From graduation to Costa Rica for OHS senior

By Laurie Hamame -



Eli Arbogast doesn’t plan to stop learning this summer after he graduates.

Instead of relaxing before heading to college, the Oberlin High School senior will fly to Earth University in the heart of the Costa Rican rainforest.

While abroad, he will improve his Spanish-speaking skills while also learning how to advance world sustainability and propel social change through hands-on instruction.

Upon his arrival, Arbogast will be given a research topic, which he hopes will be on organic farming. The program explores eco-friendly crop production and sustainable agriculture in humid tropics.

Arbogast was raised on an organic farm in Guyana, South America, where he lived for two years. During his sophomore year, he wrote an essay about fixing water infrastructure in his home country.

He presented his research the Ohio Youth Institute at Ohio State University, where he earned recognition as a Borlaug Scholar and had the opportunity to apply for the research internship.

Arbogast was also selected to join 200 high school students from across the world to participate in a three-day World Food Prize conference. The foundation recognizes achievements of people who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.

At the end of his internship, Arbogast will write a 15-page paper and present his findings at the conference in Iowa.

Recently, he was selected as a top 10 finalist for the Values-In-Action Foundation’s teen leaders program.

He was selected from a pool of 90 nominations for his outstanding acts of leadership and kindness and is in the running for a $1,000 award.

In August, he will attend Carlton College in Minnesota and study biology or chemistry.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.


By Laurie Hamame