People & Places

YWP: ‘I Believe’

About the Young Writers Project

YWP only green-webYWP, an independent nonprofit based in Burlington, Vermont, engages young people to write and use digital media to express themselves with clarity and power and to gain confidence and skills for the workplace and life. YWP publishes about 1,000 students’ work each year here, in newspapers across Vermont, on Vermont Public Radio and in YWP’s monthly digital magazine, The Voice. Since 2006, it has offered young people a place to write, explore and connect online at, which has only one rule: Be respectful. For more information, please contact YWP executive director Geoffrey Gevalt at [email protected].

Charlotte Lau, a high school senior from Colchester, writes about how what a person believes in can change with time. “Sometimes I believe in magic. Sometimes I don’t,” Charlotte writes. “Sometimes I wonder if believing in magic is what magic is.” Charlotte read this piece at Young Writers Project’s fall conference at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.

YWP Charlotte Lau
Charlotte Lau is a senior at Colchester High School. Photo by Alison Redlich

I Believe

By Charlotte Lau

Click below to hear Charlotte read her work.
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I believe hard work gets you
somewhere in life, even though it may
not be the place you want to be. I believe
somewhere is better than nowhere but
nowhere is such a wonderful place so it
shouldn’t be neglected as an option. I believe the
last thing I always say to my parents is,
“Love you!” just in case they forgot. I’m
always scared they’ll forget. I believe in
taking things for granted and forgetting
how good things are until they aren’t anymore.
I believe in words and the impact they have
so I want my words to
be the ones I want to be remembered and
not ones I regret. I most definitely believe in regret.
I believe in its power and the ways it snatches you up and
twirls you in misery until the world
is a blur of nothingness. Sometimes I believe in magic.
Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I wonder if believing
in magic is what magic is. Most days that’s not enough.
When I was a kid, I believed, after watching a
movie, climbing beneath
my blankets would get me somewhere…anywhere.
Maybe even Narnia. I didn’t have a wardrobe
growing up. I wish simply believing
is how anyone can go anywhere; how I can
go anywhere and do anything. Unfortunately
that’s not how real life works. Now
I believe hard work can get you
somewhere in life, even though it may
not be the place you want to be. I believe
somewhere is better than nowhere but
nowhere is such a wonderful place. Some
days I long for nowhere and I wonder if
believing is enough to get there.

the-voice-dec-2016Check out the December issue of The Voice, the Young Writers Project monthly digital magazine. Click here.

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  • ronald bosch

    I think that Young Writer is pretty amazing and cool. I hope she sticks with it because her mind clearly has the potential to show us “special places”.