In March, talented local writers — ages 13 to 18 — applied to become the next Santa Clara County youth poet laureate. In early April, judges announced seven finalists that would be considered for the honorary post of Santa Clara Youth Poet Laureate. The seven finalists chosen were: Samantha Hsiung, Minerva S.M. Kamra, Sarah Fathima Mohammed, Jacqueline Pham, Myesha Phukan, Michelle Qiao and Anna Yang '23.
A panel of five judges collaborated to select the seven finalists who represent the program’s values. They assessed applicants based on a variety of metrics ranging from leadership skills to their ability to their ability to dig deep for their personal truths.
At a commencement ceremony on April 30, following a poetry showcase, Notre Dame junior Anna Yang was chosen as the next Santa Clara County youth poet laureate. The position includes an education scholarship.
"As Youth Poet Laureate, my purpose is to represent and uplift youth voices through poetry and civic engagement, serving as a poetry ambassador for youth, shared Anna. I will create a year-long poetry project to promote poetry in the community, making it a more accessible medium for self-expression and social justice advocacy."
"Writing poetry has always been super meaningful to me, so I’m excited to have the platform to share it with other youth in the community. I found the Youth Poet Laureate program in my sophomore year, and my interpretation of poetry has completely shifted since — from impulsive poetry in a private notebook to the communal art of sharing my passion for poetry onstage. This program has done so much for me, helping me grow into the confident writer that I am. As the next Youth Poet Laureate, I hope to provide this same opportunity for other youth who have a story to share with the world, but don’t yet have the community to lift them into these supportive spaces."
We are very proud of Anna's success and look forward to sharing more of her story.