Students and school leaders from Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville spent Wednesday in Hancock County, visiting the former hometown of one of their classmates. They were amazed to see so much devastation nearly two years after Hurricane Katrina.
"One day it's here, the next day it's gone. I know it hurts a lot of people around here," Reggie Ford said.
Their tour included a stop at the empty beachfront lot where a fellow classmate Max Webster once lived.
"It must be hard to lose your house and have to move to a new city and go to a new school," Aaron Barrett said.
"I feel for the guy now, especially after seeing this," Karl Mecklenborg said.
Their sympathies went even deeper when they saw that so many people were still living in FEMA trailers.
"Just putting yourself in other people's situations and shoes is so valuable as a learning experience," said Montgomery Bell Academy Dean Alan Coverstone.
"Making them realize there should be options beyond vacations at Spring Break, but a trip like this would be, not only educational, but also meaningful," said Principal Brad Gioia.
The students will return to Hancock County in the spring to do volunteer work. The students also toured the 9th Ward in New Orleans to see if they could be of help there as well.