SAN DIEGO — The youngest inaugural poet in U.S. History read "The Hill We Climb" at the inauguration. In this Zevely Zone, I went to La Jolla to learn more about the poet's special connection to The Children's School.
Before America's First Youth Poet Laureate addressed the world, Amanda Gorman spoke virtually to The Children's School in La Jolla last June.
Eighth-grade students Jessica Greenstein and Isabella Leone felt like they were watching a friend. "I feel like she addresses so many different issues and I feel she puts things into words that other people are afraid to say sometimes," said Isabella.
Gorman who was born in Los Angeles spoke to the school's eighth grade graduating class last summer but now the students got to see her on the national stage at the inauguration.
"Well, my first reaction was wow, she gave us a lot to unpack," said David Lyons. "I don't know if you noticed but I was taking notes on the board to things I want to come back to."
The History and English teacher at The Children's School said the poem titled "The Hill we Climb" is a teachable moment. "From the metaphors of climbing the hill. She is so young and so articulate and the Hamilton-esque beat in her poetry. Our students were lucky to have her share in our classes last year and just an honor to have her at the inauguration. It's a big day," said David.
Amanda Gorman said the poem she wrote would not be blind and touched upon the storming of the US Capitol. Students say the next generation will need the courage to create change.
"I thought it was really important that she brought up everything that happened last year with the protests and police brutality," said Jessica.
John Fowler, The Children's School Head of School believes his students and Amanda are ready to lead. "I think it's inspirational for the kids to see Amanda speak. This is now the second time," said Fowler. "She talks openly about how she wants to become president and I don't doubt that it will happen at all."
On the world's biggest stage, the students feel the youngest inaugural poet ever was a triple threat of poise and power and promise who filled them with hope. "Yes, definitely. She was very inspiring," said Isabella.
Amanda Gorman is the daughter of an English teacher. The recent Harvard graduate represents a new voice in social change. A poem she recited for CBS News about Independence Day included these words, "We understand that a house divided cannot stand so let us make a pact to be a country that acts as compassionate as we are courageous."
In the past, Gorman has called upon America's youth to breakthrough by breaking boundaries. "This is not the end of the relationship this is the beginning," said Gorman.
It was First Lady Jill Biden who recommended Amanda Gorman speak at the inauguration.