CONFESSIONS OF A NATURALISTA E
CHALLENGES OF BEING A FOSTER KID
TIPS FOR CHOOSING A HIGH SCHOOL
Hello students, staff, parents, and guardians, I joined the CICS team two years ago at CICS-Avalon and was more than excited to begin my journey at CICS-Basil this year. Basil has done some excellent work in the past year. This can be seen in our School Quality Performance Rating, which rose from a 2 to a 1 this year — which is the second highest ranking! Our scholars are dedicated to learning and motivated to achieve acceptance into selective high schools, colleges, and beyond! Our parents and guardians form an essential part of our network, working together with teachers to ensure our scholars succeed. Teachers at Basil have a passion for our students and for making sure all scholars achieve an excellent education that prepares them for success in a competitive world. We are excited to be offering a variety of student activities this year, from tutoring, to student council, to basketball, to working with the True Star Foundation — all of which are a part of the dynamic activities that Basil has to offer. With all that said, I can’t wait to see the heights Basil will reach this year! Go Bulldogs!
Deborah Persson Middle School Principal
CONTENTS THE SKIN I’M IN 5: THE FRIZZINESS: CONFESSIONS OF A NATURALISTA BY ISIS JOHNSON THE STRUGGLE 6: COPING WITH BREAST CANCER BY EMMANUEL SCHAEFFER 7: BEING A FOSTER CHILD BY CHRISTINE JONES 8: CHOOSING THE RIGHT HIGH SCHOOL FOR YOU BY KATERRA BOWMAN LISTEN UP 9: CATCHING UP WITH NICK NERVIES BY THE CICS BASIL SCHOLARS FASHION 10: FASHION IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT BY BRANDI DIXON 11-13: FASHION & FUN HIGH TECH: FAST FORWARD 14: IS TECHNOLOGY RUINING OUR FUTURE? BY JAMANI GREEN 14: THEY ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD BY DVALLE HARP 15: IPHONE 6: DOES IT LIVE UP TO THE HYPE? BY ISIS JOHNSON
PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON
True Colors Magazine CONTACT US: TRUESTARJR@TRUESTARMAGAZINE.COM
STAFF EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS DEANNA MCLEARY & NA-TAE’ THOMPSON MANAGING EDITOR MARTI PARHAM EDITORIAL COORDINATOR ASHLEY HILL ART DIRECTION DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION ANGEL D’AMICO-BAUER PHOTO COORDINATOR DESHAUN ADAMS SCHOOL LIAISON JADE HEDGEMAN
THE SKIN I’M IN
CONFESSIONS OF A NATURALISTA BY ISIS JOHNSON
et’s just say that having natural hair isn’t the easiest thing that a girl can have. There are a lot of good and bad things that come along with having completely natural hair. I’m sure it’s hard for many girls my age; we have to do a lot to keep our hair in check. But having natural hair is also a good thing; it gives me versatility and it has helped me embrace my natural beauty. In order to keep my hair straight, there are a several things that I must do. I have to go through the long process of washing and blow-drying my hair like everyone else, but the difference is that some of us natural girls have to add special oil to our hair so it won’t frizz up. If you’re anything like me, that still doesn’t work that much because I like to play a lot of sports and my roots will frizz tremendously. This causes me to have to wear my hair in a ponytail for a while until I straighten it again, which as some of my fellow naturalistas know, can become damaging on the hair. To say the least, having natural hair just emphasizes your natural beauty even more. So don’t be pressured to change cause you see everyone else changing. Be true to yourself and do what works for YOU. Embracing your natural roots doesn’t come easy. If you are transitioning, thinking of going natural or have been natural for a while now, here are some tips to get you through the process, or remind you if you’ve fallen short.
1. Keep your hair moisturized.
2. Clip ends when needed. 3. Tie hair up at night with a satin scarf/bonnet.
4. Wear protective
hairstyles to protect those ends and to help retain length.
