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Giving Back for the World Food Prize

Young Professionals Connection World Food Prize Volunte

October 22, 2012

For the second year, YPC members had the unique opportunity to volunteer at the World Food Prize laureate ceremony. The World Food Prize, started by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, is an annual award whose winner has made a significant improvement to the quality, quantity, or availability of food. This year’s winner was Daniel Hillel who began the development of micro irrigation systems in Israel. The technology has allowed for sustainable agriculture in areas where there is very little water availability.

YPC Volunteers at the World Food Prize

On the day of the event, YPC volunteers had the enviable task of driving vehicles from BMW, Mercedes, and Cadillac to chauffeur the U.N. Secretary-General’s entourage, many heads of state, and CEOs of Fortune 100 companies. The remaining volunteers assisted during the ceremony by showing attendees through the rain into the capitol, ushering them to their seats for the ceremony, and afterwards seating them for dinner. While many of the tasks were simple, the impact was not. All volunteers were gracious and welcoming, further proving to the world that Iowa Nice isn’t just a funny video. 

This was my second year volunteering for the World Food Prize, and I now have a better appreciation for the importance of YPC’s involvement with the event. To the benefit of the World Food Prize staff, the YPC volunteers brought professionalism and courtesy far beyond what I have ever seen with a group of 60 volunteers. To the benefit of the volunteers, we had the chance to attend a world-class event right in our backyard. We live in the #1 ranked city for young professionals, and the fact that we were chosen to be the hosts at the World Food Prize laureate ceremony is just one of the ways that we are benefitting daily from living in a city that understands the importance of young professionals in its community.

For many YPC members, this was their first event volunteering with YPC, and hopefully it will be the beginning of a more active involvement with the organization. Connections were made as volunteers met other YPC members that they may not have known. Captains had the chance to refine their leadership skills, and at the end of the day everyone received a free meal as a little thank you for all of their hard work. Hopefully YPC is invited back to volunteer next year to the World Food Prize laureate ceremony, so we can continue to reap the benefits of being involved in this internationally known event.

Gina Francis
YPC member and ambassador