ATLANTA - In the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, a group of bright young girls are looking to build and feed their community -- one quail egg at a time.
Dubbed the "Quail Guardians," a class of 6th graders at the Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy have been raising and selling quail eggs in their community, in a neighborhood where many residents have limited access to fresh food.
In addition to raising the quails, the students also supply their community with fresh fruits and vegetables from their school's own organic garden.
"So I knew that the school that I’m in is in a food desert, and the way I like to engage students is to look into the community for a problem and become problem solvers," Laura Pena, the school's STEM program specialist and instructional coach, told "Good Morning America."
The students decided to raise quails instead of chickens because they are smaller and easier to raise in a school, Pena said.
Student Dayanna Flores also told "GMA" that "their eggs have ... more protein" than chicken eggs.
Plus, as another student Dasha Kelley added, "Their waste helps our soil be able to grow more plants."
Fellow Quail Guardian Shavonta Nickles said the eggs have "good cholesterol and protein and it's also good for your heart and also for asthma."
"We're helping out the community and the community is also helping us out because when we sell those eggs we get money back in return and that’s how we pay for their food and that’s how they get the eggs again," Shavonta added.
On Thursday, GMA's Robin Roberts and Lupita Nyong'o surprised the young girls with a $25,000 donation to the school.
"I feel like I'm looking into the faces of the future." @Lupita_Nyongo tells the young women of the Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy tells them the futures is theirs in an inspiring speech! pic.twitter.com/tmB7aHmnae— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 16, 2019
A local resident and parent, Christina Mgbam, told "GMA" she is thankful for the food the girls provide.
"The accessibility to high quality foods, fruits and vegetables, meat is not the greatest along with the transportation in the area as well," she said. "The quail brings an awareness that you have more options."
In addition to providing their community with fresh foods, some of the girls say they are also picking up other life lessons raising and caring for the quails.
"Being a quail guardian has taught me respect and responsibility and just how to be a better person in general," student McKynzie Spearman said.
Jayden Earley, another student, said that raising the quails has also brought the students together.
"I was friends with them all at first but it just created a bigger bond once we became Quail Guardians, I really consider them all as family now," she said.
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