Brilliance from Within

James Layman, Director of Student Programs, AWSL
Jan 21, 2021
Brilliance from Within

On Wednesday, January 20th, we witnessed the inauguration of a new president. Speeches, pageantry, fireworks, oaths, and traditions were on display as the symbolic exercise of welcoming a new president was on full display.
Of the noteworthy dignitaries and celebrities that were a part of the inauguration, maybe the most discussed was 22-year old Amanda Gorman. Amanda was the inauguration poet and read her poem, 'The Hill We Climb.' She was the youngest inauguration poet in our nation's poet. With poise, grace, power, and emotion, she captivated the country and the world as she invited us in to think, reflect, and look forward to what is possible.
Social media exploded with posts, compliments, and accolades for the brilliant poet and author. Many were amazed that someone so young could captivate the world in the manner in which she did. It leads me to this thought... There are Amanda Gorman's in every school. We need to find them and elevate them.
There are students whose brilliance lies within and can outwardly appear to be a murmur rather than a rumble. As adults and educators, we need to find ways to put a megaphone next to that murmur and let that brilliance rumble. In our schools, and communities students are ready for the opportunity to step into themselves and be the next Amanda Gorman.
Brilliance should no longer be thought of as a novelty or even a surprise. What would happen if we flipped the script and treated each student as brilliant, remarkable, talented, and capable of changing the world.
Inside of our schools right now is the next Amanda Gorman. Let us take Amanda's exquisite reading during the inauguration as a reminder that there is so much brilliance within. Let us find it, celebrate it, and amplify it.

  • Closing the Gap
  • student leadership
  • Hope
  • Student Leadership (AWSL)
  • Hopeful and Inspiring

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