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. 


Jan 15
essay 0 comments challenge: Trouble
Megan22's picture

Jeremiah's Battle with Trouble

Today trouble seemed to seep through Jeramiah’s day like water through a sponge. Jeremiah's one of those people who can tell what kind of day it's going to be just by how their morning starts, and beginning the day by finding out someone had blocked his car does not indicate a good day. Baffled on how to get out of his parking spot, he decided to call an Uber, something he rarely does and dislikes to do. Once the Uber arrives, Jeramiah goes to grab his headphones, and believe it or not, they are not there. Now he feels obliged to initiate a conversation which is not something he has a fondness for. After some awkward smalltalk Jeramiah hops out of the cramped Mercedes and begins the short walk to his office building. Jeremiah works as a journalist and just yesterday there was a huge fire in downtown so now he must cover the story, not excluding interviewing people involved. He cracks open his old crappy Macbook only to realize his computer is on 5 percent, great.
Jan 15
essay 0 comments challenge: Trouble
lvaughan's picture

Cow Down

The day started out just like any other. It was Friday September 25th 2020. Everything was going to plan, morning chores were finished in the barn on time and Joe and his crew were chopping our corn for us with his self-propelled chopper.  This was the second day of chopping and it looked like it was going to be the last. The first day went pretty well and they did arrive a little late so we were late to getting started but it looked like we were going to make up for the lost time today. They came earlier then the day before and got to work. Now Joe was in charge of chopping corn, there were two dump truck drivers carrying the corn from the field to the silo where my dad was packing it with the tractor. You might be wondering where I was during all of this I was up in the house doing my writing assignment for English class. If you can imagine having big dump trucks drive by your house every ten minutes can make it extremely hard to work.
Dec 18


I read something recently. It hit me really hard, actually. I kind of stared at my iPad screen for a moment, blinking through the mist in my eyes. Because, guys, seriously, this was such a game changer. 

What it said was: you are the AND, not the OR.  

Dec 18
essay 0 comments challenge: Blue
hfahey11's picture


Blue, blue is many things. It can be happiness. It can be sadness. It can be anything in between. The color blue brings back memories of the night sky, but it also brings back sad feelings from the rainy days spent alone. When you think of the ocean you think about the animals, the living creatures swimming in the blue water. Think back to the days at the pool and you can hear children screaming full of joy. They are in the blue water. If you look closely at the snow on the ground you can see the blue. Blue is not only happiness it’s mostly sadness. Those rainy days sitting inside ready a book listing to the somber music. Blue isn’t just feelings either it’s a look, it’s a way of expression. When feeling blue you are sad everything is sad. Not wanting to do anything nothing makes you happy.
Dec 18
essay 0 comments challenge: Twirl
lvaughan's picture

The Nutcracker

She had the perfect view of the stage from where she was sitting in the audience. Watching them twirl around in circles mimicking their moves in her mind, one leap to the left another to the right. After what felt like minutes, the curtain fell and consumed the stage in blackness. As the clapping began Isabella’s mind traveled back to a few days before when she found out that her dream would finally become true. Ever since the first day of ballet practice it had been her dream to go and watch her favorite famous ballet, The Nutcracker. She had asked for a ticket ever since that day and finally on the fourteenth birthday it was coming true. She remembered opening the last gift and realizing that yet again she hadn't gotten the one thing she’d asked for. However, after finishing opening the gift her parents had surprised her with one another gift. It was a small box shaped present.
Dec 18
essay 0 comments challenge: Twirl
Megan22's picture

Spinning and twirling

After a long day of school and procrastination, it's around 5 when I finally gain the energy to go practice my 360s on my snowboard. I ask my mom for a ride to the hill near the park like always, without my friend this time though; I simply want to practice with my own thoughts today. We just have a medium-sized jump and a small rail at the hill, any more and I'm sure we might get some complaints. No one is here and the snow is pretty good, powdery but also a bit sticky. I pop in my ear buds, most likely listening to something by Arctic Monkeys or The Neighborhood and then strap in. After a few failed 360s I get into the swing of things and start actually fully rotating and spotting the landing. I can't say they look pretty, but it's closer than I've ever gotten. 
Dec 17
Yellow Sweater's picture

