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Students Selected for International Borlaug-Ruan World Food Prize Foundation Internship

14 students will intern at international agricultural research centers and organizations focused on sustainability, food technology and development projects.

The World Food Prize Foundation has announced the selection of 14 students for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program, according to a release. These individuals, representing 11 U.S. states as well as China, will embark on eight-week internships at international research centers and development organizations in Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Mexico, Peru and Taiwan.

The Borlaug-Ruan program was initiated by Norman Borlaug and John Ruan Sr. in 1998. Now, 26 years later, this unique program continues to offer high school and college students the opportunity to work alongside leading experts in agricultural research and development worldwide.

“Having completed two weeks of my internship at the International Potato Center (CIP) in Nairobi, Kenya, I am gaining a deeper understanding of the region’s need for improved nutritional research and resources,” Vivien Huang, University of California-Berkeley freshman from Shenzhen, China, said in the release.

“My hope is to make meaningful contributions to addressing the issue of malnutrition in Kenya, knowing that even small efforts could help make a difference.”

Since its creation, the program has expanded significantly.  In its first year, the program sent two students abroad. Over the past 26 years, more than 430 emerging scientists have participated in this program. Interns from this program have pursued educational and career paths in agricultural science, food technology, sustainability, international development and natural resource conservation.

“I’m truly inspired by the passion these young changemakers bring to the table when it comes to tackling world food security issues,” Mashal Husain, chief operating officer of the World Food Prize Foundation, said.

“The Borlaug-Ruan International Internship places determined individuals in key global centers for food security, empowering and encouraging them to make a difference in the agricultural sector. These aspiring scientists then develop invaluable skills and the resilience needed for future success.”

The interns are involved in diverse projects, including agricultural development and support in rural communities, addressing production and distribution gaps, research on plant biofortification and diversity, global food security research and policies and sustainability, gaining firsthand exposure to scientific research and development projects and policy making in these fields.

“Sustainability has always ignited a fervent drive within me, fueling my passion for policy and research. I am deeply grateful to the World Food Prize Foundation for entrusting me with the role of a Borlaug-Ruan International Intern, granting me the chance to delve into these vital realms,” Saavi Ram, a senior at Hempstead High School from Dubuque, Iowa, said.

Upon completion of their internships, the Borlaug-Ruan interns will reconvene in Des Moines for the 30th annual Global Youth Institute in October. This week-long conference offers a platform for knowledge exchange among students from around the world, fostering deeper understanding of global food security, agriculture, and sustainability. Additionally, participants present their research to global leaders, engage in workshops and attend the Borlaug Dialogue.

Any student who is at least 17 years old and has participated in, volunteered for or has had other involvement with a World Food Prize Foundation youth program is eligible to apply.