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S.C. Governor’s School student receives nation’s highest honor for teen poets

Cameron MessinidesCameron Messinides of Camden, a senior at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, has been named to the 2014 class of the National Student Poets Program (NSPP), the nation’s highest honor for teen poets presenting original work. Five outstanding young poets, each representing a different region of the United States, were appointed by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to showcase the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success. The students kicked off their year of service as literary ambassadors in Washington, D.C., with a poetry reading hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama in the Blue Room of the White House (pictured above). “With this award, we celebrate the exceptional creativity, dedication, and promise of the young poets we honor today. Their courage, compassion, and imagination are inspiring others and shaping the world around them. As literary ambassadors to people across the country, these young people have the opportunity to set an example and inspire audiences of all ages with their written work, readings and service projects. Our National Student Poets and all of our young people have unlimited potential, and I can't wait to see what they accomplish in the years ahead,” noted Mrs. Obama, Honorary Chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Cameron, age 17, is a creative writing student at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. He was recognized with an honorary mention for the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Secondary School Poetry Prize, and his work has been published on The Atlantic’s website. He lives in Camden, South Carolina, with his parents and five brothers and sisters, where, besides writing, he spends his time playing basketball, clumsily cooking dinner once a week, and helping raise the family goats. Read Cameron's poetry online. The National Student Poets each receive an academic award of $5,000 funded by the Bernstein Family Foundation. During their tenure, the students will lead readings and workshops at libraries, museums and schools throughout the country, as well as participate in prestigious events. They will additionally implement community service projects in their respective regions. Students in grades 9–11 who are interested in becoming 2015 National Student Poets can submit their work to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition initiative for creative teens. Deadlines for art and writing submissions vary by region. Photo of presentation by Paul Morse for the National Student Poets Program. Via: Scholastic Art & Writing Awards