Sunburst Youth Academy registers now for its January 2022 intake – OECD Newsroom

The Sunburst Youth Academy celebrates the class of 2020 cadets.

A free residential leadership academy is currently seeking applicants for its program which gives local teens who have faced significant obstacles a second chance at life.

Run by the California National Guard in partnership with the OECD, Sunburst Youth Academy is a five and a half month military-style program where youth can earn high school credits while developing leadership, pride, confidence and academic skills. While at Sunburst, cadets live on base, attend high school during the day, and work on physical fitness, life skills, team building, and goal-setting activities before and after school.

Cadets attending Sunburst can earn 65 credits—comparable to a year of high school credits—and apply credits toward graduation at their home school, or earn a high school diploma from Sunburst .

With an 87% pass rate, Sunburst changes the lives of more than 200 students each year. But due to the challenges posed by the pandemic, its recruiting capacity has diminished, admissions coordinator Sergeant Ryan Salvoni said.

“The pandemic has limited our ability to reach students who would benefit the most from attending the academy,” said Sgt. Savoni. “But we want students and families to know that the registration process is simple and can be completed in a few simple steps.”

How to register

Scholarships are still available for the next class of January 2022. The first step in the application process is to attend an orientation session. Orientations are held weekly, online and in person.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be:

  • between 16 and 18 years old on the start date of the program
  • legal residents of Southern California
  • free of any serious legal involvement and having no crime
  • ready to be drug free
  • physically and emotionally able to participate
  • insufficient credit (not on track to graduate on time)
  • eager to apply to the academy and eager to make positive changes

Candidates can register for an orientation by visiting or by calling 877-463-1921 for an appointment.

For more information on Sunburst, read the OECD Newsroom’s Five Things to Know About the Sunburst Youth Academy.