June 4, 2020 Achievements

Sioux City Community School District Students Honored at the 2020 World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute

World Food Prize Logo

During the spring, the ninth annual World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute held a virtual event to connect hundreds of Iowa high school students from across the state to explore critical global food security issues and discover academic and career paths in STEM fields.

Students from the Sioux City Community School District included:

  • Destiny Adams, East High
  • Audrey Enszer, West High
  • Gisselle Ayala Garcia, West High
  • Colin Houts, West High
  • Areeha Ilyas, North High
  • Jessica Lopez Rivas, North High
  • Kelsey Smith-Hernandez, North High
  • Lidya Tadesse, East High
  • Catrina Tounjian, North High

The Iowa Youth Institute has hosted participants from over 71 percent of Iowa high schools since its inaugural event in 2012 and has been referred to as the most unique and innovative event that inspires Iowa high school students to become global leaders.

This innovative experience encourages students to explore academic and career paths in fields related to STEM, agriculture, and global development and aims to inspire the next generation of leaders through authentic research presentations and networking opportunities with global experts.

To participate, students identify a challenge affecting food security within a specified country and propose their own solution to address the challenge. Students then present their ideas to a roundtable of peers and experts at the Iowa Youth Institute, participate in interactive activities in labs and classrooms on campus, and connect with innovative leaders from across the state. All students who participate automatically receive a $500 scholarship to Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and are eligible to apply for the prestigious Wallace-Carver Fellowship program in partnership with the USDA. The top Iowa participants will also be selected to join scientists and policy experts from around the world at the three-day World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in October.

Since 2012, Iowa State University has awarded over $250,000 to students participating in World Food Prize programming, ensuring that young leaders have access to a high-quality education, professional mentors, and are prepared to tackle our world’s toughest issues in hunger and poverty.

More details are available at

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE: The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored 48 outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge global food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.