Weekly roundup: Sunburst Youth Academy cadets shine bright at Anaheim Ducks game, and more

Sunburst Youth Academy cadets proudly present the colors at the Anaheim Ducks' game against the Seattle Kraken on Friday, April 5.
Sunburst Youth Academy cadets proudly present the colors at the Anaheim Ducks’ game against the Seattle Kraken on Friday, April 5. (Photo courtesy of Anaheim Ducks)

Swapping their school hallways for the ice rink, four students from Sunburst Youth Academy’s Class 33 color guard delivered a performance at the Anaheim Ducks home game against the Seattle Kraken at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

The four cadets, hailing from Sunburst, a community high school for at-risk youth operated by the California National Guard in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education, proudly presented the colors during the national anthem on April 5, captivating thousands of hockey fans in the stadium.

Sunburst Youth Academy Color Guard entrance

“To be able to represent Sunburst Youth Academy with my peers, it had me full of adrenaline and also nerves,” said Cadet Fraire, 17. “It was an amazing, heart-racing adrenaline-filled, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Orange County Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento’s office facilitated the cadets’ chance to participate in the major sporting event.

“It was really an awesome opportunity, because I don’t think they’ve ever gone to a game and literally performed at that capacity with a lot of people just watching them,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Denise Yanez, who serves as Sunburst’s color guard coach. “I think it really just gave them a whole different perspective in life on what they can accomplish with a full level of confidence that they didn’t have before.”

Following their performance at the Ducks game, the cadets achieved further recognition by winning the California Cadet Corps annual statewide Drill Competition in Los Alamitos. Competing against teams from traditional high schools across Southern California, the Sunburst Class 33 color guard claimed first place in the high school division, returning home with a trophy and pride.

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • Inside the Outdoors’ Summer Day Camp is set to return this July to keep Orange County students active and engaged with four themed weeks.
Ocean View High School
  • Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach has been named a School of Excellence by the American College Application Campaign for its wide-ranging efforts to help first-generation and low-income students navigate the path to higher education.
  • A total solar eclipse traversed North America on Monday, April 8, casting shadows across the United States, Mexico and Canada. The OCDE Newsroom compiled safety tips and resources for spectators in preparation of the rare celestial event.
  • Schools across the county, including Oxford Academy in Cypress, held watch parties for its students to observe the eclipse, giving educators an opportunity to bring science lessons to life.
  • Five decades after civil rights activist Dolores Huerta inspired members of the United Farm Workers union to chant “Si, se puede,” or “Yes, we can,” her famous slogan is now being used to empower a new generation at OCDE’s Alternative Education program.
  • The High School Voter Education Weeks campaign is set to commence across the state from April 15 through April 26, in a bid to empower young voices and foster civic engagement.
  • The Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. Program is partnering with school districts across five counties as part of its ongoing commitment to foster STEM education among youth.
2023 Orange County Arts and Disability Festival
  • About 60 high school students from the Irvine Unified School District tackled some of the world’s biggest issues through speeches, debates and resolution-making at the Model United Nations Conference at Portola High School.
  • The Ocean View School District’s 7-11 Committee, comprised of 11 community volunteers, will advise the school board on the fate of 26 district-owned surplus properties, as mandated by the California Education Code.
  • Hundreds of local high school students submitted their artwork, and dozens had their creations juried into the “Color It Orange” exhibition at the Laguna College Art and Design Gallery.
  • According to the OC Register, the legality of student-generated deepfake images of their classmates remains uncertain due to unclear laws, leaving many states without explicit legislation to address the issue and law enforcement with limited prosecution options, especially when minors are involved.
  • The Los Alamitos Education Foundation has allocated $4,200 to Los Alamitos High School for the acquisition of College Aid Pro software, enhancing postsecondary planning by offering extensive financial aid support and guidance to students.
  • Following the recall of two Orange Unified School District trustees, the five remaining board members will decide whether to appoint replacements by May 21, leave the seats vacant until November, or face a November election if no action is taken within 60 days.
  • Los Angeles County is addressing a shortage of teachers, particularly in early childhood education, by offering free schooling and training through its two-year Early Child Care and Education Assistant Teacher Apprenticeship Program.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.