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?

Malala Speaks For Us All by Sandra Ieremiah

There is a problem in our society to which I feel must be addressed. There is a great gap in the way women are seen by the general public and that is prominently seen in the amount of gender-based violence that there is in the world; the difference in human rights and lack of political stance when put in perspective of women holding a position of high political stature – we have not had a female president: that is a fact. If we are undereducated, the generation to come will be in a much worse state when we die. Malala Yousafzai a young Pakistani girl saw a need for change and to such she stood by it with great conviction.

In Afghanistan women and girls are not given the right to be educated the country is held in the iron grip of the Taliban, a terrorist group who are set on a society where men are in power, and women are mindless slaves kept alive only to obey the mans command. Malala wanted an education – defied the rule of her country and wished to be an independent member of society. The terrorists wanted her dead – shot three bullets to her head: all because she wanted an education. Gender based violence occurs on the daily, statistically to every 1 in 3 women. Why should the genetic makeup and biological differences dictate what a woman can and can’t do? Is a man made to be superior to a woman? However, you can say Malala defied death itself: she continued to live and fight for equal opportunities for young girls.

Malala is seen to have a strong conviction in what he deems to be right and to such continues to fight for what she wants. Afghanistan stands as one of the least favorable on the inequality index with the literacy rate for women being among the lowest in the world. Malala she saw a need there for her country to educate its female citizens and she fought for it: she fought those who were against her; religious leaders; political figures; those who did not want an equal ruling or benefitted from the illiteracy of women. Two – thirds of girls in Afghanistan do not go to school and to such it is destructive on the nation as a whole. That is why Malala took action to open the eyes of the government and the outside world that girls are not given the same opportunities as boys.

Malala has seen many hardships, but her battles did not come without their victories. Malala is now 24 years old and has accomplished many great things for the world. She has received many humanitarian medals and one of her most commendable being the Nobel peace prize, she has written a bestselling memoir and is a renowned educational activist. She has been the voice to the voiceless, an advocate where there need be and a helping hand to lift up those who wanted an education and never got to have one – also co-founding a first ever youth delegation in Brussels. Her many accomplishments led to an improvement in the lives of many: but there is much to be done.

Though many have criticized her for going against religion, social norm, and the law – she still chose to fight. This is the influence we have as a young generation, we can make changes no one dared to even consider and because we are young, we will stand upon the shoulder of giants and proclaim our aggrievances and challenge the society we live in today. At the rate of progress that we are making change we will accomplish gender equality in 118 years. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow and if the steady fall of inequality does not begin to acceleration, then the world we will inherit will lay in the hands of the youth and the proclaiming statement – the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow will hang heavy on our shoulders.