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TABLE OF CONTENTS
9 WHAT MAKES HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS SPECIAL BY MICHAEL WALTON II 10 WILFRED SIMMONS AND KADE’JAH STEPHENS BY MCKINLEY NELSON AND CHANEL HOWARD 11 JAHLIL OKAFOR AND MEGHAN QUIGLEY BY MCKINLEY NELSON AND YUWEI LEI 12 CHRIS PARKER AND CLIFF ALEXANDER BY BRAYLYN BROWN AND SUBRIA WHITAKER 13 BLAKE TISZA AND SANFORD HUNT BY ERICA MAYO AND MINA WAIGHT 14 PAUL WHITE AND SYDNEY PATTERSON BY MCKINLEY NELSON AND BRAYLYN BROWN 15 ISAAC JACKSON AND LAQUAN TREADWELL BY MINA WAIGHT AND LOLA OGUNFEMI 16 RUSSELL WOODS AND JAMES ANDRE DAVISON BY KRISTEN BROWN AND TAHJA M. SHABAZZ
17 BILLY GARRETT MORGAN PARK, BASKETBALL BY MAYA BRYANT 18 LINNAE HARPER, WHITNEY YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL, BASKETBALL BY MCKINLEY NELSON 19 STERLING BROWN, PROVISO EAST HIGH SCHOOL, BASKETBALL BY YUWEI LEI 20 MCDONALD’S ALL AMERICAN RECAP BY TIERRA CARPENTER TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
BY MAKYIA BRIDGE, JAZMYN ROBINSON, ASIA WILLIAMS 39 FROM TGK TO SEVYN BY ERICA MAYO 40 I LOVE LUCCI..VEE BY GABRIELLE LONDON
28 TRENDS OF THE SEASON BY GABRIELLE LONDON 29 THRIFT STORES: THE NEW FASHIONABLE PLACE TO SHOP BY DEVONTE WEST
UNDER THE RADAR
WHY NEWS MATTERS
41 CHICAGO’S RISING STARS MZ DAY DAY AND JONNY WILD
30 SEPARATING FACT FROM OPINION BY ALEXANDER STOCKSTELL 31 BEING A JOURNALIST IN THE DIGITAL WORLD BY ELEXIS RUIZ 32 MEET MELLODY HOBSON: AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS’ HEAD HONCHO BY BRAYLYN BROWN
42 FIVE FINGER DISCOUNT HURTS BUSINESSES & CONSUMERS BY STEPHANIE GREENE MAJORING IN BUSINESS BY DAYANARA GUYTON 43 FINANCIAL TIPS FROM THE PROS BY DONNELL FELTON FINANCES FOR COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS ON THE MONEY
33 BELIEVE IN A DREAM BY JAMELIAH SALTER SOUTH SUBURBAN FAMILY SHELTER BY CHANEL HOWARD
INSIDE & OUT
44 THE REAL DANGERS OF MOLLY BY MINA WAIGHT 45 SICKLE CELL AND THE BLACK COMMUNITY BY KRISTIN BROWN
34 PRESIDENT OBAMA VISITS CHICAGO REGARDING GUN VIOLENCE BY MAYA BRYANT 35 MORGAN PARK AND SIMEON’S DANGEROUS RIVALRY BY KENNEDY WARD
46 YOUNG AND IN LOVE? HEED THESE WORDS BY TEAIRA PITTS 47 YOUNG LUV: INSTAGRAM LOVIN’ BY SYDNEY SHAW 48 GIRLS APPROACHING GUYS: DO’S AND DONT’S BY GABRIELLE LONDON
36 HOW TO BUILD A GAMING PC BY REINALDO DELAOSA 37 CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY: INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN PUBLIC RELATIONS? BY SYDNEY SHAW
THRU DA WIRE
50 THE UNSPOKEN STRUGGLES OF A COLLEGE FRESHMAN BY KIA “KWEEN K” SMITH
38 CA$H OUT: PATIENCE IS KEY BY TIERRA CARPENTER EXCUSE HIS FRENCH: THE JOURNEY OF FRENCH MONTANA
1130 SOUTH WABASH SUITE 302
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Executive Directors J. Na-Tae’ Thompson & DeAnna McLeary Managing Editor Edgar Molina Copy Editor Marti Parham
MINA WAIGHT SOPHOMORE KENWOOD ACADEMY
Welcome back True Star readers, it’s about that time again for this year’s Spring Issue dedicated to high school sports. This issue will give Chicago’s best athletes some much needed recognition for all their hard work. In our Sports section, we profiled some of the most noteworthy high school athletes across Chicago including DePaul-bound Billy Garrett, female basketball star Linnae Harper, and the ever-motivated Sterling Brown, among many others. In our Fashion section we feature the newest and hottest styles to look your best this spring, as well as an article on all the hype surrounding thrift store shopping and how to get the most for the least. In the Real Talk section, learn how to distinguish truth from misinformation in the news, and how the field of journalism has evolved in the technological world. In the Giving Back section we get the insight on the international non-profit organization Believe in a Dream, as well as South Suburban Family Shelter who provides services to victims of domestic abuse. In the Technology section, take a step away from console gaming for a second and learn how to put together an affordable gaming PC. Thru Da Wire profiles Ca$h Out and gets a closer look into his music career and what to expect from him next, as well as Lucci Vee and French Montana. In Teen Biz explore the option of majoring in business and get some money management tips from the pros. In our Inside and Out section, get to know what’s really up with Molly and explore Sickle Cell and its impact on the African-American community. The Young Luv section offers some interesting information on what a relationship should consist of, and what you should know about being young and in love. Finally, we end this issue with the unspoken struggle of being a freshman in college and how to overcome it.
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Art Direction Design and Illustration Angel D’Amico-Bauer Photo Coordinator Mireya Acierto Special Projects Managers Deshaun Adams & Philistine Thompson Web Content Manager Joi Mitchell Celebrity Booker Randy Bonds Marketing & Promotions Assistant Cozene Williams Web Content Assistant Henry Collins & Tashay Dennie Downtown Freelance Editorial True Star Headquarters Instructor Edgar Molina Editorial Assistant Alexander Stockstell Mina Waight Nanyamka Gallardo Sydney Shaw McKinley Nelson Yuwei Lei Kia Smith Michael Walton II Kaylynn Harris Vinessa Gabrielle Maya Bryant Janaya Greene McKinley Nelson Janiela McKinney Jemiah Flowers Amisha Thomas Christopher Brown Kristin Brown Nefari Steele North Side Editorial Foreman High School Instructor Edgar Molina Editorial Assistant Karl Thomas Mike Meza Anthony Lugo Reinaldo Delaosa Micheal Maldonado Xavier Dwyer Thalia Valez Rogelio Moreno Jeremiah Natano Luis Cedeno Xavier Dwyer Mario Mundo Anthony Ruiz TF North Photography Instructor Andre Hampton Daniel Alvarez Jerome Chew Shantel Gatson Michael Hampton Anita McNutt Louis Ramey Cynthia Slaughter Angel Townsend Shayaqua Williams Johnny Williams Photography CVCA Instructor DeShaun Adams Sheema Clarke Kenyatta Ferrell Ja’Tayvia Hayes Johnetta Jones Malique Keene Dejanique Lucas Devon McCrary Malik Pannell Lamont Taylor Jamilah Thomas
Annick Toussaint Clarice Walker Graphic Design Corliss Early College STEM High School Instructor Polina Zionts Student Art Director Anshaunti Hillery Gabrielle Hodge Donovan Ingram Nathaniel Jackson Brandon Johnson Javon Jordan Noshma Lawson Jesus Leonard Jaylin Lovinsky Michelle Mosley Shantrice Ousley James Palmer Robert Redus Aalayha Robinson Tichina Williams Digital Media Corliss Early College STEM High School Instructors Jeneba Koroma Darshon Gibbs Rochelle Alston Kyle Anderson Tiffany Boozer Markee Brooks Ruquiah Cochran-Gray Jajaun Davis Chanel Dunlap Darrien Griggs Devundray Hannah Kiara Hickman Michael Hogan Diamonique Jackson Denialle Johnson Shakima Kinds Shakita Kinds James Kiing Joseph Lewis Derek McHerron Markita Neal Malik Taylor
Deja Mannie Shazea Nathan Kennedy Pulliam Lasundra Spencer Tremirra Sutton Dequann Vaughn Denzel Washington Photography Thornton Fractional South Instructor Andre Hampton Keven Adams Allie Akinsanya Jamal Beamon Mark Flournoy Sanji Harris Kiana Jackson Drakia Jordan Sherry Thomas Jaylin Waters Anisa Wells Marketing True Star Headquarters Instructor DeAnna McLeary Sade SnowdenAkintunde Jose De Luna Deja Mannie Destiny McClendon Basia Pettis Michael Smith Radio Broadcasting Austin High School Instructor Teefa Assistant Danielle Elise Ashley Paris Brown Darnell Gibbson Terry Hannah Joceyln Hicks Danielle Pope Rueben Robinson Nathaniel Smith Kyle Thomas Jerrod White
South Shore Editorial South Shore International College Prep West Side Editorial Instructor Westinghouse College Tacuma Roeback Prep Instructor Teaira Pitts Veronica Harrison Shemar Johnson Makyia Bridge Radio Broadcasting Myiesha Hunt Chicago State Univ Jazmyn Robinson Instructor Asia Williams Trey Da Choklit Joc Assistant South Side Editorial Ermina Veljacic Morgan Park High School Tyler Brown Instructor Donnell Buford Marti Parham Brian Carrasco Jasmine Davis William Armstrong Jackie Kidd Jacob Bonds Julian King Tajua Bowman Samantha Labranche Braylyn Brown
Kayla Cruse Alexis Estes Andrea Griffin Jessica Hickman Jessica Jackson Gabriela Lacy Tamirra Pierce Lauren Randle Tahja Shabazz Makela Vaughn Kennedy Ward Christopher Watkins Devonte West TF South Editorial Thornton Fractional South Instructor Lee Edwards Deanna Cruz Tiera Carpenter Mark Flourno Kyra Francois Tia Fuller Tamera Fuller Tania Henderson Kortnee Holmes Myiah Levy Erica Mayo Jessica Newhouse Lola Ogunfemi Jarrett Small Frankie Tchatchoua Deja Thomas TF North Editorial Thornton Fractional North Instructor Lee Edwards Ieisha Banks Tiara Curry Shantel Gatson Michael Green Chanel Howard Dyese Matthews Taylor McNeil Anita McNutt Lawal Muneerat Ariana.Phillips Shacara Shaw Cynthia Slaughter Briana Trice Diamond Walker Sports Editorial True Star Headquarters Instructor Jack Silverstein Braylyn Brown Kristin Brown Maya Bryant Nanyamka Gallardo Chanel Howard Yuwei Lei Erica Mayo McKinley Nelson Lola Ogunfemi Tahja M. Shabazz Mina Waight Michael Walton II Subria A.Whitaker
1. WHERE DO YOU GO TO FIND NEWS AND HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE IN THE MEDIA? 2. HOW CAN HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES USE THEIR STAR POWER TO CREATE CHANGE IN CHICAGO? 3. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS OF LARGE GROUPS OF TEENS GOING DOWNTOWN FIGHTING AND WILDIN’ OUT?
Sophomore South Shore International College Prep South Shore Editorial
Junior Morgan Park High School South Side Editorial 1. For news I prefer to avoid watching the news (it’s way too depressing for me) and go straight to the Internet. Sites like My Fox Chicago, the Huffington Post, and MTV.com are my favorite places to get the latest on local news, pop culture and world news.
1. I find news by watching the news, the Internet, social media networking, and sometimes friends. I only believe it if there is actually evidence such as a news article, photos, or actual statement from a person or from an expert. 2. High School athletes are looked up to. They could set a good example by being their own person. Showing that it’s okay to be different and that you don’t have to be like everyone else. Set the trend of being better. Be a role model to another, show that you don’t have to act outrageous to receive attention.
2. Exceptional high school athletes are like minicelebrities. And we all know that most celebrities have the power of persuasion. If athletes expressed their hopes and views on creating a better Chicago, it would definitely be picked up by a few charitable organizations with the same goals.
3. I think teens going downtown and to malls causing disruptions in Chicago is ridiculous. It ruins it for everyone. You can’t even go out with your friends without someone suspecting that you and your friends are up to something. It gives Chicago teens a bad label.
3. Downtown used to be the place where people, both young and old, went to hang out and enjoy our city. However, teens are giving downtown and the younger generation a bad rep. If you want to be belligerent and ignorant, do that at home; not in public where your actions affect and reflect everybody.
1. Where I go to find news is the newspaper. I know some of the things in the media are not the whole truth, but I only believe in what I see. I do not, however, believe in everything I see in the news.
1. I usually go to websites that I can believe in the information provided, because those websites always give valuable information.
Sophomore Corliss High School Digital Media
2. The things that athletes can do to create change in Chicago is to come out to tell teens to stop the fighting and killing. That’s what I think athletes can do to create change in Chicago.
Senior Foreman High School North Side Editorial
2. They can use their star power by going for a position in the city government. 3. I honestly don’t care since it will not have anything to do with my life, and I haven’t put much thought into it.
3. I think it’s just stupid because somebody can really get hurt or maybe die. People should start acting their age, not their shoe size.
Sophomore Whitney Young High School Freelance Editorial 1. Personally, I don’t find it beneficial to look to the media to come to conclusions because their “he said/she said” mentality makes their credibility questionable.
LOLA OGUNFEMI Senior TF South High School TF South Editorial
1. I find news on the Huffington Post website (www. huffingtonpost.com) or ABC 7 News. 2. They can bring about change because their fame can bring a spotlight to the terrible condition that Chicago is in. It can be seen from someone who is forced to survive out here. 3. I think teens going downtown and fighting is embarrassing. That type of stuff ends up on worldstar.com and makes Chicago look even worse. It also keeps other teens from enjoying themselves downtown because there are police everywhere.
