January 28, 2021
Amanda Gorman, 23, read a poem at incoming US President Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony. The poem entitled "The Hill We Climb" had no obvious Santa Monica connection, but Gorman is a 2016 New Roads high school graduate.
Jill Biden invited Gorman to speak at the inauguration after seeing her read her poem "In This Place: An American Lyric," at the Library of Congress in 2017, NPR reports.
Gorman joined WriteGirl 9 years ago. It is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that engages teen girls in creative writing.
Gorman attended WriteGirl's monthly creative writing workshops while at New Roads, where she was matched with writing mentors.
"WriteGirl has been pivotal in my life," she said. "It's been thanks to their support that I've been able to chase my dreams as a writer."
WriteGirl Executive Director Keren Taylor said she had "no doubt Amanda's messages of hope, unity and justice will help us all heal and move forward."