Mar 10
lorenyoung's picture

Emerald Ash Borer

The ash tree is a very important tree in Vermont’s landscape.  Ash have beautiful diamond-shaped bark patterns and they stand out in a forest due to their tall and straight lines. 

To me, ash trees are iconic. They make the Green Mountains green in the spring and summer, and turn to vivid orange hues in the fall. My dad and I find morel mushrooms growing in the nitrogen-rich soil at the base of our ash trees. They are known for having great, full tops, and bring good value in the timber market. Birds love ash trees because they are high enough to keep away predators, and deer rely on ash trees as they eat the buds off the young tops in the winter. 
Oct 13

College Essay Workshop -- Online Version

For those who couldn't make the YWP-VSAC College Essay workshop Oct. 14 (it was pretty awesome -- thanks to the seniors who attended), you can go to our online version. From now until Oct. 31, access resources, help & feedback. 


Oct 04
essay 0 comments challenge: Shoes
k drake's picture

Who I’d be

I’ve been asked many times who I want to be. Usually this is in the reference of what I want to be when I’m older, or if I want to be kind, smart or talented. But for me that wasn’t the question I heard. If I could be anyone, if I could step into anyone else’s shoes for a day, who would it be, who would I be? This is the question I’ve always wanted to answer. 

For most of my life if you had asked me I would have said someone in my school. I never wanted to be a famous person or someone with lots of money. I wanted to try someone I knew life. They would have to be in my class because that’s the only way I could really make a change. If you ask me now though I would say one of my teachers.

I wanna know what goes through their minds. I wanna know why they do what they do. I need to get an understanding of them. Sometimes they show who their favorites are just a little to much. Is it on purpose? I want to step into the shoes of being a teacher.
Sep 26
essay 1 comment challenge: Step
Grace._.'s picture

One Step At a Time

As a very wise woman once said, "I've always been famous it's just no one knew it yet."(Lady Gaga). I love to paint. It is one of my favorite hobbies and I love expressing myself on anything I can get my paintbrushes on. The main reason I have been painting is for relaxation, but one of my hopes is to eventually become famous on an application by the name of Tik Tok. It is an app where one can make any type of short video one wants. In my case, I would really enjoy making short painting videos that show me working on a variety of projects. Although it is hard to become famous on Tik Tok, I believe that I could do it. The first step I would like to take to do so would be to post a bunch of videos. Many people have said that the more one posts, the more views, and followers one gets. This brings up the question of how to make my videos interesting. I will try to incorporate some relaxing music in these shot art clips to make whoever is watching feel serene and calm.
Sep 26
essay 0 comments challenge: General


Sometimes poeple seem born to run, born to GO BIG.
But that doesn't mean the rest of us can't.

Sometimes, we have to walk before we can run.
And we practice.... and practice.... and practice until we're ready to take the next step. 

Sometimes it's the little things that matter.
Things we can't even begin to comprehend.

Sometimes it seems like we are unimportant.
But everything ... EVERYTHING, is important, from the biggest, most devastating hurricane to the smallest insect.

And everyone and everything has a purpose.
Sep 25

Learning My Rights

    I believe in the importance of student rights because individuals are being groomed to be meaningful participants in society. I have been an activist for about a year now. Ever since I started volunteering at the Peace and Justice Center, I’ve fought for nearly every cause imaginable. My activism really picked up when I became a volunteer for the Sanders campaign in April 2019. The Bernie 2020 team gives me projects like thanking donors via phone and helping out at rallies. I even got to visit New Hampshire for a canvassing event!
Sep 19
Grace._.'s picture

I Love Me

It is hard for a teenage girl to love herself in this day and age. With all of the standards we are expected to live up too, it can be tough. In a world full of haters, sometimes one needs to take a step back and just realize how amazing they are.
Sep 18
nfarnham's picture

Who I am

My name is Nicole Farnham. I am a normally calm person and I love school and learning. I like hanging out with my friends and laughing. I m good at reading, skiing, and being there for people when they need someone to talk to. I like listening to music especially classical music. My favorite composer is Beethoven. One of my hobbies is decorating houses and rooms. I love interior design. When I graduate 12th grade I want to go to Albany Medical College for undergrad school to become a general surgeon. For graduate shcool I would love to go to Harvard Medical school. The reason I want to be a general sergeon is because I want to save and help people who need it. If I cannot be a general sergeon for any reasons I would still like to be able to help people any way I can. 
Sep 13
nfarnham's picture