2. They can use the influence they have in the community to promote positive things. 3. I think they are wasting time on senseless things. Life is too short not to take advantage of positive opportunities. But we also have to ask ourselves who is to blame for their ignorance to these opportunities? When you know better, you do better.
Sophomore Corliss Early College STEM High School Graphic Design
TIARA CURRY Junior T.F. North High School T.F. North Editorial
1. I find news through the Internet like Yahoo and Fox News. I listen and decide if it sounds right to me or not.
1. I go online and watch TV to keep up with current news. If I’m unsure about the news I’ve heard on television, I go on Google and look it up to confirm. 2. They can promote sports to more teenagers and show them that being part of a school activity is better than being out in the streets. [Sports] can also further your education because you can possibly earn a scholarship from being in a sport. 3. Honestly, I feel that it is all just peer pressure; teens just trying to fit in and follow the crowd. Doing what they think is cool instead of what is right.
gives them opportunities.
2. Athletes can create change by becoming the best they can be in life. They make a commitment to help inspire students across America. They show us that they can receive an education that
3. It is stupid and childish when teens go downtown just to do these kinds of things. It is disrespect to all people. They need to keep that trouble away from downtown. It is not a place for foolishness.
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 7
The Magic that is High School Sports T
wenty points in four minutes is a feat that many pros wish they could accomplish, but on February 16, 2006, it was not Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, or Derrick Rose putting on this impressive display; it was a 17-year-old autistic teenager named Jason McElwain. McElwain had never been able to make his school’s team but he was a team manager the entire year. The coach decided to reward McElwain by playing him in the final regular season game. Little did coach know, he was creating a YouTube sensation. McElwain came into the game and after missing his first shot, he made six 3-pointers and a jumper in the final four minutes of the game. He sent the fans into a frenzy and they cheered him on and created an atmosphere similar to a Game 7 of the NBA Finals. What took place that night would never be possible at the college level. It was a magical memory so unbelievable that it makes the Rocky films seem like they were about a favorite rather than an underdog. Part of what makes high school sports amazing is the “larger than life” personas of the best talents. Their skill is sometimes so great that a legend of the player is created that follows them for the rest of their life. College, pro, and even elementary school players can dominate, but none can dominate like high school legends. The built-in fan base of high school sports helps keep the atmosphere great, but the players are what help separate high school sports and create the special allure that surrounds it. That is why even to this day, all sports fans will hit YouTube to watch “man-sized” LeBron James dunk on unsuspecting high school kids, to watch Reggie Bush embarrass varsity players all over California, and to watch the “next big thing” wherever he or she may be located. High school sports have spirit that simply cannot be replicated at any other level. My favorite sport is basketball and I have witnessed games in person at each level and can say honestly that the high school atmosphere is addictive. Whether you are a senior citizen, or fresh out of high school like myself, high school sports fans radiate youth and make you feel young again.
8 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
BY MICHAEL WALTON II, FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
One of the things that excited me the most about college was the opportunity to attend some great college basketball games. Seeing Mizzou point guard Phil Pressey dazzle with amazing passes and cheering him on with a raucous crowd was excellent, but after witnessing some great games I felt something was missing. After one more game I instantly knew what was absent: the closeness. I yearned for the hot and packed gyms of Chicago’s South Side. I was desperate to see the head coaches I had seen for years. I was badly in need of CPS basketball. As a kid who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, high school basketball has always been a big part of my life. Anyone who has been to a CPS Public League basketball game knows how much these battles mean, not only to the players and the schools, but to the communities as well. While the legacies of all-time high school greats like Benji Wilson, Derrick Rose, and Jabari Parker stick most in the minds of CPS basketball fans, the aura is what will stick with me. When I mention the “aura” above I am not just referring to fans cheering at the top of their lungs. I am talking about announcers going crazy in pregame introductions, the camaraderie that is (in my opinion) greater at the high school level, coaches consoling players after a tough loss, or witnessing a player trash talk his opponent into submission. The CPS public league games are a small, specific example, but these games are intense wars that create stories that are passed down from generation to generation and will never be forgotten. High school sports are simply the total package and king amongst all levels of sports. The high school level has the superstar factor of the pro level, the spirit of the college level, and a special importance of its own that only a true fan can understand.
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 9
Kade’jah Stephens Wilfred Simmons
Kenwood Career Academy, Soccer & Swimming BY NANYAMKA GALLARDO, SOPHOMORE, KENWOOD CAREER ACADEMY
Wilfred Simmons, better known as Alex, is known around his school,
Kenwood Academy, for many things: he is a successful athlete, a dedicated student, and he has a strong social life. He is, however, best known for his sportsmanship. At the beginning of the school year he is known to dominate the soccer field, from center back, to central defender, to sweeper, while also being captain of his team. And when Simmons isn’t dominating his competition on the soccer field, he takes over in the pool. He is the captain of the swim team and one of the fastest swimmers on team. So, why both sports? “The hard work works out for both of them,” he explained. “When I go into the soccer season and leave the swim season, I feel a lot stronger, and when I go into the swimming season and leave the soccer season, I feel really strong.” Since Simmons plays two sports, I was curious about which one he is better in. “I’m better at soccer most definitely,” he said. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was about 6 years old, and I’ve always known how to swim since I was younger, but I’ve never been on an actual team until high school.”
TF North High School, Bowling
BY CHANEL HOWARD, JUNIOR, TF NORTH HIGH SCHOOL
In the summer of 2012, Kade’jah Stephens bowled a 300. She had always been
a passionate bowler; the sport has been a part of her life since she was a little girl. It was a family activity, and from a young age, Stephens developed her skills and achieved many accomplishments throughout her career. But it was her 300 that gave her confidence that she would have a great senior year. “After bowling a 300 prior to my senior season, it gave me hope that I knew my senior year was going to be my best year,” said the TF North student, now in her fourth year. And indeed, Stephens did have a great senior bowling season. She had finally reached her goal of qualifying for state. After missing qualifications by 10 pins her sophomore and junior year, Stephens knew this was her last year to shine. “After being qualified for state, I felt that after three years I finally accomplished my goal,” she said. “I felt proud, and thankful to have had great people supporting me since the beginning.” Included in those people is her father Keith, who is also a bowler. “He really helped me and I appreciate that,” she said.
Sports are often known to change one’s character, for the better or worst. Simmons, 18, believes that being a high school athlete has changed him for the better.
For Stephens, bowling is a family affair. Her mother Jerreen is also a good bowler and her younger sister Kyaria is skilled too. When Stephens was younger she went to the bowling alley with her parents and watched them bowl, until at age 7 she grew her own interest for the sport. “I started bowling and just loved it,” she said.
“It builds character,” he said. “It helped me through a lot of situations I didn’t really want to deal with.” Sports haven’t just helped him on the field or in the pool, but in the classroom as well. When you’re competing, you just can’t quit because you’re tired. You have to keep going, and his academics reflect that lesson.
Stephens said she appreciates the sport from consistently being around it. She also believes that bowling at an early age helped her become the bowler she is today. “Kids who begin bowling in high school mostly struggle because they lack the basis of the game which should be developed early,” she said.
“When I’m on the field I can’t just quit, and when I’m doing school work and I don’t want to do it, I don’t just quit.” From academics, to soccer, to swimming Simmons does it all, and somehow manages to find a balance.
Stephens is looking forward to college, as she will be attending Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens. She also wants to later fulfill her dreams of becoming a professional bowler.
10 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
Northside College Prep, Swimming
Whitney Young, Basketball BY MCKINLEY NELSON, SOPHOMORE, WHITNEY YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL
Known by many as the “Gentle Giant,” 7-foot-tall Jahlil Okafor of Whitney
Young might be one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. The accolade of being a great, approachable, nice guy is very rare to hear about an overall number one ranked basketball player. Okafor prides himself on being a great person on and off of the court. He says his goal as a man is to “Never change either success or failure,” but of course he’s not trying to go down the failure route. Okafor is in the gym all day every day. His goal in five years is to get to the NBA like most basketball players, but he takes this goal seriously and takes the steps to accomplish the goal. His work ethic comes from the devastating loss of his mother at a young age. “I do it all for her,” he said. “I spend all of the long hours in the gym just to make her proud. But if I do get there, I’m not trying to be an average player; I want to be considered one of the best. I know it’s a long shot, and I know I have a long way to go, but I’m willing to put in the work to get to that level.” Okafor is on the right path to success. The past two summers, he has been a part of the USA Junior Olympic gold medal teams and in the summer of 2012, he received their MVP award. He had an opportunity to travel the world and play and develop friendships with some of the best talent in the country. This year, Okafor led the Whitney Young Dolphins to a City Championship and to the State Sectional Finals. The Chicago Sun-Times selected Okafor as the Player of the Year and he received an overall number one ranking in the state of Illinois for his class. He received positive press around the country. This summer Okafor is playing with the powerhouse program Mac Irvin Fire where he will play his last AAU season with hopes to win the EYBL Peach Jam.
BY YUWEI LEI, FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Meghan Quigley, a swimmer at Northside College Prep, has a daily schedule
different from the average teen. Rising out of bed at 5 am, she heads to the pool for the two-hour morning practice. After the practice, she heads to class, and when the school day ends, she goes back to the pool for three more hours of rigorous training. And her commitment doesn’t stop here – almost all of her weekends and many evenings during the week are occupied by swim meets. She also trains year-round in order to stay in shape. While most people would find her schedule extremely demanding, Quigley has managed it, day-by-day, for the entire four years of her high school education. Quigley first started competitive swimming at the age of 6 following the steps of her older sister. Upon entering high school, she began juggling a rigorous schedule of honors and AP classes, with swim practice twice a day for two to three hours. She points out that there are upsides to her demanding training schedule, such as the opportunity to bond with her teammates. “Being involved in such a committed sport as swimming, where there are double practices almost every day, it is virtually impossible to not form a bond with your team,” she says. Outside of swimming, Quigley occupies herself with school, family, friends, and her job. “All of those are essential factors in my life,” she notes, “and they are things to focus on when I don’t have swimming, or my other sports. I plan to swim in college and my grades are what allow me to have that opportunity. My family and friends help to temporarily remove the stress of school and swimming, and they are crucial because they provide me the support I need in order to achieve my goals. My job is important to me because it helps me stay disciplined throughout the entire year.” When asked what advice she would give to younger athletes, she says: “I would tell younger athletes to keep doing the sport they most enjoy because nothing is more vital than being active daily. It improves mental health, especially for student- athletes who are able to have a separate focus from school that’s equally important. Younger athletes should recognize that there are always other activities to participate in and join, and they shouldn’t limit themselves to one thing.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 11
Morgan Park, Football & Track BY BRAYLYN BROWN, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Chris Parker, a16-year-old sophomore at Morgan Park High School, definitely isn’t a player to underestimate. Parker is a determined football player and track runner, starting with track in 5th grade then going on to football in 7th grade.
Cliff Alexander Curie High School, Basketball
No matter the sport, he’s always been an active kid. “I’ve always liked playing sports, didn’t matter what sport it was,” Parker said. “I played almost every sport there is. I wanted to be on a team.” With his determination, he got what he wanted as a member of teams like the Homewood Flossmoor Jr. Football Team, the Brainerd Park District Track Team, and the Morgan Park Football Team & Track and Field.
BY SUBRIA A. WHITAKER, FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
Before being at the stage Parker is at now, it was all up to his mom’s decision of letting him play. “I didn’t really get to play seriously until my 7th grade year because of my mom,” he said. “She thought it was too dangerous, not wanting me to get hurt.” Nowadays, you can see Mrs. Parker at every game of his, cheering him on with other proud fans.
Cliff Alexander, of course, is a completely different story. This 6’9, 240-pound center from Curie High School is far from average. With over 10 college offers and the number two center rank in the state, Alexander doesn’t exactly need to have such a story to be interesting… but he does.
The young player didn’t have the easiest time his first year as a Morgan Park Mustang. There were a lot of painful practices, close games and meets. Being on both track and football seems gruesome, but to Parker, they benefit each other. “Track gets you fast and vice versa,” he said. “You learn technique while running track, and lifting weights for football gives you strength to run faster.” Those practices definitely paid off when Parker was rewarded MVP for the frosh-soph football team last year. He says it felt great winning MVP because he knew he worked hard all season. “As a player, I’m still young, learning, and getting better every single day at what I do,” he said. Parker has already grown a fond bond and appreciation for his Mustang teammates, saying “I would describe Morgan Park Mustangs as a team full of smart, talented athletes that all have the potential to go Division 1.” Now, Parker has been busy training for the next season of football and running his last meets for track this year. He plans to keep his grades up and to win a state title in both football and track for his last two years at Morgan Park. 12 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
In today’s society, almost every kid is brought up playing sports. They pick up that ball, they learn that game, and they stick with it. Still, it’s not too often that high school athletes live to tell a fairytale with a Disney Channel Original Movie plot or Warner Brothers Production treatment.
With such talent, one would assume that Alexander was born with a basketball in his hand – but he wasn’t. As a matter of fact, this basketball prodigy actually grew up playing football! Yes, of all sports and possible transitions, Alexander went from fighting a block, to making one. This former defensive tackle filled gaps instead of making buckets, and it wasn’t until freshman year of high school that he really fell into basketball. “When I moved from out south to out west, my 8th grade coach said I needed to play [basketball],” Alexander said, and “needed to play basketball” was right! While Alexander is very proud and humbled to be a Division 1 player coming out of high school next year, he’s yet to put “too much thought into choosing a college,” but he definitely plans on a getting a degree while in attendance. Outside of being a top-notch basketball player and outstanding student with his head in the books, Alexander says that he’s actually really goofy and “like[s] to joke around.” He is definitely a sweetheart off the court, but on the court his aggression is able to give him the points in the paint and boards off the glass to make him a top 10 recruit for the Class of 2014. Chicago is looking forward to seeing all that he can do during his basketball career. No matter the shape, the ball is in Alexander’s court.
