The Rise of Amanda Gorman

Anita Tun, Photojournalist

Amanda Gorman, at only twenty-two years old, is amassing an astounding resume of achievements.. She performed her poem “The Hill We Climb,” gaining the spotlight for being the youngest inaugural poet in United States history. Her poetry gravitated towards viewers, awed by her words, and now Gorman is only beginning her journey to success. 

Gorman was born and raised in Los Angeles, and she graduated from New Roads private school in Santa Monica. She later got accepted into the prestigious Harvard University and studied sociology. She is most famous for her poems; although performing them was not always easy with her speech impediment, she overcame this. In 2017, she became the first National Youth Poet Laureate and was also the youngest board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States.

She has written for the New York Times and has three books coming out with the Penguin Random House: Change Sings, The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, and The Hill We Climb. Gorman has previously been invited to speak for the Obama White House, perform with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Gore, Hilary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and more; in addition, she presented her poems for CBS This Morning, the Library of Congress, and Lincoln Center. 

For her inaugural speech, she was given two gifts from Oprah Winfrey.: a birdcage ring to commemorate Maya Angelou, another black inaugural speaker, and gold earrings that she both wore during the inaugural. After her seemingly instant fame, Gorman was interviewed by numerous television stations and famous hosts, including James Corden, Trevor Noah, and Ellen Degeneres. 

As well on social media, she gained millions of followers shortly after she performed her poem, attracting fans from all age groups. Inspiring Camille Khong (10), she talks about the importance of role models as they are “an important aspect in our lives from when we are young ‘till we grow old. Amanda Gorman is such an inspiring person for all generations; with her charm and charisma, she shows people that we can create our future through personal efforts. Her words transcend through generations and remind us that nothing is more powerful than the words we speak and the actions we take.”

Gorman has now signed with a top modeling agency, IMG Models, with world-renowned models such as Barbara Palvin, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and more (CNN). In addition, she recently recited at the 2021 Super Bowl to honor the pandemic heroes before the game kickoff. In regards to  Gorman’s plans for the future, she is determined to run for president in 2036- and she already has a group cheering her on!