If you tuned in on January 20 to witness our nation’s peaceful transfer of power, chances are you were moved in awe of Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in our nation’s history. The poet’s “The Hill We Climb” has since gone viral. Gorman has since followed with an appearance at the 2021 Superbowl, where she read “Chorus of the Captains,” a poem honoring pandemic community leaders. A Los Angeles native, Gorman was a participant in a longtime Community Partners project, WriteGirl.
WriteGirl Founder and Executive Director Keren Taylor first met Gorman as a fourteen-year-old teen when she enrolled in the WriteGirl program that pairs teen girls with professional women writers to participate in mentorship and monthly writing workshops. Taylor and the WriteGirl team hosted an Inauguration watch party on Zoom with WriteGirl alumni where all were moved to tears. Taylor told KTLA 5 that during her time with WriteGirl, Gorman was positive, ambitious and “wanted to be heard.” She noted that Gorman read her poem with the whole body, because as she learned in WriteGirl, “people won’t always remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel.”
Gorman gushed about her experience and expressed so much gratitude for her experience with WriteGirl in a post-inauguration interview with Anderson Cooper. Gorman’s utilization of the nonprofit and community resources available to her is a true testament to how vital youth voices are and how deserving they are to be heard.
WriteGirl is a Los Angeles-based creative writing and mentoring organization that spotlights the power of a girl and her pen. WriteGirl matches girls with women writers who mentor them in creative writing. Since 2001, 100% of their graduating seniors have entered college, many on full or partial scholarships. Learn more about the program’s virtual offerings.