Amanda Gorman explains why she plans to run for president in 2036

Scott Stump Tue, September 21, 2021, 9:52 AMIn this article:

Amanda Gorman’s ambition to one day run for president came long before she captivated the country with her poetry during January’s inauguration of President Joe Biden.

Gorman, 23, shared on TODAY Tuesday why she aims to run for the nation’s highest office when she becomes eligible in 2036 after passing the requisite age of 35 outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

“I remember being around 11 years old, and I was in class talking very passionately as I do about things I wanted to change in the world,” she told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. “My teacher said to me quite jokingly, ‘Ha ha, you should run for president,’ and I said ‘Yes, I should.’”

Gorman is no stranger to grand ambitions considering she is already a Harvard University graduate who overcame a speech impediment on her way to becoming the first national youth poet laureate and the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history.

Becoming the nation’s first Black female president would be yet another ground-breaking accomplishment on her resume.

“And so it became this ambition where, for me, it means that the hopes that I have for making the world a better place, I have to think more expansively beyond poetry. It’s not just writing, it’s doing right as well,” she said. “And if I can do that while changing political institutions, changing the quality of life in my own home country, I think that’s a great extension of poetry.”

Before she was a lauded poet and a style icon, Gorman was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder in kindergarten and struggled with speech articulation to the point where she still had a hard time saying her last name at 20 years old.

“Honestly, it took years and years of practice, speech therapy, to overcome my speech impediment,” she said.

“I had to put in the work, the labor. I listened to ‘Hamilton’ a lot and tried to rap with the actors. Over time that not only engaged my love for poetry, but engaged my love for my own voice to the point that I could have a stage and could hear it with love and acceptance.”

Gorman, who has written two books of poetry, has also now added children’s book author to her list of achievements. Her new book, called “Change Sings,” has been four years in the making.

The book tells the story of a young girl leading a group of characters on a musical journey to make change in their communities and the world.

“For me, I wanted to write a children’s book in which young readers can see themselves as real agents of change within the world,” she said. “I was speaking with so many family members and guardians who have asked me, ‘How do I talk about the world with my child?’ And I said, ‘First and foremost, by highlighting how important they are to our future, and that’s really the core of the message of ‘Change Sings.'”

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