Sunburst students work to fund projects that battle hunger, poverty and inequality

A group of students from Sunburst Youth Academy decided they wanted to help those less fortunate around the world.

So they got together as part of a class project and came up with four projects that help support education, fight hunger and battle inequality.

Sunburst Youth Academy students pose for a photo with their teacher inside their classroom

The students chose the projects through, a crowdfunding website that allows users to financially back humanitarians and entrepreneurs across the world who are working to tackle some of these persistent problems.

The Sunburst students will allocate $50, money provided by an anonymous donor, to each of the projects in regions in Mexico, Samoa, Nigeria and Kenya.

Allen Witten, a teacher at Sunburst, led his class of 19 students as they combed through a slew of projects on the Kiva site, and worked in groups to choose four for the cash award.

“The idea was that tackling hunger, poverty and inequality are such huge goals. But each of us can do our small part to make a difference,” Witten said. “Discussing these issues is part of the solution.”

Sunburst Youth Academy, located in Los Alamitos, is a high school run by the California National Guard in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education.

The Academy is a residential military-style program for at-risk youth structured to promote an academic environment where students earn credits, while they develop leadership, job and academic skills.

“The goal was also to empower students to share ideas and understand perspectives abroad,” Witten said.

On Dec. 4, Witten will travel to New Delhi, India to present the Sunburst student project as part of a global education conference.