5. Be patient with your hair; everyone’s hair journey is different.
TRUE COLORS 5
BY EMMANUEL SCHAEFFER
ancer is an awful word that no one person wants to utter, yet it has somehow crept its way into the lives of many and affected the lives of even more. According to cancer.org, this year alone 232,570 new cases of invasive breast cancer have been reported. That’s a lot! We know who the cancer ultimately affects, but how often do we stop to think how that person’s child and family are affected? Breast cancer is indeed a problem for families due to the emotional toll it has. Today, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. That’s a tough pill to swallow for any family. It is especially tough for the children who are most affected. Takea Page, 16, knows this feeling all too well as her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer not once, but twice in a matter of nine months. “I felt extremely hurt and even cried when I heard she had it.” Page says in order to move forward she had to “make changes in the way I think...I had to have a positive mind-set, not only for myself, but for my mother.” Along with dealing with the anxiety of not being 100 percent optimistic about the outcome of your parents’ sudden illness, children often begin lagging behind in school due to emotional stress, feeling shy about the subject or even feeling awkward discussing it. Depending on the support 6 TRUE COLORS
they have from other family members, children are at times left with thoughts of suicide and depression. Every child copes differently, but it’s for certain that no one likes dealing with it alone. “By being with my friends, going outside, having my grandma and my cousin around, I learned how to cope and find peace with what was going on,” Page explains. Through this time of turmoil and distress, Page says she’s learned a lot about herself and the strength of her mother. She offers this advice: “We always keep our heads up. For teens whose mother has breast cancer, keep your head up, do everything you can to keep your mother happy and pray every day.”
FOSTER CHILD BY CHRISTINE JONES
AS I BEGIN TO GROW OLDER, I DEVELOP MORE QUESTIONS THAT STILL, TO THIS DAY, REMAIN UNANSWERED.
ure, it’s common. You hear about it all the time, but being a foster child is in no way a quick hop, skip or jump around the park. Take a peek into my world. Being a foster child is very difficult; I don’t know any of my biological siblings or family members. Unfortunately, my family hasn’t come looking for me like some other children’s parents. This was a hard pill to swallow growing up because I felt so disconnected from knowing who I was as a person. Being a foster child is confusing, especially at a young age. As I begin to grow older, I develop more questions that, still to this day, remain unanswered. Questions that mostly center on: Why my parents would leave me, who my parents even were, do they think about me, or do they care at all?
Ok, now I know that was a lot, but let’s break it down. Starting with the fact I never actually got the chance to meet or know my birth parents. I always wondered about what the future may turn out to be. Wondering how my parents look, speak or dress; if my mother and father would be there to support me, just like I see other kids and their parents on TV. But so far, it hasn’t happen yet. The fact that my biological parents are unknown upsets me. But the world is still going to be here with or without them, and that’s a notion that I have to live with. Regardless of what the future holds, I am forever grateful to have a loving foster family, friends who don’t judge me, and that inch of hope that one day soon the doorbell will ring, and I’ll open the door to a familiar face. TRUE COLORS 7
Choosing the Right High School For You
BY KATERRA BOWMAN
t’s your 8th grade year! You’re excited, but soon you will have to make one of the biggest decisions of your life: Deciding what high school you think is best fit for you. You have a future ahead of you, picking the wrong high school could put all of that at risk. Jerilynn Elliott, Attendance/Truancy Counselor at Beacon Therapeutic High School, says, “It is important to not only prepare students for the world academically, but socially also. Students need to know how to interact with their peers and elders.” When deciding on a high school of choice, take heed to a few of the following tips.
GETTING A FEEL FOR THE SCHOOL IN PERSON MAKES IT EASIER TO TELL IF THAT SCHOOL IS A GOOD FIT FOR YOU.