PHOTO BY SAJNI HARRIS
TF South High School, Wrestling BY ERICA MAYO, JUNIOR, TF SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL
Blake Tisza was first introduced to wrestling at age 7. Blake’s father, Coach
Tisza, was a wrestling coach and exposed his sons to the love of the sport early. But as a freshman, Tisza entered high school as a football linebacker only to realize that wrestling still had his heart. Now 18, Tisza has been extremely successful in wrestling. On February 9, 2013, the three-time state qualifier was looking forward to taking home the state championship in his final year at TF South. But something changed that course when he sadly suffered a serious injury. In a flash it seemed like his entire wrestling career might be over, but his tenacity to succeed couldn’t be cut short with just one injury. “I’ve loved wrestling all my life,” he says. “I don’t know which college I will attend yet, but I absolutely will be wrestling in college.” “The Great Blake,” as everyone at school likes to call him, has officially made a name for himself not only as a wrestler, but as a young man who doesn’t give up easily. Keshawn Hawkins, who’s also on the TFS wrestling team, has seen Tisza‘s matches. “He’s very dedicated, hardworking, and a great team player,” said Hawkins. Few high school sport stars, for example, would forsake extra points for themselves to secure a win for the team, but this is exactly what Tisza did on his January 26th wrestling match against Reavis High School. He purposely chose not to go in for another pin but to secure the win for his team, a team ethic he learned from his dad. There’s more to Tisza than just wrestling. He has invested time not only into his love of sports but also into preparing for college and getting his degree in Natural Research of wild life. Most teen athletes don’t think about their educational path or even a backup plan until they get injured. But Tisza has not only planned for wrestling but for life. The unforeseen injury is a setback viewed by Tisza as a mere industry hazard and one he’ll use to accomplish even more. “Any wrestling coach will tell you that tough matches, tough losses, and tough lessons make stronger wrestlers in the end,” he says. It appears that all those lessons also make a strong character, on and off the mat.
Kenwood Career Academy, Baseball BY MINA WAIGHT, SOPHOMORE, KENWOOD ACADEMY
Sanford Hunt, a 17-year-old senior at Kenwood Academy, is a very talented baseball player on the path to great success. He’s been playing since he was 3 years old, and baseball is a natural sport for him to play. In addition to his constant encouragement from his parents, Hunt says, “No one inspired me to play. It was mostly my parents supporting and encouraging me and my own natural passion for the game.”
“I love the game,” he says. “It keeps me out of trouble and helps me get away from my problems.” The game makes Hunt not only a star player but a good student and a good person. “Nothing motivates me,” Hunt says with confidence. “It’s a personal preference.” He demonstrates passion when playing baseball and is a role model for the rest of the team. “He’s the best player on the team,” Hunt’s coach William Hanselman says with a laugh. “He’s the captain, a good student and a role model.” Hunt’s peers and coaches are extremely supportive of him. Still, even with his success, he focuses on school first and puts baseball second. “My education is my top priority,” he says. During the week, Hunt spends his days in the classroom or on the field. He’s playing almost all year perfecting his play, getting stronger and getting better, while still finding time to socialize and have a personal life. “Baseball definitely takes time away from me,” he says. “I do have a girlfriend, but practice is very time consuming, but it’s a great management tool for me.” In the future Hunt says he wants to go pro, and actually has a full ride scholarship to Chicago State for baseball. “I want to get drafted after doing three years in college,” he says with excitement. “But if it doesn’t work out I would go to college and major in marketing business for Nike.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 13
Sydney Patterson Morgan Park, Cheerleading
BY BRAYLYN BROWN, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Whitney Young High School, Basketball BY MCKINLEY NELSON, SOPHOMORE, WHITNEY YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL
Paul White, a 6-foot-9 small forward at Whitney Young, plays the game of
basketball not only because he has a passion for it, but because he uses it as therapy for the issues he’s dealing with now. White believes that basketball can take him in the direction he needs to go financially. As he grows older, he wishes to be able to take care of his family single handedly which he believes a man should be able to do.
Sydney Patterson, a senior cheerleading captain and tumbler at Morgan Park
High School, can’t be stopped. She got her start in cheering at the age of 7 after hearing about the Windy City All-Stars at an after-school program. After making the team, cheering just came naturally. “I tried a lot of sports like hockey, soccer, dance, and gymnastics before cheer, but they never seemed to fit me,” she said. “Once I went to my first cheer practice, I felt at home. I still play other sports but cheerleading was the one to feel as it was a part of me.” Patterson has a lot of experience, cheering for the Windy City All-Stars, the Midwest Elite Cheer Academy, the Morgan Park High School C-Squad, while also showcasing her tumbling skills with the Jesse White Tumbling Team.
“I want to be able to evolve into a man and be able to provide for my family the best way I can,” he said. “I don’t want to rely on anyone in order for me and my family to eat.”
“I love cheering,” says Patterson. “I’m an athletic person, so in cheerleading I get to do three different sports at once: gymnastics, acrobatics, and dance. Also I like competing and performing in front of a crowd.”
That goal of becoming a responsible man impacted his decision when choosing a high school. White knew that if he went to Whitney Young, he wouldn’t only gain a great education, but he would get a feel of the real world. It was definitely a new experience for him. “Seeing all of the different races and how they socialize with one another was somewhat intimidating,” he said. “Also the schoolwork was something I knew I couldn’t fall behind in.”
Even though cheering is Patterson’s fit, there have been difficulties. “All-star cheering was very expensive and time-consuming,” she said. “With cheer at the school, [difficulties were] that the cheerleaders weren’t respected enough so we’d always get kicked out of practice spaces.”
As many know, the curriculum at Whitney Young is pretty rigorous. He knows that if he stays on top of his game in the books, the basketball route to success will come easy. White aspires to be in the NBA in five years. That has always been his dream since childhood, but he says he’s prepared to fall to his plan B only if basketball doesn’t work out. Still, he is remaining focused on hoops. “I try not to think of a plan B too much because sometimes, it takes away the hunger to get to my plan A,” he said. Also in five years, White wishes to repay his parents for all of the intangible things they’ve given him. “I hope to be buying my mom and dad a huge house, repaying them for all they’ve done for me. It’s always been a dream of mines and I feel like I have a real chance at making it.” Paul White is on a mission that he’s not letting anyone get in the way of. 14 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
Patterson is finishing her last year off as a Morgan Park Mustang. “What I’m going to miss most about my team is the constant laughter and jokes we share,” she said. “I swear we have some real comedians on the team!” She definitely has a lot of fond memories with the Mustangs, like getting spotlighted at games for “cheer wars” during halftime with the competing teams. Patterson is really dedicated to her team, even when her natural happiness is absent. “When I’m not in the best of moods, I turn on some music and begin to make up new routines for my cheer team to do for games or performances,” she said. “When I do that, it takes my mind off what was keeping me down and makes me excited to go to practice so I can show my girls.” This fall, Patterson will attend the University of Illinois, where she plans to try out for the cheerleading team. Not only is she going to be showing her cheer talents, she also plans to go to medical school and becoming a forensic pathologist.
PHOTO BY DANIEL ALVAREZ
BY MINA WAIGHT, SOPHOMORE, KENWOOD ACADEMY saac Jackson, a 17-year-old senior at Wendall Phillips, is a multi-talented athlete well on his way to being the next big thing. He makes a great mark at Wendall Phillips; he is an amazing star student and has a lot of potential as an athlete.
BY LOLA OGUNFEMI, SENIOR, TF SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL
Wendell Phillips, Bowling & Golf
Jackson plays two sports, bowling and golf, and has since his freshman year of high school. “Two of my best friends play golf and they actually wanted me to try it out,” he said. “I tried it out but I didn’t like it much at first until I got really good.” His path to bowling, however, was totally different. “When I first got to Phillips I wasn’t really sure about the sports available to me,” he said. “Everyone said I should play basketball or football, but I didn’t want to. I asked what else was available and they told me about the bowling team and I really wanted to see the competitive side of it.” Even though Jackson plays both sports, and displays much talent while playing, his preference is golf. “I like to do fun things,” he said, “and the fact that I can get a scholarship to go to college for golf adds to why I love it. My father tells me I can get a full ride or at least a partial scholarship, so it’s for fun and academics.” Meaning his motivation not only comes from his parents and friends but his hunger to use his talent to better himself and further his education. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t like bowling. It’s just more likely he will get a scholarship for golf.
Crete-Monee High School, Football
As I sat in the Ho Chunk sports complex, waiting for Laquon Treadwell who was
already 30 minutes late, I didn’t know what to expect. Defying the “typical arrogant athlete” stereotype, Treadwell meekly shook my hand and offered a quiet “Nice to meet you.” Not wanting to interfere with his practice time, I, along with a dozen other onlookers, watched as Treadwell amazed us with the football skills he is so well known for. Almost three hours later, the interview began. Now a senior at Crete Monee High School, Treadwell has been playing football since 5th grade. The sport is very important in his life, and it takes up most of his time. “[I missed out on] school dances and a lot of activities with friends,” he said. Despite the fact that ESPN ranked him as the number one wide receiver in the country, Treadwell stated that he was “really excited” but didn’t let it get to his head. He knows that there are other athletes still working hard, so he tries to build on his craft and continue to improve. He is very big on family, which was a main factor that drove him to commit to Ole Miss. “I felt like it was a family, and the head coach had my best interest [in mind], and I was the most comfortable there.” Treadwell shared that his favorite family memory was the birth of his 6-month-old daughter. He also doesn’t hesitate to say that it is his family that motivates him the most. “We had a struggle we went through, and when I found out that I was good at something, I wanted to provide for them,” he said.
Jackson obviously has his sight set on a really bright future, but like any other athlete, being really talented has its setbacks. It mostly takes away from his academics. Jackson found a balance though – he’s been number one of his class since his freshman year. Between weekly matches and practices, he has to stay up later to do homework or take his homework with him to matches during the week.
Since Treadwell will be attending the University of Mississippi, he said the things he’ll miss the most are of course the famous food of the city, and his loved ones. Although he’ll be far from home, he stated that, “when you go [far from home] you have to build new relationships and meet new people. I will miss my mom a lot though.”
Not only are his academics affected, but he struggles socially. “I only socialize at school, like lunch and joking around in class,” he says. “Other than that, I’m mostly at home and I barely social network. I have a Facebook and Twitter account. I just don’t use them that often.” But Jackson maintains his focus and plans to go to college and major in computer technology.
Treadwell’s final words of the interview were not about himself at all; they were more for younger football players who might look up to him. The advice that Treadwell offered was, “work hard and stay competitive, don’t let anybody talk you out of your game, because that’s what older players like to do. If you can fight through that, you can fight through anything.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 15
Simeon High School, Basketball BY KRISTEN BROWN, FRESHMAN, COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO
Dreams of success and making it out of the hood are common among youth in Chicago’s inner city, and Russell Woods is no different. Woods is an 18-year-old senior at Simeon Career Academy on the city’s South Side with a bright future in basketball. Woods has been playing basketball since he was in grammar school and admits he was not always the best because he lacked the general knowledge of the game. When he first tried out for the team, he made it because of his height, not his skill, but with time and patience he eventually got better. The 6-foot-8 Woods is now the Wolverines’ starting power forward and center, averaging about 10 points a game with a 30 ft. vertical. Woods is a Chicago native who says basketball has kept him out of a lot of trouble. “I’m a hot head,” he says, “but I learned to take my aggression out on the court. I owe that to my teammates. But I’m also proud of myself. It’s so many things I could be doing if I didn’t have basketball.” Woods says he will probably start off at junior college after graduating. “I wanted to be the class clown and always acted a fool in class,” he says. “That affected my grades early so I’m paying for it now. But I’m okay with that.” He says he wants to set an example for his younger siblings and just wants to be successful. Woods says he brings mental toughness and great rebounding to his team. “I just do the little things,” he says. “When we lose, I know it’s because we didn’t try our best. If we tried our best and lost, I can accept that. If we just give up and we lose, I can’t accept that.” Woods says if he doesn’t make it in basketball, he would either like to major in engineering or culinary arts and hopes to one day own his own restaurant. Although Woods admittedly doesn’t have the best grades, he still has dreams of being successful. He knows that success is granted through his education and he plans on using basketball to do so. 16 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
James Andre Davison Morgan Park, Baseball
BY TAHJA M. SHABAZZ, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Morgan Park Mustang James Andre Davison is a very talented young man.
The 17-year-old is a committed baseball player who has wanted a career in the major leagues since his childhood. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Davison was encouraged by his father to play baseball. His grandfather, dad and uncle all played the sport, but no one in his family played professionally. Davison could be the first. He has been recruited by a variety of universities, both in-state and elsewhere. Outside of the Morgan Park Mustangs, Davison plays for the Chicago White Sox Ace. On every team he has played for, he sticks to his favorite position: center field. Baseball is a sport Davison says he can’t live without, especially since it’s something that has been passed down in his family. “I play baseball because it is one of my natural talents and it runs in my family,” he says. “Nothing can compare to the way I feel when I step on that field.” Putting in four to five hours of practice each day is what keeps Davison on the path to making all the right decisions. Being motivated and committed has a lot to do with how much he cares for his family. “My main focus is going to college for free and getting my family out of here,” he says. “I hate to see them work so hard and see them suffer from this crazy city. I just want them to be safe and not be so stressed out.” Before each of his games, Davison says a prayer and kisses his lucky charm – a 50 cent coin that he keeps tucked in his bible. It was a gift from his grandmother. After each of Davison’s games he makes sure that he goes back and talks to his coaches and his father about the things he should have done better. Following that constructive criticism is what has made Davison such a hot commodity to colleges and universities, and he’s only in his junior year. In the future, Davison says he wants to continue his education and become a professional player, but if things don’t go the way he hopes, he does have a “plan B.” “I just want to go to college, graduate and hope to get drafted,” he says. “If not, I’ll become a doctor or work in the sports medicine field.”
