Last month, Union High School senior Cole Moody was one of 70 students from the state of Iowa selected to participate in the three day Global Youth Institute hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moines. The Institute offers 200 exceptional students from throughout the United States and other countries the opportunity to interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and discuss food security and agriculture issues with international experts.
As part of his participation in the Global Youth Institute, Moody conducted research that was used to write a brief paper on a critical food security issue. He chose a topic with a very personal connection, sustainable agriculture in the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. Three years ago, Moody’s family adopted a five year old boy, Danson, from Les Cayes, a southern port city in Haiti. Since that time, he has been learning as much as he can about the people of Haiti and some of the very real problems that threaten their existence.
Moody’s Global Youth Institute experience culminated with the presentation of his research paper, “Helping Haitians Find Hope,” and a discussion of his findings with fellow students and international experts in a round table format. His presentation touched on issues of poverty, political and social upheaval, a lack of educational opportunities and unsustainable use of natural resources as factors that have contributed to Haiti’s status as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
As a Global Youth Institute participant, Moody is now eligible to apply for a prestigious Borlaug-Ruan International Internship, an all-expenses paid, eight week hands-on experience working with world-renowned scientists and policymakers at research centers throughout the world.