When Courtney Liss heard a humanitarian with first-hand experience of the Rwandan genocide was visiting her school to speak to students, she planned on going, but knew the subject would be depressing.
By the end of it, the 16-year-old left feeling a sense of hope and promise.
"He was inspiring," she said, adding that it was clear to her from the speech that helping others doesn't mean traveling abroad, but could simply mean making a difference in your own community.
"His stories about the people of Rwanda show humility and people appreciating what they have," Courtney said.
Carl Wilkens was the only American who chose to stay in Rwanda during the 1994 mass murder of the Tutsi ethnic group by the Hutu, who were more powerful. He worked his way through the streets of Rwanda to bring food, water and medicine to orphans.
"People needed help; now was the time," he told the students on March 21 of his decision to stay behind. "I couldn't hear myself say, 'I'll pray for you, but I got this passport and I'm leaving.'"