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. 


Aug 15

How to Write a Story

this is a draft. help would be appreciated - sources to use, general tips for my writing.
this is a speech i need to do for AP Language and Composition.
    How to Write a Story
Aug 06
earleyg's picture


I'm a cryer. I'm just gonna get it out of the way. It's said that on average, women cry twice a month and men once a month, but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that those numbers don't apply to me. I used to always think that in the seconds after something drastic happens, you have a choice; cry or hold it in. A few times, I surrendered to twin waterfalls on my face, and other times, I let a stone expression mask my inner feelings. It feels good to let loose sometimes, to just unleash pent-up emotions, some you may not even know you had. It's a way of deeply expressing yourself, putting clear visuals center stage and letting the waterworks take you down the river. Of course, it depends on the severity of the cause that will affect the level of reaction. Had a rough day? Shed a tear. Had a small fight? Hyperventilate. Was just at the wrong place at the wrong time? Suck it up! Had the worst day of your life and wish you could change what you did?
Jul 31

A Prisoner of my Mind.

     Once upon a time, I lost my grip on reality. I spent years with my head in the clouds, dreaming of a life I could not have. I fell in love with people I'd never met, became attached to places I'd never been. I waited for the impossible to happen- for those dreams to become a reality.
     One day I realized I would be waiting forever. What had started off as daydreams became so real to me, and I wondered every day when my "real" life would start. I accepted that if this continued I would live a dismal, unfulfilled, life, unable to become attached to anyone or really live. I couldn't go on like this. 
Jul 08
essay 2 comments challenge: Safe
Icarus Blackmore's picture


Editing will be done; I just wanted to post this while the prompt was still available.
Jul 07
Nicole Jasmin's picture

Why I Love Dogs... More Than Cats (Essay and Debate)


Don't you just love it when a furry friend comes to you when you're feeling down? Ah, me too! Well, I guess we'll talk about that... if you want to, at least.... Come on, who can't resist talking about dogs?

Well, why do I love dogs? Why would we not be alive without them? How do they stress us out but help us with life? Y'all need to remember that dogs aren't fluffy creatures that we boss around, no, no, NO! I remember that when I felt like nothing, my aunt's dog came and cuddled with me. I felt like something again. If a cat saw me upset, I think it would just run away from me and be careless (Uh.... no offence cat lovers, just thinking that's what a cat would do to me). 

I'm talking, what would YOU do if you saw your dog upset? Just kill 'em.... with kindness, that is! 
Jul 06
essay 1 comment challenge: AI

My friend, the robot

I'd be scared if I got along well with my best friend, only to find that they're an AI. What if they were tailored to suit me, to get close? I'd be afraid they did so because someone wanted me dead. I read Willful Machines by Tim Floreens and that's what the premise for the book is. Great story by the way, I hope the sequel comes out soon.

If an AI was my best friend, I'd be scared but also intrigued - how long had someone worked to make a machine to befriend me? Am I that important?
I'd think the world would be threatened if it became possible to lower someone's guard with an AI. THey could be used to take out high-profile targets. Espionage. Suicide bombers. 
Amazing idea, but every coin has two sides. I'd love a friend that I can't help but adore, but at the threat of being murdered should my friend be hacked? No thank you.
Jul 05

Our Responsibility

My idea of justice is equal opportunities for all. No one person is different than the next, and everyone should be treated as such. A man and a woman are equal and should always be considered so. Regardless of race, creed, or sex, everyone is entitled to being treated like they are a human being. That should not be an object of contention. The only place it should be is in the court of law for crimes against humanity. If you sink lower than low, prove you're not worthy to be called a human being, again and again, then only mercy can save you if you've hit rock bottom and kept digging.

Jun 11

Am I losing my Identity?

In my life I have lived in far more places than some others my age. I have lived in the Middle East , The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and I am currently residing in Denmark.
Jun 05

Not Bilingual

Note: I wrote this for my AP Lang class.

    As I read the paper this assignment was on, I felt a rush of excitement. This would be the chance for me to tell my story. Snippets of half-formed ideas were playing through my head and I felt that the pieces of a fully coherent essay were beginning to slowly weave themselves into a tapestry that would give the viewer a glimpse into my life. I could write about how language creates greater difficulties for Chinese-American girls than Chinese-American boys. I could write about growing up with Chinese as my first language but now checking the “English is my first language” box on official forms. Needless to say, I left class feeling ready to tackle the assignment.
Jun 04

Memoir! :D

So, it was sometime around 9:00 or so in the morning, in February. I was sitting in bed, on my phone (like always), and while I’m on my phone.
I get a notification.

So, me being me, I open up “Discord,” (an app on a phone or computer for talking to others), and one of my friends, had told me something..

    So, I’m the “supportive” type of person, and I ask “What’s wrong,” or something along the lines of that, and I waited for an answer… Nothing. Yet. Nothing had been said yet, so, I go back to watching YouTube. While I’m waiting, a message notification pops up. So, of course, I look at it. Not from her, so I go back to waiting.