1. VISIT THE SCHOOLS YOU ARE INTERESTING IN Getting a feel for the school in person makes it easier to tell if that school is a good fit for you. While you are there, ask as many questions as possible. 2. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL If you’re big into sports, look for a school with a good athletic program, but focus on academics. Elliot says that, “While researching schools, it should first off be an institution that will prepare you for post-secondary options, whether it be junior college, university, vocational/trade, military, or otherwise.” 3. TRY TO IMAGINE YOURSELF GOING TO SCHOOL HERE EVERY DAY Imagine how you would feel walking down the halls or in the cafeteria. If you’re comfortable 8 TRUE COLORS
and happy with many things about the school, then definitely make it an option. Elliot says, “A high school can only be as successful as the students in the school and all parties have to be determined to make that stride.” 4. TALK TO YOUR TEACHER OR THE STUDENT COUNSELOR ABOUT THE HIGH SCHOOL Ensure the fees are affordable for your family without them having to make sacrifices. “Although location plays a factor, many times some of our gems of high schools are located right in our inner city,” says Elliott.
Catching Up With
NICK NERVIES BY THE CICS BASIL SCHOLARS
obly poised and delightfully amusing, this19-year-old has certainly found his way through Hollywood. A Los Angeles native, actor Nick Nervies has landed himself a new TV sitcom and decided to grant us an interview here at Basil Media Center to catch up on everything under the sun. Q. What inspired you to become an actor?
Q. Who is your celebrity crush?
A. Rihanna and Karreueche Q. What has been your best and worst experience?
A. Really, it started at the age of 9. It kind of just happened. I had a friend who was an actor and his mother asked my mother if she thought it would be something I’d like to do.
A. The worst experience is not being able to spend time with my family and friends as often as I would like. The best experience is being able to travel and meet different types of people that I grew up watching on TV.
Q. Do you plan on doing more movies?
Q. Name your most embarrassing moment.
A. I want to do more comedy movies. I like making people laugh. At some point I want to do a dramatic movie and do something that is more challenging.
I went on this date and I am afraid of heights, and she wanted to go get on the ferris wheel. So we are riding on the ferris wheel and it gets to the top and stops. It started to rock back and forth and I got so scared I started crying. She never called me back after that.
Q. Do you plan on acting forever?
A. Eventually, I want to stop for a while to go to college. Q. What TV show are you currently shooting for?
A. “Mr. Box Office.”
Q. W hat advice would you like to share?
A. Whatever you want to do in life...go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Put in that effort... Looking back you’ll be happy you made that decision and stuck with your plan to make it work. TRUE COLORS 9
What You Make It BY BRANDI DIXON
ashion is a way that people can express themselves with clothes, jewelry, and make-up. People often copy what someone else wears so they can look or be like them. They usually call themselves twins, sisters, and bros because they are wearing the same thing. Sometimes others are often judged by what they wear or how they present themselves, but should this really matter? Fashion can be considered different styles and trends. It is not categorized into one umbrella or one particular style. When others judge people for certain things that they wear, they will call their clothes cheap, ratchet, petty, and hideous. Quite often people will say the more expensive your clothes are, the better they are. What? The definition for fashion, according to Webster’s dictionary, is “a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior.” So does everyone have to be the same in the way that they dress? Why is it that celebrities have such a major impact on what teens wear these days? 10 TRUE COLORS
“ONE ‘SIZE’ DOES NOT FIT ALL AND NO ONE SHOULD BE RIDICULED OR PRESSURED TO KEEP UP WITH SOCIETY.” - MARIA GILARD
Perhaps it’s because your average teens read magazines, see what celebrities wear, and think to themselves, “I like that,” or “She is really rocking that dress.” They then interpret that as a way to dress for themselves. But why would you want to be like someone else when you can wear what you want and be true to yourself at the same time? Fashion designer and owner of Smudged clothing line, Maria Gilard, says that “Fashion is such a complex word.” She added, “No one designer can place a cap on what the word means or stands for.” We are all peculiar in our own way. Therefore fashion, according to Gilard, can “represent each one of us uniquely... One ‘size’ does not fit all and no one should be ridiculed or pressured to keep up with society.” Basically, you should be your own person. Own who you are and what you choose to wear and be proud about it.