GARRETT MORGAN PARK BASKETBALL
BY MAYA BRYANT, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
any don’t know him well, just that he plays basketball, and some know him as William, but friends and family know him as Billy. Billy Garrett. Averaging 17 points per game during the 2013 season, the 6-foot-5-inch Morgan Park High School point guard has become one of the best known players in the city of Chicago, as well as the country. Coming from Texas to Chicago, Garrett faced one of his biggest obstacles, which was being “the new kid on the block.” His first few years in Chicago were the hardest, because he was adjusting to his new city and life. Once he got adjusted, he started playing basketball for his high school as well as outside of school. The competitive games that he plays are what keeps him motivated to continue playing. From freshman year to senior year, Garrett has become a more mature and aggressive player. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could be one of the best players in the city,” he said. Basketball is a well-played sport throughout his family, and Garrett spent most of his childhood days in the gym hooping with his father. “Basketball is something that brings my family together,” he said. “I love it because I have fun while playing in games, going to new places and meeting new people.” Garrett was, in fact, born into the game: his grandfather Bill Garrett was the first black man to play in the NCAA’s Big Ten Conference. Though he never got to meet his grandfather, his success gives Garrett a sense of pride. Playing his heart out in every game, Garrett always looks for ways to better himself. “I strive to be the best I can be individually, and I don’t try to base my success off what other people do,” he said. “I just try to do my best to make my parents proud.” This DePaul-bound guard led the Morgan Park Mustangs to the 2013 state championship game, helping them with their victory against Cahokia High School. Hoping to make a career out of basketball, Garrett now moves his focus to bringing the Blue Demons a similar success as the Mustangs, while also preparing himself for the future. “My goal is to finish top 3 in the Big East the first year and make the NCAA tournament,” he said. “If I can make a career out of basketball and get paid for it, that would be amazing. If I don’t then I’ll go into coaching or something in that area. But basketball is definitely something I want to make a living doing.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 17
HARPER WHITNEY YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL, BASKETBALL BY MCKINLEY NELSON, SOPHOMORE, WHITNEY YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL
enerally sports fans don’t watch women’s basketball, but McDonald’s All American Linnae Harper has been the catalyst for change. In Harper’s four years at Whitney Young, she’s had a career average of 23 points and 7 assist per game and has put on a show every single game regardless, win or loss. Harper isn’t like a lot of other dominant female basketball players; in elementary school she played along side Jabari Parker on Robert A. Black’s boys’ basketball team. From there, Harper made a really tough decision in choosing a high school. She spoke with her mentor, E.C. Hill, a Whitney Young basketball legend. “I came here and was able to raise a banner with my name on it on the wall,” Hill told her. “I know you can do the same.” So Harper accepted the challenge and completed her mission. Next year she will have a banner hung with her name across it for being selected as an All American. Harper credits a lot of her accomplishments to her high school basketball coach, Coach Corry Irvin, for guiding her and spending time with her so she can develop. She said Coach Irvin is the main reason she wanted to attend Whitney Young. “I played club basketball for her in 6th grade and I knew right then and there where I wanted to play high school basketball,” Harper said. “I believed in her system and had faith that she could take my game to the next level.” Harper wants to play basketball professionally in a few years, but getting to the pros is not her main goal. She’s using the WNBA and leagues overseas to get to her dream job, becoming the first female coach in the NBA. Her next move is the University of Kentucky where she will continue her basketball journey and join former teammate and McDonald’s All American Janee Thompson. “I really love the atmosphere of [the University of Kentucky],” she said. “It’s not too far from home and I love their style of play. That was the best fit for me.” 18 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
PROVISO EAST HIGH SCHOOL, BASKETBALL
up, talk to them, know who they are as a person.” His intense effort to bond with his team stems from his belief in the power of the team, as he states that he “can’t win without his teammates.” He advises other basketball players to “be friendly to teammates, coaches, and referees,” because they can often make or break a game. While basketball involves a certain degree of individual effort, most of what makes a team unbeatable is the way teammates cooperate with each other. Brown proves to be not only an excellent player, but also an able leader who is able to motivate his teammates through communication.
BY YUWEI LEI, FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
basketball player whose motto is “Keep playing, play hard,” Sterling Brown of Proviso East High School exemplifies the kind of mental and physical strength displayed by star athletes. Having played basketball since the age of 6, Brown says that he has “grown pretty much in all parts, physically and mentally.” He also acknowledges the psychological aspect of the sport. “Basketball is not just your talent, it’s how you think about the game,” he said. “I grew in pretty much all areas, but there’s still room for growth, for improvement.” He says he would like to improve specifically on shooting and consistency. As an athlete, one of his greatest strengths is his ability to bond with his teammates. He likes to “motivate my team by getting teammates involved, see if they can step
Set on the path to attend Southern Methodist University next fall, Brown says that his academics are just as important as his athletics. Faced with the task of balancing school and sports, he shares his own wisdom for staying on top of things. “No procrastination,” he says. “You gotta be steady, getting stuff done.” His typical day is a blend of academic and athletic commitments: “Wake up, go to school, head to the gym, go home and complete homework, and do chores.” He says that the most important thing about managing such a busy schedule is to not fall into a habit of procrastination, as most other high school students often do. Brown is “good at math, history, and computers,” and “getting better at writing.” However, he does not like taking tests of any kind. His academics provide a balance to his athletic training and allow him to develop as a student. His goal is to become a professional basketball player, but he has a backup plan as well, which is to find a job after college with a business degree. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 19
McDonald’s BY TIERRA CARPENTER, JUNIOR, TF SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL
he McDonald’s All American Game (McDAAG) is an annual basketball game featuring some of the top male and female high school players from across the United States. The players are selected out of a roster of over 800 high school seniors by a committee made up of media and some of the best basketball coaches in the country. The McDAAG schedule consists of three publicized events: the POWERADE Jam Fest and the girl’s and boy’s East versus West basketball game. All of the proceeds from the games go to the Ronald McDonald’s House Charities. This year, the McDAAG was held in Chicago, and they will continue to be held in Chicago for at least two more years. One of the standout players in the game this year was Chicago’s own Jabari Parker. Playing in the McDonald’s All American Game has always been a goal for him because he grew up watching local kids get selected to be in the games. When asked about how it felt to be selected out of hundreds of players to be in the games Parker said, “I feel a lot of gratitude given to me. I’m very thankful and very blessed to be able to play in front of the home crowd, Chicago, in the [McDonald’s] All American Game. It is a very big achievement for high school players.” Parker is part of the Class of 2013 at Simeon Career Academy and typically plays at small forward, but due to his versatility he can play any position. He is planning on attending Duke University in the fall of 2013. When asked about what his goals are while at college he said, “I know at Duke [University] they’re really big on academics. I just want to get my books all situated. I think they give us that freedom, that room to fit in your books because that comes first. Of course [when] you’re a student-athlete [you’re] going to have some tutors. It’s going to be a big transition,” said Parker. 20 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
ALL AMERICAN RECAP
Jessica Washington, who is committed to attending the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in the fall said, “This is a great experience. I feel really blessed to be put in this situation. To get the opportunity to play with all of these amazing players has been really fun so far. I’m looking forward to Wednesday when the actual games will be on TV.” After talking to several players, it seems as if all of them have backup plans besides a career in basketball and are going to be taking college very serious. One of the players from the West Team, Marcus Lee from Deer Valley High School, will be attending the University of Kentucky in the fall and will be majoring in business and technology. If basketball doesn’t work out for him he said, “I’ll probably try to work at Google or Apple.” Although the East and West teams are in competition, when they’re off the court they don’t look at each other that way. Lee also said, “We probably forget that we’re even on different teams most of the time until we actually get on the court.” West Team player and POWERADE Jam Fest 3-Point Contest winner, Nigel Williams-Goss, said he went into this knowing most of the players from different games, so it didn’t take much for them to get along. After all was said and done, the West beat the East by a score of 110-99 and the West’s Aaron Gordon was name MVP. Same in the girl’s game, with the West winning by a score of 92-64 and lead by 6-foot-5 Mercedes Russell of Springfield, Oregon. The players in the McDonald’s All American Games all seem to have bright futures ahead of them, above and beyond basketball. Most of all, though, I was impressed by their level of sportsmanship and grace under pressure.
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HOT STYLES SURE TO GET ATTENTION NOW THAT THE WINTER BLUES HAVE GONE BYE-BYE IT’S TIME TO SAY HELLO TO THE WARM-WEATHER GEAR NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE THEIR EYES OFF OF. ADD SOME COLOR, GRAPHICS AND A WHOLE LOT OF CONFIDENCE TO THE MIX AND YOU WILL BE THE ONE EVERYONE IS WATCHING. Stylists: Samuel Ng, Julian Burnett, Michelle Kelly Make Up: Brittany Beach of Beauty Boulevard & Jill Mitchell Hair: Diamond Beach of Beauty Boulevard Photographer: Mireya Acierto Videography: Elevator Magazine
This colorful graphic crewneck, worn by Christopher Brown, is a must-have for the ultimate sneakerhead. Pair it with a dark cap and dark rinse jeans and you’re good to go. ‘’STA’’ Saint Alfred Hat / Phli All Over Shoe Porn Crewneck / 501 Levis Dry Fit Jeans / Jordan Bred 11s Sneakers
Christopher shows off his sense of style while repping his city with pride with this “Chicago Over Everything” graphic tee. Vita Morte ‘’Chicago Over Everything” T-shirt / 501 Levis Dry Fit Jeans / Jordan Bred 11s Sneakers
Billy Garrett makes a statement with his style by wearing this “Leaders Never Die” graphic T-shirt, bright colored skully and dark rinse jeans.
