AGS partnered with the Thirst Project in 2016 after Laura Mayberry met one of its founders at a Model U.N. convention. CdM students have already raised over $41,000 for the Thirst Project. Photo by
Corona del Mar High School

Corona del Mar students raise over $40,000 for the Thirst Project

Corona del Mar (CdM) is committed to cultivating global citizens. Only in its third year, the Academy of Global Studies (AGS) has quickly made a name for itself on campus.

Classes like AP Human Geography are made exclusive to AGS students, and the Academy holds several events and fundraisers each year. AGS students use the skills they acquire to create a positive impact on the world at large.

In 2016, AGS leaders Laura Mayberry and Kareem Captan partnered the Academy with the Thirst Project, a student-centered charity that raises money to give to independent contractors to build wells in areas where clean water is scarce. The Thirst Project was founded in 2008 by college students in Los Angeles and has played a major role in helping end the global water crisis ever since, having given hundreds of thousands of people access to clean water. Each well costs approximately $12,000 to build, and they are intended to last for at least 40 years. Though most of the organization’s activity has been in Swaziland in Southern Africa, they have funded wells in 13 countries across four continents.

“We decided on the global water crisis partly because we can have such a big impact on peoples’ lives in such a short amount of time, and also because they [AGS students] learned about it in AP Human Geography,” said Mayberry. “The issue spoke to me personally and to the students because this issue affects mostly women and children, and prevents many children from getting a proper education.”

The global water crisis does indeed disproportionately affect women and children, as many have to spend hours per day just retrieving clean water. This prevents women from entering the workforce and children from going to school, and often leads to health problems as a result of having to carry heavy buckets of water for long distances. The water that’s retrieved is often dirty and disease-carrying, leading to even more health issues for those affected by the water crisis.

“We chose to work with the Thirst Project specifically for two reasons. First, we love that 100% of their profits go towards building wells. But the biggest reason was that the organization was started by young people, and we want to show the students that you don’t have to wait until you’re older to have a big impact on the world,” said Mayberry.

“The Thirst Project is a great first opportunity for the Academy to partner with an international organization, especially since we can help solve a problem as critical and life-threatening as the global water crisis,” said junior Delarai Sadeghitari, a member of the AGS Task Force.

During the last school year, AGS students raised an incredible $25,000 for the Thirst Project, providing funding for two wells. In total, they have raised over $41,000 or the charity, meaning they are in the lead nationwide for amount of money donated by individual schools.

You can donate by going to or by contacting Ms. Mayberry. It was recently decided that the first well would be in Nsimba, Swaziland, and construction will begin on the second well in El Salvador in 2017.  The Academy’s new goal is to have every class of AGS students fund a well and even be able to visit the village or town where the well is built.

While their high academic standards are certainly an important feature of the Academy of Global Studies, their philanthropic efforts are what really set them apart.

The academy of Global Studies is currently in its third year at CdM. One of the main focuses of the academy is donating to the Thirst Project to help fund wells for those affected by the global water crisis. Photo by
The academy of Global Studies is currently in its third year at CdM. One of the main focuses of the academy is donating to the Thirst Project to help fund wells for those affected by the global water crisis. Photo by

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