I looked down below me and saw the entire mountain covered in snow with people skiing down it. They were going so fast it looked like they would crash. It was my first time skiing down a mountain this big. I was so scared and I wasn't sure I should do it. I looked over at my teacher who was looking down the hill. I looked down again and then all of the sudden I slipped and I was flying down the hill so fast I could barly see what was in front of me! I cleaned my goggles of and looked. Up ahead there was a huge mountain I had to go up. I started to go up but then when I was almost there my ski got caught up in some loose snow and it sent me flying up the hill. At the top I was laying facedown when my friends rushed up to see if I was okay. I said I was fine just scared because I hadn't known what to do after my ski got caught. After I got up and took a few deep breaths and finished skiing down the hill.
Sep 13
essay 0 comments challenge: Risk
Xander's picture


Taking risks is an important part of learning to do something you never knew you could do. Taking risks is especially important in sports like mountain biking or snowboarding. In biking, you have to take risks to feel more confident in going faster and stopping less at rough terrain. In snowboarding, doing jumps and going faster are ways to take risks and getting better at it. In snowboarding you can take different risks every time you go because there are different conditions every time. It is always different, whether it is icy or powdery. In mountain biking you can take risks, but you have to pay attention to what the trail conditions are like because a risk you take on one trail could be just flat out dangerous on another. In snowboarding, it is important to always pay attention to detail, because you could be going in for a jump and think going to be powdery when its actually icy can be the difference of getting hurt rather than just taking a risk.
Aug 28
essay 2 comments challenge: Nerves
Treblemaker's picture

I Kid You Not

My first day as an intern for a  Radio station was the best experience of my life,
Why? read on.
It all started when I spilled iced coffee on my white shirt.
The ice fell all over the white carpet
and as my boss walked by, he slipt and fell in the ice cubes
I reached down to grab his hand, when one of the other employess decided I was a small table
and placed two hundred sheets of music and scripts on my back.
You think my troubls would have been over right?
I kinda shrieked, which scared another employee with a cake for my bosses birthday
I. Kid. You. Not
It fell on his head. 
So of course I stood up and the papers went
flying because I was next to the air conditioning. 
So the whole radio station started trying to collect the flying papers
and I helped up my poor boss who thankfully was laughing histerically 
Aug 23

Why I Don’t Write Like I’m Running Out of Time

     I’ll begin with a blunt forewarning. For the first time,  I’m about to pour out the innermost contents of my soul all over this expansive and terrifyingly public entity known as the internet. Is that the best of ideas? Likely not. Am I going to regret this immensely in a few hours at most?  Absolutely, but here I go anyway. So bear with me or don’t.
Aug 05
Eloise Silver Van Meter's picture

Donald Trump Denies Sexual Assault Allegation Again, Disparaging Women While Doing So

On June 25, Donald Trump was once again accused of sexual assault. This time, by an advice columnist based in New York named E. Jean Carroll. In responding to the allegations, Trump said this: "I'll say it with great respect: Number one, she's not my type. Number two, it never happened." Trump has used this approach of defending himself over a dozen times, using his victims’ appearances to make his case. In what way does saying a woman is “not his type” show any respect? Based on his past defending statements, including "She lies! Look at her, I don't think so," said in 2016 after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2005, and "Believe me — she would not be my first choice" after another woman claimed he groped her on an airplane in the 1980s, it feels safe to assume he is referring to Carroll’s appearance when he says she is “not my type.” His response is repugnant.
Aug 03
AuctorHistoriarum's picture

Generation Z: Change Will Happen

Generation Z
“Change Will Happen”
We are Generation Z (born between 2001 and 2013). We are described as the “individualistic, and tech dependent” generation (Link). We and the Millennials(1980-2000) are  the generations that will inherit choices made by some of the lawmakers from the Baby Boomers(1943-1964) and the Silent Generation (1925-1942); from environmental issues, to gun violence, and social equity. We have to prepare or be ready to face the consequences of their decisions . So how do we prepare? 
Jul 19
essay 0 comments challenge: Legacy
AuctorHistoriarum's picture


