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Worcester Appoints New Youth Poet Laureate

For Immediate Release: 1/2/2024 3:25 pm

WORCESTER, Mass. – City Manager Eric D. Batista, Mayor Joseph M. Petty, and the Office of Cultural Development announced Tuesday the appointment of the next Youth Poet Laureate.

Serenity C. Jackson, a Worcester Technical High School student, has been appointed Youth Poet Laureate, following the two-year term of the City’s second Youth Poet Laureate, Adael (Ace) Mejia. Worcester Poet Laureate Oliver de la Paz, whose term continues through 2025, will serve as a mentor and guide to Jackson.

Along with the Worcester Poet Laureate, the Youth Poet Laureate serves as an official ambassador to the city’s historic and vibrant cultures of poetry and literature, both using their positions to promote local writers and the transformative qualities of poetry and the written word.

Jackson will be presented with a ceremonial medal created by local metal artist Pam Farren and will deliver her first official readings at the Mayoral Inaugural Exercises and Celebration Tuesday, Jan. 2.

“Poetry, with its vivid verses and lyrical rhythm, serves as the timeless narrator of our city’s tale, capturing the essence of our streets, the heartbeat of our communities, and the dreams that adorn our skyline,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “I feel honored to be able to witness Serenity C. Jackson, who will serve actively and contribute to the Worcester community.”

“I commend Adael Mejia for his dedication and service as Youth Poet Laureate and I am thrilled to welcome Serenity C. Jackson, who stood out from a very talented pool of applicants,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista. “We are proud to continue to have the City provide a unique opportunity for a young person to express themselves as our Youth Poet Laureate. We look forward to her voice, presence, and vision while serving as a source of inspiration for her peers to pursue creative endeavors.”

“As my tenure draws to a close, I’m profoundly grateful for the opportunity to amplify the voices of our city’s remarkable youth,” said Mejia. “My passion for nurturing budding artists and strengthening our community remains unwavering. I am committed to fostering Worcester’s diverse cultural tapestry and empowering the radiant spirits of our young generation.”

Jackson has a penchant for community engagement and a drive to make a positive impact. She is an active participant in various initiatives aimed at fostering inclusivity and growth within the city.

“Through this new platform I believe I can increase awareness of, provide access to, and encourage more engagement in the literary arts and the power of spoken word,” said Jackson.

A five-person committee was formed to review applications to the Youth Poet Laureate program.

The Worcester Youth Poet Laureate program began in 2019. Serenity Jackson serves as the third Youth Poet Laureate. To learn more visit

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