22 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
‘’STA’’ Saint Alfred Skully / Leaders1354 Crown T-shirt / Levis 501 Slim Fit Jeans / Nike Air Trainer SC High Retro ‘’Bo Jackson’’ Shoes
These days wearing camouflage doesn’t make you militant, it makes you stylish. The typically rugged print gets a feminine makeover when made into this cutout dress worn by Ariecia Richardson. Add graphics to the print, like Billy does with this look, and your cool points keep adding up. On Ariecia: Cutout Camo Dress & Shoe (AKIRA) / Jewelry (Stylist’s & Model’s own). On Billy: Saint Alfred T-shirt / ‘Go’ Camo Hat / Levis 501 Slim Fit Jeans / Nike Air Max 90 Essential Black Anthracite Shoes
The classic combo of black and white is anything but boring when worn by Ariecia as a striped maxi skirt and paired with a graphic top, bright blazer and an eye-catching platform shoe. Cape Blazer (ZARA) Tank Top (Stylistâ€™s own) Striped Maxi Skirt & Shoe (AKIRA)
g this ed
n T-shirt High Sajni Harris dares to be different with this sassy number that combines a colorful, graphic top with a cape blazer, striped garter leggings and funky heels. Cape Blazer, Striped Garter Legging & Bracelets (AKIRA) / Earring & Necklace (Topshop) / Vintage Nike Tank Top (Stylistâ€™s own) / Shoe (Human Aliens X Jeffrey Campbell)
Subtle and cool goes a long way for the laid back types like Michael Smith and Claudia Barreda. To cop this style try mixing something casual with something dressy and adding a pop of color for a fresh look. On Michael: Leviâ€™s 513 Slim Straight Jeans / Nike Air Trainer SC Sneakers, Royal Blue & Orange / Shirt, Tie & Vest (Modelâ€™s own). On Claudia: Slashed Back Crop Top / Floral Skater Skirt / Sneaker Wedges (AKIRA)
Sometimes it’s the little details that make a big difference. Sajni and Michael both layer a white graphic tee with an outer piece and rock a denim bottom with a bold shoe to stand out from the crowd. On Michael: Leaf Tee/ Grey Ldrs1354 Shirt / H&M Button-up Cardigan / Levi’s 523 Slim Straight Jeans / Nike Air Max 90 Essential Black Anthracite Shoes. On Sajni: Metallic Biker Jacket / Cat Face Tank Top / Camo Denim Short & Sneaker Wedges (AKIRA) / Earring & Necklace (Topshop)
Cute and girly will always go hand-in-hand during the warm weather months. Claudiaâ€™s combo pairs a trendy stripe dress with a denim vest and sky-high stilettos. Stripe Dress (H&M) / Denim Vest (AKIRA) / Bracelets (Topshop) / Earrings & Shoes (Modelâ€™s own)
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 27
BY GABRIELLE LONDON, FRESHMAN, COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO
his spring step out onto the streets as if you were running your own fashion show. The colors for this spring include coral, teal, and emerald. For the ladies, the cotton and sheer blouses with studded collars are hot. They come in all styles, short-sleeved and long-sleeved, and can be found in just about any local department store and boutique. A personal favorite of mine is the short-sleeved studded collar blouse with a little flare ruffle on the bottom. For bottoms, acid wash denim jeans seem to be coming back with a sense of urban freshness. Make sure you buy the stretch jeans because they last longer and feel more comfortable. Remember when we laughed at the idea of sneakers becoming heels? Well, Isabel Marant found a design that made the style look great. Now you can find her brand, or even a pair of Sketchers or U.S. Polo Assn with a similar look for a cheaper price just about anywhere. For the fellas, you can never go wrong with an urban graphic tee; especially the ones with your cityâ€™s name on it with cool graphics and amusing but inspirational slogans. Leaders, a new clothing line, is a popular brand famous for their sweaters and graphic tees. You can find them at urban boutiques within the city such as JUGRNAUT. Camouflage pants, which have been around for quite a while now, have come back with a fresher look. More urban and sophisticated guys can easily pull off the camouflage cargo pants with some preppy sweater and some loafers. Which brings me to my next style trend for the season: athletic loafers. Yes, Adidas and Nike are crossing over and making an everyday shoe for an everyday kind of man. These comfortable loafers can be worn with cargo shorts and even straight leg jeans. Whether you are wearing the latest trends of camouflage or leopard print to the newly inspired military look, make sure you color-coordinate it properly. And although these styles are trendy, find a way to make them your own with a touch of your own personal style. 28 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
THE NEW FASHIONABLE PLACE TO SHOP BY DEVONTE WEST, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
or most the thrift store may be your last resort for a new shirt or a pair of jeans, but for fashion-forward thinkers it’s “the” place to go if you’re looking for something unique to add to your wardrobe. Keep in mind that the thrift store has its bonuses and its disappointments. If you picture dingy floors, bad lighting, and clothing heaped together, you may not be totally wrong. There are, however, some places that may surprise you by their cleanliness and order. Both types are a gold mine of unclaimed wealth. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have helped make thrifting more popular than ever before with their No. 1 Billboard song “Thrift Shop.” The song raps about looking for a come-up for $20. On a good day you may be able to leave the store with two bags of “new to you” clothes for that price! The lyrics “One man’s trash, that’s another man’s come up” couldn’t be more on point. People who often shop at thrift stores encourage newbies to go downtown or to the burbs to find the best buys. Morgan Park sophomore Gabriella Owens said, “Although the clothes may smell a little funny they can be good as new. I don’t have a problem with washing the items I buy.” Owens added, “Take hand sanitizer and look carefully through the racks. Also know that at some stores, if there are stains, you can get some money off the item.” Before you hit the stores there are some things you should know. Many thrifts have “special” days every week. Different color tags tell you if something’s on sale at a discount price. Some thrifts receive their inventory during the middle of the week, which can be a great time to shop. To beat the crowds and find the best deals, shop early in the morning, and call the store beforehand and ask for their regular sale schedule to score an even better deal on your items. Now you can shop. Happy thrifting! TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 29
WHY NEWS MATTERS
SEPARATING Fact from Opinion BY ALEXANDER STOCKSTELL, SOPHOMORE, COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO
iving in the age of the Internet has created a place for an abundance of information to exist, but this place has just as much misinformation floating around as well. Whether you are doing a report for a class or just browsing your Facebook or Twitter pages, it is important you know where the information you are viewing is coming from. In 2008, the Pew Research Center did a study that found 34 percent of people age 18 to 24 claim they consume little to no news from any source on a typical day. This is sad considering that 93 percent of people age 12 to 17 and 18 to 29 use the Internet more than two hours a day, according to the Pew Research Center’s report “Social Media and Young Adults.” Pew also did a very interesting analysis of news videos on YouTube in July of 2012. The report said, “YouTube is becoming a major platform for viewing news.” Pew found that the most searched term of the month on YouTube for the last two years has been “news-related.” Here are a few helpful tips on gathering information on YouTube: • Read the title. If the word “Rant” is in it then more than likely 100 percent of the video is opinion-based. • Pay attention to the date it was posted. You want to consume the most relevant news; even if the source is a legit news source, an outdated video may be debunked by a more relevant video. • Do not judge the truthfulness of a video by its length. This is a mistake many young people make. • Good documentaries or news-related videos post their sources in the description. If an author of a video wants to be seen as legitimate they would want to back up the stats and facts in the video by posting their findings via links in the description. Almost always assume that the author is trying to hide something or that most of the video is untrue if there is no way for you to physically read the facts stated. The description can be pulled down by clicking the “show more” tab located between the video title and the comments section of each video. 30 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
Have you ever been on a social media site and seen a horrendous picture followed by a very lengthy story of the picture with no link to attribute the story? This is a clear example of how social media sites are almost always a haven for opinionated and biased information. Don’t accept a story to be true unless there is a link attached to it that leads to a legitimate source. ABC News, CNN, CBS News and local newspaper’s websites are always legitimate sources, but outside of that, news legitimacy becomes a bit harder to determine. The easy answer is to always believe links that lead to websites with an “.org” or “.edu” at the end of the site, because more than likely those sites are monitored by respectful institutions. The great American author Mark Twain once said, “There are two sides to every story and then there is the truth.” In all news, and especially in American news, there is a constant battle going on. There are two sides: The Conservative side and the Liberal side. Depending on their affiliations, many news organizations are biased towards one or the other. For example, Fox News is a conservative news organization, while MSNBC is a liberal news site. But just because the bias exists does not mean you should not consume that type of news; just be aware that you are being swayed in a certain direction. Be proactive and try to read things from both sides in order to discern the truth. If things become difficult for you to discern, try fact-checking sites like Snopes.com, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact.com or check out a list of them at marketplace.org/ topics/elections/list-fact-checking-websites. If you run across a news article that contains questionable information, chances are one of those websites can tell you whether or not that particular source is factual or pure misinformation. The Internet is undoubtedly one of the greatest gifts to a young mind. But learning how to access reliable information and avoiding misinformation is the only way to make full use of that gift. Use it to make yourself smarter and encourage your friends to stop reading biased blog sites and engage themselves in a real investigation of the information they consume.
BEING A JOURNALIST IN THE DIGITAL WORLD BY ELEXIS RUIZ, JUNIOR, COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO
n the fourth floor of the Tribune Tower are rows and rows of cubicles where reporters type away on their computers. Casey Baker, producer of “Chicago Live!,” joked that journalism isn’t the same hustle as the movie “All the President’s Men” portrays it to be, but it’s something. When you walk into the newsroom, you can physically see the changes that have already taken place. News is now displayed on a TV showing the Tribune website and the most visited sites were highlighted in red. This all happens within a matter of seconds and Baker explains that before technology like this was available, journalist didn’t have access to this kind of information, especially in this short amount of time. This is an advantage for new journalists because spreading news is easier and faster and finding out what news people are consuming takes a matter of seconds. “We had our show last night from 6:30 to 8:00. I come right back to the studio to make sure that we have an audio podcast ready to go out in this morning’s ‘Day Watch,’” Baker says, explaining that he was able to embrace the Internet right away. Many jobs in the journalism field now require Internet and technology savvy people to do the job. Baker’s job is definitely very dependent on the Internet. “Theatre shows existed before the Internet, but now Blue Man Group has a website. So it sort of embellishes on what already exists,” Baker says, showing how the Internet expands the capabilities in most every industry. The Internet is like a giant networking site, and journalist today can use it to their advantage. “When I started here, the Internet became so much more of a tool. The more people started to recognize what you could do with it in terms of assisting you in reporting, the more valuable it became and frankly now I have no clue how I would do anything without it,” says Rex Huppke, a general assignment reporter for Metro. Huppke even touches on what he feels is the “next big thing” in journalism: social media. “It was about two or three years ago that the paper really started trying to get people in the newsroom more involved with Facebook and Twitter. It’s a big part of what I do now.”
Reporters are now even using Facebook and Twitter for references. Huppke explains how he used Facebook to find people who knew a soldier that died in Iraq and was able to write a much more personal obituary for him because someone responded to his post about how great of a father the solider was. Social media is allowing news reporters to quickly find opinions and references for personal stories that are otherwise difficult and time-consuming to find. “There is an expectation now that you’re going to be proficient at multimedia, meaning that you as a ‘print reporter’ are doing audio that’ll wind up online, you’re shooting photographs, you’re gathering video that’s going on ChicagoTribune.com,” says James Janega, the Trib Nation Manager. The modern day reporter is a multi-tasker and instead of a concentrated skill, they have to have many. Needless to say, the Internet has changed the face of journalism. For the consumers, it has become easier to find and consume information. For reporters, the Internet has made it easier to spread information and easier to figure out what their consumers are reading. For up-and-coming journalists, this means you need to know your way in and around the Internet to be successful. Adapting to changing environments is the key to surviving in our current economy and the industry of journalism is no exception. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 31
After School Matters’ Head Honcho BY BRAYLYN BROWN, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
ellody Hobson may not be the star player in a starting lineup, but she’s definitely someone for Chicago teens to take interest in. Last summer the financially savvy business woman took on the role of chairman of After School Matters (ASM), a nonprofit organization that offers Chicago high school teens innovative out-of-school activities. Since the death of Maggie Daley, former chairman of ASM, all those involved in the organization will be expecting many great advances with Hobson’s help. Her plan is to not disappoint. “I think ASM is an amazing foundation to be part of because of the wide variety of opportunities for teens,” said Hobson. As a teenager, she didn’t have the opportunity to have a paid job during the school year like many kids do now. She only worked in the summer as a store clerk. That’s part of the reason she has such high hopes for the future of ASM. “I want to make sure we can accumulate more teens in programs and deal with financial literacy more, because it creates a better society when we all know how to work with our money,” said Hobson. She also noted that she would like stipends distributed during the school year sessions so that more teens can have financial flexibility to get to their jobs. Being a part of an ASM program would likely have been something Hobson would have excelled in had the organization existed when she was a teen. According to a NPR interview, money was tight for Hobson, her five siblings and her single mom, so they moved from one Chicago neighborhood to another. Despite their situation, Hobson dreamed big. She attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory School where she excelled in her studies and in school activities like newspaper, theater and speech. She later earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University. After graduating college Hobson worked at Ariel Investment, LLC, a Chicago-based money management firm, and later became its president. Now, she serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ariel Mutual Funds, and is an active board member for Dream Works Animations SKG, The Chicago Public Library and its foundation, The Field Museum, The Chicago Public Education Fund and much more. Since Hobson is considered a top expert on money management, it is only natural that she drop some of her knowledge on teens about why it’s important to learn about finances before graduating high school. “Having knowledge about finance has a huge effect on your future life. You get to develop good money habits early on that’ll stick with you for life. It’ll also affect what you’re going to teach your own family.” To those of you planning on attending college, Hobson suggested you set aside the little bit of money that you get every day because it makes a huge difference for the essentials in school. She stresses, however, that the number one thing every student should do to prepare for college is to get good grades. By doing this you are automatically opening yourself up for opportunities “to get lots of scholarships.” 32 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
Believe in a Dream BY JAMELIAH SALTER, SOPHOMORE, UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX
ne thing that not just Chicago youth, but youth around the world have been missing is the motivation to believe in themselves. Sure there are a plethora of media outlets and programs that are geared toward helping youth find goals for their futures, but let’s be realistic, a lot of the kids who really need the help don’t have access to it. This is why Jamal Robinson formed Believe in a Dream.
Robinson’s organization currently has one event called the Exploration of Theatre through Orchestra. It is focused around promoting and raising funds for orchestra programs within the Indiana school system.
Robinson saw a bright future in soccer, as he played throughout high school and then straight into college. It was a year after playing in college that he decided to return to his high school and speak to his peers about his dreams in soccer and working hard. His words resonated with many of the youth that had not heard or even thought about having a dream.
“The orchestra programs are under-funded and are slowly decreasing from the school system. What we hope to do is raise awareness by creating the event and donating funds to the orchestras that participate.”
“Believe in a Dream came from what I was sharing with high school students and
“The business education program that we have is called Believe in your Business. It is focused around a business plan competition and this is our pilot year. We are testing it at a local high school. There are two classes of senior students.”
middle school students at my old high school. The mission is to promote business education, focused on entrepreneurship, mathematics, sciences and the performing arts. We build programs around these areas.” Believe in a Dream has been a non-for-profit organization since 2011. It is not the typical program that can be signed up for. “All of our programs right now are focused in the Greater Fort Wayne, Indiana area, four counties in northeast Indiana. Specific classes were targeted for the orchestra and business programs.” The mathematics and science programs will kick off in 2014, but until then the business and orchestra programs are making great progress.
Music is not the only thing youth have to look forward to.
The teens will be given the opportunity to propose business plans to a panel at the end of the school year. The panel will then choose two businesses to donate $500 and an extra $2000 to the winning teams, giving them enough money to start their business. They will then be given another 90 days to prove their business is worthwhile. Further information about Believe in a Dream can be found at www.biadinc.org.
South Suburban Family Shelter BY CHANEL HOWARD, JUNIOR, THORNTON FRACTIONAL NORTH
ecently, True Star got a chance to catch-up with Brianne Hetman, Development, Training and Prevention Services Coordinator at the South Suburban Family Shelter located in Homewood, IL, to see how teens can help out. True Star: Where do you see the South Suburban Family Shelter in the future? Brianne Hetman: We have been in existence over 30 years, so as much as I like to say that we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing, we probably will be providing the exact same service in the community that we have been, which is doing various things for domestic violence in families. TS: How did the organization start? What was the inspiration behind it? BH: In 1980 graduate students at Governor’s State University and members of the National Council of Jewish Women in the south Cook section did a survey around the community and dropped the survey off at police stations, faith community providers, and with health care providers. At that time they found that there were no services available for victims of domestic violence and their families in the south suburbs of Chicago. So the results of that survey and those two got together and formed a board, and they applied for a 501K for the South Suburban Family Shelter. TS: What are the qualifications to become a volunteer? BH: You don’t have to have necessarily any qualifications to volunteer. We have 33 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
high school [students] and older adults [that volunteer]. We have lots of different volunteer opportunities such as clerical needs in the office, filing, shredding, organizing and cleaning the kitchen. We also have volunteers that set up cell phone collection drives because we collect them and sell them to companies to help with funding for the shelter. TS: What are some tips you would give someone about domestic disputes? BH: I think it’s important that No. 1: victims of domestic violence know that it’s not their fault; that they don’t deserve to be abused. No. 2: I don’t think a lot of people understand the components for a healthy relationship; that it’s about trust, respect, support and healthy communication. It’s not about being jealous or hurting someone else. In a healthy relationship there is never any hitting or hurting of any kind, and that domestic violence is more than just physical abuse, it’s emotional, psychological and property abuse. TS: Thank you for sitting down to talk to True Star and share information about your wonderful organization. BH: You are welcome and thank you as well. For more information about South Suburban Family Shelter visit www.ssfs1.org or call their toll free hotline at (877) 335-3020. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 33
ANTI - VI - PSI
Ladders of Opportunity:
PRESIDENT OBAMA VISITS CHICAGO REGARDING GUN VIOLENCE BY MAYA BRYANT, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
ow do you feel when you hear about the violence that takes place in Chicago? Have you ever been a victim of violence? Do you know anyone that’s been a victim of violence? In 2012, Chicago reached over 500 homicides. The disturbance of violence has caused attention all over the country, even reaching the White House. President Obama visited Chicago on February 15, 2013 to discuss gun control in Chicago at Hyde Park High School’s gymnasium. While news reporters lined up in the back entry of the gymnasium, Hyde Park’s students could be heard frantically waiting for Obama’s arrival. Down in front of the stage sat the “who’s who of Chicago,” such as Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Father Michael Pfleger, the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, and youth advocate agencies; all anticipating Obama’s arrival. Speaking at a high school near where he used to live, Obama cited gun violence that killed over 500 people in the city last year as one reason why children need community support to help them live better lives through education and hard work.
