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Hear from the organization where inauguration poet Amanda Gorman got her start

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Posted at 1:30 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 16:42:01-05

Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem is already one for the history books. Now, the 22-year-old's back story is giving many other young people hope about their own futures.

Gorman is a Harvard scholarship graduate, but she was just 14 when she joined the Los Angeles nonprofit WriteGirl.

“I think the positivity that she exemplified is a real hallmark of WriteGirl, that that is something we really try to imbue in our young people is, you know, take a positive approach in your writing, in your perspective, in your views of the world and your future,” said Keren Taylor, Executive Director at WriteGirl.

Taylor explained the program is about more than just writing workshops. It offers one-on-one mentorships and community-based support for teen girls to help them graduate high school, get into college and succeed in careers and lives.

Taylor says Gorman’s inauguration speech has led to an increase in donations, interest in partnerships, volunteers and expansion beyond L.A.

It's overwhelming at the moment, but Taylor says it was Gorman’s speech that reminded her the most of what's possible.

“You know, we've had a little bit of a belief limiting feeling like, well, maybe that's just too big. Maybe that's not possible, and her remarks, her calm, her presence and all the flurry of attention and support has reminded me that maybe we just need to be OK about dreaming a little bigger and setting ourselves on a path for it,” said Taylor.

While the pandemic has presented in-person challenges, it’s also allowed WriteGirl to accept volunteers and teens from outside the L.A. area.

They're also accepting monetary donations and are willing to talk to those wanting to start similar programs in their communities. You can get in touch with them here.