Meghan Markle and Prince Harry surprised a high school student logging into Zoom for a mentoring session who was “very excited” to speak with them.
“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 told PEOPLE magazine in a piece published Tuesday. (RELATED: Meghan Markle Accuses Royals Of Racism, Says She Considered Killing Herself)
“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,” she added of the surprise. (RELATED: Meghan Markle And Prince Harry To Have ‘Intimate’ Sit-Down Interview With Oprah)
“Through volunteer organization @LAWorksNow and the @IHADLA Foundation, which works to ensure children have the opportunity to pursue higher education, Meghan and Harry were set up with a teenage girl — who recognized her mentors right away!” https://t.co/F2eHQx9KJF
— “My faith is greater than my fear” ~ Meghan Markle (@MagaliDMathias) March 30, 2021
The executive director told PEOPLE the young girl was “really moved” by the duke and duchess’ “compassion, humility and wisdom.”
“It was really significant for her because they 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,” Deborah told the outlet. “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.”
“The conversation that they had was really about how do you overcome challenges in your life?” she added. “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.”
The royal couple’s surprise was part of a list of “real acts of compassion” the two encouraged others to follow, listed on their Archewell Foundation website. The two were set up with the high school student through L.A. Works and the “I Have A Dream” Foundation.
“Mentoring has been one of the most meaningful ways for volunteers to give back, especially during this pandemic,” Brutchey told PEOPLE. “Mentors play a huge role in inspiring young minds and helping kids realize their potential. 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.”
The outlet noted that the former “Suits” actress and her royal husband noticed the girl had sunflowers in her room. After their meeting, the royal couple reportedly sent her sunflowers and an “encouraging” note.