World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute an opportunity for teens to tackle world hunger
As millions across the globe deal with food insecurity, the World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute offers young people an opportunity to become the next generation of global leaders to end world hunger.
As millions across the globe deal with food insecurity, the World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute (WFP MIYI) offers young people an opportunity to be part of the solution. The second annual event, to be held May 12, seeks to inspire and prepare the next generation of global leaders to end world hunger.
“One in nine people on this planet do not have enough to eat, and hunger and insufficient nutrition are the leading threats to health globally,” said Kelly Millenbah, associate dean and director in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University (MSU). “When coupled with a growing global population, this means that without the development of sufficient and sustainable means to feed everyone, today’s youth are going to be faced with an even bigger food security issue in the future. Instead of waiting until then, we’re engaging them now. We know their innovative ideas and unbridled passion can and will make a difference if we provide them with the right tools.”
The WFP MIYI is a collaborative effort of MSU Extension, Michigan 4-H, Michigan FFA, the CANR and the World Food Prize. Held on the MSU campus in East Lansing, the event provides Michigan youth with the opportunity to share their ideas related to global food security with MSU experts and other Michigan youth while learning how MSU faculty and staff members, researchers and students are working to address world hunger. The WFP MIYI partners hope that as a result, program participants will be inspired to pursue education that will allow them to apply their passion for ending hunger in impactful careers related to global food security.
“I learned so much from this institute about how other countries are dealing with different developmental situations and that there are many options to go about solving them,” said Emily Kurburski, a participant in last year’s WFP MIYI. “I now know that I can make a difference by doing something locally that could have an impact globally.”
To participate, youth should be in grades 8-12 and register by the April 8 deadline. As part of the application process, youth are asked to prepare a two- to five-page research paper about a global hunger and poverty issue. At the event, youth present and discuss their papers with other attendees and research and industry experts. They also participate in interactive activities on the MSU campus to explore research and other current work that seeks to address global food challenges and engage with area experts to discuss solutions to global hunger and poverty.
The top performing students at the WFP MIYI will be selected to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, in October. Held in conjunction with the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, the Global Youth Institute will give youth the opportunity to interact with Nobel and World Food Prize laureates and participate in dialogues with the world’s leading experts and policymakers in global food security.
“It was inspiring to hear so many passionate and brilliant speakers, and by meeting them and hearing their stories, I realized that someday I could be in their shoes,” said Francine Barchett, a participant in the 2015 WFP MIYI and World Food Prize Global Youth Institute. “Although the institute is over, I have much to reflect about, and I can’t wait to see what I can do to empower my community with the tools I’ve learned.”