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Century sophomore selected as Maryland delegate to 2020 World Food Prize Global Youth Institute

Century High School agriculture teacher Kim Moyer called Uchechi Mba an impressive student with a passion for government solutions and research.

Mba, a sophomore at Century when the new school year begins today, was recently selected as a Maryland delegate to the 2020 World Food Prize Global Youth Institute for her research paper and video presentation on “The Fallout of Political Instability in South Sudan,” according to a Carroll County Public Schools news release.

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Uchechi Mba, a 10th grade student at Century High School, has been selected as a Maryland delegate to the 2020 World Food Prize Global Youth Institute for her exceptional research paper and video presentation on “The Fallout of Political Instability in South Sudan.”
Uchechi Mba, a 10th grade student at Century High School, has been selected as a Maryland delegate to the 2020 World Food Prize Global Youth Institute for her exceptional research paper and video presentation on “The Fallout of Political Instability in South Sudan.”

The Global Youth Institute, hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation, brings together 200 outstanding high school youth from around the world to interact with international leaders and experts dealing with food security and agricultural science and policy, according to the release.

“I researched South Sudan and they have civil war and other struggles in the country,” Mba said. “I mostly got my research from websites like CIA.gov, other government files, and other news reports on South Sudan.”

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Selected student delegates and their teachers/mentors attend a three-day event in Des Moines, Iowa, where they are able to interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and discuss pressing food security and agricultural issues with international experts.

This year’s event will be completed virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Moyer has promoted student participation in the World Food Prize program for about four years.

Erica Crosby, Mba’s advisor, approached Moyer about Mba’s interest in writing a research paper and the three of them met virtually several times during the school’s closure last spring.

Crosby and Moyer joined Mba at the Maryland Youth Institute’s virtual program — hosted by the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore — where Mba discussed her paper and research efforts with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges.

“I can’t tell you how impressive this kid is,” Moyer said. “She did it largely on her own, I think between me and Erica kind of prodding her to do it. She’s more interested in the government solutions that can happen and the processes which is kind of different from the students that are usually involved in agriculture and natural resources.

“That’s where I helped her more, but for the most part, we were meeting with her virtually because she was just getting started with things when we shut down.”

Mba’s research took about a month to complete as well as time and careful consideration for her to bring that research together and write a thorough essay.

“We just made suggestions on things that she might want to consider and look at and she was on autopilot,” Moyer said. “She really did a fantastic job.”

Mba submitted her paper at the end of April and the virtual presentation took place at the end of May. She was notified of her Maryland delegate status last month.

Mba, 15, enters her second year at Century already a veteran of extracurricular activities. She serves as fundraising chair of the Black Student Union, she is on the executive board member for the Century High School Class of 2023, and is a parliamentarian in the Carroll County Student Government Association.

“I just feel like this is who I am,” Mba said. “I just love being busy, doing different things and branching out into different places. It’s really fun for me to experience new things.”

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