“I’M HERE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE TALK ABOUT AND THEN WORK TOWARDS GIVING EVERY CHILD A CHANCE IN LIFE; BUILDING STRONGER COMMUNITIES AND NEW LADDERS OF OPPORTUNITY THAT THEY CAN CLIMB INTO THE MIDDLE OF CLASS AND BEYOND; AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, 34 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
KEEPING THEM SAFE FROM HARM,” SAYS PRESIDENT OBAMA. King College Prep student, Hadiya Pendleton, was an innocent bystander as she was gunned down just a few blocks away from Obama’s Hyde Park home. Tyrone Lawson, a student of Morgan Park High School, was shot at a basketball game outside of Chicago State University. Guns are in the hands of the wrong people, and the president called for Congress to vote on a package of gun proposals aimed at decreasing shootings like ones that occur daily on streets and in homes. “I’m scared to even walk to the bus stop without fear of getting shot” says Kiara Anderson, a freshman at Morgan Park High School. The violence in Chicago has put a fear in students, as well as parents. “I take my kids to school every day, and I’m at work by the time school gets out, so I worry because I don’t know what they’re doing, who they’re with or where they’re at. The violence in this city has caused me to be paranoid when it comes to my children’s safety,” says Asia Carl, a parent of two Bogan High School students. Seeing that he grew up in a single parent home without a father, and though he turned out okay, Obama believes that if fathers are involved in their children’s lives, there will be less violence. He has agreed to partner with organizations to build stronger communities, so there will be jobs for youth as well as recreation centers. He acknowledged the challenge, saying “it will not be easy, but it can be done.” “No solution we offer will be perfect,” he said. “But perfection has never been our goal. Our goal has been to try and make whatever difference we can.”
BEEF SHEDS BLOOD:
MORGAN PARK AND SIMEON’S DANGEROUS RIVALRY BY KENNEDY WARD, JUNIOR, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
n most cases, sports rivalries are healthy. They motivate opposing teams to play their best and spark major adrenaline rushes in sports fanatics. But what happens when the rivalry gets too serious? Long-time CPS rivals Morgan Park High School and Simeon Career Academy have recently received negative attention due to the violence that’s taken place at sporting events between the two. On January 16, 2013, a shoving incident ensued during the handshake line of a Simeon vs. Morgan Park basketball game at Chicago State University, the usual “neutral setting” location for their sporting events. The fight was stopped and both teams departed to the locker rooms. But that wasn’t the end of the night’s drama. In the university’s parking lot, Morgan Park senior Tyrone Lawson, 17, was fatally shot in the back. The following day, a boastful tweet was posted from a Simeon student crediting her school for winning the game and claiming Lawson’s life. Reports, however, said the handshake incident and the shooting were unrelated.
“Animosity is always present when Morgan Park is playing a game that is against Simeon. A lot of animosity starts from the social media. All of the hype comes from the spectators, and half of them don’t even attend either one of the schools. They’re just looking for some type of drama,” says Kristalyn Cooksey, a junior and cheerleader at Morgan Park. She adds that the animosity is “the reason why I didn’t attend the city championship against Simeon. I wasn’t comfortable with putting myself in that position any longer.” According to Wesley Yates, the athletic director at Morgan Park, this rivalry was bound to happen due to the schools’ connection to the community and their competitiveness on both an academic and athletic level. “They play one time and then it’s two times. Before you know it, 10 years have passed,” says Yates. “That’s how a rivalry starts.”
This was not just a one-time thing. On September 7, 2012, an unnamed person was stabbed at a football game between the two schools that took place at Gately Stadium. According to Chicago Police, a gun was drawn, but no shots were fired.
However it started, the rivalry must come to an end. It not only gives the students of both schools a bad rep, but it also gives people the wrong idea about Chicago teens. But how do we end it?
“There is no safe place,” says Lawson’s mother, Pam Wright, another Chicago parent that has been left with the sorrowful task of burying their child.
“I WOULDN’T SAY THAT IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE A PEACEFUL AGREEMENT WITH SIMEON” SAYS COOKSEY. “IT ALL COMES DOWN TO STUDENT COOPERATION.”
Why can’t a parent feel at ease about sending their child to a game between Morgan Park and Simeon? A high school game is supposed to leave memories of fun and victories, not blood and tears of grief. It’s even affected the way students feel about going to games.
Whatever the method, a peaceful solution must be made soon. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 35
HOW TO BUILD A Gaming PC BY REINALDO DELAOSA, SENIOR, FOREMAN HIGH SCHOOL
hen it comes to gaming some people choose the PC over consoles for several reasons, but mostly because of its customizability. You can upgrade most every component in a PC, whereas with consoles the most you can upgrade is the memory capacity. This means if you want better graphics for your PC, simply buying a better graphics card can make that happen. For those with the wherewithal to dabble with the relatively easy technology, investing in a gaming PC might be a good choice. Unfortunately, buying an already put together gaming PC could cost you upwards of $1,000. Fortunately, though, putting one together is much cheaper and allows you to pick which parts to use. According to an article in Kataku.com, one can “build a great gaming PC for under $700.” Now if you take their advice, you will have to build the whole PC from scratch, component-by-component.
RAM stands for Random Access Memory, which allows your computer to do more things at one time and run complicated programs such as video games without slowing down or lagging. Two choices you might want to consider: G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-12GBSR2. Price: $90 ADATA XPG Gaming Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model AX3U1600GC4G9-2G. Price: $56
In the case of RAM, the more expensive the more your computer can handle without complication.
My recommendation would be buy a basic PC with a reasonably powerful processor. The Power Spec PC sold at Micro Center is reasonably priced and will serve all your purposes. Ask a salesman to direct you to a Power Spec with a strong enough processor to game with. This will be the barebones of your PC and shouldn’t cost you more than $200. From there all you will need is three components: power supply, RAM and Graphics Card.
The main reason you will need a better power supply is because you will need enough power to run both the actual computer and the games. Two choices you might want to consider are: KINGWIN Lazer LZ-850 850W Modular 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC W/ 3-Way LED Switch and Universal Modular Connector Power Supply. Price: $150 Choice number two: OCZ Fatal1ty 750W Modular Gaming 80Plus Bronze Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom. Price: $100 Both will serve your purposes but the KINGWIN may be slightly more reliable.
Finally, the graphics card determines the quality of your graphics. This could mean the difference between you playing Mario Bros or Black Ops Call of Duty 2. Generally all choices above $50 will provide you decent graphics, but if you want to play 3D quality and above, you might want to consider a graphics card around the $100 range. Here are two choices you might want to consider: PNY VCGGT4302XPB GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 2GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card. Price: $63 VisionTek 900331 Radeon HD 5550 1GB PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card. Price: $50 Once you have everything installed and ready to use, start downloading games! Download Steam and GameStop online and from there you’ll have access to more games than you will ever need. Good luck!
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Chicago State University:
INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN PUBLIC RELATIONS? BY SYDNEY SHAW, SOPHOMORE, WHITNEY YOUNG MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL
VER WONDER WHAT A CAREER IN PUBLIC RELATIONS IS LIKE?
“Public relations is the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance,” says Public Relations News. To gather more information on the subject, we followed the buzz at Chicago State University, only to discover the rising popularity of the career path. Someone interested in the PR concentration at CSU should look into their Department of Communications, Media Arts & Theatre, which includes courses in public relations (captures and disseminates news through the media), and marketing and advertising. “We started out with Public Relations I 12 years ago which offers PR theory, while Public Relations II is more field-specific,” says Professor Marilyn Olson of Chicago State University. “Our programs would help students in the industry because of the steps you go through in the programs which culminates in an internship experience. The field is hard to define because PR practitioners do so many things. There’s virtually no place you won’t be touched by PR.”
If you’re interested in public affairs, media events, press conferences and community relations, it’s no secret that you need to be skilled in public speaking. Due to the vastness of the career field, “It’s important to be extremely versatile to fulfill job opportunities,” adds Olson. “Jobs can range from being employed by a firm, like public relations managers, to being a celebrity publicist. Students that have graduated from Chicago State University’s PR program have landed jobs in many fields, such as agencies, major airlines, nursing homes and health administrations.” If the ever-growing field of public relations interests you, be sure to check out Chicago State University’s program in Public Relations in the Department of Communication, Media Arts & Theatre to get you started today! For more information on Chicago State University’s public relations programs, visit csu.edu/cas/artanddesignandCMAT/CMAT/index.htm or call 773-995 2280.
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 37
THRU DA WIRE
PATIENCE IS KEY
BY TIERRA CARPENTER, JUNIOR, TF SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL
a$h Out made his big debut in the music industry in the spring of 2012 with his mixtape “It’s My Time,” which featured his two most famous songs “Cashin’ Out” and “Hold Up.” Just when we thought he was done, Ca$h Out didn’t slow down on his career path as a successful rapper; just a couple of months after its release, “Hold Up” was remixed and it is now featuring well-known Maybach Music Group (MMG) rapper, Wale and was produced by MMG producer, Beat Billionaire. When asked about how the remix came about, Ca$h Out said, “Wale was around to the mixtape, hit me up, and let me know he wanted to get on the song. I put him on the verse, and all of a sudden they wanted it to be the second single. It was a great smash to have after ‘Cashin’ Out’ to keep everything going and to solidify that I wasn’t a one-hit-wonder. Now we’re on the third one.”
Ca$h Out’s third single is a song titled “Exclusive,” which features B.O.B, a fellow Atlanta native. “It’s going to be another ‘Cashin’ Out’ if that’s safe to say, or even better. B.O.B killed his verse, and you know I did my thing, as always.” “Exclusive” also premiered as MTV’s “Jam of the Week” in early February 2013.
replied, “It’s a great name. All it takes is patience with whatever you’re going through. No matter if it’s ups and downs or trials and tribulations, you need to know how to be patient.”
One supporter that Ca$h Out has always had in his corner is his mother, who is also his manager. “She’s loyal and definitely knows how to separate being mother and manager. She knows to take the manager role you have to understand where the artist comes from, what we need, and everything. It’s all love with me. It definitely feels great for her to be around. That’s the best situation.”
The vibe of the album will be “totally different from the mixtapes but still have club bangers. It’s going to be a great body of work with music you can relate to, music for the ladies, music for the clubs, and music for the streets all wrapped up in one.”
With all the success that has already come to him, Ca$h Out doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. He steadily has a new song to release or a new video to premier. Be on the lookout for his debut album “Patience” coming out this summer.
All of Ca$h Out’s official singles can be expected to be on his debut album titled “Patience.” When asked how he came up with the name “Patience” he
EXCUSE HIS FRENCH:
The Journey of French Montana BY MAKYIA BRIDGE, JAZMYN ROBINSON, ASIA WILLIAMS SOPHOMORES, WESTINGHOUSE COLLEGE PREP
rench Montana has exclusively put together a handful of dope tracks that will be featured on his upcoming album “Excuse My French.” Some of his hit singles include “Pop That” and a track called “Freaks” featuring Nicki Minaj. Above and beyond his lyrical skills, he also has an artistic side to him. The album cover illustration is rather interesting. The cover displays a young boy (French Montana) walking through the desert alone. “[The album cover] just shows my journey, everything I’ve been through. It’s like walking through a desert full of mirages,” says French Montana. The album features several other artists such as The Weekend, Snoop Dogg and Rick Ross. He said besides the features from the album, he is inspired by classic rappers and classic music. 38 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
“Watching people like Tupac, Biggie Smalls, and Snoop just made me want to do it,” said French Montana. Although having the passion for writing new music every day may be difficult, the love and money motivates him. Most fans might not know, but when growing up as a teen, French Montana went from “…just being shy, doubted, hated, to being the most loved.” French Montana is an inspiring figure to upcoming rap artists who started out being doubted. He wants young people to realize that no matter what anyone in the industry says, they can make it in the game. French doesn’t know what the future holds for him, but he is most definitely sure he’s going to take
advantage of everything that’s being thrown to him. He is especially excited about future projects and improving his music for his fans. “I feel like new opportunities present themselves, but I’m not going to say what I’m going to do. I’m going to take advantage of every opportunity that’s going on.” “Excuse My French” is set to be released May 21, 2013. For more on French Montana, visit frenchmontanamusic.com/bio/.
