The eighth annual World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute brought together 304 students from 130 high schools at Iowa State University to explore critical global food security issues and discover academic and career paths in STEM fields. Jessica Theobald and Maryam Jamali, from Clear Lake High School, participated in the event.
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.
“In gathering here for this event, I know that Dr. Norman Borlaug would want you to focus on the important mission of eliminating hunger around the world. It was that objective that motivated him every day of his life. It was that mission that took him from his boyhood farm in Northeast Iowa to Mexico, India, Pakistan, China, Africa, and all around the world,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. “My hope for all of you is that, having been here today, you will carry with you a part of Dr. Borlaug’s legacy and that as a member of the next generation of young Iowans, you will commit yourself to continue your education, build your careers, and conduct your lives focused on that goal, that unites us all and makes us so very proud to be Iowans: using the power of science and STEM to feed the world.”
Mentored by Kate Richtsmeier from Clear Lake High School, Jessica Theobald researched animal health in Afghanistan; Maryam Jamali researched water and sanitation in Pakistan .
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.
“The Iowa Youth Institute showed me the power of agriculture in an unparalleled way. It’s opened my eyes to new career opportunities that I never would have considered prior to attending this event,” said Sibani Ram, a stu-To read more of this article, please login or sign up for our E-Edition