Raleigh Charter High School senior Jessica Kariisa placed in the top nine of the national Poetry Out Loud competition finals in Washington, D.C., on May 15.
The first-place winner was Kristen Dupard of Mississippi, followed by Claude Mumbere of Vermont and MarKaye Hassan of Utah.
The fourth- through ninth-place finalists are not ranked. As a finalist, Kariisa received a $1,000 award. Raleigh Charter High nabbed $500 for the purchase of poetry books.
The competition challenges students to memorize and recite poems from a database on the contest website, with judging based on style and accuracy.
Finalists are chosen from a competitive field of about 365,000 nationwide, according to the competition website.