Life-changing global impact

The New York Youth Institute at Cornell University engages high school students on the biggest challenges facing people and the planet in the 21st century. We empower students to research issues they care about, propose their own innovative ideas to solve grand global challenges, and explore exciting ways to make a difference in New York and around the world.

March 17, 2023 at Cornell University

The New York Youth Institute is thrilled to welcome high school students from across New York State at Cornell University on March 17, 2023. Registration is due by February 20, 2023. 

  • Timeline: 9:00AM-5:00PM (On campus event check-in will begin at 8:15AM; see sample agenda below)
  • Building location: Warren Hall B25 Auditorium (enter Warren Hall via the Ag Quad; see location in Google Maps)
  • COVID-19 guidance: To attend the on-campus, in-person event, all visitors must wear an approved mask and show proof of either a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test when checking in for the event. Detailed visitor guidance is found at COVID-19 Cornell Response Information for Visitors.


Get a preview of what the day might look like by reviewing the agenda from the 2022 NYYI! 


8:15AM Arrival and Sign-In, B25 Warren Hall Auditorium Lobby (Simple refreshments provided)


Welcoming Remarks: World Food Prize Foundation-New York Youth Institute, Rural Schools Association, Cornell University’s CALS Dean Benjamin Houlton, B25 Warren Hall Auditorium

Special thanks to the Rural Schools Association for their NYYI travel scholarship!


9:20AM Presentations by Dr. Maricelis Acevedo and Fulbright Humphrey Fellows Ms. Annette Nantumbwe and Ms. Hazell Veronica Flores Davila, B25 Warren Hall Auditorium

10:20AM Break for Student Roundtables (each roundtable group will have an assigned room)

10:40AM Student Roundtables, Warren Hall and Mann Library rooms (rooms will be assigned)

12:15PM Break for Lunch (Provided by Ithaca Bakery) – Please head to Warren Hall 401

12:30 Lunch and Keynote Address by Commissioner Richard Ball, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Warren Hall 401

1:30PM Campus Tours (3 separate tour groups—choose one!), departing from the Ag Quad

Greenhouses – Controlled Environment AgricultureHydroponic and aquaponic systems

Cornell University Insect CollectionEdible insects focus

Dilmun Hill Student Farm (associated with Anabel’s Grocery): Student-run organic vegetable farm

3:00PM “Storytelling Your Research” – Mini-course with IAAS-Cornell President Grace Campidilli, Mann B30A Computer Lab and Mann Library Stone Classroom (each student will have access to a desktop computer for this activity)

3:50PM Return to B25 Warren Hall Auditorium

4:00PM CALS Admissions and Cornell Student Clubs Panel Discussion, B25 Warren Hall Auditorium

4:30PM Closing Ceremony, B25 Warren Hall Auditorium (Simple refreshments provided)


5:00PM End Day 

Each student should be prepared to provide a brief presentation on their Global Challenge research paper during a portion of the day called Student Roundtables.

In small groups during the event, each student will provide a brief presentation (approximately 3 minutes; no presentation slides) to expert panelists on their Global Challenge research paper. Following each presentation, there will be a few minutes for discussion with the panelists. For student talks, expert panelists will be listening for the following:

  • Summary of the topic/problem you selected in the context of your chosen country
  • Description of a typical family or community in your chosen country
  • Analysis of the topic and your proposed solutions/recommendations
  • Description of a feasible plan to implement your proposed solution(s)
  • Your passion for the topic and articulation/delivery of your speech 

Our NYYI team is happy to provide support as you prepare for the NYYI event. To help you prepare your talk, we will be holding a student support Zoom calls. Our NYYI team will also provide you options to practice your presentations with them on one-on-one calls. Connection information forthcoming.

For those of you seeking Ithaca lodging to attend NYYI, we recommend securing your accommodations soon. There are several lodging options in the Ithaca area; however, you may find that the hotels right near Cornell campus are already fairly booked due to another Cornell event on the same day.


In the meantime, review the lodging options that were offered in 2022: 


Super 8 by Wyndham

400 S. Meadow Street, Ithaca NY 14850

Phone: (607) 273-8088


Date of arrival: Thursday, March 24, 2022                           

Date of departure: Friday, March 25, 2022


Room rate per night: $99.00 per room (Plus Tax). All rooms are non-smoking.


Room types available in reserved NYYI block:

16 Rooms - Two Double Beds                                                    

5 Rooms - One Queen Bed


Please book under the group block reservation name: NY Youth Institute 2022

  • To book by phone, call: (607) 273-8088
  • To book via email: Fill out the CC authorization form and email the completed form with your specific room request to general manager Sarah Shutt at gmithacasuper8 [at] You will receive an email confirmation and be provided your final bill at check out.