FROM AMBER TO SEVYN:
The Transformation of
SEVYN STREETER BY ERICA MAYO, JUNIOR, HOME SCHOOLED
With Sevyn’s new commitment she quickly gained recognition as a hit song writer, building her career by writing songs for Brandy, Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and Estelle. Sevyn never formally studied songwriting, but she learned “by being a sponge for good music. Anytime you see someone that does what you inspire to do and they do it ten times better than you, you have to sit there and soak it in and you ask questions and you learn,” said Sevyn.
At 15, she got her first record deal performing in the girl group TG4. Although the group didn’t last long, Sevyn began uploading her music on Myspace at the advice of her cousin and was given an opportunity to join another hot girl group called RichGirl. They had moderate success for five years with a few hit singles, even touring as the opening act for Beyonce’s “I Am” tour, but they eventually disbanded.
After her success in songwriting, Sevyn set her sights on reemerging center stage as an artist. Her new single “I Like It” recently debuted hot on the charts with over a half a million views on YouTube. Now living her dreams with a hit single, the only thing Sevyn could ask for in the future is to work with her label colleagues. “I would love to collaborate with Wiz Khalifa, Trey Songz, Bruno Mars and B.O.B.”
t a young age, Sevyn Streeter was determined to seek out a career in music. She began singing in church and in talent shows at the age of 10. Her big break came when she competed in Showtime at the Apollo and tied for first place singing “My Funny Valentine.”
Sevyn then set out to reinvent herself after RichGirl. With a new vision and a new purpose, Sevyns’ transformation began with her new name. Amber Streeter now officially called herself Sevyn. This name was fitting because her birthday is July 7th but especially because biblically seven is the number of fullness and completion.
Even though she is busy building her own career, she is never too busy to take time to give back. Her advice to teen songwriters on breaking into the business is to “not look down on where you are or what role you took. You’re in this place for a reason,” says Sevyn. “Just keep being persistent and work hard to make the best out of that situation. Don’t give up; you’re a step away from your dreams coming true too.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 39
LUCCI…VEE BY GABRIELLE LONDON, FRESHMAN, COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO
ucci Vee, also known as Erika from the Oxygen Network reality show “Bad Girls Club: Mexico,” has been everywhere but off the radar. Currently working on her new mixtape “I Love Lucci,” she says her goal for the album is for it to sound different from her last two. The beat selection is going to be completely different, includes all original music, and showcases more of her heart and soul. Her name Lucci Vee comes from Susan Lucci, an American soap opera actress (“All My Children”), and Vee came from vixen because her stage name used to be Sneaker Vixen. Lucci basically means swag, like Gucci with an “L.” Not from the Chicago area, the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area) native still knows how to bring her Virginia flow and mix it with her Chicago style. Doing music since she was little, she started out singing then grew into rapping just to play around until her friends told her she really could rap. With the extra exposure she has now being on a reality show, some tried to write her off as more of a reality star than a rapper. “Eventually people will realize what it is,” she responded to the doubters. Even though she is often compared to Nicki Minaj, Teyana Taylor and Azealia Banks, Lucci Vee still found ways to set herself apart from the stereotypical female rapper of today. On every track she raps differently and she changes her flow up. She believes people unjustifiably judge all female rappers the same, but she respects other female artists and listens to many of them. Inspired by such rappers like Lil Wayne, Lil Kim, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and Roxanne Shante, just to name a few, Lucci Vee taught herself how to rap. “It comes naturally,” she said, “but there are certain fundamentals that you need to learn in order to be a good rapper.” She believes the female rappers she listened to had the best flows and stage performance and that’s what she took from them. Unsigned, Lucci Vee has a crew named Wolfpack. It’s a label, a team, and a family to her. She compares it to their own version of Young Money, but they have more than just artists. They have people who do web design, photography and DJ. It is a group of talented individuals ready to take over the world. Lucci Vee works with a lot of Chicago artists, but right now she would like to work with ASAP Rocky, Trinidad James and 2 Chainz, and eventually Lil Wayne. Lucci Vee eventually found her way towards relevance by doing everything herself, spreading the word, uploading stuff to her Twitter, and pushing her own agenda personally. “You have to be socially poppin’ to be successful in this game,” she explained. The female rap game is by far the toughest to make it in, but Lucci Vee is not your average female rapper and, if anything, is poised to make her mark in the industry. 40 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
JONNY WILD MZ DAY DAY
MUSICAL STYLE My music style is pretty much like my personality. It’s hype, fun and energetic. I like to add a little of Atlanta with New York to change the style around.
My music is unique because I like to do things nobody has done before. I don’t like to do what everyone else is doing. I like to switch my flow around a lot. I don’t want to be identified with one specific style.
My goal is to take my career as far as possible. I would like to learn how to produce my own music. I would also like to work with most of the hot stars that are mainstream right now like Rihanna and maybe grow my music to where I can reach more than one genre at a time. I am interested in having my music listed not only as hip-hop but I would like my music listed as “pop” as well.
My major influences are Missy Elliot, Nicki Minaj,
Rihanna and T.I.
Contact Info for Fans? Twitter @_mzdayday Instagram: mz_dayday
Youtube: MZDAYDAYTV Reverbnation: mzdaydayent Facebook like Page: Mz Day Day
MUSICAL STYLE I think of myself as a conscious
rapper, but I don’t rap on conscious beats. My beats are so crucial and the way that I flow is like a new age conscious rapper. I like to call it “Jonny Rap.” I feel like there’s just no one else rapping like me.
UNIQUENESS I actually have synesthesia, so when I hear
music I see different colors to distinguish different types of music and beats and sounds. It seems kind of random but it really helps me. To me all of my music is the same color. So when I find a beat, I find a way to make it fit me and make it my color.
My ultimate goal is to become one of those rappers whose name is synonymous with a sound, like how no one can make a certain kind of sample beat without someone going “Look at you trying to be like Yeezy.” I want that. That’s why my new stuff sounds super different.
INFLUENCE Not being lame but when I was younger I saw
“8-Mile” and I was inspired by Eminem. When I heard the soundtrack I wanted to write like him and eventually I did and I just use it to go in. Contact Info for Fans: Twitter: @JonnyWildSYB Youtube: SYBLifestyle E-Mail: Jonny.Wildd@gmail.com Instashawdy: Jonnywild_af TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 41
TEEN TEEN BIZBIZ
Five Finger Discount
HURTS BUSINESSES & CONSUMERS BY STEPHANIE GREENE, SENIOR, WALTER PAYTON COLLEGE PREP
hoplifting is a serious problem for businesses, as they see their products disappear without any revenue coming in. But what does this have to do with you as a consumer or community member?
We are only two months away from summer and I cannot wait for blue skies and warm weather. Many of you will be working a summer job so that you can buy clothes, go to movies and lots of other fun things. If you work 25 hours a week, you will probably earn over $2,000 this summer. But before you start dreaming about all of the things you can buy, take a few minutes and make a plan for how you will manage each paycheck. If you don’t already have one, the first thing you should do is sign up for a bank account at a local bank so that you can deposit your checks and keep your money safe. Not only will the money be secure, but you will save a lot of money by avoiding Currency Exchange check cashing fees. The next thing is to make a budget. Just because you have money does not mean you need to spend it right away. Think about all of the things that you need money for such as food, movies, and clothes. If you save a portion of each paycheck, you’ll have money available to buy things that you may want or need at a later date. It’s simple, the more you save now the more you’ll have later. Summer jobs are a great way to get work experience, meet new people and earn money for your future. So take a few minutes and make sure that you are able to keep all that you earn.
Stephanie D. Neely Treasurer, City of Chicago
Larger cities were hit particularly hard in the summer of 2012 when the phrase typically used to describe large groups of spontaneously dancing people was pegged to describe large groups of people that shoplift. “Flash Mobs” allowed people that were not skilled thieves to overwhelm the store’s staff so that there is no one person that can necessarily be pinpointed as the thief. That is exactly what happened to Mildblend Supply Company in Wicker Park when about 20 young men entered the relatively small store and stole upwards of $3,000 worth of merchandise; a devastating hit for a small business.
Patsy Polston, former manager of Gap and Banana Republic, says “As employees, we were not supposed to do anything if we suspected that someone was shoplifting; we had to leave it up to mall security.” In the end, paying customers and taxpayers pick up the slack from those who steal.
According to Time Out Chicago, State Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office predicts that Illinois loses more than $77 million in tax revenue every year on account of shoplifting. Time Out Chicago also reports that the American family ends up paying $450 more in price markups because of stolen goods.
Cook County has begun taking measures to increase police presence during high volume shopping periods. They are also leading a nationwide effort in the prosecution of shoplifters. All in all, shoplifting hurts businesses, consumers and could land the perpetrator in jail.
Majoring in Business: AN EASY WIN!
BY DAYANARA GUYTON, SENIOR, PHOENIX MILITARY ACADEMY
ith a business major, you could receive the critical skills for a variety of high positions in an industry. Business is composed of fields such as accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, non-profits, management, etc. The outstanding skills you will obtain throughout your undergrad degree are transferable to many careers. What you do with a business degree is up to you; you could have the opportunity to own your own business or you could work for a company. Kye-Anne Wilborn, the owner of Exclusively For You Events, speaks about the business industry. “It’s extremely rewarding, and I wanted to have options. I’m glad the majority of the tasks for my business I can do myself.”
Although it is expensive to go to college or stay in school after college to earn an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree, it’s worth it because of the opportunities it will give you. A business degree will increase your chance of earning a higher wage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states, “The average annual wage for business degrees is about $70,000. All occupations average annual wage is perhaps $24,000 less than business majors.” (www.bls.gov)
This African-American business woman has accomplished many goals and tasks in her life and her journey is just beginning.
The demand for people who hold business degrees is high and therefore, in any circumstance, you should stay determined to obtain your degree.
Financial Tips from the Pros: PRO-ATHLETES THAT IS! BY DONNELL FELTON, SENIOR, GAGE PARK HIGH SCHOOL
any young athletes have the dream of playing in the pros and most think that all professional athletes live the life of luxury, but some face financial hardships like the rest of us. Some 78 percent of football players have gone broke two years after retirement, according to Sports Illustrated’s September 2012 issue. Some reasons for this are a 50 percent divorce rate and bad investment choices. Even one of greatest football players of alltime, Dan Marino, went bankrupt because of some of these same problems. Adrian Aucoin, a NHL player with the Columbus Blue Jackets, explains “I wasn’t making much money, so my challenges were saving enough for rent and car payments. When I made the NHL and my salary got a lot bigger, I had to worry about how to not go crazy and spend too much. A lot of athletes get asked by family and friends for money. That is always one of the biggest challenges.”
Sidney Blum, financial planner at Great Light Fee Only Advisors, LLC, says “Family and friends can influence you to buy things you don’t need.” Many professional athletes are not given any help in learning how to manage their money when they sign that big contract, and like Mr. Aucion, they have to learn to manage money on their own. But there are other positive role models as well. Walter Payton was a very successful football player with the Chicago Bears. After his football career, Payton was also successful financially in retirement, co-owning a racing team and a restaurant. Payton’s son, Jarrett Payton still helps to run the family’s charitable foundation today, according to On the Money’s Fall 2012 issue. Some advice for any successful athlete, professional or not, is to manage your money. Try creating a budget and keep track of the things you buy. Once you have set up your budget, you need to live by it.
This means not spending more than your finances can handle, especially on big-ticket items like cars and homes. Excessive purchases can also have a huge part in bankruptcy, because they can really catch up with you.
COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS BY HSBC
aying goodbye to your high school years may be difficult, but your upcoming college experience can be a thrilling and exciting new chapter! The following financial insights can help you prepare for the next stage of your life. Short-term: Set-up or fine-tune your budget. If you haven’t already done so, get a solid grasp on your finances. A good understanding of your cash flow can help lessen the financial anxiety many college students face. Know how each dollar of your income is allocated and spent, including federal and state taxes, gas money, clothing, savings and entertainment. Establishing a solid budget, sticking to it and using your credit card wisely can help you avoid money mistakes your freshman year.
Long-term: Long-term: Plan wisely for college debt. With high school graduation right around the corner, it’s not too early to start planning your finances beyond college. While you may not be 100 percent certain of your career plans yet, you can begin investigating what a typical first year salary might be once you graduate. A good rule-of-thumb is to make sure that when you graduate, you have no more in student loans than what your first year’s salary may be. If your calculations are worrisome, you may need to consider a less expensive school, start out at a junior college for a year or two, or even aim to graduate in three years. Your college years can be some of the most thrilling and anxious times of your life. Having a solid plan
for your short and long term finances can help you focus on the other aspects of your college years – thought-provoking coursework, a newfound sense of independence and friendships that can last a lifetime! Visit YourMoneyCounts.com for more information. Carlo Airdo Vice President, Corporate Sustainability HSBC
INSIDE & OUT
THE REAL DANGERS OF
MOLLY BY MINA WAIGHT, SOPHOMORE, KENWOOD CAREER ACADEMY
olly is a very often talked about drug among the youth of our generation. The drug, also known as ecstasy and technically known as MDMA, is talked about regularly in the music we listen to and is raved about on social media as something cool. But what many teens don’t know is that experimenting with any drug, and especially Molly, can have life-shattering consequences. What makes MDMA both intriguing but equally dangerous is that it plays around with chemicals in your brain, specifically dopamine, that generally produce feelings of happiness. This may sound harmless in the beginning but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the “surge of serotonin caused by taking MDMA depletes the brain of this important chemical, however, causing negative after-effects — including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and anxiety — that may occur soon after taking the drug or during the days or even weeks thereafter.” To make matters worse, the drug increases your heart rate, blood pressure and can be particularly risky for people with circulatory problems or heart disease, according to drugabuse.gov. So if a night in the emergency room does not sound appealing to you, stay away from MDMA. “High doses of MDMA can interfere with the ability to regulate body temperature, resulting in a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), leading to liver, kidney and cardiovascular failure. Severe dehydration can result from the combination of the drug’s effects and the crowded and hot conditions in which the drug is often taken,” according to drugfree.org. Noah Polk, senior at Kenwood Academy, was originally exposed to the drug by music he was listening to and it made him want to experiment. “The next day I didn’t remember a thing and I think I had a minor hallucination.” Many think about Molly as something fun to do but don’t realize the potential consequences of experimenting with drugs like MDMA. First of all, you will never know what exactly is in the drug, who made it and how much MDMA is actually in the pill. Second, you don’t know how your body will react to it. Third, playing with the chemicals in your brain is dangerous business. You are potentially risking your life. Is one night of excitement worth all that? If you have already made the mistake of experimenting, it is never too late to quit! Chris Kingston, intake coordinator at New Hope Recovery in Chicago, says “Teens can access treatment centers, individual therapy, as well as several forms of one-on-one counseling for substance abuse in Chicago.” If you find yourself in a situation where you might need help, do not hesitate to seek professional advice or even tell a parent or trusted adult as soon as physically possible. For more information on New Hope Recovery and drug abuse counseling, visit new-hope-recovery.com. 44 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
AND THE BLACK COMMUNITY BY KRISTIN BROWN, SOPHOMORE, COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO
ANY DISEASES AFFECT THE BLACK COMMUNITY, BUT NONE MORE THAN SICKLE CELL ANEMIA. Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary form of anemia in which the hemoglobin of the blood forms sickle or crescent shapes and passes through the veins, according to cdc.gov. The cells have a hard time passing through veins, which in turn deliver less oxygen to the body’s tissues. People who suffer from the disease have long bouts of pain. Some long-term effects are blindness, ulcers, infections, arthritis and delayed growth.
