St. John’s University and the New York Knicks have long shared
the hardwood of Madison Square Garden. But starting this year,
these two institutions have begun an entirely new and
academic-based partnership: providing deserving students with
affordable education as part of the NY Knicks/Urban Word Poetry
St. John’s announced in February that it will fund two full-year
scholarships and twenty $5,000 scholarships to metropolitan-area
high school seniors who win the Spoken Word and Written Word
portions of the Knicks Poetry Slam competition.
“Through this partnership, St. John’s is delighted to encourage
creativity and the pursuit of a higher education among young people
in the New York area,” said Beth M. Evans, Vice President for
Enrollment Management. “The effort reflects our continuing desire
to assist promising students from throughout our region, across the
country and around the world.”
Created in 2003, the Knicks Poetry Slam provides opportunities for
high school students to creatively express themselves through
written and spoken word. It serves over 20,000 students annually
through school visits, a Poetry Open Audition, a college fair,
workshops, poetry slams and social media.
High school students who participate in the Poetry Slam can
register for either a Spoken Word or Written Word contest. Those
who enter the Spoken Word competition must audition in front of
three judges, participate in workshops and compete against fellow
student poets. Written Word registrants must submit a portfolio of
original work, write an essay entitled “Why I Write,” and
demonstrate community service.
St. John’s is one of four institutions – including Adelphi
University, Mercy College and the University of Wisconsin – to
participate in this program.