September 5, 2008 - Youth Institute national expansion efforts underway
September 5, 2008 - - Dr. Norman Borlaug’s dream – that one day the Youth Institute will be a national organization bringing high school students from across America to Iowa every October to interact with World Food Prize Laureates and international experts – is becoming a reality.
Clay Mathile, the chairman of the Mathile Institute and longtime supporter of Dr. Borlaug’s efforts to spread the Green Revolution around the globe, has donated $750,000 to begin expanding the youth program into a National Youth Institute, and may commit up to $2 million over the next ten years to realize Dr. Borlaug’s dream.
With the generous support of the Mathile Institute, the World Food Prize Foundation has expanded the youth programs. Lisa Fleming, the Director of Youth & Education Programs, has worked to build collaborative relationships with the University of Minnesota, The Ohio State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Texas A&M University and Purdue University in order to begin establishing a national platform for selection and involvement of high school students from across the country.
Keegan Kautzky, a former George Washington Carver Intern and Special Assistant to the Foundation President, has been hired as the new Director of National Program Development & Outreach. Having recently completed graduate studies in international economic development, food security and public health in South Africa, Keegan has returned to Iowa to direct the national expansion of the Youth institute.
Efforts are underway to strengthen existing partnerships, as well as to begin developing relationships with new institutional partners throughout the United States to establish a truly national Youth Institute. Although there is much to be done, great progress has already been made in realizing Dr. Borlaug’s dream. This year, over one hundred high school students from across the United States (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Delaware, Georgia, Arizona, California, Florida and Wisconsin) as well as Mexico, Tanzania and Nigeria will participate in the Youth Institute.