The World Food Prize Foundation

Florida Youth Institute

What is the Florida Youth Institute?

The Florida Youth Institute is a life-changing experience at the University of Florida where high school students engage with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges, participate in hands-on activities, and explore exciting ways to make a difference in Florida and around the world. The Florida Youth Institute is hosted by the University of Florida with the generous support of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences.

July 7-12, 2024 OR
July 14-19, 2024 

At the University of Florida 

Application Due:
February 27, 2024

Event Flyer 


Paper Instructions 


Please note that applications include: An essay prompt, letter of recommendation, high school transcript request, and applicant information. If you have additional questions about the application process or other UF summer programs, visit the UF Center for Precollegiate Education and Training (CPET). More information about the Florida Youth Institute application process can be found through CPET as well.

Applications Open: TBD
Applications Due: TBD
Acceptance and Essay Information: TBD
Final Essay, Fees, and Paperwork Due: TBD


Why participate?

Students who participate in the Florida Youth Institute are eligible to receive a $10,000 scholarship to study in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida, receive recognition as a Borlaug Scholar, and qualify for internships and further opportunities

At this exciting event, participating high school students have the opportunity to:

  • Present research and recommendations on ways to solve key global challenges in a short speech and small group discussions with statewide experts;

  • Connect with other student leaders from across Florida to share ideas, identify solutions to these problems and build lasting friendships;

  • Explore the issues, current research and opportunities to make a difference at the University of Florida; and

  • Interact with global leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in Florida working to end hunger and poverty and improve food security around the world.

Papers will be evaluated by The World Food Prize Board of Reviewers. This distinguished group of educators and experts was established to mentor and personally encourage students. Reviewers write thoughtful, personalized feedback to each student who participates in the Youth Institute.


How to participate

To participate in the Florida Youth Institute, high school students research a global issue and write a paper under the supervision of a teacher or mentor (using the downloadable guideline above and resources below).

Sample Paper
Click the link to view a Global Challenge Sample Paper
Click HERE for Adobe Reader X update if forms do not load
Paper Topic Resources
Click the link and you will find topic definitions, solution examples and suggested resources
to help get you started in your research






Ninth through twelfth grade students are eligible to apply

Registration and paper submission are due online by: February 27, 2024.

Note: Registration and paper submission forms are not open at this time. Please bookmark this page and check back at a later date!

There is no registration cost to participate in the Institute and meals will be provided during the event. However, both student and teacher/mentor participants must organize their own transportation to and from the event in Gainesville, FL.

For more information please contact Charlotte Emersonat: or 352-392-1963


Further opportunities for participants:

The Global Youth Institute
The top high school students from each Youth Institute will be competitively selected as delegates to the Global Youth Institute, held every October in Des Moines, Iowa. 

The Global Youth Institute is an exciting three-day program where young leaders interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and the more than 1,000 global leaders from 65 countries attending the World Food Prize's annual international symposium.


Borlaug-Ruan International Internships
An all-expenses-paid, eight-week hands-on experience for high school students to work with world-renowned scientists and policymakers at leading research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Borlaug-Ruan Interns get a firsthand view of pressing food security and nutritional problems in poverty-stricken areas and take part in groundbreaking research.

Any student who has participated in, volunteered for, or has other involvement with a World Food Prize Foundation program are eligible to apply for the Borlaug Ruan International Internship. 


​​​​​USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowships
A paid summer research or policy placement for college students at a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory, agency, or at USDA headquarters in Washington D.C. Wallace-Carver Fellows analyze agricultural and economic policy; assist in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and take part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research. Fellows travel to Washington DC as part of their fellowship for a week-long high-level leadership program hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

All Borlaug Scholars are eligible to apply for a the USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship.

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