Meghan Markle will officially become a member of the British royal family when she marries Prince Harry this Saturday, May 19. Her Catholic education, however, has long prepared her for a life of service to charities, which would be a big part of her duties as a royal.
The American actress grew up in a Protestant household, but she was educated in a Catholic school in Los Angeles. At the Immaculate Heart High School & Middle School, Markle was constantly exposed to retreats and outreaches and learned early on that a life of service is valuable to the Christian faith.
Markle started volunteering in a soup kitchen at 13 years old. In the book "The Game Changers: Success Secrets From 40 Women at the Top," Markle shared one of the most important lessons she picked up from her theology teacher when she sought advice about planning on doing more volunteer work.
"I remember one of my mentors, Mrs. Maria Pollia, told me that 'life is about putting others' needs above your own fears,'" the actress wrote. "That has always stayed with me," Markle added.
Pollia talked about Markle in a rare interview last December. She was pleased to learn that Markle remembered their conversation about committing to a life of service.
The teacher also recalled how Markle showed leadership in class. She said that the actress "always spoke about what she thought" and had positive solutions.
Another teacher, Christine Knudsen, told ABC News described Markle as a feisty woman who loves acting and singing, but she also had a depth to her.
Pollia also told ABC News that Markle always showed compassion for the homeless and the marginalized. In school, lessons on social justice piqued her interest because she wanted to help make the world a more inclusive place.
As she begins a new chapter with the influential British monarchy, her teachers at her former Catholic school believes she will use her position to improve the lives of other people, not only because she learned from it in school, but also because helping others has always been innate in Markle.