Britain’s Prince Harry poses with Meghan Markle Nov. 27 in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace in London after announcing their engagement. Markle attended Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. 

Maria Pollia, teaches theology teacher at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, remembers her former student Meghan Markle, the actress who became engaged to Prince Harry. 

One year ago, Pollia was surprised to learn that Markle, by then a successful television actress and U.N. advocate for women, had credited a conversation the two shared while she was a student for inspiring her to help others. The comment occurred while she was being interviewed regarding a book she had contributed to titled “The Game Changers: Success Secrets from 40 Women at the Top.” 

After feeling scared and overwhelmed during a volunteer outing on Skid Row when she was 13, Markle sought advice from Pollia, who encouraged her “to put the needs of others beyond your own fears,” Pollia told Catholic News Service.