By Carol Ciepluch
Veronica Sondervan of Sandy Springs, a dual science and visual arts magnet
student at North Springs Charter High School, is one of more than 100
outstanding high school students from around the world, and the only Georgia
student, selected to attend the three day Global Youth Institute (GYI) hosted
by the World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moines, Iowa, October 17-19.
Sondervan qualified for the prestigious event, as did the other student delegates, by researching and writing a five-page paper on this year’s topic - Ending Hunger in Our Lifetime: A Call to Action. Sondervan chose to write about ways to help Indonesians have more and better access to food and will be attending the three day international event with her Advanced Placement Environmental Science teacher, and Science Bowl and Science Olympiad team sponsor, Patti Lawrimore.
“I am so proud of her,” said Lawrimore. “She will be presenting her paper to a team of global leaders and researchers, while interacting with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and participating in other planned events associated with the Prize. This is a fully paid experience (except for travel) for both of us. It’s a real honor.”
Sondervan, a junior, found the website for the World Food Prize on the internet this summer. “I’m interested in food and the agriculture industry and when I saw the information about the World Food Prize I decided to apply. I chose Indonesia because my dad is originally from the Netherlands and Indonesia was a Dutch colony. I thought it would be interesting to research food challenges there,” she explained.
She used at least 30 sources and learned a lot in the process, but admitted “it was hard to find information and sources all in one place.”
In addition to presenting her paper, she and her peers from around the world will tour cutting-edge industrial and research facilities, take part in symposium discussions with global leaders in science, industry and policy and attend the Laureate awards ceremony in the state’s historic capitol.
As a delegate to the Global Youth Institute, Sondervan will be eligible to apply for an all-expenses-paid, eight-week hands-on international internship working with food experts next summer. She intends to apply.