On Translating Lorca

This is an academic essay I wrote for my English class. I am pretty proud of it, so I thought I would share. Because it has footnotes, a work cited page, all the trimmings, I have to post it as a PDF. The essay is fairly long, but if you are interested in poetry translation I would love to hear your thoughts. 
Dec 12
essay 0 comments challenge: Blue
ekoier's picture

A Blue Sled

I chose to build a boat out of tree bark, cardboard and popsicle sticks. I painted it blue because it reminds me of the ocean. I took a photo of my blue boat on the white snow because the snow reminds me of the waves in the ocean. Life is like a wave. You have ups and downs but you also have calm times and times when life is smooth. To me the boat on the snow symbolizes my life.  
Dec 11
essay 0 comments challenge: Scars
lvaughan's picture


Living on a farm with five other brothers and sisters will leave you with many scars. My dad has told me many stories of times when he and his brothers did something and it ended with leaving marks and scars all over them. One time it was in the middle of a cold Vermont winter. For many people this meant spending a day sledding down the biggest hill you could find. Since we live on a hill there are many hills all around the farm perfect for sledding down. So since it was such a perfect day to go sledding my dad and his brothers and sisters decided to. Everything was going just like they had planned. It was my dad’s turn to go down. It was a perfect take off and he was picking up speed as he continued to soar down. The only problem was that he hadn't waited long even for the person in front of him to get his sled out of the way and before he could stop himself, he crashed head first into the sled.
Dec 09
essay 0 comments challenge: Scars
hfahey11's picture

My One Scar

Most people have multiple scars. On the other hand I only have one scar. 

The summer before 6th grade I went back-to-school shopping. I got these pants that were black and white and really flowy. When I got back from shopping I put the pants on and in regular “mom fashion” my mom said, “Don't wear those yet! You are going to ruin them.” Well, I thought that she was wrong. 
Nov 29
Yellow Sweater's picture

Hocus Pocus

Through my astrolabe I see the universe’s concentric squares. 
My longing keeps me captive and sacred in God’s incomprehensible geometry. 

God is an empty battlefield. A vast space filled by the intimate conflict of our desires, by the veneration of our passions. We feel the intensity of a battlefield because we fight in it. We understand space because we sculpt it. God transcends the dualities that define our religions, yet religion is our way of making God tangible. It is our way of grasping the pervasive, yet elusive, rhythms of mysticism that fill the space between atoms. We grasp at God because we position ourselves outside it, in a world defined by convictions. By separating ourselves we give God shape. To make something holy is to hold it apart, to imbue it with faith rather than reality. 

The curvature of prayer is parallel to linear logic. 
Hocus pocus. 
God tastes like bread and blood
and clouds.

Nov 21


To me, women are the calm before the storm, the moment of peace before the whirlwind hits; a silence; a clash of sound and then, a celebration. They are the beginning, the middle, and the end, and they rise above the tide, beautiful and merciless and so captivating, my breath is stolen with their smiles. I am utterly enthralled with women, for what they stand for, and I welcome the capture they have on my heart. 

Men, however, are the storm. A brand of chaos, controlled and yet uncontrolled, the edge of a wicked smile and the sinful shift of muscle beneath bone. To be held in their embrace is to be consumed, as if by fire, of the rage of their hearts. I will never understand them, and that, in and of itself, is an irresistable driving force of my desire to know and yet not, holding me in my place. Men are terrifying, and they are beautiful. 
Nov 20

