DES MOINES , IOWA -- Nearly 1 billion people go hungry every day. As the world faces a growing population, climate volatility and other global challenges, the next generation will be charged with continuing the battle against hunger and finding new solutions to feed the world.
This summer, an unprecedented number of American high school students – 23 students from 12 states - have earned World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan International Internships and will delve into issues relating to hunger and poverty throughout the world during eight-week, all-expenses-paid summer internships at leading research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Travis Rooney of College Station, TX, a Senior at A&M Consolidated High School, is one of the 23 students who has earned an internship and will travel to China this summer to work at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in Beijing.
“It is our hope that by engaging these young people in actual hunger-fighting research, they will be inspired to pursue academic and career paths in science, food, agricultural and natural resource disciplines, and thus prepared to become tomorrow’s innovative scientific and humanitarian leaders,” said Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize.
The Borlaug-Ruan Internship is a unique program that allows student interns to participate in projects with distinguished researchers at leading agricultural research centers around the globe. While getting a firsthand view of real and pressing food security issues and nutrition problems in poverty-stricken areas, the students become an integral part of a project, spending time in the lab as well as days or weeks at a time in the field conducting research and interviews, and gathering data.
The interns are involved in global projects dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger such as: fisheries and aquaculture studies; biotechnology; micro-credit and the women’s self-help concept; the influence of education on household food security; and the calculation of Vitamin C concentration in numerous potato varieties.
A prerequisite for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship is attending the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, which occurs each October and exposes students to opportunities associated with careers in agricultural, natural resource, life sciences and affiliated fields. Youth Institute participants present research papers and interact with World Food Prize Laureates and renowned experts to discuss issues relating to food security throughout the world.