News Post

Junior Awarded Scholarship for GIS Project

St. Joseph’s Academy junior Katherine Winchester is one of four recipients of a $1,000 scholarship funded by National 4-H Council and the National 4-H Geospatial Leadership Team. Winchester, a member of the LA 4-H Tech Club and National 4-H Geospatial Leadership Team, was honored for her leadership in the Where’s the Food? Initiative.

The Where’s the Food? Initiative features maps that visualize community problems and solutions to improve health, nutrition and safety. It envisions solutions to local food-access problems facing students, families, communities, producers, processors, distributors and consumers. 

The Where’s the Food? Initiative Scholarship Program recognizes youth making a difference in their communities by addressing food insecurity. Youth teams in Louisiana, California, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee rallied to take action and help people find healthy food in their communities. 

Winchester start learning geographic information system (GIS) in middle school and has competed, placed in and won the Esri ArcGIS Online School Competition. 

“I’ve always hated the idea that in 21st-century America, there are still people who can’t afford to eat, but after working with GIS technology since middle school, it was easy to see that location was a major player in this inequity,” Winchester said. “From that point, I knew that my team and I were well suited to take on a project like this.”

The Where’s the Food? Initiative enables team members to communicate complex data to enhance the understanding of options for improving access to healthy food. The project melds technology, GIS and 4-H’s traditional youth governance and healthy nutrition programs. 

Winchester said her current focus is onboarding new students and preparing them to continue the project. She plans to stay with the team through college.

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director

Photo by Jennifer M. Fontaine