Colorado home

The room starts at the back corner of the couches and ends at the T.V and dining room table. In the back right corner, there is a security camera. Along the back wall, there are two windows with the yellow shutters closed, and a square, copper mirror with outdented circles lining it. In front of the first window, on the floor, there is a white air vent with an electricity plug above it. There is a side table with copper base and adornings. On the table, there is a short, soil colored lamp and a small statue of an elk. To the left of the table, there is a mossy, coffee colored couch with brown shaded, striped pillows. In the back left corner, there is another couch, going with its back parallel to the foyer. It has a single everest green pillow resting on it. Along the right wall, there is a stone and brick, grey, gas-powered fireplace with a light wooden shelf above it. The shelf holds a picture of pine trees, a red flower pot, and fire-colored flowers.
Nov 20
essay 0 comments challenge: Tune
lvaughan's picture


In the song “Alright” by Darius Rucker is a song about being happy for the things that you have and not taking them for granted. A perfect example of this is when the song says “don’t need no five star reservations, I've got spaghetti and a cheap bottle of wine”. This part is saying that this man doesn’t have very fancy stuff and that he doesn’t need it to be happy. Some people believe that if we have all the latest and fanciest stuff that we will be happy. Going along the lines of talking things for granted. People don’t always remember that there are some people in the world that don’t have shoes, houses, and food. Those who do take these simple things for granted. Another line in the song explains that,“I've got a roof over my head, the women I love laying in my bed, I've got shoes under my feet”. In this line you can see that this man is grateful for what he has and he understands that not everyone is as lucky as he is to have all these things.
Nov 16
Nka12345's picture


This is an information essay about eukaryotic cells. There will be stuff about what’s in cells and what makes them work, and how to tell the animal and plant cells apart. 

Inside a eukaryotic cell are many things. For one, membrane bound nucleus. They also have other organelles that perform many things. Being smaller than the width of a hair, cells are very complex.

Inside of the small thing, the cell’s organelles do many things. Chloroplasts, an organelle found in plant cells, collects sunlight and turns it into sugar. The sugar is then turned into energy by a different organelle, the mitochondria. Another organelle is the vacuole, It stores food, water, and waste. Unlike the plant cell’s chloroplasts, an animal cell's lysosome doesn’t get food from the sun. It instead breaks down larger molecules to eat. Last but not least, the nucleus stores the genetic information (DNA) and controls what goes on in the cell.
Nov 15
eqiu27's picture


Who am I grateful for? Well, there are a lot of people I am grateful for, but I am grateful for my family and friends the most. My family has been there for me since day one. From the day when I was born to this day. They were at all of my basketball games, my dance recitals, my graduations, my winter concerts, and most importantly when I am down in the blues. They make me laugh most of the time and they care for me. Then, there’s my friends. My friends have always been there for me too. From the day I met them to this day. They never fail to make me laugh when I need a laugh. They check up on me and they push me to be the person I am today. They cheer me up and they are proud of me for whatever I do in life. My family and friends are probably the people who I am going to be the most grateful of for the rest of my life. 
Nov 15

November existence

It’s November, and music and words have long become a refuge for me. They always held open arms for me, but now more so than ever. Every minute without music feels like I am being strangled. My violin has sprouted both a piano and a guitar.

If I don’t write, I explode. I need to describe in great detail the afternoon sun, and so many other things, or the world will crash and burn. I have read so many books this year, but it’s difficult to tell if I have learned much from them.
Nov 14
cmhemingwa's picture

My Thoughts on Death

The concept of death is frightening to me but not in the way that it is for most people and it may make me sound callous or just cold, but I’m not scared of death itself exactly. My mind can’t really comprehend the concept of death really, it just doesn’t feel real and like it's made up. In reality what I’m really scared of is loss and the absence of either the person who died or what they brought to my life. Loss is something that my mind can comprehend and put meaning and feeling behind because it’s easy and not as complicated as death. Death is an abstract concept that doesn’t have a concrete aftermath besides just death, no one knows what happens when we die. Loss on the other hand is a concept but also an easy feeling to understand and comprehend at any age. Children and people like me can’t fully grasp death or its workings like some other people, but everyone knows what it's like to lose something or have something go missing from our lives.