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.

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] cornell.edu
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

A young students looks at a petri dish in a lab

News

New York Youth Institute announces student delegates to global youth event
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.
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
Researcher points at plant samples while talking to high school students

News

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.

News

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.

Students sieve soil in the Cornell Soil Health Lab

News

More than 50 high school students from across the state visited Cornell March 31-April 1 for the New York Youth Institute, the state-level World Food Prize youth program engaging students with issues related to agriculture and food security.