Editor's Note: As YWP transitions its leadership from GG to Susan Reid we are interested in knowing both what YWP has meant to you and how it can be improved. Please join in the discussion by responding to the "YWP Is ..." challenge.
I joined YWP at the beginning of my eighth grade year. This was during the same time period my family and I were considering an English tutor for me, because even though I read two books a day, I couldn't form a coherent sentence. We never ended up getting that English tutor. Throughout eighth grade it seemed I was miraculously getting better at writing, not good enough to be in the accelerated classes my freshman year with my friends, but good enough. I wasn't really satisfied with good enough though. I continued writing on YWP and I continued working in school. My sophomore year I was in the accelerated English program with my friends. I wrote on YWP all through sophomore year and started dabbling in photography too. Junior year I was in AP Lang and started reading my poetry to audiences, something I'd never done before. The winter of junior year I read one of my poems at the Annual Multiple Sclerosis Authors Luncheon. I was able to meet published authors including the author of WICKED. I never would have had that opportunity if it wasn't for YWP and Geoff. Reading my poetry gave me a boost of confidence.
By the time the AP Lang exam came around, I was prepared. I scored really well, well enough to get out of my freshman English class in college. I don't know yet how I did on this years AP Lit exam, but I do know YWP help transform me into a better writer and gave me a little more confidence. For this, I have to thank Geoff, Susan, and the rest of the YWP staff and community that has helped me along the way.