Final Blogpost: My Unexpected Learning With WTS

As our team finishes the documentary and WTS is wrapping up, it’s time for one final blogpost. Our final retreat was a couple weeks ago and we only meet as a WTS cohort twice more. It feels good to see our project really take shape, but it’s also a little sad to see this program come to a close.

Our documentary, about the struggles of low-income kids in education, is almost finished at this point. It centers around a few main characters, including Margaret Bass and Tom Payeur. They tell their stories of growing up in a low-income family and their struggles to get where they are today. They describe how they experienced the so-called “opportunity gap,” or how low-income kids face extra challenges and fewer opportunities for success as high-income kids. Over the course of this year, our vision for this film has changed and shaped itself into what it is today, something I can say my group and I are proud of. It will be out on YouTube and our website soon.

Over the course of my time in WTS, I have learned and improved on many important skills that I was hoping to when I entered the program. I improved on my teamwork and became a much better group member as the year went by. I learned critical thinking skills, including evidence and analysis, I learned life skills of storytelling and conveying a message I believe in, and I learned more about Vermont and some of the problems and challenges it faces. Most importantly, I made real change about an issue I am passionate about. But I also learned other, equally important skills that I wasn’t even thinking about going into the year.

One skill I practiced over the year that I was not expecting was bravery. Going around to meet with and interview different people that are experts in their field and are also complete strangers is a little nerve-wracking! I put myself out there in situations that were out of my comfort zone, and I’m better for it. I learned important skills and gained experiences that I will have for life as a result of doing these interviews. Interviewing Bernie Sanders was something I never thought I would do, and it freaked me out a little. It also happened to be an unbelievable and unforgettable experience that inspires me to continue with my social action work.

Another thing I learned was how to create something that I am truly invested in. Over my entire school career, I have done countless projects, but never one that I am as invested in as this. I spent many hours outside of school and our retreats working on this project, a project that I can truly feel pride in. I have also never made a project like this that is as important. Our group truly desires to make a change in this topic we all chose and are all passionate about. As a result of this, our final product is something that is the result of hard, driven work that maybe wasn’t fun all the time but is something I don’t regret for a second.

Finn Wormser
My name is Finn Wormser and I'm from Shelburne. I'm a ninth grader from CVU High School. This is my first time doing the program, but I'm familiar with it through friends and my brother. I love playing sports and watching sports. I play volleyball, basketball, and am going to start ultimate frisbee in the spring. I play the bass and my brother, dad and I like to pretend we're a band. I am very excited to start What's The Story and to learn about a social issue in Vermont.

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