Olivia Morgan ’94, after being appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), founded the National Student Poets Program (NSPP), the country’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work.
According to the PCAH, students who engage in school through the arts have better attendance records, better performance, and are more likely to graduate. Morgan decided to use her position on the PCAH to engage students without a strain on resources.
“The amazing thing about poetry, or writing of any kind—you don’t need musical instruments, you don’t technology, it’s just a pen and paper,” Morgan said. “So anybody could do it, and it could translate into a life skill that would benefit you for a lifetime: that ability to recognize something, to observe the world in which you’re living and communicate it, whether to yourself or others.”
In an interview with Humanities Insights, Morgan stated the two goals of the NSPP: “to recognize the value of the existing talent of our most dedicated teen poets and then to use their unique voices and experience to reach students and whole communities that don’t already have outlets and programs and pipelines to national support and recognition.”
The programs recognizes excellence in writing by choosing five National Student Poets from the national medalists in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards who are rewarded with college scholarships and opportunities to present their work at various events throughout their term.