Some Knoxville students are trying to help recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

Nine months after Hurricane Maria hit the island, the country is still in need of help.

Youth ministry students at Central Baptist Bearden said they truly want to make a difference by helping rebuild destroyed homes and bringing some light back into the lives of those still suffering from the aftermath of the hurricane.

25 students and ten parents and church leaders hope their presence this week can make a difference for the people in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico.

For many students like 17-year-old Andrew Ledden, this mission trip is their first.

"We're going to be doing disaster relief so we're going to be building houses, having worship, telling people about God and overall making their lives better," Ledden said Saturday night.

Others, like Lindsey Meadows, aren't new to mission work, but she expects the group's time in Puerto Rico to bring different challenges and rewards.

"I think we'll see a lot of devastation, but also a lot of relief efforts, and so I'm hopeful that there will be a lot there," Meadows said.

The high school and college students are working with the group World Changers, and will join other mission groups in Puerto Rico Sunday.

They'll rebuild homes, and, in their own words, try to bring some happiness to the people there.

"I think the devastation, especially with Puerto Rico recently, is just going to be really eye opening, make us a lot more grateful for where we live and what we're surrounded with, so I'm excited about it," Meadows said.

Central Baptist Bearden Missions Pastor Tim Earl said he's glad his students can help and serve as an example to other people their age.

"You here so much about millennials and how kind of self-centered they are about some things sometimes, so it's great to see these young people wanting to give," Earl said.

The group will start construction work Monday morning and stay in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico for a week.

You can keep up with their work here.