Congratulations to Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate, for her historic reading of her poem "The Hill We Climb" at the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021.
Along with being the youngest inaugural poet in US history, the 22-year-old Los Angeles native was a 2016 Milken Scholar and recent Harvard graduate. She joins a select group of poets—including Maya Angelou and Robert Frost—who have read at a presidential inauguration.
Since publishing her first poetry collection at age 16, Gorman has read for the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Gore, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and Malala Yousafzai.
Partly written after rioters stormed into the Capitol on January 6, "The Hill We Climb" addressed the loss and division of the past year and the need for the country to unite.
It also dealt with her own history, an enduring theme she discussed in an interview with the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream last year:
Watch Amanda Gorman Recite 'The Hill We Climb' at President Biden's Inauguration
Gorman attended New Roads School in Santa Monica. She was named a Milken Scholar in 2016. The Milken Scholars, a joint initiative of the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation, selects exceptional Los Angeles-area high school seniors based on academic performance, community service, leadership, and their ability to persevere in the face of challenges.