Gabriella DePrizio

Gabriella DePrizio

For the second year, Gabriella DePrizio represented Centerville High School at the World Food Prize in Ames. The program was held for the eighth time on Monday.

This year, 304 students form 130 high school gathered at Iowa State University to explore critical global food security issues and discover academic and career paths in STEM fields. The number was a record for the program in the state, after it began in 2012.

The Iowa Youth Institute has hosted participants from over 71 percent of Iowa high schools since its inaugural event in 2012 and has been referred to as the most unique and innovative event that inspires Iowa high school students to become global leaders.

This innovative experience encourages students to explore academic and career paths in fields related to STEM, agriculture and global development and aims to inspire the next generation of leaders through authentic research presentations and networking opportunities with global experts.

To participate, students identify a challenge affecting food security within a specified country and propose their own solution to address the challenge. Students then present their ideas to a roundtable of peers and experts at the Iowa Youth Institute, participate in interactive activities in labs and classrooms on campus, and connect with innovative leaders from across the state. All students who participate automatically receive a $500 scholarship to Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and are eligible to apply for the prestigious Wallace-Carver Fellowship program in partnership with the USDA. The top Iowa participants will also be selected to join scientists and policy experts from around the world at the three-day World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in October.

Since 2012, Iowa State University has awarded over $250,000 to students participating in World Food Prize programming, ensuring that young leaders have access to a high-quality education, professional mentors, and are prepared to tackle our world’s toughest issues in hunger and poverty.

“For you students who are 18 years old today, when Iowa celebrates its bicentennial in 2046 and you will be celebrating your 45th birthday, the population of our planet will have just reached 9 billion people,” said Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize. “Whether we can nutritiously and sustainably feed all of those people is the single greatest challenge human beings have ever faced. It will be up to you to fulfill Norman Borlaug’s legacy and meet this challenge.”

More details are available at www.worldfoodprize.org/iowayouth.

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