TST Student Participates in Prestigious World Food Prize Global Youth Institute

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TST BOCES New Vision Life Sciences student Isabella Culotta was among the select students nominated to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute Oct. 13-15 in Des Moines, Iowa, during the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium.

The event drew 1,500 people from more than 60 countries to discuss the world’s hunger and food security issues. The World Food Prize was founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug to recognize and inspire great achievements in improving the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world. This year’s World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium focused on the theme “Let Food Be Thy Medicine” and gave special emphasis on issues such as: the crucial role of nutrition in global food security, leadership, biofortification, conflict and infrastructure.

Global Youth Institute students and teachers had the opportunity to take part in symposium sessions with the top minds and foremost leaders in global agriculture, food and development. At the three-day Institute, Culotta and 200 other high school student participants of the program from across the United States and abroad researched global food security issues in the developing country of their choice and then submitted papers on those critical topics, which they also presented to a diverse group of internationally renowned World Food Prize Laureates and other distinguished experts and scientists.

Culotta presented a paper on the theme “Feeding Innovation, Fighting Hunger” and took part in roundtable discussions with experts in industry, science, academia and policy on the culminating day of the program.

“It was a huge honor for Bella to present at the podium,” said New Visions Teacher Michele Kline. “She addressed more than 300 people, some who are the most influential in the world in regards to solving food insecurity problems.”

During the Institute, participants also helped with a hands-on service project packaging meals for Outreach, Inc., a hunger-fighting organization that serves people in the United States and internationally, toured innovative research and industrial facilities and took part in an interactive Oxfam Hunger Banquet that brought to life the realities of hunger and poverty.

Created by Dr. Borlaug and Iowa businessman John Ruan in 1994, the GYI today receives major support from the Mathile Institute for the Advancement of Human Nutrition. The program 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. Of the students who complete the program, about 92% go on to pursue college degrees in agriculture and science, and 77% choose careers in agriculture, STEM and other fields critical to the fight against hunger.

Dr. Borlaug often stated, “I am certain that these students will become the future agricultural, scientific and humanitarian leaders in the fight to end hunger”.

High school educators and students interested in participating in the 2017 Global Youth Institute should visit www.worldfoodprize.org/youth for more information.

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TST BOCES New Visions Life Sciences student Isabella Culotta (right) receives a certificate for participating in the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, where she presented an agricultural research project focusing on a possible solution to a development issue in a foreign country of her choice. Only students with the most promising proposals are invited to Iowa to participate in the Borlaug Dialogue.