BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Some high school students are already working to make a difference and they returned to Birmingham on Wednesday night.
A group of teens from Thompson High School came back after a mission to Honduras with Noah Galloway. This was a 10-day mission trip that students say they couldn't pass up.
They got a chance to experience life in a third world country, where people have very little. They gave a lot of their time and effort but gained even more in return.
Cheers and clapping echoed through the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport as the students and teachers returned.
Senior Zoie Puckett said she's glad to be home but was sad to leave.
"It was one of those moments where you know you are helping someone so you don't want that feeling to stop," Puckett said. "I got so overjoyed with the fact that I was actually making a difference in someone's life."
She and other students have a passion to help others which is why they wanted to take the trip.
Iraq war veteran Noah Galloway, an Alabaster native, was invited to come along. He got more out of the trip than he expected.
"Basically I went out there thinking that I was going to support them, and be there to be inspirational for them," Galloway said.
"No, I learned something from them and they motivated me. Seeing how well-equipped those students were, how well the teachers had prepared them," he added.
Engineering teacher Brian Copes organized the mission trip for the students. He said the primary goal was to set up computer labs in three schools.
"We're making a global classroom," Copes explained. "So as our preschool kids in Alabaster learn their ABC's and 123's, we can turn on a computer, Skype becomes a global classroom so their kids can learn right beside our kids."
The students worked in a medical clinic and fit some amputees with prosthetic legs that the students actually developed themselves in the classroom.
They also helped with getting clean drinking water to a village.
"The students to set up three water chlorinators," Copes added.
"Each one can produce up to 10,000 gallons of safe drinking water per day. We went and gave a lot but what the Hondurans gave to our students can never be taught in the classroom. It's so rewarding. These kids all came back changed," Copes said.
Copes said the Hondurans showed so much gratitude to the volunteers.
He is already discussing another trip to Honduras to continue to help develop the schools.