Taking on world hunger

Abby Snyder is bound for Nepal while Adam Willman will pack for Turkey this summer.

Both Marshalltown High School seniors have been selected to help learn how to fight global hunger by being interns in the World Food Prize program.

The prestigious honor has been bestowed on three other MHS students in the past, but the school has never had two in the same year. Only 23 interns have been selected this year in the entire nation.

“It is really a huge honor,” said MHS teacher Susan Fritzell. “When they come back they are guaranteed future internships with the USDA. This opens up so many opportunities for their future.”

The 8-week long, all-expenses-paid internships will begin in June.

Snyder will head to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu, Nepal. In Nepal, she will research food security and plans to find out more details about her duties prior to leaving.

“It’s quite the honor,” Snyder said. “I’ve been looking forward to it for the past four years and finally getting to be able to do it is really exciting.”

Snyder said she is looking forward to seeing all the scenery in Nepal and learning about how they live.

“It’s important to be aware of the struggles of others,” she said.

After the summer, Snyder plans to enroll at Colby College in Maine and study anthropology and environmental science.

Willman will do both field and lab work on wheat at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Ankara, Turkey.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Willman said. “It’s a real honor.”

Willman plans to study agronomy and global resource systems at Iowa State University this fall, so this work will be right up his alley.

“Feeding the world is one of the most difficult challenges we face,” Willman said. “To be part of that solution is exciting.”

Willman said having two interns from MHS says something about the school.

“I think it’s a real testament to the type of students we have here,” Willman said. “It’s certainly a testament to the work of Mrs. Fritzell.”

Both were selected for the high honor through a rigorous selection process that includes presenting a paper, taking part in a youth institute and completing a successful interview.

Past MHS World Food Prize interns were James Lindgren (2011, Bangladesh), Claire Runquist (2010, India) and Stephen Frese (2006, China).