People & Places

YWP: ‘Mi Nombre’

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].

Briggs Heffernan, a senior at Oxbow High School in Bradford, writes about his given name in response to a Young Writers Project prompt asking about the origins of people’s names and whether they like their name or wish it was something different.

YWP Briggs Heffernan
Briggs Heffernan is a senior at Oxbow High School. Courtesy photo

Mi Nombre

By Briggs Heffernan

Click below to hear Briggs read his work.
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Briggs. That’s my mother’s maiden name. It is also my first name. It’s a strange name, often mistaken.
It is not Bryce, Brig, Brick, Bridge, Bricks – or even Prince, as one old man misheard.
This was one of many choices for my name. Most were nearly as strange, though I still would have preferred nearly all of them: Ronan, Cadmium, Van, Rory and one of my dad’s favorites – Boy.
But my great-grandmother had a dream before my birth that I would be Briggs, and so it was.
I don’t like my name. It doesn’t fit me.
But as the Bard would say, “A Briggs by any other name would still be a fool.”

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

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