HIGH POINT, N.C. - On a holiday, school is the last place you'd expect to find students.
But, dozens of volunteers from High Point University and Guilford County Schools worked on Martin Luther King, Junior Day to repaint a hallway at High Point Central and build a community garden.
"It's really uplifting to see how many students will come in and work on a day when they could just stay in bed and watch television," Christina Caltagirone, a Guilford County Schools teacher said. "The hallway was very dark. The colors that were previously there were a little bit dingy."
Students, like 15-year-old Nick Nardi, used to avoid volunteering.
"I was a lazy bum, I guess. I just wanted to play video games. I didn't know that so many people in this world were affected by so many things," Nardi said.
For the past few months, Nardi has traded the game controllers and channel changers for paint brushes and shovels. He has no regrets.
"I just think it's boring to watch movies. That's a waste of my time. I want to help the community, if I can," Nardi said. Now, he encourages friends and classmates to follow his lead.
"You get a lot of respect for doing it. People look up to you for doing it. It feels good when you help someone," Nardi said.
Classmate Kealey Dunn added, "I just like to help out my community and school."
As they paint, students know they are carrying on the tradition of giving back started by Martin Luther King, Junior.
"He fought for something he believed in. We're doing exactly the same by keeping our school alive," student Adeola Anjorin said.
High Point University student Erin Karpovich said, "It's cool to say, 'Wow, I'm not the center of the universe. I can do my part to make a difference.'"
Some might say it's just a fresh coat of paint. On the surface, that is true. But, everyone who worked on the project understands the deeper meaning.
"It's about taking care of things that are valuable, historically, it's about being part of an organization and helping in whatever way you can," Caltagirone said.