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San Diego, Baja High Schoolers Working To Solve Global Problems

A group of San Diego and Baja California high schoolers gathered at the University of San Diego to address some of the world's toughest problems.

War, genocide and sex trafficking are just some of the issues being addressed by a group of high school students participating in the University of San Diego’s World Link Program.

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Renta Del Riego, 17 moderated the opening panel at the annual University of San Diego World Link Program conference, Jan. 20, 2016.

The World Link Program works with about 2,000 high school students from San Diego and Northern Baja California to solve global problems and help save lives.

Renta Del Riego, 17, remembered when she first got involved with the program.

"For my humanities class we were doing a project on the Darfur genocide," Del Riego said.

The 19-year-old program has been empowering high school students to solve big global issues. The annual conference has grown from about 200 in 1997 to 800 this year. University of San Diego’s Debbie Martinez said the program and conference aim to teach high schoolers how they can make a difference.

"Here the students are able to be exposed to a lot of issues that are real, but also in a way where it's a safe space for them to question it, themselves and one another," Martinez said.

Del Riego said because of the World Link Program she learned even young people can have a huge impact and change the world.

"Change your life by changing other people's lives, because you are helping someone else, but you're also making your life more meaningful," Del Riego said. "And that's an awesome feeling to have."

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