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Pitman student named first-ever county Youth Poet Laureate
Poet Laureate
Pitman High student Faith Delgado was recently selected as the inaugural Stanislaus County Youth Poet Laureate.

The next generation of poets is alive and well as a Pitman High student Faith Delgado was recently selected as the inaugural Stanislaus County Youth Poet Laureate.

As Youth Poet Laureate, Delgado will serve a one-year term, participate in several engagements throughout the year, and receive a $500 honorarium. Janelle Yulo, a junior at Modesto’s Johansen High School, and Zoe Byron, a freshman at Oakdale High School, were both finalists. 

“I am thrilled that the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center created this program to honor youth poets in our community. Faith Delgado is an excellent choice as our first Youth Poet Laureate,” shared Gillian Wegener, MoSt Poetry Center president. The Stanislaus County Youth Poet Laureate is a program of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center, in partnership with Stanislaus County Office of Education, Stanislaus County Library,  Modesto Junior College’s School of Language Arts and Education, and Stanislaus Library Foundation. 

This program celebrates youth voices that are committed to artistic excellence, civic engagement, and social impact. The Youth Poet Laureate position has been recognized by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors with a county resolution for National Poetry Month  acknowledging this new role. 

In the inaugural year of the Stanislaus County Youth Poet Laureate program, the poetry center received 15 applications from students across the county. Student applicants represent the communities of Modesto, Oakdale, and Turlock.

City of Modesto Poet Laureate Salvatore Salerno served as a judge along with fellow community members and champions for poetry: Dr. Theresa Rojas, poet, artist, and MJC professor; Amy Bultena, artist and SCOE Arts Coordinator; Jessica Geiss, Children’s Librarian at Salida Regional Branch of the Stanislaus County Library; Angela Drew, poet, author, and spoken word artist; Dr. Gillian Wegener, Assistant Superintendent for Oakdale Joint Unified High School District and City of Modesto past poet laureate; and Mariah Ring, Lead Youth Support Specialist, Stanislaus County Youth Empowerment Project STAR Program. 

Applicants for the Youth Poet Laureate program submitted an application and an artistic statement/biography indicating civic engagement and leadership background along with original poems. A panel of judges critiqued this work on content, voice, and craft. Leadership and performance were also considered in determining the young person who will represent our communities as Youth Poet Laureate. 

The new Stanislaus County Youth Poet Laureate will be celebrated at an event at the Stanislaus County Library sometime this summer. Details of the event have not yet been released. To learn more, visit