‘Lost Boy’ from Sudan speaks to Del Mar students


Cal Coast Academy, a Del Mar-based college preparatory private school, hosted an intimate Q & A event featuring special guest speakers Alephonsion “Al” Deng and Judy A. Bernstein on May 14 at the Cardiff Library. During an optional reception immediately following the proceeding, Deng and Bernstein’s co-authored autobiographical book titled “They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, the true story of three Lost Boys from Sudan,” promptly became a treasured belonging among the handful of attendees fortunate enough to obtain a signed copy of the astounding memoir before it completely sold out.

In the award-winning memoir, Deng, along with his brother Benson and cousin Benjamin Ajak, paint a horrific picture of the 14-year nightmare they endured, fleeing as refugees across Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya before signing up to take part in the “Lost Boys of Sudan” program and resettling in America. The unimaginable personal accounts narrated in this compelling story tell of the tremendous obstacles, challenges and sufferings these boys had to overcome and the sacrifices they made during their 1,000-mile trek across lion and crocodile-infested terrain.

As a guest speaker sharing his unsettling past, Deng heroically relives his emotionally- seared childhood time and time again to help educate our future generations about the devastatingly harsh and all too often muted impact and aftermath caused by the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

“It is imperative that students be educated on a global level, addressing crucial worldly issues and understanding that awareness and knowledge are critical components in correcting global injustice,” stated Jan Dunning, founder and principal of Cal Coast Academy. “At Cal Coast, we recognize the seriousness of and strive to provide our students with the unsurpassed advantages associated with and gained through a well-rounded and all-embracing education that presents an honest representation of the world around us.”

Deng’s inexplicably painful, yet ultimately triumphant life began with an upbringing far too removed from our own to truly comprehend, and included enough twists and turns to leave even the strongest in despair. Now, as a young man, he radiates with genuine grace and unmatched optimism. “Alephonsion Deng truly defines courage, hope, determination, bravery, and inspiration,” states Dunning. “We are honored to have been part of this unforgettable event and to have met this extraordinary hero.”

To learn more about Cal Coast Academy, call 858.481.0882 or visit www.calcoastacademy.com.