Luisa Banchoff, a 17-year-old senior at Washington-Lee High School, was one of five teenagers this week to be appointed literary ambassadors to the National Student Poets Program.
The National Student Poets were selected from a pool of outstanding ninth- through eleventh-grade writers who received a national Scholastic Art & Writing Award for poetry through the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, according to a news release.
The teens will serve one-year terms as literary ambassadors for poetry through readings and workshops at libraries, museums, and schools, the release states. They will also serve as a resource for the U.S. Department of Education and the Library of Congress. They will complete community service projects designed to build awareness of the importance of creative expression and poetry appreciation. And they will each receive a $5,000 scholarship.
Banchoff, an International Baccalaureate diploma candidate, serves as poetry editor for the school literary magazine, according to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program.
She grew up in a bilingual and bicultural family and has spent two years in Bonn, Germany. She has been active in community service, helping to found a social justice youth group at her church and serving as a Girl Scout for more than 10 years.
She has been an avid poet since the eighth grade.
The other four literary ambassadors were from Vancouver, Wash., New York City, Oak Park, Ill., and Alexandria, La.
“The diverse talents and subjects of these young writers suggest they will be tomorrow's most luminous poets, as well as tomorrow's brightest innovators and leaders: philosopher-poets, doctor-poets, musician-poets, scientist-poets. I hope this honor inspires them in every possible way, because as I read their work, I was certainly inspired by them,” Terrance Hayes, recipient of the 2010 National Book Award for Poetry, said in a statement.