National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman (right) has a conversation with actress and singer-songwriter Cynthia Erivo during the Social Good Summit on Sept. 17, 2017, in New York City. (Stuart Ramson/AP Images for UN Foundation)

In April, 19-year-old Amanda Gorman was named America’s first national youth poet laureate. The Los Angeles native is a sophomore at Harvard University studying sociology.

According to the New York Times, Gorman’s work is “a cleareyed mix of autobiography, social issues like Islamophobia, and historical motifs picked up from her college’s library.”

In addition to her studies and the obligations of her new role, Gorman runs One Pen One Page, an organization she founded in 2016 that provides platforms “for student storytellers to change the world.”


She is also putting the final touches on She the People, a virtual reality project that seeks to empower teenager girls.

When she was named to the prestigious position, Gorman says, she “did a lot of sitting back and thinking about what I wanted for myself and what I wanted for my country: more unity, more support for the arts and more opportunities for young writers from marginalized groups,” she said.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Deputy Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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