Eastside students offer hunger solutions at national conference

Eastside High School juniors Amaleah Mirti, left, and Abigail Eisenhardt pose for a photograph provided by Alachua County Public Schools.

Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.

Two Eastside High School students recently got to share their thoughts on world hunger issues with scientists, politicians and CEOs from around the world.

Juniors Abigail Eisenstadt and Amaleah Mirti traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, in October to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute after receiving invitations based on papers they wrote on the topic of "Cultivating Innovations to Feed the World."

The two were among 150 students from across the country to participate in the institute, which drew experts from 65 countries.

Mirti said she appreciated the opportunity to rub elbows with world experts on hunger and share her ideas with them, in addition to similarly minded students.

"I was very impressed with the caliber of students that were there," she said.

In her paper, Mirti examined water issues in Ethiopia. She explored the paradox of massive hunger existing in a place that is considered to be the cradle of life, suggesting that innovative community irrigation systems may allay some of the problem.

Eisenstadt wrote her paper on the distribution of food in Russia, a topic she said she chose because it shows how hunger is not a problem exclusive to Third World countries.

"They do have abundance of food," she said. "They just don't know how to distribute it to everyone."

She offered solutions such as removing infrastructure barriers and building a new Trans-Siberian Railway.

The pair presented their papers to a panel of experts, engaged in a roundtable discussion with the experts and helped with a service project packaging meals for Outreach International, an international nongovernmental organization.

Jeff Charbonnet, principal at Eastside, said he was proud about how the students represented the school, adding that he wasn't surprised they could effectively communicate their passions on such a large stage.

"They're smart, they're articulate and they're passionate about what they do," he said.

Contact Joey Flechas at 338-3166 or joey.flechas@gvillesun.com.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top