Check-in time is 3PM on the date of arrival and check-out time is 11AM on the date of departure. All rooms and facilities have been recently renovated. The Super 8 offers a complimentary hot breakfast and high-speed wireless access for all of their guests.

 The Super 8 by Wyndham is located in downtown Ithaca, a short drive from Cornell’s campus. Though the Super 8 does not provide shuttle service to Cornell’s campus, the NYYI team is able to provide you complimentary parking passes for the March 25th NYYI event day for vehicles of all sizes – cars, vans, buses. Please let Polly Endreny Holmberg know your Cornell campus parking needs and we will purchase your parking passes.

How to participate in the 2023 New York Youth Institute

Identify a mentor locally that really believes in you. This could be a teacher at your school, a 4-H club leader, a coach, FFA advisor, or even a parent. They will help keep you on track and motivated to complete the paper.

Find instructions and resources for writing your paper on the World Food Prize website.

You and your teacher/mentor must register and submit your paper online by February 20, 2023.

Got questions? Contact Polly Endreny Holmberg!

  • Email: peh58 [at]
  • Phone: 607-319-6293

On March 17, 2023, be part of an amazing experience at Cornell University and become a Borlaug Scholar.

Solve grand challenges

Work directly with leading experts on topics like:

  • Zero Hunger
  • Social Inequality
  • Climate Action
Students take part in a lab activity with soil

Become a Borlaug Scholar

Students who participate in the New York Youth Institute earn recognition as a Borlaug Scholar and qualify for internships and further opportunities. 

A life-changing opportunity for New York high school students

Gain Ivy League experience

Take part in a student-experience at Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), consistently ranked as one of the top in the world. The NYYI is part of CALS' Department of Global Development, which unites critical scholarship and practice at the intersections of agricultural, environmental, life, and social sciences to advance a more equitable, sustainable, and food-secure world for all.

Take part in a global event

The World Food Prize recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Select NYYI delegates are invited to take part in the World Food Prize held each year in Des Moines, Iowa.

Be a hunger fighter

Norman Borlaug, the founder of the World Food Prize, was an American scientist whose achievements breeding new wheat varieties helped feed a hungry world. His work spurred the Green Revolution, and in 1970 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his efforts to rid the world of hunger. 

Cluster of ornate stone buildings in autumn, with Cayuga Lake in the background.
World Food Prize Foundation
Norman Borlaug crouches in a wheat field as he examines a plant

Discover More

Learn more about the NYYI and opportunities to join by contacting Polly Endreny Holmberg

Polly Endreny Holmberg
Polly Endreny Holmberg

Associate Director, Humphrey Fellowship Program; Training Program Coordinator

Department of Global Development

Polly Endreny Holmberg
  • peh58 [at]
Professional development & training
Environmental sustainability
Community empowerment

Further opportunities for participants

The top students from each youth institute will be competitively selected as delegates to the Global Youth Institute, held every October in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Global Youth Institute is an exciting three-day program where young leaders interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and the more than 1,000 global leaders from 65 countries attending the World Food Prize's annual international symposium.

Global Youth Institute delegates will be eligible to apply for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship.

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.

Students selected as delegates for the Global Youth Institute are eligible to apply for the Borlaug Ruan International Internship.

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.

All Borlaug Scholars are eligible to apply for a USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship.

Program highlights

Student hosts workshop in computer lab

Field Note

Visualizing data for food security at the New York Youth Institute
Each year, high school students from around New York State gather at Cornell University to explore ways they can help develop real-world solutions to the greatest challenges in agriculture and food systems. At the 2022 New York Youth Institute...
  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Global Development
A young students looks at a petri dish in a lab


Combining the strengths of Cornell University and the World Food Prize, the New York Youth Institute prepares next-generation leaders in global development, agriculture, nutrition and technology. The program empowers students to research issues...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
A young students looks at a petri dish in a lab


Cornell's New York Youth Institute (NYYI) announced the selection of 20 outstanding high school students who will represent New York State as delegates to the 2021 World Food Prize Global Youth Institute.
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Researcher points at plant samples while talking to high school students


New York state high school students came to campus June 29 for the New York Youth Institute, an ambitious program that aims to build a core of young leaders to battle hunger around the world.


Student delegates from the New York Youth Institute traveled to the World Food Prize to meet with WFP laureates, former presidents, world leaders and students from across the U.S.