Two Waukee High School Students Named Borlaug-Ruan Intern

The World Food Prize Foundation announced that it will send 24 high school students abroad for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program at renowned international research centers and NGOs this summer. Waukee High School recent graduates, Gautham Ajith and Renee Piekema are two of these students heading to northern India and Kenya. Gautham will work on a project installing irrigation systems in rural villages. Renee will work at ICIPE-African Insect Science for Food and Health in Nairobi, Kenya. Waukee High School was the only school to have two students accepted into the internship program. These exceptional students hail from Iowa and nine other states and will delve into issues related to global hunger and poverty during eight-week internships in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

You can follow the students’ summer internships through the Borlaug-Ruan International Intern blog. This is the 21st year of this unique program, which was created by Dr. Norman Borlaug and John Ruan, Sr. in 1998, allowing high-school-aged student interns to participate in projects with distinguished researchers at leading agricultural research centers around the globe. While getting a firsthand view of real and pressing food security issues and nutrition problems in poverty-stricken areas, the students become an integral part of a project, spending time in the lab as well as days or weeks at a time in the field conducting research and interviews and gathering data.