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. 


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
poem, essay 1 comment challenge: General'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…
May 30

My Night

I gathered all the patience I had set aside, for moments like these and waited for the sun to descend, bringing forth its dark hypnotizing color. The transition to the bright silver of the beautiful, and dangerous moon of the dusk, from the orange and pink hues that glazed my skin a parmesan tone. The darkness holds so many secrets, just waiting to be discovered. The darkness holds so much decadence, just waiting to be acknowledged. I'll discover those secrets and acknowledge the horrid decadence, gladly. This was the thrill I lived for. I awaited the night, and it awaited me.
May 26

Settling Words

On the chilly, now windless night, in his vehicle he adjusted the temperature, to get a bit warmer. Kyle didn't know why he was feeling this way. The feelings that Harold Harlacher had stirred up, causing the sediment of love to surface again. Uneasiness, forgetfulness, anxiety, confusion... And nostalgia only flooded him just as soon as Harold hung up and his words settled in Kyle's cultured mentality. He felt it all simultaneously, the emotions that he expressed at the sound of her very name being uttered. His heart skipped a beat, while the acknowledgement strummed at his strings involuntarily, even though he thought it couldn't be the person he had in mind. The world, after all, was a very large place.
May 21


The daughter of a renowned priest, the sister of the largest church, with a family of friends, was fact. She's the beauty of the city, the sincerest of them all, an exceptional speaker, and extraordinary writer and listener, and most assertive, holding her ground when it was needed of her to take charge. That was what she thought of herself. Having an abundance of self-pride, balanced out with humility and overflowing charisma, it was like she knew what to do in the demand of the moment--everytime. Her iris sparkles, the forest green circumference, as if it were the windows to the beautiful wilderness and towards the pupil, the color gradually changes into a clement brown, like it was dipped in warm brown chocolate. It was difficult not to feel her aura of happiness, and witness the gleaming optimism in her eyes. That smile, that brings people together. It was almost tangible, and definitely most becoming of her, making the moment seem everlasting.
May 20

The Festival

The people there were unexpected, they wore face paint, and had very uncanny costumes, then suddenly an ominous silence was followed by the bong of a heavy instrument. Soon, an abstract sight stole all my attention, and shots of sparkling color went up into the air, and dispersed, like pollen from flowers. The stinging in my ears was trailed by a popping sound which I really couldn't place but, it resembled heavy rain falling on zinc. Only to disappear. I knew how fireworks were made, it's components, when it was for the use of destruction but, this was probably the first time, for me, seeing them so close up, making me wonder how much of my childhood I really missed. Was the world really that interesting while I locked myself away from everyone, watching the fireworks from my window all those years ago?
May 16

So Close, Yet So Far Away

My fingers ache from not moving and the nerve-wrecking aura of this setting, puts me in a state of melancholy. Having my right hand in a fist, holding my head up, my elbow pressed on my desk, I turn my body to face the cloudy sky, through the adjacent window. I slightly slouched in my seat, my eyes half-lidded and burning, I yawned, on the brink of sleeping; on the verge of reality. In my position, I felt like there was nothing I could've taken advantage of in this lecturing background. It's stormy, and all I can do is watch the rain run, skip and hop down from this glassed barrier. Not only did I sense this, but the heat planted over my head. Every time, it never fails to engulf me. For the lights were nothing new, yet, the heat radiated through my body and I produced sweat without doing anything at all. Directly right under the lights of the room, I ever so slowly melt.
May 15

True Beauty

Flashes of light pour into the room in one blinding color, emanating from the cracks of the shack if one were to witness something like this from the external. The overflowing white, from the inside to the out.

The sounds of shutters and a crash follows after and I desperately try to cover my face with the palms of my hands, not out of fear, but I could feel pebbles and things of that sort bouncing off my body. It was simply called protection. Yet, I wasn't capable of doing that much. I felt vulnerable.

