Becoming an Urban Word Affiliate has been a long-term goal for the MCYPL Program. As a humanities program established in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the resources and support from a national organization such as Urban Word, which runs the National Youth Poet Laureate Program, are undeniably helpful and appreciated. Through our partnership, the MCYPL Program has strengthened its identity as the official Youth Poet Laureate Program of Montgomery County and has subsequently been able to collaborate with Youth Poet Laureate programs from New York City to Seattle. With this encouragement and newfound community, MCYPL will continue to foster art in the American suburbs while providing local platforms for youths to access national opportunities. 

Some of these opportunities include the ability to compete in the Regional Youth Poet Laureate Competition, where one Northeastern Youth Poet Laureate will become a National Youth Poet Laureate Finalist; monthly workshops and craft sessions with esteemed poets such as Ada Limón and Mahogany L. Browne; various performance opportunities that will take our young writers all across the country; and more. MCYPL is honored to offer these opportunities to the youth in our poetry community. As the Youth Poet Laureate enacts change and inspires art through their service project in our local community, we hope they will continue to build their repertoire and carry on the spirit of the Youth Poet Laureate through these various initiatives even after their tenure has ended.

It is a great honor and milestone for the MCYPL Program to collaborate with Urban Word, which selected Amanda Gorman as the National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017. This partnership will continue our mission to create a facilitative literary hub in the suburbs and offer generous support for future Youth Poets Laureate who walk through our doors. We are incredibly excited and hopeful for the next few years, and we cannot wait to see the rooms we enter and the stages we take.