The World Food Prize Foundation

Call for Participation: High School Students Statewide Invited to World Food Prize Virtual Iowa Youth Institute


The World Food Prize Foundation announced today the opening of registration for the 10th annual Iowa Youth Institute (IYI), to be held virtually on Monday, April 26th, 2021. The Foundation invites all Iowa high school students in grades 8-12 to participate in the event, held in partnership with Iowa State University.

This event aims to inspire the next generation of global leaders to pursue meaningful careers in the fields of science, policy and technological innovation by connecting students with leading researchers across the state. Leadership at Iowa State University, as well as industry experts also collaborate with students to collectively address critical issues in global food security.

To participate, students are challenged to research a topic affecting food security within a specified country and propose their own unique solutions to improve the lives of families living within the country. Students will discuss their ideas in virtual Roundtables with world-renowned experts and engage in immersive discussions, all designed to prepare them for hunger-fighting career paths both in Iowa and around the world.

All students who submit their idea and participate in the day-long virtual event will automatically receive a $500 scholarship to Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and are also eligible to apply for paid Wallace-Carver fellowships through the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as international research opportunities through the Borlaug-Ruan international internship program. The top Iowa participants will also be selected to join award-winning scientists, policy experts, and industry leaders from around the world at the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in October and receive an additional $2,000 scholarship to Iowa State University.

"As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Iowa Youth Institute, we acknowledge the incredible impact of this innovative program since it was launched in 2011. We view youth as our key partners today and in the future, combating complex global challenges like climate change, malnutrition and racial equity. IYI gives these young leaders a seat at the decision-making table. We hope to expand the reach of our many programs in 2021, as we work to elevate youth voices and create lasting change," said Barbara Stinson, President of the World Food Prize Foundation.

In 2020, the Iowa Youth Institute quickly transitioned to a virtual format due to health and safety challenges related to COVID-19. Students will once again participate in a virtual format in 2021, allowing for increased access to students who face geographic and financial barriers.

Since 2011, 71% of Iowa schools have participated  in the Iowa Youth Institute and over 2,000 students have gone on to pursue career paths to benefit both their local communities and the great global economy. This one-day virtual event is offered at no cost to teachers or students. The deadline to register for the Iowa Youth Institute is Monday, March 29, 2021. Registration and further details can be found at


Press Contact:

Nicole Barreca, Director of Communications and Events


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