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 23
lvaughan's picture


          Summer is over and fall is upon us. Fall in Vermont is filled with pumpkins carved into shapes of cats, witches, and faces, corn mazes that take all day to travel through. The common sign of fall in Vermont is the red, orange, and yellow leaves covering the trees and eventually the ground. People come from New York, Florida, California just to see these magnificent colors. Vermonters are the lucky ones though they get to experience what foliage is about. First comes the beautiful colors. Then comes when the wind begins to blow harder and the leaves all float down to the ground. Next, comes searching for the perfect one to press in a book. Finally, the funnest part of all is playing in the leaves.
Oct 23
eqiu27's picture

Trip To New York

Today is the day! The day where my friend group and I take the bus to New York. Why must you ask? Well, in the beginning of November, we were talking about how we wanted to go to The Rink At Rockefeller Center in New York, NY during around Christmas time to ice skate there. But we didn’t have the money or our parents' approval yet and we also haven’t even talked to them about it yet since we figured their answer would be no. Until, one day, we got the confidence to go and ask them. We made a slideshow and everything and had them sit in the living room while we presented it. It took a lot of courage for us to do that. They ended up saying that they needed to talk about it together and needed time to decide if we can go or not. About a couple days later, the parents gathered us into the living room. They had decided we can go but we had to pay for everything besides the hotel room and the bus tickets. They said they’ll pay for those.
Oct 23
essay 0 comments challenge: Virus

Dear Corona....

Dear Corona...

Hey it's me,

I've noticed you decided to hang around. Great. I don't know if you noticed, but your killing people. And the people your not killing are still dying just not in the way you think. Because of you, people have to distance and never see the people they love. We can't go anywhere! Its sad that when I got to go to the grocery store again, it was like some big adventure! You are ruining peoples lives and you don't care. People are depressed and scared to death. Thanks for the visit but we don't want you here. We are done with all the pain you conflict on us. We will never be the same again. THERE IS NO MORE "NORMAL" BECAUSE OF YOU! Normal is gone now. We won't get to go back to the way things were... Please leave.

Just leave.
Oct 19

This, Is Why I Write

I write because my tongue is too tired to speak.  I write because somethings are easier to say if their shaped in ink. I write because I want to say the things that are hard to say. I write because sometimes you don't listen. I write because I'm not wasting my breath on your ears. I write because of that feeling of giddy blissful happiness or cold suppressed numbness goes away, and I continue to write because it always comes back. I write because I hate to repeat myself. I write because I hate repeating myself.
Oct 17
eqiu27's picture

A Day In Winter

It was one chilly winter morning up in Vermont. Maya, an eight year old girl, was still soundly asleep in bed until her mother, Amanda, came into her room after getting a phone call from Maya’s school. Maya woke up all sleepy and alarmed, wondering why her mom had woken her up at six in the morning. Amanda told Maya, that there wasn’t school that day and that it was a snow day. Maya's sleepiness somehow disappeared as she sprung out of her bed to her window. As Maya reached her window, she saw snow. Lots of snow. About like three inches already. She also saw snow plowers coming down her street and her neighbors shoveling the snow on their driveways trying to get out to go to their work. Maya started running around her room and started to sing. Amanda had to step in to tell Maya to calm down. Amanda also told Maya to try and go back to sleep since it was early. Maya refused to go back to sleep until Amanda told her when she wakes up, that’s when all of the fun can happen.
Oct 16
Nevbee's picture

John Lewis's legacy

How can we keep John Lewis's legacy alive?

A good question that is sadly hard to answer.
People all over the country mistreating others just because of the color of their skin or their culture.
People all over convinced they are superior because of their skin or their beliefs.
You better look the same, sound the same, act the same, believe the same things, if you don't want to be marginalized.
That's today's society.
But it's not hopeless, especially now that so many people are standing up and finding their voices.
So many more people are stepping out of the shadows, fewer and fewer bystanders, more and more voices.
One person at a time we are fighting this.
This being, racism, homophobia, classism, religious prejudice, etc...
There will always be people that continue to mistreat others. 
There is no excuse for this. Nothing that makes it okay. Nothing that makes it better than it is. 
Oct 16
lvaughan's picture


It was the day after it had just rain and the ground was covered in ice. Just a typical winter morning in Vermont. Most people would be inside watching a movie with hot chocolate. Not for my family. Since we own a small dairy farm most of our time goes into caring for the cows. This day in particular we had to bring a first calf heifer into the barn. This is usually a simple task but not today. Milking was done, the cows were fed, and the barn was cleaned, everything was going fine, until.
Oct 15
hfahey11's picture

Winter in Vermont

Winter in Vermont. Most people find it so beautiful, saying they have never seen anything like it. Well the truth is it can be beautiful but….shoveling snow in negative fifteen degree weather with the wind blowing around, or having to move firewood so that your house will be warm. Yeah, that's the stuff that makes winter suck. There's Christmas, hot cocoa, and other things but that is not what winter is to me. 

