Amanda S. C. Gorman was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1998. She was raised by her mother, Joan Wicks, a teacher, with her two siblings. She has a twin sister, Gabrielle, who is an activist and filmmaker. Gorman has said she grew up in an environment with limited television access. She has described her young self as a “weird child” who enjoyed reading and writing and was encouraged by her mother.
Gorman has an auditory processing disorder and is hypersensitive to sound. She also had a speech impediment during childhood. Gorman participated in speech therapy during her childhood and Elida Kocharian of The Harvard Crimson wrote in 2018, “Gorman doesn’t view her speech impediment as a crutch—rather, she sees it as a gift and a strength.” Gorman told The Harvard Gazette in 2018, “I always saw it as a strength because since I was experiencing these obstacles in terms of my auditory and vocal skills, I became really good at reading and writing. I realized that at a young age when I was reciting the Marianne Deborah Williamson quote that ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure’ to my mom.”
Gorman attended New Roads, a private school in Santa Monica, for grades K–12. As a senior, she received a Milken Family Foundation college scholarship. She studied sociology at Harvard College, and graduated cum laude as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.