodbye and I can't wait to see you again and unfortunately the next time I saw her again, she was dying," said Angi Fiege, Rachael's mother.
"In private, I cry everyday," she added. "My husband cried everyday. It's just an indescribable helpless pain that you can never get over.
"As a parent, I would like to caution these kids to never get yourself in a situation where you can't think clearly and make clear decisions. I think that's probably a lot of what happened with Rachael. She was among kids that were drinking and perhaps they weren't thinking clearly.
That's why Angi Fiege created Rachael's First Week, a program dedicated to preparing high school seniors and college freshman for a safe transition into adulthood.
Starting next week, she's taking the program, her message and her loss to every major college campus in Indiana. She plans to talk to new students about drinking responsibly, looking out for your friends and making good choices that could save your life.