Young poets from Daly City have the opportunity to represent their city via a Youth Poet Laureate program.

Launched in October, this is the first Youth Poet Laureate program in San Mateo County, the Daly City Public Library Associates announced via a news release.

Applications are due Jan. 31 and a winner will be announced April 17 at a virtual event.

In addition to representing Daly City at community events from May 2021 to May 2022, the winner will receive a $5,000 cash award and publication in the National Youth Poet Laureate annual anthology by Penmanship Books.

Applicants must be Daly City teen poets between 13 and 18 years old, and they must live or attend school in the city. Students must show a “commitment to artistic excellence, civic engagement, leadership, and social justice,” the news release said.

The program is a partnership between the Daly City Public Library and the National Youth Poet Laureate Program by Urban Word.

San Mateo County’s poet laureate Aileen Cassinetto said Daly City’s youth program “amplifies the role of youth in the community and the power of the literary arts in inspiring civic engagement.”

“I see the Youth Poet Laureate as the city’s literary ambassador, creating necessary spaces so that the voices of other young people can be heard,” Cassinetto said in a statement. “I see this role as giving shape to our young people’s hopes, fears, perspectives, sense of purpose, and sense of community.”

Cassinetto is one of the newest members of the board of the Daly City Public Library Associates (DCPLA), a “Friends of the Library” group that supports the library with fundraising.

DCPLA executive director Victoria Magbilang said that one of her visions for the organization is to reach middle and high schoolers who are difficult to engage.

“This program was a perfect way for DCPLA to remain relevant in a way that lends itself to distanced engagement while the libraries are closed and to encourage the arts in our community, something I’m extremely passionate about,” Magbilang said in a statement.

Eligible students can apply for the program online.

There are 12 youth poet laureate programs in California. In the Bay Area, there are programs in Oakland, Sonoma County, Santa Clara County and Daly City.