Prince Harry, Meghan Markle mentor teen in surprise Zoom session
'She was very excited that she had the opportunity to speak with them.'
A Los Angeles teenager received the surprise of her life when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gifted her with a mentoring session via zoom.
The memorable moment was made possible through the volunteer organization L.A. Works and the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, which supports the youth on their quest for higher education.
The Duke and Duchesses were connected with the young woman after they took to their Archewell Foundation website and encouraged others to “unleash a groundswell of real acts of compassion.” Per PEOPLE, one of the suggestions they received was to “tutor a teenage girl who is navigating high school on her computer.”
“She had this moment of surprise and excitement when she got on the phone with the Duke and Duchess,” L.A. Works Executive Director Deborah Brutchey tells PEOPLE of the teen’s Zoom meeting with the royal couple. “She knew of them, she knew a lot — she had been following Meghan’s story quite a bit, so she was very excited that she had the opportunity to speak with them.”
Brutchey said that the moment was “really significant” for the high schooler because Harry and Megan “saw her potential in a few short minutes, which actually really undid some damage that had been previously caused by a former teacher’s doubt.”
“It was just amazing how they were able to connect and how their compassion, in just a short conversation, really made an impact and is going to forever inspire her,” she continued.
“The conversation that they had was really about how do you overcome challenges in your life? And how do you stay true to your values? Things that are so relatable to young girls but also so public in what the Duke and Duchess have gone through,” Brutchey said.
Harry and Meghan’s Zoom meeting with the student highlights their commitment to give back and pay it forward, especially during the COVID pandemic.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who live in Los Angeles with their son, Archie, announced the Archewell foundation in April, shortly after they rocked the British monarchy by stepping down from their roles as senior members of the royal family, theGRIO reported.
“We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name,” the couple said in a statement in October, HuffPost reported. “To do something of meaning, to do something that matters. Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon.”
The duchess called the organization’s work “Archewell in action.”
“Part of our focus with the Archewell Foundation is to just ensure that we are helping foster healthy positive communities ― online and off ― for our collective wellbeing,” Markle said at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in September, per HuffPost.
“Mentoring has been one of the most meaningful ways for volunteers to give back, especially during this pandemic. Mentors play a huge role in inspiring young minds and helping kids realize their potential,” Brutchey said. “Having The Duke and Duchess share their compassion and wisdom with a young girl from the I Have a Dream Foundation helped to spark a new confidence in her and reminds all of us that it only takes a few minutes to change a person’s life forever.”
*theGRIO’s Renee G contributed to this report
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