Student Poet, Creative Young Leaders Alliance, The Aspen Institute
Annie Castillo is a student poet in the Creative Young Leaders Alliance, a program of the Aspen Institute that provides mentorship and training to the next generation of young arts leaders. A student and writer from Falls Church, VA, she was named National Student Poet for the Southeast region in 2017. During her year as a literary ambassador for poetry, Castillo has advocated for inclusion of poetry in educational settings within her community and the region. In spring 2017, she established an after-school poetry mentorship program at her middle school. Her work often speaks directly to issues including history, politics, her family, and her experiences with chronic and mental illness.