Zoe Card Goes to the Global Youth Institute


Zandra Spiker

Every October, about 200 students from all around the world gather at the World Food Prize Headquarters for a three-day conference in Des Moines to talk about their solutions to World Hunger. The conference is called the Global Youth Institute (GYI). This year, junior Zoe Card will be one of the attendees.

GYI was started by Norman Borlaug. He wanted to solve world hunger and was an Iowan who was extremely influential through helping create the first hybrid seeds. These hybrid seeds fed millions of people in poor countries. Card wrote a six-page paper about the Rohingya in order to be a part of the Iowa Youth Institute last spring.  GYI is an extension of that program.

“My research was based off of the Rohingya, which is a refugee group that had to flee to Bangladesh. The paper is about child brides that have occurred due to their lack of food and then describing how the situation can improve through different solutions” said Card about her paper.

One may ask if any of these solutions are used in real life.  Social Studies teacher and GYI mentor Mark Solomon worked with a past PHS students whose idea was turned into a reality.

“One in particular, actually, came from a former student at Pella High School, who I took to GYI who now runs her own company designed to help feed people in need,” said Solomon.  “Her name is Maria Belding. She created the MEANS database.”

During the conference, students participating will present their solutions to experts at round table discussions, go through simulations, take classes about cultures, and even listen to famous guest speakers.

“[I’m most excited for] meeting new people who have the same interest as me while also making connections with experienced advisors who are willing to help assist future generations as we try solving these giant problems,” said Card.