Saturday Symposium

The anticipation had been building and Saturday was finally here. Today was the day of the big presentation at the World Food Prize. Like I have mentioned in previous blogs, I had done all the research and written the paper, so the presentation should have been the easiest part, and in some ways it was, but it was also one of the most interesting and thought-provoking because I got to learn about so many different problems.

Saturday morning I woke up and dressed in business-casual attire. When I arrived at DuPont Pioneer, the lobby was packed with all the students and experts signing in. Since I had arrived an hour early, I had the opportunity to look at the various presentations prepared by the student interns from the previous years. Just through their descriptions of the research they had done the previous summer, I felt as though I had traveled to Ethiopia, Nepal, Thailand, Guatemala, India, and several other countries. After taking this mini world tour, everyone was shuttled into the auditorium where a welcome speech was given before the different groups broke off with their respective experts.

The round-table discussion I was a part of, was fascinating. From Honduras, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to India, I got to hear a wide range of issues that impacted food insecurity. As different as these countries had originally seemed to be, they were united with the reoccurring themes of a lack of educations, government corruption, and water scarcity.

At the conclusion of this discussion, we summed up our research, and as my group’s leader, I presented our solutions when the entire group reconvened. Following the discussion I got the chance to meet renowned scientist Dr. M.S. Swaminathan who had traveled from India specifically for the World Food Prize. I was honored to have a conversation with him and partake in research relevant to his work.

Following this symposium we all sat for lunch. At this lunch I met kids from across the country and was surprised to find such commonalities between individuals living so far from one another. For example, I met a girl from California who happened to have researched the same topic as me, participated in many of the same extracurricular as me, and was able to fluently converse with me in a foreign language.

Traveling is always an amazing experience. Even if you are only two hours away from your home, you can meet others from around the world, and truly have a global, cultural experience!

Very proud of Sweta for being selected for the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute.

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