Westchester County Executive George Latimer unveiled the county’s two new Youth Poet Laureates during his Weekly Westchester Update briefing. The Westchester County Youth Bureau conducted an extensive search and ultimately settled on eleventh-graders Alexa Murphy from Sleepy Hollow and Harmony Hopwood from New Rochelle.
Latimer said: “We are so lucky in this County to have talent of all ages and in all fields. Poetry provides those who enjoy it an outlet to express themselves and better understand the experiences of others through their own expression. Alexa and Harmony embody that spirit, and it was a pleasure to hear their stories and spoken word.”
Murphy, a student in the eleventh grade at the Masters School in Sleepy Hollow, is a member of the school’s Outspoken spoken-word poetry group. As a sophomore, Murphy decided to give the group a try, and she quickly realized that she had a real appreciation for the art form.
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Murphy is the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, Tower, the captain of the debate team, and a member of the USA Development Team. Murphy promises to give back to her community in any way she can as the Youth Poet Laureate for her county.
Hopwood is currently a ninth-grader at New Rochelle High School. She has always had a passion for creative arts and has written stories, poems, and created artwork as a hobby. Hopwood believes it has opened up a space for everyone around her to be themselves.
Hopwood’s motivations have always centred on a desire to be a symbol of excellence and an agent of change in every way possible. As Child Poet Laureate, Hopwood hopes to provide access to resources for persons like herself and promote diversity in her chosen professions.
Youth Bureau Executive Director Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden said: “My office was proud to conduct this search in an effort to showcase the future of our County – which is the motivating factor in everything we do. Congratulations to those chosen, Alexa and Harmony, and thank you to County Executive Latimer for his support for this fantastic program.”
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