Student profile: Marisol and fellow cadets get a fresh start at Sunburst Youth Academy

In our latest OCDE Student Profile, we bring you the story of Marisol, a cadet who recently graduated from the Sunburst Youth Academy.

For those who might not have heard it, Sunburst is a community high school for at-risk youth that’s operated by the California National Guard in partnership with OCDE. Students spend five and a half months in a military-style environment that enables them to develop leadership, pride and confidence as they earn high school credits and engage in learning with real-world applications.

“I didn’t believe in myself,” says Marisol, who grew up surrounded by crime and drugs. “I didn’t think I was going to be capable of anything. But (Sunburst) showed me I could be more than a high school dropout, and that I can complete things.”

Watch her story in the brief video above, produced by Greg Lammers of OCDE’s Media Services team. And for more information about Sunburst, visit

This is the latest in an occasional series about extraordinary students enrolled in OCDE programs. If you know someone who should be featured, email us at