Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Young Writers Project: 'I Believe In Us'

Milton, Vermont, writer Amelia Canney encourages citizens of all ages to push onward in their fight to ensure safety within American schools.
YWP Media Library, photo by Caleb Dudley
Milton, Vermont, writer Amelia Canney encourages citizens of all ages to push onward in their fight to ensure safety within American schools.

The first time I heard of the wave of school shootings streaking across our nation, I was shaken to the core of my being. The second time, I was scared but not shocked. By the third time, I was used to getting alerts about students being shot in one of the few places they should feel safe. And that’s not a sentence anyone should ever be able to say.
I read the stories online. I read the obituaries of the students, who had opportunities awaiting them they’d now never be able to take: acceptances into college, internships, places on sports teams – all robbed from them with a single bullet.
I read the stories of the survivors as well, survivors who were using their experiences as the basis for a movement to end school shootings; students who were organizing protests, parades, pleas to those who could make a change; students who were making their voices heard, screaming at the top of their lungs, “No more. Never again.”
These teenagers are taking the initiative where the adults in power will not. Even with limited power to make the decisions needed, they refuse to back down. And they are influencing the rest of us, too.
Young people are starting to get more involved in the workings of our country. They are fighting for their beliefs and spreading the word that even if we don’t have any power legally, we’ll have it soon. In the meantime, we are rising, and quickly. And it’s a very good thing that we’re doing so. Should we be submissive to the adults who assure us they know best, we will grow up into a world far beyond our capability of saving.  
I know this because I, and the people around me, can feel the effects of the political world on our backs like a scorching wind in an endless desert. We are the ones learning drills for potential school shooters. We are the ones discussing gun laws in hushed voices in corridors, replacing the once rhetorical question of, “What can we do to help?” with intention for action. We are the ones picking sides in this zoo of elephants and donkeys, because we’re past the point of waiting our turn. We no longer have the option.
We are growing up faster and stronger than expected. We have seen the world and, with young yet tired eyes, risen to the challenge before our time.
I believe in the resilience of the next generation. Because if I don’t let myself believe that the next of us can and will rise up to save our world, then I can hold no hope for the future.   

Latest Stories