NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Several of St. Cecilia Academy students helped people within the community as part of a service day.
"A lot of times in our society, people are motivated by a basic humanitarian benevolent attitude of I have more than I need and I want to share with these other people. Is there anything deeper that motivates us to serve here at St. Cecilia?" asked Sister John Catherine, a teacher at the Nashville school.
St. Cecilia Academy is a private Catholic school for girls established by the Dominican Sisters of the St. Cecilia Congregation in Nashville.
"I feel like St. Cecilia was a saint and she gave her whole life giving to people," said one student. "That's kind of like a calling we have."
That's what brought Rosie Smith and a number of her classmates to an apartment complex. They carried toiletries and medicine and other items or "just random things that they would want in a first aid kit if they were new to the country."
The students took part in the school's "Give Back Day," a day when juniors do service for the community.
"We're kind of like helping out these people who are refugees to this country and you know, most of them aren't going to speak English so we're meeting new people and seeing what life is like for new people that come to America," said one student.
Catholic Charities of Tennessee arranged the visit.
"We have a new arrival. They're a Congolese family and we have a wonderful situation where one of the student volunteers is a French speaker as well as one of the new arrived Congolese speaks French," said an observer.
It was also an eye opener for the students.
"It really shows me like how much we've taken for granted in our lives, like I've never had to pack up and leave my country," said one student.
"We're so blessed with everything and we just take advantage of it and we don't even realize it," said a student.
At the school, students prepared to sell shoelaces for breast cancer awareness.
"Everyone's going to wear them in their shoes all throughout the month of October," said one student.
The students selected their service projects and Sister John Catherine said every project is an eye opener.
"We've realized that yeah we've helped them, but we're the ones who have benefitted more from the experience," she said.
Every year, the student council organizes the day's activities.