For a person who loves history and writing, I have never thought about my legacy. When I try to, I am reminded of the people who had left legacies that have forever changed the world.  We can think of the conquerors like Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Rameses the Great, and Alexander the Great; peace activists like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, and humanitarians like Saint Teresa of Calcutta, and writers like Tolkien and Jane Austin. Which of them thought about their legacies as they embarked on their journey? 

I believe that for the conquerors, pursuit of glory, created their legacies. Alexander, Ghengis, Ramases, and Caesar had a thirst for glory and fame. How do we know this? Caesar and Rameses made statues of themselves  while they were alive. Caesar, Alexander, and Genghis all had coins made with their faces on them. All these conquerors created their empires through the sufferings of others. 
Jul 12
essay 1 comment challenge: Peace
AuctorHistoriarum's picture

Creating Peace In Our World

To understand what peace is, we must first know why hate exists. What is hate? Where do we learn it from? We are not born with hate, we learn it. As we get older we slowly process what is happening in the world. Parents and the adults around us help us understand some of the harsh realities of the world and they do this in small doses. Some of us are very lucky. We have loving parents and adults around us who model acceptance, compassion, and kindness. I believe we all have a moral compass, but our experiences throughout life can bury that compass. Hate accumulates in layers. If we do not have an adult to peel the layers off and to show us how to respond, the layers harden, and we lose the ability to show compassion, love and respect to another. If children are surrounded by adults who hate, be it about another’s religion, color, race, or culture, children imitate these values, beliefs, and behaviors without truly understanding why. 
Jun 14

oma koti kullan kallis

The evening before Vappu, my grandmother would spend the entire night in the kitchen, kneading dough, slicing cabbage, and whisking batter-- all of this happening simultaneously as we drowned in spice-perfumed air, surrounded by piles of delicate kaalikääryleet cabbage rolls and sweet tippaleipä cakes we were forbidden to eat. While my siblings and cousins played outside, I stayed with my grandmother in the kitchen, transfixed as her careful hands heated the fragrant makea manteli oil over the stove. I was fascinated by the way the thin, wispy tendrils of dove-grey smoke curled towards the ceiling like slithering serpents. The air would fill with the heavy, sweet smell of simmering almond oil and the warm, bright scent of orange peels and vanilla, smothered in a smoky blanket of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
Jun 10


“Decide what to be … and go be it.”-The Avett Brothers
Hi, my name is Tess Everett. So many different factors have shaped who I am today and have helped me grow and learn from my mistakes and successes. Every day I learn something new because of the people around me who want me to succeed. Before Alpha, I hadn’t really thought about how I could define myself. Being on Alpha helped me figure out who I am and what I value. Now I know that I am an empathetic, genuine, reflective, dedicated, and innovative person. In this finale project I will be connecting my characteristics to a stool I constructed in the woodshop at the Shelburne Craft School.
May 31
tashapea's picture

Gen Z - Be Proud

Being a Gen Z kid myself, I might be a little biased, but sometimes, bias is good. People -millenials mostly- say that our generation is addicted to our phones, that we can’t be taken away from them. Some go as far as to say that they are our lifelines. I’m not here to argue with that. I’m just here to provide some sort of justification.
May 30's picture

Time Travel

    Some people have dreamt up ways to travel into the past or future. In movies and books we see people using cars, phone booths, and Time-Turners, to name a few. Others are actively looking for a way. They appeal to science and magic, hoping that they will find ways to transport our bodies to events that took place long ago, so that we can witness (and maybe even change) the course of history.

    Some people think that time-travel is impossible. But I know a way—a way that is quick and accessible, ready for me almost anytime and anywhere. By accident I have discovered that the simple power of a song can catapult me into the past. I’ll be scrolling through lists of songs in the search of an old favorite, and suddenly, without warning, I am flung into the projects, the classes, the places and the feelings of the past as if I’d never left that time, that place, that moment…