Maya,was born in the US to her Tamil parents.
“My family is Tamil. I was born here. I write a lot of my poems based on my culture, my heritage,” she said after her White House event.
“The poem that I actually read at the White House linguistics is based on experience of losing my mother tongue and kind of replacing it with another, which is very painful thing to imagine to go through,” she said, adding that when she was in the middle school she stared getting interested in poetry.
Gopal, 17, the other Indian-American budding poet who received national attention lives in Dallas and is a high school student.
His parents — father from Chennai and mother from Kerala - moved to the US in the 1980s. He was born here. “It (love with poetry) started in seventh grade. I had a really great English teacher. He really pushed me in writing in more creative way. I choose poetry as my avenue of writing,” he said. “I am super honored to meet the First Lady,” he said. “I also want to plan for pre-med. My dream job right now is some short of medical doctor” he added. “This is the last time that we’re going to have the pleasure of welcoming a class of National Student Poets to the White House, at least under this administration. So I’m feeling a little melancholy here, because this has truly been an Honor and a privilege and a joy,” Michelle said. Recollecting how it all started, the First Lady said when they came here, they wanted to use this incredible platform of the White House to inspire young people to dream really big for themselves, to think about what their lives could look like beyond what their everyday existence is like.