Despite this, doctors are making progress toward properly treating people with the disease. In 2002, the mortality rate of sickle cell anemia sufferers dropped to 42 percent, according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health. Sickle cell anemia patients are on a daily regimen of medications, supplements, pain medications, fluids and antibiotics. They are also given blood transfusions as needed, treated for organ failure, bone marrow or stem cell transfusions and vaccines which reduce their risk of infections. According to Anquineice Brown of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois,
Although the disease affects people of all races, sickle cell anemia is more prevalent in African-Americans. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 500 African-American babies born carry the sickle cell trait. What this means is that if a person carries the trait and they have a child with another person who also carries the trait, their child will be born with sickle cell anemia. As a result of this, every one in twelve African-Americans have sickle cell anemia. The disease is not a result of poor eating habits or lifestyle; it is simply a result of genetics. The gene is passed from generation to generation.
“There are support groups available in Chicago, as well as community monthly support groups.” The association is located on 8100 S. Western Ave., and their national website can be accessed at sicklecelldisease.org. Although you may not have the disease, it affects you in more ways than you know. You could potentially be a carrier of the trait, which raises the possibility that your child can have the disease. Your niece, nephew, cousin, friend, someone you know may have the disease. Be informed. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 45
YOUNG AND IN LOVE? Heed These Words BY TEAIRA PITTS, SOPHOMORE, SOUTH SHORE INTERNATINAL COLLEGE PREP
Ever been told that you’re too young to be in love? If so, it’s probably because you don’t fully understand how complicated a relationship can be. Love should be unconditional, yet it should have a limit. This rule applies to all romantic relationships, even those fledgling, teenage ones. Based on the students polled, a healthy relationship should have the following components:
• MUTUAL RESPECT • TRUST • HONESTY • SUPPORT • EQUALITY • GOOD COMMUNICATION • ROOM TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL Couples should figure out whether their relationships have these qualities. If not, they must find a way to establish them or break things off completely.
Yolo (You Only Live Once)
Don’t let someone ruin the love that you have for another person. If you want to be with that person, do it! YOLO right? The only thing is that you do only live once, and life is too short to be with someone who doesn’t make you happy. There should be a smile on your face the majority of the time. I’m not saying that the argument you all had last night is a reason to break up today, but be sure that the good times outnumber the bad.
When is it over? How do you know?
of you, and whether this is what you want. Is he or she who you want to be with, or are you just holding on because you are both afraid of seeing each other with someone else?
As young adults/teens, it is hard to know if sex is the right or wrong thing to do. But as your relationship progresses, sex will become a factor, whether or not you’re ready.
If you’re NOT ready DON’T do it! In the end it is your decision. But just make sure you can live with the consequences. If you decide to go through with it, be sure beforehand. Talk to your boyfriend/girlfriend; think of all consequences and feelings involved. Remember your body is a temple. If you and your partner do decide to take this step, please be informed, protected and comfortable.
The definition of abuse is as follows: to use wrongly or improperly; to misuse; to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about. There are different forms of abuse:
• VERBAL • PHYSICAL • EMOTIONAL • MENTAL
If you are having trouble figuring out what your limit on love is, make a chart. List all the good and bad points of the relationship. If the good outweighs the bad stop being stubborn and pick up the phone and call your “baby.” If the bad outweighs the good, it is time to let go.
You are nobody’s property! No form of abuse should be accepted. If you’re able to read this article, it means you’re able to get help. Why are you in a relationship? Most likely because the other person makes you happy, right? Please take this warning. I know it’s not easy, especially when you’re in love, but if those aren’t tears of joy in your eyes, they shouldn’t be there at all.
No one should make you unhappy or judge you. If there’s a tie between the good and bad columns you and your mate need to talk. Figure out what’s best for both
Relationships are tough in general, but especially for teens. Remember to live your life and don’t prioritize relationships over being a teenager.
46 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
BY SYDNEY SHAW, SOPHOMORE, WHITNEY YOUNG MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL
he new wave of social networking in today’s generation has affected the course of relationships severely; some for the better and some for the worse. Relationships and social media have become friends and enemies. Let’s take a trip back for a second to a time when there was no Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or computers, for that matter! Your only means for communication with a significant other were probably only a house phone and physical contact. Some might say this is why relationships lasted longer back then, because the entire world didn’t have access to the special bond between you and another person. Others say these sites make it easier to date than the traditional ways of finding someone special and for avoiding that first awkward conversation.
Santiago Grovas and Taylor Dee are the infamous couple who openly admit that they met and fell in love on Instagram (@santiagopgm and @thisgirl_). Grovas, from Mexico City and Dee from Colorado, were both popular faces on “the gram,” constantly liking each other’s pictures.
“I thought, ‘Wow, this girl’s amazing! I loved her pictures for about four months,’” Dee says, “and then he posted a picture of himself and I realized he was a guy.” As far-fetched as it would have seemed a few hundred years ago, it was love at first ‘like.’ How long this love will last is the real question. Through the discreetness of direct messages and private inboxes, cyber-cheating would be a tempting playground for an unfaithful partner. Jealousy and insecurities, some of the main reasons for the bitter endings of relationships, are easily sparked by a partner liking and commenting on the pictures of another. You could ask: “Is it possible to have an Instagram and a successful relationship?” My advice would be to set boundaries, and put the phones down for a while! If you’re constantly focused on checking your phone when you’re with your partner, you can never make a genuine connection. Will you allow your relationship to be a friend or foe of Instagram? Whether it be love at first ‘like’ or breakup at first fight, don’t completely turn your back on the possibilities of young love in today’s technologically dependent society, but also be aware of the possible consequences. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 47
Girls Approaching Guys
The Do’s and Don’ts for Dating BY GABRIELLE LONDON, FRESHMAN, COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO
hen it comes down to dating, generally you picture the male approaching a female, striking up conversation and landing the number in the end. Afterwards they go on a few dates, and “BAM!” – they’re dating. Now what would happen if it were the other way around? If girls were the ones to approach guys? There is the argument that girls aren’t to tell a guy they like them because she’ll seem desperate, or the fact that it’s more “proper” if a guy approaches the female first. But nowadays, women are even proposing to their boyfriends. Is the world turning backwards or are we just evolving? David Jackson, a senior in high school, gave True Star his take on girls approaching guys. “I think it’s rare nowadays. But it’s a desirable trait to meet a women who sees what she wants and goes for it,” he says. When asked has he ever been approached by a girl, he said, “Yes. She asked for my name and age, said I was cute and the conversation just went on from there.” Jackson doesn’t think that there is a proper way to approach a guy. “It depends on how the guy likes to be approached.” TJ Lusby, a college student, agrees with Jackson. “I think there is nothing wrong with it; if she is really into him, then go for it!” He says it’s as easy as a simple “Hello.” “For example, if you see someone you are interested in, just politely walk up to them and say ‘Hey, how you doing today?’ and continue the conversation from there. Follow up with some compliments to show him you’re interested and then lead into asking him to hang out one day.” It seems that girls are truly taking over, even in the dating world. Although, some guys still like to be old-fashioned, others don’t really mind switching it up. When it comes to asking a guy out, you have to be confident and sure about what you are about to get into. Be sure you approach a guy properly, follow the guidelines, and still remain a lady. 48 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
GUIDELINES IN APPROACHING A GUY DO’S: • INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND SAY HELLO • GIVE A GOOD REASON TO WHY YOU APPROACHED HIM • BE POLITE • GIVE COMPLIMENTS BUT DON’T OVERDO IT • ASK FOR A CONTACT VIA PHONE OR SOCIAL MEDIA • SHOW INTEREST • FIND SIMILARITIES WITHIN ONE ANOTHER • BE YOURSELF • BE HONEST DON’TS • RUSH INTO THINGS • BE RUDE • TRY TO BE SEXY RIGHT AWAY • BE DESPERATE • TALK ABOUT YOUR EXES • PRETEND TO BE SOMEONE YOU’RE NOT • LIE • PUSH YOURSELF ON HIM In the end, whether you decide to approach or not, always be yourself and don’t ever let anything overwhelm you. You never know, you just might meet the one for you by simply saying “Hello.”
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First Months’ Rent
The Unspoken Struggles of a
BY KIA “KWEEN K” SMITH, FRESHMAN, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
f you’re anything like me, how you feel about college is probably a mix of emotions. You’re probably anxious to leave the place you call home for so many years or you’re incredibly terrified to go, and have no desire whatsoever to leave your friends, family, job and other familiar surroundings. You may feel like you have everything figured out, and you know exactly what you’re going for, who you’re going to hang with, and what type of things you’ll get into. No matter what your perception of higher education may be, it’s interesting to see that out of everything a person expects about college, no one ever discusses the social, financial, and psychological struggles a person faces. And because of that, I decided to share my story. After all, according to colleges.usnews. rankingsandreviews.com, 1 in 3 college freshmen never make it to sophomore year. Apparently, we can all use some college advice. When I started college eight months ago, I believed I had everything figured out. I thought I was smarter and more successful than everybody in the college, simply because I run a well-known up-and-coming blog, and some could say I was semi-famous in Chicago. I got to college, and immediately didn’t like it. I was homesick, and I couldn’t seem to fit into the social scene of this new environment. For a person who was usually independent and thought she had everything figured out, this new found doubt was like a slap in the face. On top of that, EVERYTHING that could have gone wrong in my life did, like a domino effect. Every week it was something new:
• MY RELATIONSHIPS WITH MY PARENTS DECLINED • I WAS NO LONGER FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT • I LOST FRIENDS • RELATIVES DIED • AND I ENDED UP ON ACADEMIC PROBATION. I ended up in a deep depression that I’m just now starting to break. See, most people think a college student’s struggle only has to do with being able to pay for books or not, but it goes beyond that. The struggle of a college student is not only financial, but psychological and social as well. Let’s be real. Not too many of us come from families where they have resources to support our futures. Using the example of myself, I came from a single parent home. Though I never lived in a two parent home, my mom and dad worked a few jobs to support me in life, but when it came to college, we were not prepared. The true colors about your family’s financial situation always comes out when you decide to go to college. Your parents will not always be able to help you. Not 50 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
simply because they don’t want to, but because they are struggling themselves. So yes, you’ll find yourself stressing wondering how you’re going to get a job, and how you’re going to pay for your books, and how you’re going to eat, or even have fun.
AS IF STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY WASN’T ENOUGH, I FOUND MYSELF STRUGGLING SOCIALLY AS WELL. College can definitely be a socially catastrophic environment. I have watched the greatest of friendships fall apart, the greatest relationships come together, and everything in between. A basic human need is to feel accepted, to feel like we belong to someone or something, and if we don’t fit the norm, we are ostracized and isolated. Here’s the biggest issue of college that no one likes to talk about, the psychological struggle, of course. Mentally, none of us are prepared for college and honestly, there is no one piece of advice that can be given to prepare us for it. For me, college has been nothing but trial-and-error when it comes to figuring stuff out. If a situation came up, I had to figure out a way to handle it on my own, and sometimes it didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I wasn’t prepared at all for the adversity I would face, or the depression that resulted because of it. It got so bad that I would do nothing except go to class and come back to my room. I just wanted to give up. And I was very, very close to doing so at one point. Psychological issues are often over-looked, but I really believe we need to start acknowledging them in order to manage them better and hopefully overcome them. Despite the financial, social, and psychological issues we face in our first year of college and beyond, ultimately I feel as if they strengthen us. Could some situations have been handled better? Definitely. Should I have made some of the choices I made? Probably not. Would I change any of the lessons I was forced to learn? Absolutely not. Regardless of your race, gender, ethnicity, or financial situation, we all have to face certain struggles in life, and college life is no exception. But the ultimate goal of struggle is not to weaken us, but to make us champions in the end.
OPTIONS LABORATORY SCHOOL will TRANSITION to a CPS CONTRACT SCHOOL next year and will enroll students in grades 9â€“12.
If you have a child who is interested in the ARTS (painting/drawing, ceramics/clay, glassblowing, music production/music industry, technology)
and is looking for a smaller school setting,
please contact Ruby Jones, School Counselor, at 773-690-5500 for an application.
Applications are also available online at optionslab.org.