Upper Arlington High School senior Alex Hoey will be working in Malaysia this summer at the World Fish Center. The center’s mission is to reduce poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture. Research programs are located in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, in regions where there are high levels of poverty and food and nutrition insecurity and where fisheries and aquaculture provide protein and livelihoods. Aquaculture is a way to meet the world’s increasing demand for protein. The use of soy-based food rather than food made from fish meal provides sustainability.

Alex’s path to Malaysia began two years ago, with an assignment in her biology class: write about an agricultural issue in a foreign county. She learned about pest infestation in Kenya. “While writing the paper I became very passionate about the issue—it just clicked!” she said. A school trip to Andros Island in the Bahamas introduced her to the ocean ecosystem. Hey noted, “Aquaculture is a great combination of the two topics.”

She was selected to participate in the Ohio Youth Institute, then the Global Youth Institute. Students present their ideas; participate in interactive activities in labs and classrooms; and hear from high-level speakers. Top students are then selected to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in Iowa. Student delegates present and discuss their findings with international experts and their peers, connect with other students from around the world, tour cutting-edge industrial and research facilities, and take part in symposium discussions with global leaders in science, industry and policy. Hoey was one of twenty-three participants chosen for an international internship, giving her a firsthand view of pressing food security and nutritional problems in poverty-stricken areas and allowing her to take part in ground-breaking research.

Hoey said, “I look forward to immersing myself in another culture. I feel that after this experience, I’ll be prepared to take on anything that comes my way!”

Learn more about aquaculture through this video and e-learning course on our website, materials created through our partnership with the Columbus Council on World Affairs.

Alex will be providing videos and blog posts about her trip that you can share with your students. Get a first-person account of this exciting experience!