Waukee High School Students Attend Global Youth Institute

Two Waukee High School students were selected to attend the 24th Annual Global Youth Institute held October 19-21 at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, in Des Moines, IA.

Gautham Ajith and Claire Baudler were among 200 students from nine countries that participated. The youth institute is a prestigious three-day event that is held in conjunction with the World Food Prize Dialogue International Symposium, which gathers leaders in science and policy from around the world to discuss global food security.


Brandon Beall (Waukee Alumni & WFP Intern), Gautham Ajith, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn (President World Food Prize) and Claire Baudler

To be selected, students had to write a research paper on a topic affecting food security in a developing country along with recommendations on how to better the lives of the people who live in that country. Once selected, students had the opportunity to discuss with global leaders challenges with hunger and poverty as well as engage in hands-on activities and service-learning projects.

Baudler became introduced to the Youth Institute through a Waukee APEX class, Global Food Systems. The course is enquiry based and explores food, bioscience and agriculture. Students also focus on projects and learn about agriculture industries.

“My favorite part of the institute was getting to meet people from all over the country and world and hearing about their experiences and different perspectives,” Baudler said.


Claire Baudler, Cindy Snell and Gautham Ajith

The Global Youth Program was developed by Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Borlaug and Iowa philanthropist, John Raun in 1994. It was created to challenge and inspire students and teachers to help alleviate hunger and expose students to opportunities and careers in food, agriculture and natural resources.

Waukee APEX is a collaboration of education, business and the community. APEX develops highly skilled, adaptable, global innovators and leaders. Courses are open to junior and senior students.