During spring break, 15 Charlotte students traveled to South Africa to serve children, but they found themselves helping whales too.
The Providence Day School students came upon 19 pilot whales stranded on a beach.
They helped keep the whales wet while animal rescuers worked to get them back in the water.
"I am very proud of them. It is amazing that they got this experience. In the past trips it has been hard for them not to come back transformed. That's what we would like to see our students do," said Loren Faucher from Providence Day School.
Eyewitness News was told the students named one whale Charlie.
He made it back to the ocean, but six whales did not.
The students are helping install water and sinks at a South Africa preschool.