FT. LAUDERDAEL, FL – The Jason Taylor Foundation is pleased to announce that Shnayjaah Jenaty has earned the honor of being named South Florida Youth Poet Laureate (SFYPL) for the 2022-23 school year. A current Charles W. Flanagan High School senior, Shnayjaah submitted a unique writing portfolio earing high marks from judges. A special presentation was held Friday, April 28 at “Lyrical Lounge” in Sunrise, a monthly open mic event that served as a fitting conclusion to National Poetry Month. A book release party will take place on Friday, May 26 at Sunrise Civic Center Theater in Sunrise to celebrate Miss Jenaty’s accomplishment and showcase her original poetry.
Shnayjaah is an award-winning writer whose accolades include placing first in the 2020 and 2023 Louder Than A Bomb Florida Team Finals, earning National Gold Medals in poetry from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in 2022 and 2023, a finalist in the 2021 WordUp! Spoken Word Competition and was published in Polyphony Lit, Incandescent Review and Assembly, in 2022, as well as a South Florida Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador in 2022. Shnayjaah is talented in multiple genres of writing and feels that “writing has taught me that activism is poetic, and poetry is activism- I hope to help others see poetry for the dynamic art form it is.”
The South Florida Youth Poet Laureate competition is a collaboration between the Jason Taylor Foundation’s Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network, and Urban Word, a New York- based literary arts education and youth development organization. Partners of the program also include UKG, UPS, and the Miami Dolphins. Shnayjaah is now the eighth winner of the South Florida Youth Poet Laureate.
An esteemed panel of educators, authors, poets and community professionals meticulously read through the largest submission pool since the inception of the South Florida Youth Poet Laureate program that included a portfolio of poetry and each student’s résumé. At selected. The Ambassadors are Caitlyn Villacrusis, currently enrolled at A. W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, and Devin Modia, a sophomore at Charles W. Flanagan High School.
“The Youth Poet Laureate program truly allows young writers to put forth a body of work that highlights their personal aesthetic and voice as a poet,” said Shawntee` Herring, Program Director of the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network. “The perpectives and depth of thought of these young poets are inspiring and impressive. We congratulate Shnayjaah, Caitlyn, and Devin as well as the other participants for an outstanding show of talent.”
As Youth Poet Laureate, Shnayjaah will work with the Jason Taylor Foundation and Urban Word to help foster community and social awareness through her poetry. In addition to the recognition and philanthropic and performance opportunities, the South Florida Youth Poet Laureate will publish her own chapbook to be presented and celebrated at a book release party.
About the Jason Taylor Foundation
In July 2004, Miami Dolphins legendary Defensive End, Jason Taylor, established the Jason Taylor Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization. The Foundation’s mission is to support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life.
Since opening its doors, the Jason Taylor Foundation has impacted tens of thousands of children through innovative programming including The Jason Taylor Reading Room, Cool Gear for the School Year, the Jason Taylor Children’S Learning Center, Jason Taylor Scholars, Careers in Sports Network, and the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network, among others. For more information on the Jason Taylor Foundation, please visit www.JasonTaylorFoundation.org or follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jasontaylorfoundation or Twitter: www.twitter.com/@jtfoundation99 or www.twitter.com/bluapplepoetry.