The youngster was inspired after watching Gorman's recital of "The Hill We Climb" at President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' swearing-in ceremony.
When young Jeremy Rowan was asked to dress as his idol for his school's Spirit Day, the 7-year-old immediately knew who he wanted to be: the first National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman. The 23-year-old poet had left such a lasting impression on him with her recital of "The Hill We Climb" at President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' swearing-in ceremony that Jeremy had chosen Gorman as the focus of his biography project in writing class. "He really looks up to Amanda — she is such a strong youth leader and role model," his mom, Kimberly Rowan, told TODAY.
So when it came time for "Dress as Your Idol Day" during virtual school at Thousand Oaks Elementary in California — the same school that Vice President Harris attended as a child — it was an easy choice for Jeremy. Speaking to POPSUGAR, Rowan revealed that the school had organized a virtual spirit week, featuring themes such as crazy hair day and pajama day, to give the kids a sense of connection following a year of virtual learning. "One day was 'Dress as Your Idol Day,'" Rowan explained. "At the same time, their teacher was working with them on a writing unit focused on biographies. Students were writing biographies on amazing figures such as Michelle Obama, Ruby Bridges, Mae Jemison, and, of course, Amanda."
She added that Jeremy's interest in Gorman began after he got an introduction to American politics in class. "His class studied the electoral college, the importance of voting, and the presidential oath in advance of the presidential election," shared Rowan. "Then they watched the inauguration together as a class via Zoom and the kids were all floored by Amanda's performance." Channeling Gorman for 'Dress as Your Idol Day' was the logical next step for Jeremy.
This little guy chose to dress as Amanda Gorman for “Dress as Your Idol” day at (remote) school. Thank you @TheAmandaGorman for inspiring all of our children to change the world! pic.twitter.com/2pYKUjhOQW— Kimberly Rowan (@KimberlyRowan) March 22, 2021
"He said he was dressing as Amanda since he was really enjoying reading her biography and writing a report about her life and poetry," said Rowan. "When it came to finding the outfit, he knew right where to look in his closet, the costume box (that's where he found the clip-on pirate earring and the Oscar trophy!), and beyond. He had a blast coming up with the costume, and 'playing the part." Jeremy's take on Gorman's inauguration look — which includes a red microfiber cloth his mom pinned to his hair to represent the now-iconic red headband and a puffy yellow jacket — went viral online almost instantly after Rowan tweeted a photo of his costume.
Innocence and pure admiration coming from this little one! God bless him and his parents for teaching him about real mentors!🌷❤— Diane Achatz (@merobot) March 24, 2021
This literally brought tears to my eyes. Children really are our teachers if only we would listen. ❤️ thank you Mom for allowing him to be self expressed!— JL (@LikkleJudy) March 22, 2021
This is without a doubt the most precious and heartwarming thing that I’ve seen in a long time. The attention to detail with the clip on earrings too 😭😭 good job mom for raising him to have female role models— anna (@agspeed226) March 22, 2021
"This little guy chose to dress as Amanda Gorman for 'Dress as Your Idol' day at (remote) school. Thank you Amanda Gorman for inspiring all of our children to change the world," she wrote, tagging the poet in the post. Many Twitter users praised the youngster for pulling off the look spectacularly and the tweet eventually caught the attention of Gorman herself. "She replied, writing that she wanted to dress as him for her idol," said Rowan. "I was floored."
When I dress up as my idol I have to dress up as him! https://t.co/oitNAsEC9V— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) March 22, 2021
Rowan revealed that Gorman then reached out to her, asking if she could share Jeremy's story and photo on social media in honor of World Poetry Day on March 21. "We were honored, and are still stunned really, by this reaction," said Rowan. "Then she sent us a beautiful video telling Jeremy how great his photo was. It is really such a special moment for him and I know it will shape who he becomes. The love from Amanda and the world has reaffirmed his choice in dressing as her. I believe this will allow him to continue to make bold choices in the future without the fear that others may react negatively."
Children idolizing poets! How many times is this article going to make me cry today? 🥰😭😭😭🥰 The world is good, y'all. The young ones are our hope.💖https://t.co/xrBXmADQz4— Book Bridge Press (@bookbridgepress) March 25, 2021
Explaining what Jeremy likes the most about Gorman, Rowan added: "He has said she recites her poetry like it's a song and uses her hands like she is translating it into sign language. In the conclusion of his biography he wrote, 'I learned that Amanda Gorman is incredible because she knows that poetry is like using your words (to express your feelings and emotions).'"