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Two York students are among five finalists for Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate

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Jackson Schmid and Jalen Kroger

Jackson Schmid and Jalen Kroger were two of five finalists for Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate.

OMAHA – Two York High School students were among five finalists for this year’s Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate.

The York students were Jackson Schmid and Jalen Kroger.

Erica Kohout, English chair at York High School, said both students presented poetry at a ceremony at the Benson Theatre in Omaha. “This was an exciting experience and a huge honor,” she added.

“Schmid is a writer who uses poetry to tackle racial and social injustice,” said the program from the event. “He can also be found running cross country, serving as the York High School Speech Poetry Captain, participating in quiz bowl, and aspiring to become a Nebraska journalist. By graduation, he will have earned 21 college credit hours from Peru State College and Southeast Community College.”

“Kroger hopes to pursue a degree in sports journalism and/or creating writing,” the event program said. “He is a York flag football coach, a FFA participant and sports graphics designed for Sideline Media. He has written poetry, a comedic manifesto from the perspective of an overconfident teenager, two TV shows, one short film and two feature-length screenplays.”

The other three finalists were Megan Lambert from Boys Town, Tanya Bachu of Omaha and Isabella Mitchell of Omaha.

Bachu went on to be named the 2022 Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate.


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