Then, I get a message from her, I read it, and she told me that she had depression, and I couldn’t form words, I was just too shocked, I was so shocked, it was like I was hit by lighting. Being supportive, I asked if there is anything that I could do to try and help...
Jun 04

Memoir! :3

It was sometime around 8:30, and Grace had just woken up. And something seemed off..

Something was missing…

Now, Grace didn’t know what was missing, but something was missing. Could it be a pet? A person? An object? Who knows? But when she had gotten up to “investigate”, what was really missing, shocked her to the point where it was like she was shocked by lighting.

One of her hamsters had died. But how? Her hamster had been cared for, the hamster had food and water. Grace didn’t know how or why he/she had died. So, once her parents had woken up, she had decided to talk to them about getting a mouse, or a guinea pig. And when she had asked for a mouse, the answer was a; “Maybe.”

A little bit later, they had gotten ready to go and get Grace her new pet. After they had gotten ready, they had went to PetSmart. Once they had gotten to PetSmart, Grace had been super excited.

“Are you sure I can’t get a mouse?” Grace asked.
May 28
elizabeth.dixon's picture

HOBY 2018

There are so many words I can use to describe the Hugh O'Brian Youth leadership seminar.





But the one word that I think sums all of it up is enlightening. I have the drive to help. The drive to make change. HOBY lit my candle of hope and now I am on the mission to light others candles. I want to teach people to lead not just lead them. I want to inspire a voice of reason. At the start of the seminar they told me I would not be the same person when I left. They were completely right. I am stronger and wiser. I am no longer afraid of the future. I am ready to take it by the horns and guide it MY way. This will stick with me forever.

May 27
CateBuley's picture

If I Die In A School Shooting

If I die in a school shooting,
tell my family I love them.
If I die in a school shooting,
it will be because I was
a human shield.
If I die in a school shooting,
the weapon most likely would
have been legally attained.
If I die in a school shooting,
I don't want to end up as
another forgotten name,
or satistic for the NRA.
If I die in a school shooting,
let me be the last person to.

May 26

A Forgotten Voice

Sometimes I just want everyone to just shut up
They all just make excuses to make themselves feel better
To make sure they are better than you in every aspect.
 You keep quite cause its hard to fight back
And when you do, you seem to lose value
But you still try to speak up.

Eventually speaking up starts to become useless
Because people stop caring,
People stop listening.
Then you listen.
But that becomes painful.
You want to scream but your voice has been forgotten

I used to think that I would never lose my closest friends,
But now they seem to find new, better ones
And the worst part is
You have to fit into a certain group.
When you are an all-around person you seem to miss things that happen in the groups,
And those things start to push you away from the rest
You start to feel lost and forgotten
May 19
earleyg's picture

Should We Cure Autism Or Not? – Speech Class

The debate about whether there should be a cure for autism or not has taunted both sides with theories and fears. In 2009, the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority negatively called out the Son-Rise program, a center that mentors parents about autism and treatments, because of an ad that made them sound like they could "cure" autism. Yet between 3-25% of people seemingly "outgrow" their diagnosis, meaning that the autistic label becomes inappropriate.
May 04
essay 0 comments challenge: Last
keelan durham's picture


This is our last chance. Our last chance to do the right thing and save the planet. Co2 and other greenhouse gas emissions have risen to a dangerous level. But there is one more chance one more chance to take action and keep the situation from spiraling out of control. Humanity has done something that any high school student will tell you is dangerous, and that is to procrastinate, and this has led us dangerously close to our own destruction. Many of our leaders have been gambling with the future of the land, earth, water and air that we rely on everyday to provide the nourishment necessary for survival. The world needs action and action now if we are to ever to effectively combat this issue. The people need to demand action from our governments and lay a new foundation for our energy infrastructure. We are currently hanging by a fraying rope over an abyss. If we fall then nothing can save us but we have been given one last chance.
Apr 15
Edeffner's picture

Keep Us Children Safe

We see the videos of kids like us on both sides: some are pro-gun control and some don't want any restrictions on guns.  But before we talk about the solution to the problem, we must first fully understand what this is all about.  This issue is about teenagers not being killed at their schools, a place where they are supposed to have problems, but none that kill them.  Adding restrictions may help keep guns out of the wrong people's hands, but there are already too many guns available to dangerous people.  So are we supposed to accept that students can get killed and there is nothing we are supposed to do about it?  Slowing the sale of semi and fully automatic weapons is just one problem.  It also is about finding a way to educate gun owners so that they understand the power of the weapon they own.  Along with background checks, there needs to be some kind of gun safety course for people who want to own a gun.  At the end of it, there must be a test to make sure we do not put
Apr 13
essay 0 comments challenge: Earth
keelan durham's picture

Sand Up

Never before in the history of the world have humans been closer to issuing their own destruction. The very earth the we live on, the very water we drink even the very air we breathe is in danger and our government seems totally unconcerned. Climate change threatens the very foundations of human civilization. It threatens to rip us out at the roots and we need bold action now. Congress seems unable to gaze through the clouds of corruptness that hang around capitol hill for a solution. Instead of looking of a solution they are still arguing over whether or not this issue actually exists. We need action now. We need to give a cry that will drive the clouds surrounding capitol hill. We need to sow the seeds of change and  grow them into solutions.