During his Weekly Westchester Update briefing, Westchester County Executive George Latimer introduced the County’s two new Youth Poet Laureates. Alexa Murphy of Sleepy Hollow, Grade 11, and Harmony Hopwood of New Rochelle, Grade 9, were selected after a search was conducted by the Westchester County Youth Bureau.
Latimer said: “We are so lucky in this County to have talent of all ages and in all fields. Poetry provides those who enjoy it an outlet to express themselves and better understand the experiences of others through their own expression. Alexa and Harmony embody that spirit, and it was a pleasure to hear their stories and spoken word.”
Murphy is an 11th grader at the Masters School in Sleepy Hollow, where she is also a member of the school’s spoken-word poetry group, Outspoken. Murphy first joined the group in her sophomore year, and the experience helped her discover her deep passion for the art. Murphy is also a writer for her school’s newspaper, Tower, is captain of the school’s debate team and compete debates on a national level with the USA Development Team. In her position as Youth Poet Laureate, Murphy says she will do all she can to serve her County, and return a portion of all it has given her.
Hopwood is a 9th grader at New Rochelle High School who has been interested in creative writing her whole life, and always enjoyed creating stories, poetry and art. Hopwood says it has helped create a window of expression for those around her. Hopwood’s goals have always been surrounded by wanting to represent excellence and create change in any way she can. In her new role as Youth Poet Laureate, Hopwood would like to provide diversity in her preferred fields and create more opportunities within her community for people like her.
Youth Bureau Executive Director Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden said: “My office was proud to conduct this search in an effort to showcase the future of our County – which is the motivating factor in everything we do. Congratulations to those chosen, Alexa and Harmony, and thank you to County Executive Latimer for his support for this fantastic program.”