TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan teenager who fled West Africa with her family to escape civil war has received national recognition for her poetry.
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that 17-year-old Sojourner Ahebee is an Interlochen Arts Academy senior. She is among five teens selected this year to join the National Student Poets Program. They were recognized at a ceremony on the National Mall and met first lady Michelle Obama at the White House.
The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities started the program.
Ahebee spent her first seven years in war-torn Ivory Coast, an experience she says fuels her writing. She hopes her poetry can bring people together. She will spend the next year participating in readings and workshops. She also receives a $5,000 scholarship.