The Hill We Climb. Amanda Gorman Inspires The Youth Of Today To Become Leaders Of Tomorrow.


You are never too young to lead and you should never doubt your capacity to triumph where others have not” – Kofi Annan. We, the youths of today, have so much potential which we can use to lead as the leaders of tomorrow. A great leader who exhibits this is Amanda Gorman.

Amanda Gorman is a 23-year-old American poet and activist known for her powerful poems about oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization. Gorman is an inspiration as she overcame speech and auditory processing challenges to end up performing one of her poems at the U.S presidential ceremony of President Biden early this year, 2021. Gorman courageously delivered her ‘The Hill We Climb’ poem that messages about hope, unity, healing, and resilience for America. She made a positive change that encouraged others to grasp opportunities and pursue their dreams despite the challenges faced. This positive change benefits aspiring poets, disabled people, people of color, and young women, including us, youths, to make our dreams a reality.

Born and raised by a single mother in Los Angeles along with a brother and her twin, Amanda Gorman developed a great love for poetry in third grade. Gorman developed an auditory processing disorder that caused a speech impediment after experiencing chronic ear infections when she was a baby. Despite being unable to pronounce certain consonants and sounds clearly, Gorman was determined to succeed no matter what. At the age of 16, Amanda Gorman became the Los Angeles youth poet laureate in 2014. A year later, she published her first poetry book, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough. In 2017, she became the first young poet to open the Library of Congress’s literary season. In the same year, whilst studying sociology at Harvard College, where she graduated from in 2020, Gorman was selected as the first National Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S at the age of 19. She later rose to fame in 2021 after reading her ‘The Hill We Climb’ poem at Biden’s inauguration ceremony and is currently focusing on her career.

In 2016, Amanda Gorman founded her own non-profit organization called One Pen One Page that promotes youth literacy and leadership. Gorman believes that one kid, one pen and one page can change the world. With over 122 million illiterate youths in the world, according to the UN, One Pen One Page will prevent them from dropping out of school. Gorman aims to empower youths, like us, to use our voice and help eliminate inequality. She reminds us that voices are not meant to remain silent but to be heard. She, as a woman, a youth, a poet, and an activist, echoed the voices of youths around the globe. As the first youngest inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman, amongst many others, proved that age, flaws, color, or gender is irrelevant when change is needed.

In conclusion, Amanda Gorman has empowered, inspired and encouraged us youths to use our potential to shape the future generation. Her disability became her motivation. Her love for poetry became her passion. Her dream became a reality. We, the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.

Advocating for Mental Health by Soana Kaitapu


As students, I assume all of you have had days at school where you would rather be at home, am I right? When I tell you the number of times I had to hold in tears during class and spend recess and lunch in the bathroom doing breathing exercises to calm myself down, it excels more than it should. Mental health is a big part of one’s self, and if unstable, will drag down your potential. Without the right help and care this will lead to bigger problems in the future.

Hailey Hardcastle is a female advocate for mental health. She and her team have established a law in Oregon for students to be able to take “mental days off” simply meaning a day a student can take off to heal their mental health and get back on track, the same way one would for a physical illness. Her inspiration includes a National youth-led movement about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.” We were inspired by Parkland in the sense that it showed us that young people can totally change the political conversation”.

She participated in OACS (Oregon Association of Student Councils), a summer camp with workshops concerning student life and mental health. From that summer camp she developed the idea of having mental health days with the support of her partnering student council leaders. This was a topic worth mentioning since Oregon had one of the worst absenteeism rates in America along with a suicide rate 33% higher than the national average. Her team worked together with two professionals to draft a mental health days bill. Prior to the bill, students had the option of five excused absences within a three-month period inclusive of everything except mental health care. Hailey saw this as a reason for their mental health day bill to pass because students were using these absences for mental health care disguised as a chronic illness. With the validation of having mental health as a reason to stay home from school, executives can organize students who are struggling with mental illness and better understand how it is affecting their learning experience.

The mental health day bill beneficially opened the discussion of “how more can we help students?” and has benefitted the state of Oregon. Hailey brings awareness to the stigma surrounding mental illness and advocates the importance of mental wellbeing with her saying “I think a lot of people believe in the stigma that mental health is not real, and our main goal is that people know it is real and is just as important as physical health. Mental health is easier to ignore, so its easy for people to doubt its existence, but it can be deadly. We’re just trying to bring more conversation to the topic”.

To conclude, the significance of mental wellbeing in students is necessary especially during a time of self-discovery and growth into teenage life and adult hood. Hailey is one of millions demonstrating how today’s generation are preparing for the future and fixing mistakes of past generations. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and the youth are us. We are all leaders of tomorrow, but we will each lead a different story with a different purpose within a different society, but the interesting part of it all is what we leave behind for future generations. What are you going to leave behind?