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Amanda Gorman, 20

Called "the next great figure of poetry in the U.S.," Amanda Gorman is a poet, community leader, and commissioned speaker from Los Angeles, California. Gorman attributes her passion for literacy and education to being the daughter of an English teacher, but notes that she has always recognized the power in the ability to read and write. She believes that literacy, including that of storytelling, is a major tool, and may be a key for young people to change the world. In April of 2017, she made history by being named the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America. In this ambassador role Gorman has spoken at the Library of Congress, the United Nations x Mashable Social Good Summit, WE Day, and venues across the U.S. from Hawaii to New York. Prior to her national position she served as the first ever Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and later the West Coast.

In these capacities Gorman has met Michelle Obama at the White House, worked with the Los Angeles Commission on Human Relations, conducted a library tour, and published a poetry collection, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough, with Penmanship Books. She is founder and Executive Director of the HERLead project One Pen One Page, which promotes literacy among youth through free creative writing programming for under-served youth. Gorman has been a HERlead Fellow in Washington, D.C, a HERlead Global Delegate in London, and a HERlead Ambassador.

An advocate for girls education, Gorman has served as a United Nations Youth Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women in New York City, a speaker for the Glamour Girls Rally, and a recurring speaker at the UN Foundation Girl Up conference. She’s graced the stages of the Kennedy Center, Gracie Mansion, Lincoln Center, and co-introduced Secretary Hillary Clinton at the 2017 Global Leadership Awards in DC. She's been featured in The New York Times, The Today Show, MTV, Teen Vogue, Seventeen Magazine, TIDAL, Essence's Woke 100 list, the Google Assistant, and more, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Glamour Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, Elle.com, and award-winning anthologies.

Gorman is currently a junior at Harvard, studying Sociology and Spanish. In 2017, she received the OZY Genius Grant and her literary awards include national recognition from Scholastic Inc and YoungArts.