    Winter to me starts with soccer coming to an end and basketball starting. It’s also hunting season coming to an end and ice fishing and skiing beginning. Smash the frozen jack-o-lanterns and put them in the tractor bucket. Put up the lights and the wreaths. It starts to snow but the ground is not cold enough for the snow to stay on the ground. There's still more. You have to pull the plants from the garden and cut back the flowers for the winter.
Oct 13
Yellow Sweater's picture


I have always identified, rather sheepishly, as an intellectual. Considering that I am interested in linguistics, classical history, and mathematical philosophy, It’s the only title that has fit. But for me, the label has both a frivolous quality and dark romance. When I think of an intellectual, I see a Raskolnikov like character, holed up in some filthy apartment, drinking plum brandy and furiously typing idealized political theories. A professor who lectures in their bathrobe. Or maybe an amoral speech writer, spinning grandiose lies for despots. I think of the Lenins, Kierkigaards, and Brucans of history. And to be perfectly honest I wouldn’t be terrible opposed to joining their ranks. Communism looked great on paper; I would love to pen a political philosophy just as preposterous. I think it would be fascinating to spend my life attempting to reconcile devout lutheranism with existentialism.
Oct 06
Yellow Sweater's picture

Does democracy work?

Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered. This is the attitude that allowed the Roman Republic to become the Roman Empire. Chauvinism is not a quality to be admired in a democracy, because a president driven purely by their own ego corrodes the strength of the collective. Exploiting the flaws in a system instead of helping to fix them is the providence of the politician. But a leader must build bridges instead of walls. A leader must patch the cracks instead of widening them. 
Oct 06

Thank you, John Lewis

Thank you.
Thank you for what you have done for us, what you have inspired us to do.
Thank you for all the work you have put into making us better people, a better country.
Thank you.
Oct 05

Equal Rights for Women

Natalie Wainwright 


F451 Composition
Equal Rights For Women
    What if the world went up in flames? What if everything you owned and knew was destroyed and burned to ashes? But what if you could save one text? Which one would you save? I would save the Declaration of Sentiments, a political document written primarily by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It was written to promote equal rights of women and is a response to the Declaration of Independence. I would save this text to preserve women’s rights, which we have tried so hard to get. We have come a long way and it took a lot of work to achieve equal rights. The Declaration of Sentiments preserves that work. The Declaration was read at the Seneca Falls convention in July 1948. It was followed by twelve resolutions, all of which were eventually passed by law. 
Oct 02
essay 1 comment challenge: Maze
Shisi Dai's picture

Countless Corners

    I’ve been exposed, controlled, and owned by this incredible maze since I was born. Although I go forward every day, whether walking or runing, slow or fast, I have never seen the exit, and I don’t remember what the entrance looks like, but I pass countless corners. Some corners are right-angled, some of them are smooth. Some corners are bright-colored, some of them are black like the darkest night. Usually, I find a treasure box after every corner. Maybe it contains a comedy, or a tragedy, or a magic that can let me feel what is happiness and support me when I’m exhausted. 
Oct 02
essay 1 comment challenge: Banned
Mr. Glazer's picture

Choosing "Good"

[Editor's note: This essay by Roxane Park, Grade 8, Crossroads Academy, is a response to Banned Books Week, which is this week.]
Words Worth Saving: John Steinbeck's East of Eden
“It would be absurd if we did not understand both 
angels and devils, since we invented them.”

               ~ John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Oct 02
essay 0 comments challenge: Maze
lvaughan's picture

The Maze

          Every turn and bend looks the same. It's getting darker by the second. What to do, what to do. No one in sight. You're all alone. Doesn’t that sound like a good horror movie, as long as you aren’t in it. The one time I try to have some fun, after being stuck at home due to the coronavirus I get lost. This was supposed to be a fun day with my friends and it turns into me losing my friends inside a Halloween corn maze. I don’t even know how I lost them one minute they were with me the next they were gone. Just like in a horror movie. 
Oct 02
essay 0 comments challenge: Maze
Megan22's picture

Brain Maze

I run through a maze of thoughts and decisions everyday just to start a different one the next day. The walls close in as the day comes to an end, I have to make the right turns and the right decisions or I could mess up everything I worked for. I have to make it out everyday. There's so many different exits to this maze, some bad, some good.  Theirs too many paths, too many options. In a different world maybe I make all the right turns. Do I go over the path with spikes and lava or the easy path? What if the dangerous path leads me straight to the exit? I'm always overwhelmed and overthinking I should just trust my gut and eventually I'll get there right? Just take it one turn at a time. ¨black coffee?” The lady asks me.   ¨uh… yeah just black please¨  Dammit I already messed up. You like cream in your coffee idiot. It's fine one wrong turn is fine.
Oct 01
essay 0 comments challenge: Maze
hfahey11's picture


    Left or right? Either way I’m going to end up somewhere. Whether or not its right is the question. I left the start line at 5:00 and I have four hours to get to the middle to win the prize. Well I would say win the prize, but it’s actually you get to keep your life. Make it to the middle of the maze in four hours and you keep your life; otherwise you die. Seems easy, right? Well not exactly. There are other things in the maze you could lose your life to. Another thing you may ask is why am I doing this? I had no other choice.
Sep 30
essay 0 comments challenge: Banned

To Live in Freedom And "A Question of Elbow Room"

To Live in Freedom And “A Question of Elbow Room”
          Throughout human history, experiences with various forms of government have introduced us to the aspects that define a successful administration. By examining the past, we can identify the qualities that are most important to us, and the qualities that we consider to be most beneficial. One broad, but familiar, theme that defines successes and failures alike is the element of individualism. In some governing bodies, this wasn’t a valued element, and partially because of that, they ended up being remembered less pleasantly. In governments where this component is taken to heart and displayed with pride, we find that these governments were much more effective and long-lasting and have made positive marks on society. If we look closely at the past, we can better understand the values that we want future generations to live, and in this, design their future destiny.