Four students from Shenandoah George Martin, Lucy Martin, Riley Hunter and Le Yuan Sun participated in the World Food Prize this year.

This year marked the 9th annual year the World Food Prize foundation hosted its Youth Institute (IYI) last month featuring the participation of 264 students and 110 teachers from 93 Iowa high schools. This virtual, day-long event was the first of its kind for the IYI supported by over 90 experts from across Iowa.

George Martin studied India and the adoption of GMO in crop production. Lucy Martin focused on Chad and used agriculture education to increase food security. Riley Hunter wrote her paper on Malaria effects on Tanzania. Le Yuan Sun studied India and rural poverty issues. The students wrote the papers and submitted them for review with Mr. Nicholas Stuart and Mrs. Sarah Martin. The students are now Borlaug Scholars and have received a $500 scholarship to Iowa State University.

These are Le Yuan Sun impressions of the day: "Today, food systems face an array of challenges, we must feed a growing population with emerging economic, environmental, and social concerns. As I was discussing presentations with my fellow roundtable members, we quickly bonded over how government and civilian interaction plays such a large role in how a country develops. We talked about many diseases such as HIV, as well as water scarcity and hydroponics. Everyone had such amazing thoughts to share. In my afternoon immersion session, I was part of the Global Service Learning interaction, in which Borlog Scholars talked about their experiences in places in Africa such as Uganda. We talked about stunting, malnutrition, and lack of education as large factors in poverty levels, and hunger issues. Overall, I think that this was an amazing experience, even though it was held virtually via Zoom. I plan to continue to research about education opportunities and literacy rates, as that was one of the topics we discussed! I am very thankful to have participated in the 2020 virtual IYI. "

Each year, the World Food Prize Youth Institutes convene high school students, teachers and experts to explore and solve local, national and global hunger and food security issues. In order to be a part of the Iowa Youth Institute, students research and write a paper on a global challenge related to hunger and food insecurity. Currently, 25 states, the Netherlands and Honduras host Youth Institutes, where students can be selected to serve as delegates at the Global Youth Institute as part of October’s Borlaug International Dialogue.

As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation shifted to a virtual platform, in order to make the institutes more accessible online. The Foundation is committed to continuing to offer its educational programs to more than 10,000 students this year.

Thousands of students have taken part in the Iowa Youth Institute since its start in 2011, and over 2,000 Iowa high school students have been invited to the Global Youth Institute.

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