In an effort to further promote literacy, County Executive George Latimer and Executive Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden appointed Westchester County’s first Youth Poet Laureate.

In this new position, Danielle Kohn, a junior at Scarsdale High School, will work with the Westchester County Youth Bureau to increase appreciation for reading and writing amongst her peers in collaboration with local libraries, schools and youth development programs.

Latimer said: “It’s essential that we help our youth develop the skills and desire to read. Appointing a Youth Poet Laureate is another innovative way we can engage our youth and spark interest around literacy. I applaud Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden for her efforts in developing this initiative.” 

Harris-Madden said: “The work of the Youth Poet Laureate will distinguish Westchester County as a national example of community that celebrates and promotes artistic excellence through youth voice and civic engagement.”

Kohn, who has been writing poetry since she was in second grade, currently brings her poetry to hospitals, nursing homes and drug treatment centers across Westchester County. She has studied at Sarah Lawrence College, Stony Brook University, the University of Virginia and the Writopia Lab and has received multiple Scholastic Gold Medals for her work.

Kohn said: “I’d like to thank County Executive George Latimer for creating the Youth Poet Laureate position. In doing so, he is acknowledging that the arts are important in Westchester, and that young people have a place in the arts.”