The five 15- to 18-year-olds will promote the reading, writing and appreciation of poetry during a year of service as literary ambassadors, particularly among young people.
Each student read original poems for the first lady and guests Thursday at the White House.
Mrs. Obama says the program was created to nurture the passion and creativity of young people while sharing the "gifts and wonders" of poetry.
She says Thursday's event celebrates the students' journey through endless drafts and writer's block.
The students are 16-year-old Weston Clark of Zionsville, Indiana; 18-year-old Madeleine Lecesne (leh-SEN') of New Orleans; 15-year-old Ashley Gong of Sandy Hook, Connecticut; 17-year-old Cameron Messinides (meh-SIN'-neh-dees) of Camden, South Carolina; and 17-year-old Julia Falkner of Louisville, Colorado.