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BMCC Student Named National Youth Poet Laureate

Stephanie Pacheco has been named the 2024 National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States by the youth literary organization Urban Word.

Stephanie PachecoStephanie Pacheco“It was a combination of shock, exuberant joy but most of all, I felt so full of love,” described Pacheco on learning about the honor. “Being awarded this title is such a great honor.”

The award recognizes young poets whose work centers on social impact and advocacy such as former National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman.

Pacheco is an advocate for equity in access to education and arts, working with organizations like The Healing Centered Schools Task Force. She was named the 2023 New York City Youth Poet Laureate. Thereafter, she became the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate for New York State. Urban Word bestowed the latest of her honors.

“I would not be here if I didn’t find an arts organization like Urban Word that supplemented the creative programs that I did not have access to in school,” said Pacheco who is a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY), where she is a writing and literature major.

“I imagine a city, a country and a world where resources are appropriately allocated in order to provide all students with an abundant education and an easy access to arts programs that will feed their creativity and allow them to find their passions.”

Since receiving this series of honors, culminating with the National Youth Poet Laureate title, her life has been transformed and Pacheco’s appreciation of poetry continues to expand.

“I’ve been able to share my poetry on absolutely incredible stages from the Department of Education and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. to the Barclays Center and Apollo Theater in New York City,” said Pacheco. “Poetry is boundless and it ought to be on stages everywhere.”

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