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New Jersey Youth Institute World Food Prize

A large group of students posing for the camera.
A small group of students posing for the camera wearing Rutgers Against Hunger shi rts.
Students filling up red plastic bags.

The New Jersey Youth Institute is a transformative experience at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences for high school students. In collaboration with the World Food Prize Foundation, students from New Jersey come together and learn about critical global issues, network with local leaders, engage in hands-on-activities, and explore exciting ways to become effective change agents in their own communities. How does the event create conscientious global citizens and inspire tomorrow's scientific humanitarian leaders? Here's some answers from students like you:

Headshot of Keaton Chaudhari.

Being a student at the World Food Prize has never been a better way to utilize my passion for sustainable agriculture. Not only did I learn about sustainability and undernourishment within Yemen, but I also gained meaningful connections while developing my presenting skills. I highly recommend participating in the World Food Prize at Rutgers.”

— Keaton Chaudhari

Headshot of Ava Dohan.

Attending the World Food Prize was an amazing experience to connect with individuals from many different backgrounds united in one common goal: To make the world a better place for everyone. The judges were so supportive and genuinely interested in my topic and presentation, making me feel instantly welcome. I was also able to connect with many other students at the different events planned. Hearing about their speeches was really cool! Overall, I'm so glad I had this opportunity to share my research and will take this experience with me for the rest of my life!”

— Ava Dohan

Headshot of Aidan Twomey.

Looking around seeing so many young people like me wanting to change the worst to the better fills me up with joy. We all fight to be better but in honesty we are all striving for one goal, a healthy lifestyle.”

— Aidan Twomey

Select students attending the New Jersey Youth Institute will be invited to attend the Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa. High school students from across the U.S. and abroad gather during the event to study and write about a pressing global food issue and present their papers to distinguished global leaders and fellow students. While at the symposium students also have opportunities to attend trainings/educational programs, go on field trips, and participate in a team service project. All expenses, except travel, are provided by the World Food Prize.

Qualify for Internships
Gain Professional Experience
Research a Global Challenge
Propose Your Solution
Take Action in Your Community
Build Leadership Skills

Program Benefits

  • Students who participate in the New Jersey Youth Institute earn recognition as a Borlaug Scholar and qualify for internships and further opportunities.
  • Students present research and recommendations on ways to solve key global challenges in a short speech and small group discussions with statewide experts.
  • Students connect with other student leaders from across New Jersey to share ideas, identify solutions to these problems and build lasting friendships.
  • Participants explore the issues, current research and opportunities to make a difference at Rutgers University.
  • Participants interact with global leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in New Jersey working to end hunger and poverty and improve food security around the world.

Further Opportunities

Borlaug-Ruan International Internships

The Borlaug-Ruan International Internship is 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.

USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowships

The USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship is 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.

Program Date

March 8, 2024


Ninth through twelfth grade students are eligible to apply.

How to Participate

  • To participate in the New Jersey Youth Institute, students research a global issue and write a paper under the supervision of a teacher or mentor (using these downloadable guidelines [2.4MB PDF]).
  • Papers must be submitted to the World Food Prize via the World Food Prize website.
  • Ninth through twelfth grade students are eligible to apply.
  • Registration and paper submission due online by February 9, 2024.
  • There is no registration cost to participate in the Institute.

Additional Resources

World Food Prize NJ Youth Institute (NJYI) Global Food Security Seminar Series

Through this seminar series, learn about topics related to issues that affect global food security for families and their communities. Experts in the field give a 30-minute presentation followed by a 15-minute "Ask the Expert" Q & A session.


  1. 4-H.
  2. Rutgers Against Hunger.
  3. Student-Organized Rutgers Against Hunger (SO RAH).
  4. World Food Prize.
  5. FFA.