March Retreat: My Brain is a Delicate Ecosystem That’s on Fire.

What’s the Story isn’t just another thing you join and then forget about, skipping meetings and not doing the work. It isn’t a traditional classroom cleverly disguised as something fun and set off campus. It’s an opportunity for young people to make a genuine difference in the world.

Our work is measured by the progress we’ve made, instead of if it’s right or wrong. We have overnight retreats with opportunities to be incredibly productive in our groups, but also opportunities to learn new skills that are essential to our projects, and life. After spending almost the entire day working, we get to hang out with one of the best communities I have ever been a part of. Middle and high school students from across the state are a part of WTS, which gives us a chance to break out of our normal social bubble and get feedback from people we wouldn’t normally have a chance to meet. We don’t just exist together to benefit our projects though, last night I spent an hour simply hanging out with a few other people, talking, and showing each other videos, and it was the most I’ve laughed in a long time. After that we got a bigger group together to play a game that I guess has become a sort of tradition, if you can count something that’s only happened three times a tradition. The game was Anomia, possibly the only game where shouting things like “sexy Gandalf” is relatively normal and will earn you points.

WTS helps you grow not only as a learner, but as a person. There isn’t someone scheduling interviews for us and holding our hand the whole way, we have to go out into the world and use our connections to find opportunities ourselves (not that they won’t guide us along the way and offer help when we’re struggling; they push us to exist in the world as adults, but they don’t leave us stranded).

WTS has allowed me to make a difference in the world I’m going to grow up in. We as youth can’t just leave issues to be solved on their own or by others, because we are the people who will be living with these issues. From water pollution to sexism, WTS is the start to solving so many issues, and allowing us to learn real life skills including writing, video editing, story boarding/writing a narrative arc, and many other things along the way. Without WTS I wouldn’t have the tools I need to make a difference in a very well organized, educational way. I probably wouldn’t have been able to create (with the help of group members and experts) a workshop, a website, an educational web-series, or other products that I have learned from and used to spark change in our communities.

You should apply if you feel passionate about a subject that you want to see change from. If you know that traditional classrooms are limiting you instead of allowing you to excel. If the school system has held you back from doing things in a way that you know you would learn more from, and the world would benefit more from. If you want to take your learning into your own hands and work independently and in a small group of passionate learners. You should apply if you want hypothetical projects you have to write about in school, to become a meaningful and well put together reality that has a genuine capability of changing the world.

-Fiona

Visit our website here for more information about Breaking Binary.

PS: You get to wear sweatpants

Fiona Nelson

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