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Robyn Adams

Robyn Adams

Undergraduate Student, Texas Tech University

Words have power. At only 19, Robyn Adams is already going to head-to-head with some of the world’s top poets, and the path she has taken has taught her that lesson well.

A mentor turned her on to poetry as a freshman in high school and since then, she has not only competed but performed across the country – including taking the stage at the Apollo Theater in New York City in front of a sold-out show. In 2013, she interned at Writers in the Schools and Rice University’s Creative Writing Camp, as well, helping them to find the words and imagination to express their inner most feelings and experiences.

What she has learned through those encounters is the importance of creativity and having a voice. She said most of her own pieces center on social concerns, and she uses her poetry as a platform to seek change for those issues in the world around her.

She will speak at TEDxTexasTechUniversity about how important it is to bring creativity back into the public schools so that students can see beyond the regular classwork “that there is much more, a bigger world out there.”

Having a voice and knowing the power of their words helps students to get through obstacles, according to Adams, whereas a school system without arts like the written word teaches students “to only write inside the lines and only draw inside the lines.”

“I want to show them they can do anything they put their minds to,” she said of her audience, adding she wants them to leave ready to empower the youth – and themselves – to write and draw outside those lines.

Adams said she, herself, is an example of being able to do just that. “I’m only 19 and look what I’ve done already,” she said. “Imagine what you can do if you just put your mind to it.”

Watch her TEDxTalk.