Oregon students give Moss Point High a makeover

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point High School looks better now and a volunteer team from Oregon did all the work to make it happen. The trip was spearheaded by a teen who's familiar with helping South Mississippians in need.

Wednesday's mission for the team of 11 was putting a fresh coat of paint on the cafeteria walls. The volunteers didn't mind getting dirty to finish the job, and 13-year-old Ryan Nolan led this paint crew.

"I see progress, a lot," Nolan said.

Though he may be small in size, Nolan has big heart. Right after Hurricane Katrina hit, he was providing a helping hand to storm victims.

"We helped a man and a tree had fallen through his house from Katrina," Nolan said. "He had no hope at all and no communication. And by the end of the week when we left, he was mowing his own yard."

The teen said he had to come back to Mississippi and help more people. And he encouraged friends like Justine Merriam to come along to help make someone else's life a little better.

"On summer vacations, you are not really doing a lot; you are just enjoying time with your family and you're not really doing anything for the community," Justine Merriam said. "But when you do missions work, you get this feeling inside and it's just so selfless and perfect."

Nolan's mom agrees, and that's why she also tagged along for the trip. She's said she is so proud of the teens' work, and especially her son.

"Stepping out and do something uncomfortable is worth it," Kristi Nolan said.

This Oregon group said all this painting and volunteer work they're doing will not only help Moss Point students, but the work will also encourage others back home to give a little of their time.

"Every little bit helps," Ryan Nolan said.

The teens will be here for the rest of the week. Many of them said they left their cell phones and video games at home to focus on their mission of helping South Mississippians.

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