Each year, 200 exceptional high school students from around the world are selected to participate in the Global Youth Institute, a prestigious youth education program hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation. Selected students and their teachers/mentors travel to Des Moines, Iowa, in mid-October to attend this three-day event during which they interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and discuss pressing food security and agricultural issues with international experts.
From October 16-19 this year, five students from New Jersey, along with teachers, chaperones and two staff members from the SEBS Office of Academic Programs, were able to experience the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.
These five students were selected from among 100 of their statewide peers who participated in March in the New Jersey Youth Institute, which is hosted by Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Hosted for the fourth year by Rutgers, the New Jersey Youth Institute attracted about 100 high school students across the state who came to the Cook campus to present their papers on how to address world hunger.
According to Serafina Smith, assistant dean of recruitment and advising at SEBS, “we were able to participate in a college fair, students interacted with global leaders from around the world), students and chaperones toured innovative industrial and research facilities, and got involved in hands-on projects. We also attended the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium and Laureate Award Ceremony, where we heard from a number of renowned speakers.”
The 2019 World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony honored Simon N. Groot of The Netherlands. Groot was recognized for his transformative role in empowering millions of smallholder farmers in more than 60 countries to earn greater incomes through enhanced vegetable production, benefitting hundreds of millions of consumers with greater access to nutritious vegetables for healthy diets. As founder and leader of East-West Seed, his initiative over the past four decades has developed a dynamic, smallholder-centric tropical vegetable seed industry, starting in Southeast Asia and spreading through Asia, Africa and Latin America. View coverage of the 2019 Laureate Award Ceremony.
Created by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug and Iowa businessman John Ruan in 1994, the Global Youth Institute was developed to challenge and inspire participating student-teacher teams to identify ways of alleviating hunger, and to expose the students to opportunities and careers in food, agriculture and natural resource disciplines.