Horizons of Hope — Amanda Gormanby Mason Rowan Amanda Gorman is a new Shero in our world. She is an American poet and activist whose work focuses primarily on oppression, race, feminism, and marginalization. This incredible woman is far beyond talented, and everyone deserves to hear her impactful story. Amanda was born, with her twin Gabrielle, on March 7, 1998 to Joan Wicks, in Los Angeles, CA. Amanda was very much inspired by her mother who raised the twins on her own. She says her mom gave her the shining confidence that she shows to us all. “My mother told me to let my light shine, and if people don’t agree with that, then shame on them for staying in that darkness,” she told Glamour magazine. During childhood Amanda had a speech impediment. She went to speech therapy and soon learned ways to cope with it. Elida Kocharian of The Harvard Crimson noted, “Gorman doesn’t view her speech impediment as a crutch — rather, she sees it as a gift and a strength.” This shows me that Amanda is strong, wise, and powerful. She doesn’t let her impediment get in the way, and that’s truly something. She also has an auditory processing disorder that causes At the Biden -Harris inauguration. her to be sensitive to sound. She faces many challenges, and encourages all of us to use our stamina when we have challenges. Starting at a young age, Amanda loved speaking and poems. She published her first poetry book, “The One for Whom Food is not Enough,” when she was 15. People in her life have talked about how they could sense her future career at an early age. Amanda’s words are not just words, but a powerful force that is irresistibly admirable. In 2017, she became the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States and in 2020 she graduated from Harvard. In 2021, Amanda was asked to read her moving, inspiring, and beautiful poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration ceremony. As she shared her poem, many across the nation felt empowered and joyful. She gave us hope, light, and happiness. Ever since she read her poem at Biden’s inauguration, many girls have become especially inspired by her wonderful words, and want to continue her work for generations to come. She uses her words to fight negativity and injustice.Two Poet Laureates: Amanda and Rita Dove When she starts talking, the world is inspired to change in a snap. One line from“The Hill we Climb” especially inspired me. “When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?” In a dark time of racism, hatred, and injustice, we need these words. Amanda’s future is set for success, and many experiences await her. She has a book deal with Viking Children’s Books to create two picture books. She’s been approached with many potential sponsorships and projects, and is considering them carefully. As she told Vogue, “I have to be conscious of taking commissions that speak to me.” “When I’m part of a campaign, the entity isn’t my body. It’s my voice,” she explained.Amanda teaches us that hope is on the horizon and dreams are real! Select Awards 2017- first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate 2017 -Ozy Genius 2019-The Root’s Young Futurists List 2021-Time magazine’s “100 Next List” L-R Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, former US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and Amanda, 2017. Mason, 13, OR, loves baking, reading, writing, art, and traveling with her family. During the last year, outdoor walks, family dance parties, and playing with her neighbor’s bulldog puppies have become very important.