Hillsboro High School's Alora Young in running to be National Youth Poet Laureate

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Posted at 9:50 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 10:50:25-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Alora Young has a lot of titles: student, performer and activist, just to name a few. The Hillsboro High School student also holds the title of Youth Poet Laureate for the Southern United States, but on May 20, that could change.

The 17-year-old is in the running to be the National Youth Poet Laureate. A title previously held by Amanda Gorman, who recently became the youngest known Inaugural Poet during President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“It’s like seeing her do it. It was like, ‘this is no longer just an idea in my head or a moment in time, this is a movement,’” Alora Young said.

Young said it is not about the title, it is about the art. Her writing journey began early on in her childhood.

“My mom says I first wanted to be a songwriter when I was two-years-old,” Young said.

She wrote her first “official” poem a few years later.

“It was called ‘Stars of Sorrow See You Tomorrow’ because I really didn't want to be in Tennessee. I've grown to love it, but you know, I was seven and I was like, grumpy,” Young said.

The passion for songs and poetry clearly grew. Alora told NewsChannel 5 she has written thousands of songs and memorized hundreds of poems.

“Because I got in this so early, I have a lot of time to try and make this world a better place before, there are more Black girls who have to experience what we've experienced,” Young said.

Alora said she comes from a line of strong speakers and talented artists. She said they never got to share their gift with the world.

“I don't know if you're religious, but I am and I think, God, if you don't use your gift, he will pass it down. And I have the gifts and the love of 10 generations of women who had that ability, but not the means to share it. And I feel like it is my duty to use all of their blessings to make the world better. And so, it is a weight, but it's not a burden,” Young said.