TRUE COLORS 11
HIGH TECH: FAST FORWARD IS TECHNOLOGY RUINING OUR
BY JAMANI GREEN
magine a world where everything is controlled by technology and everything is done by robots and apps from your mobile devices, iPad, and tablets. In our world today we can push a button to start a car and have phones that talk to us. But the main question is: Is it ruining our future? According to theranger.org, “Technology isn’t always negative; students have access to just about anything they desire through the Internet. The world is on their fingertips.” The site also
THEY ARE THE
OF THE WORLD BY DVALLE HARP
hat game console do you have? The PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii all have something in common. They are all well known and played all around the world, but which is the ultimate champion of the long lasting competition between the three?
Xbox has been around for 14 years, but Xbox has had many problems in the past. It’s an allin-one home media center, very large and has a growing game selection. Most popular games include: *Battlefield *Need for Speed Rivals *2k14 14 TRUE COLORS
reported, “Sitting in one place, they have access to everything that is going on around them… As a result, students become more globalized. That experience impacts their learning tremendously.” While technology has come a long way, it has also had some consequences. With the lack of federal regulations online, parents need to be more aware of what their children are viewing on the World Wide Web, and how it’s affecting their day-to-day lives. The website education.com sites one of the cons of technology as one being cyber bullying – a leading cause to frequent deaths, such as suicide, for people under 18. Whether or not technology will ruin our futures or make it better remains to be seen.
PlayStation has been around for 20 years. Those few extra years over Xbox are what many people find to be a reliable quality about the system. Popular games include: *Grand Theft Auto V *Lego Marvel Super Heroes *Call of Duty Ghost
Playing the Wii is fun. It was the first game that used a camera or motions in order for the user to play the game. The Wii has been around for eight years. Best games connected to the Wii are: *Super Mario Galaxy 2 *Donkey Kong Country Returns *Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition If you own one or all of these game consoles, then you know they are all different in their own ways, and there is no clear champion because they all perform uniquely different. You’re sure to have fun no matter what game console you have. It’s all about your preference.
Does it live up to the hype? BY ISIS JOHNSON
f you know anything about the world today you would understand the big deal about having the latest iPhone. People stand outside in all sorts of weather conditions just waiting to get their hands on the latest bit of technology. Ricardo Reddix, a Sprint store sales manager, says about “150 people pre-ordered the new iPhone” at his store alone. But is the newest iPhone what we thought it would be? There has been a lot of talk about the many flaws the Apple product has. Yet, through all the flaws of the new iPhone 6, it continues to sell without any problem. During the weekend release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, over 10 million people went out and purchased it. According to techtimes.com, “Early signs point to the success of Apple’s latest handset. The company has just announced that it set a “new record” after selling 10 million units of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units combined during their three-day launch weekend...” Those unit sales trumped the highly anticipated release of the iPhone 5 by one million.
THERE HAVE BEEN PLENTY OF REPORTS, RUMORS AND VIDEOS OF THE NEW AND PROCLAIMED IPHONE 6 BEING ABLE TO BEND.
Now let’s get down to the real problem, the flaws. There have been plenty of reports, rumors and videos of the new and proclaimed iPhone 6 being able to bend. “Not sure of all its flaws, but they are made out of a durable aluminum which makes them sturdy, but if dropped they dent instead of bouncing back like plastic,” says Reddix. According to theguardian.com, “How many iPhone 6 Plus phones have been bent in users’ pockets is still unknown. Apple claims that it is not an issue for normal use, but phones from other manufactures have suffered similar bending issues.” Despite this issue, people all over the world choose to see past the bending and continue to buy the latest iPhone. Reddix claims that, “With every version of iOS software there are bugs, but they tend to release updates quickly that fixes them, but no software is perfect.” We all may want that new thing, but do we stop and ask ourselves is it worth it or even necessary? TRUE COLORS 15
Winter 2015 True Colors CICS Basil