White House welcomes Brown Deer poet; honored for her work

A young Brown Deer girl achieved her dream by becoming one of five finalists in the National Student Poets Program and reading poetry in the White House.

When you're in high school, achieving your dreams can seem far away. For Emily Igwike, her dreams came true by becoming a finalist in the National Student Poets Program.

"You’re putting your heart and soul into what you write. One day somebody’s going to appreciate it," Igwike said.

Igwike, a University School of Milwaukee junior, was one of the five finalists in the National Student Poets Program.

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Emily Igwike

"I was just in utter shock that it was actually happening because I kind of just put myself out there. I didn’t think I was going to get it, but I did," Igwike said.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Award is the highest honor for poets in 10th and 11th grade. 

Igwike represented the Midwest region and Brown Deer in the National Student Poets Program. From her Nigerian mom's cooking….

"I lift the yam in the soup," Igwike said.

To driving home after a long day, Igwike brings a piece of Brown Deer to the entries that she read at the White House.

Emily Igwike

"Where are you going where have you been? My mother asks," Igwike said in her poem reading.

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First Lady Jill Biden was listening in the room, but that didn't make Igwike nervous.

"It’s kind of just me sharing a story like if you’re reading a short story online or pick up a book – it’s not close as maybe sharing it with the person you wrote it about," Igwike said.

Igwike said the program made her realize poetry is much more than words on a page.

"It can create community, it can allow you to meet new people," Igwike said.