I would like to propose that Greenburgh and Westchester County follow the example of NYC and create a Youth Poet Laureate position. On January 1st, Youth Poet Laureate Ramya Ramana read a winning poem at the inauguration of NYC’s 109th Mayor, Bill de Blasio. Ramya read her poem “It’s Not Your Problem”, a poem she composed for the voting themed spoken word competition hosted by Urban World NYC and held at Lincoln Center in October. Ramana is a student at St. John’s University.
The New York City Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) program is a voting-themed teen competition designed to energize youth voters through spoken word poetry. The program is open to students, ages 16-19. As part of the responsibilities of a Youth Poet Laureate, the winner travels the five boroughts and speaks to their peers about voting and civic engagement. The Poet Laureate also tours High Schools. And receives a book deal of their poetry. The NYC program started in 2010.
Communities should encourage young people to engage in civic life. We should encourage outstanding students to pursue their dreams and to appreciate the arts and poetry. And, we should recognize the best and brightest young people by highlighting their talents. A Youth Poet Laureate would be a great program for Greenburgh and Westchester to have.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor