The Scene Season 3 - Bonus Video: Ahkei Togun

by Shannon Bowman

With confident recitations of poems by Henry Taylor, Cornelius Eady, and William Lisle Bowles, Tallwood High School senior Ahkei Togun of Virginia Beach, Virginia, won his way word by word to the 2016 Poetry Out Loud National Championship. Togun beat out 52 other state champions who also recited during last week's two-day National Finals, all of whom had themselves risen to the top of the approximately 317,000 students who participated in Poetry Out Loud during the 2015-16 school year. Togun's win earned him a $20,000 award and, of course, major bragging rights. Following his victory, we sat down with Togun—who began competing in Poetry Out Loud as a freshman—to find out how it felt when he realized he'd won, what his future plans are, and his secret for success.