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 third annual event, to be held May 11, seeks to inspire and prepare the next generation of global leaders to end world hunger.
“Nearly one in nine people on this planet do not have access at all times to sufficient, safe and nutritious food and this problem will only continue to grow if we do not address the critical factors that lead to food security,” said Brian Wibby, leadership and civic engagement educator for Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) Michigan 4-H and co-coordinator of the WFP MIYI. “We know that there are many interconnected issues that lead to food insecurity and we want to provide young people with an opportunity to explore and help solve these vital issues. 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 MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 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, staff members, researchers and students are working to address issues related to food security and 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 global issues 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 the 2015 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 deadline of March 31. As part of the application process, youth are asked to prepare a two- to five-page research paper about a global issue concerning hunger and poverty. 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.
“I was able to interact with incredible youth from around the country and the world,” said Nathan Laurenz, a participant in the 2016 WFP MIYI and World Food Prize Global Youth Institute. “I met some of the global leaders in agriculture and listened to some of the most knowledgeable and influential people I have ever met. The experience opened my eyes to the problems and solutions of feeding the world.”