I was so out of reality that I had imagined I saw someone being blown to bits in the most beautiful way possible, by a single ray of light. Though, in all seriousness, it could have actually happened that way.
May 12

Dear Asshole,

This isn't the first letter I've written to you. I've written to you in the dead of night, paragraphs upon paragraphs that you'd open in the morning. Guess who never got those cute messages, oh yeah, it was me. I had a beautiful picture be drawn to celebrate our first one month. Somehow you seemed to fuck up before you even saw it.  I have written note after note about how you hurt me, and you did it again, except this time I was finished. I don't long for your touch anymore because what once felt like fire, now feels like ice. Your words that once were music now sound like thunder, and you know I don't like storms. I'm a storm and maybe that's why I've learned to hate myself. When I told my mom what you did, she said she wasn't surprised. My family hated me as I made the mistakes again and again. I now see them as mistakes, not chances. Remember when I texted you, about that magician. It had made me think of you.
May 08

Have you ever heard toads singing?

Have You Ever Heard Toads Singing?
May 02
sprescott131's picture

the chance of a life time

Over the summer my parents told me I would have more responsibilities, they made me a chore list to do every day. In the morning I have to walk the dog and get the mail. Just like any other day I walked the dog and got the mail. I usually look for anything addressed to me. While looking through the mail I saw a letter addressed to me. I opened the letter and it said “congrats you’ve just won a dream vacation! You pick the place one person and we’ll pay for the rest. When I first read it I was excited, could I really have just won a dream vacation to anywhere? Then I thought about it for a little and realized that the chances of winning a free vacation are very slim. I saw a number that could be called. When I got back inside I called the number, curios if I had really just won a dream vacation. When the operator answered the phone I told them that I got a letter that said I won a dream vacation. The operator said “yes!
Apr 21
tashapea's picture

Visitation Hours Are Over

I watch silently as a woman brings in another one, strapped to the chair. This one is quiet as she is placed in front of a table. Beside her, a fellow resident is pouring milk into his napkin with determination. The woman frowns and grabs his arm, “stop doing that.” He doesn’t reply, but puts the cup down. The minute that the woman disappears around the corner, he picks up the milk once more and continues his mission.

I look away.
Apr 19

Dusting. Packing. Shipping.

College. University. The next step.

There is no word that scares me more than one that asks me to plan where I am going next. I am a dreamer, i am someone who wants to see the world happy and peaceful. I am someone who wants to help make it that. I am someone who can't be in one place for long. I am someone afraid to let people in because I want to spare myself the torture of having to leave them in a year's time. I am someone who at 17, panics so much about her next step that find comfort only in her mother's arms; and only at a point where it has reached the very bottom of where it could possibly go.
Mar 25

How To Be Empty

If you are one of the seventy-million people who wish to be empty, then continue to read the following paragraphs, if not, I urge you to turn away, for the following is not a safe road.

    You set aside loose fitting clothes before bed, along with a row of happiness—filled capsules.You find a soft spine measuring tape and place it beside your bed. You turn up the thermostat as high as it can go and put on many layers. You make sure to stack as many blankets on you as possible, heated ones on high are best. You feel even better when you remember the hot water bottle. You are burning up but you smile because you know that with every drop of sweat you spill, calories begin to panic and run away from your stomach. Your thighs.
Mar 25

The Definition of Modern-Day Schooling

The Definition of Modern Day Schooling

Everyone is genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’ — Albert Einstein

    It is 1905 in France and a psychologist named Alfred Binet is developing a test of intelligence. The French Ministry of Education is waiting for this evaluation to be completed, then handed out to students to determine which of them were slow learners.

The test was introduced as the ‘Binet-Simon scale’. This seemingly minor event would set off a butterfly effect that would flap its way right into a brewing storm. A century later, the youth are still feeling the wind from its wings.
Mar 15
kanec's picture

Don't Disturb The Trees

A small bug is invading ash trees around the United States and spreading like a rapid fire. The emerald ash borer started in China and Eastern Asia, It is expected to kill around 8.7 billion ash trees by the time it's done . When Emerald Ash Borer was discovered the rate of ash mortality increased by 2.7 percent per year, which will decrease living ash trees by 1.8 Cubic meter per hectare.  

While many people want to fight the emerald ash borer by treating trees with pesticides, finding natural predators, or changing people’s behavior to save the ash trees, I believe we should let nature take its course and cut the trees down when they die.