Tien Lam, a senior at Century High School, was among 200 students from 27 states and territories and 9 countries selected to attend the prestigious 24th Annual Global Youth Institute held in DesMoines, Iowa in October. During the conference, Lam presented a paper he wrote on the food crisis in Yemen and engaged with global leaders in science, policy, and industry to discuss the world’s most pressing challenges in hunger and poverty.

In order to participate in the program, students were required to research and write a paper on a topic affecting food security in a developing country and provide recommendations on how to better the lives of a typical family in the country. Once accepted, students were invited to attend the three-day event and engage in hands-on activities and service-learning projects to reflect on their unique role in addressing challenges related to agriculture, policy, science, industry, and hunger relief efforts both in the U.S. and abroad.

The Global Youth Institute is held in conjunction with the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, which annually gathers the world's foremost leaders and thinkers in global food security. Students present and discuss their innovative ideas to combat hunger with World Food Prize Laureates, international experts and peers from over 60 countries. Students also attend symposium sessions centered on current research, trends, and innovations in combating hunger and poverty.

The Global Youth Institute was developed to challenge and inspire participating students and teachers to identify innovative strategies to alleviate 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.


Lam was accompanied to the Institute by Kimberly Moyer, agriscience teacher and FFA Advisor at Century High School.


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