Chicago teen honored at White House

poet

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  A 17-year-old from Chicago’s West Side was one of five students honored at the White House on Thursday.

Stella Binion is part of this years National Student Poets Program. On Friday, she performed her poem for the First Lady.

Each year, one student is chosen from five different regions of  the country. This is the fifth year of the program.

“We decided that we wanted to honor five outstanding poets each year and give them the mic here in the White House so that they could inspire countless other young people to follow in their footsteps,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Since we started the program we’ve received over 70,000 submissions from applicants. 70,000! Just so you know, the competition is fierce, it’s not like you just happened up here, a lot of people have applied over the years.”

Binion will represent the Midwest Region as a literary ambassador for one year. She and the other winners will promote the appreciation of poetry and importance of creative expression through readings and workshops.

Binion is a senior at Walter Payton College Prep.

The other winners include Maya Eashwaran of Alpharetta, GA; Gopal Raman of Dallas; Joey Reisberg of Towson, MD; and Maya Salameh of San Diego.