People & Places

YWP: ‘A Chance’

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].

Isabel Blankenbaker, age 13, is an eighth grade student from Rutland. She questions why she should give President Trump a chance.

YWP Isabel Blankenbaker
Isabel Blankenbaker, 13, is an eighth-grader in Rutland. Courtesy photo

A Chance

By Isabel Blankenbaker

Click below to hear Isabel read her work.
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We have been told to give Trump a chance.
We have been to told not to judge based on the past.
We have been told to wait before we judge.
We have been told, “You’re just holding a grudge.”

Well, I have given him a chance.
And I have tried to ignore the past.
And he has responded with banning religions.
He has responded by ignoring the court’s decision.

So why should I give him a chance
When he has dismissed people with just a passing glance,
When he is so clearly intent on taking us back,
Back, back, back way into the past?

I have given him chance after chance.
But I am done giving him chances.
I am done ignoring his stances.

I am unsure of exactly what the future holds.
I am unsure if it will be as bad as what was foretold.
But I know that he has no grace or tact.
And I know the true meaning of “alternative facts.”

But we must also not let ourselves lose our tact.
We must always stay aware of what is and isn’t fact.

It is very easy to jump and argue with hate.
But we must not let what we say be a waste.
It is very easy to wait in comfortable silence.
But we must not just sit and be compliant.
It is so very easy to take up violence.
But we must never make others silent.

I am done giving him chances,
For he has judged people by passing glances.
But do not let the same become true of you.
Because then I don’t know what I’d do.

The Voice Jan. 2017-1Check out the January issue of The Voice, the Young Writers Project monthly digital magazine. Click here.

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