A group of Bay area teens are back after a holiday trip of a lifetime. They spent their New Year’s holiday rebuilding homes in New Orleans.

"I think it's important to help out others who can't help themselves," said 14-year-old Sophia Chapdelaine, a freshman at Plant City High School.

The 23 volunteers were part of the Teen Leaders Program at the South Tampa YMCA.

The teens fixed up homes that were damaged almost 10 years ago during Hurricane Katrina. The youngsters say the entire trip was an eye-opener.

"It's probably one of the best experience I've had in my entire life," said 16-year-old Mac McKelvin of Plant City High School.

The teens either raised money to go to New Orleans or paid their own way.

It's the first time the South Tampa YMCA offered the trip, but after the positive feedback, administrators have decided to make it an annual event for the youngsters.