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FALL 2011


Young Rapper Older Flow

Is Ageism the New Racism?

Exclusive Interviews: LeToya Luckett, Collins Pennie, Ronnie Brewer, Tony Allen


Fall Fashion Takeover How Important is Your


How to Land Your First Job Get Schooled:

Nicki Minaj & Collins Academy

Be Your Own Brand

Create Your Own Future Are you interested in turning your passion into a career? Do you want to learn the ins and outs of creating and growing a successful business?

If you answered yes, then UIC CBA is the place for you!! UIC College of Business Administration offers the following four-year degrees: Accounting Entrepreneurship Finance Information and Decision Sciences Management Marketing Fifteen $20,000 Future Business Innovators Scholarship are awarded to incoming freshmen each year.

Fall Applications are due January 15, 2012. For more information visit “Being in the heart of Chicago, UIC CBA give you a world-class education while working in a world-class city.”

-Tashay Dennie UIC CBA Entrepreneurship Student Account Executive at True Star Media

FALL 2011

Cover PHOTO BY: Patrick Hoelck







Table of Contents REAL TALK 8 The “I” Generation by Justin Bowles 9 A Teen’s Leap Into the Real World by Alexander Stockstell 10 Is CPS Too Strict on Students by Lynda Lopez 11 Ageism: Old vs. Young by Justin Bowles 12 See Something, Say Something by Kia Smith 13 Aggressive, Passive and Assertive by Clarissa Patrice Cowley 5 Tips for Incoming College Freshman by Kiana Brown

GIVING BACK 14 Project Syncere: The Place to go for the Scientific Mind by Vernita Bediako Lights, Camera: The Chill by Jameliah Salter 16 Selling in or Selling Out by Alexander Stockstell 17 The Wii’s Successor: the Wii U by Karl Thomas Life Before Cell Phones by Ashley Hall

FASHION 18 Be Fashionable on a Budget by Malikah Thompson 19 Quick Fall Fashion Tips by Ebony Triplett True Star Magazine



26 The REAL Diggy: Young Rapper; Older Flow by Alexander Stockstell

42 Nutrition Made Easy by Juan Martinez 43 Is Obesity Caused by Genetics or Environment by Karl Thomas

THRU DA WIRE 28 Get Schooled With Nicki Minaj by Ebony Triplett 29 Rollin Around the World With Zach Anner by Benita Brown 30 A Smooth Touch With LeToya Luckett by Ebony Triplett Lights, Action: The Chill by Jameliah Salter 31 AT&T, Derrick Rose, and the Campaign Against Texting While Driving by Bryan Williams Crush On Your Prom Contest Winner: Charles Martinez by Jameliah Salter


TEEN BIZ 34 Smart Steps for Success by Maribel Arellano Good Credit or Debt by Kamal Bilal 35 Career Profile: Sales and Trading by Stephanie Greene Teen Investing 101 by Skyler Lemons 36 Fall 2011 True Star Mogul by Maya Bryant

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Chicago, Il 60605

YOUNG LUV 44 How Insecurities Destroy Relationships by Amanda Nazario 45 When Flirting Becomes Uncomfortable by Taylor Price Can a Cheater be Trusted by Kia Smith


47 Like Father, Like Son: Ronnie Brewer Jr. by Justin Bowles 48 The Ultimate Free Agent: Trey Johnson by Alexander Stockstell NBA Guard Will Bynum Gives Back To Chicago Kids by Darien Boyd 49 NBA Player Tony Allen Inspires Youth to Keep Grinding by Darien Boyd

CLOSING THOUGHTS 50 Can You Put a Price on Virginity by Shaquille Roberts

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Editor’s Letter


oing back to school after summer break is an opportunity for new beginnings. We can finally put last year’s mistakes and missteps behind us and start to focus on the present. To help entertain you along your back to school journey, pick yourself up a copy of True Star Magazine’s 2011 Back to School issue packed full of helpful, insightful and entertaining articles on topics that are important to us teens.

actor, singer and dancer Collins Pennie, as well as coverage on Nicki Minaj’s adventure as ‘principal for the day’ at a Chicago high school.

In our Real Talk section, you will learn some helpful tips on how to land your first job, get the scoop on age discrimination and learn when to say something when you have witnessed a crime.

In our Inside and Out section, you will learn how to make the best food choices to maintain a healthy body, as well as which is a bigger contributor to obesity: Genetics or Environment?

In the Giving Back section, you will find information on a unique program that concentrates on math and science named Project Syncere, as well as the scoop on a student written and produced film named “The Chill.”

Our On the Court section includes interviews with Chicago Bull’s guard Ronnie Brewer, Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies, as well as an interview with the Ultimate Free Agent, Trey Johnson, of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In our Tech section, you will get the run-down on Nintendo’s newest upcoming console, the Wii U, and learn about how life was before cell phones.

With all that goes into going back to school, time is obviously of the essence. But when you do find a moment to relax, let True Star Magazine be your first choice to entertain and enlighten you during your downtime.

Our Cover Story features the legendary Rev Run’s son, Diggy Simmons, who is currently making a name for himself for being the young rapper with a mature flow. In our Thru Da Wire section, you will find celebrity interviews with the stunningly beautiful singer-songwriter LeToya Luckett and the ever-talented

Our Teen Biz section provides you with all the financial advice a teen needs to get a head start in life, from the steps you need to take to keep your college expenses low to getting the 101 on Teen Investing.

Good luck with your new school year and here’s to new beginnings!

Juan Martinez

Senior, Notre Dame College Prep


PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON TRUE STAR MAGAZINE Letters to True Star • 1130 South Wabash • Suite 302 • Chicago, Il 60605-2717 Letters become the property of True Star and may be edited for publication. EMAIL

True Star Sales & Marketing Downtown Office Instructor Tashay Dennie Candice Sewell Catherine Abgo Christopher Summers Dana Rodriguez Editorial Staff King College Prep High School Instructor Marti Parham Benita Brown Darien Boyd Jazmine Saunders Kia Smith Kiana Brown Malikah Thompson Megan Lindsey Shaquille Roberts Taylor Price Vernita Bediako


Editorial Staff Foreman High School Instructor Edgar Molina Amanda Nazario Ashley Hall Bryan Williams Ernesto Moreta Fernando Garcia Jaquelina Niz Jocy Rabadan Juan Martinez Karl Thomas Maricela Ramirez Martin Espino Shavaughnte Hines Editorial Staff Freelance Instructor Edgar Molina Alexander Stockstell Lynda Lopez Brittney Ferguson Corbin Little Drakyla Way Jameliah Salter Justin Bowles Maya Bryant

Quindale Carter Jocy Rabadan Photography Staff Corliss High School Instructor Deshaun Adams Mireya Acierto Abigail Kingly Amyrikal Adams Anderson Potts Audrienna Ramsey Brendon James Brittany Lofton Darsherall Jones DeAndre McCrotty Deonta Branch Jachristen Hawkins Jasmine Farrior Jerome Harris Joel Faulkner Justin Allen Kanita Smith Keith Rucker Kentrell Arthur Leah Smith Mariah Dugar Marquita Brewer Mia Maxey

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Anshaunti Hillery Darius Hillery Delvin McCray Fred Jones Joy Heard Makayla Jackson Pierre Seaton

Managing Editor Edgar Molina Art Direction Design and Illustration Angel D’Amico-Bauer Photo Coordinator Mireya Acierto Special Projects Managers Deshaun Adams Philistine Thompson Marketing, Promotions & Web Content Manager Joi Mitchell

Street Team Andrea Corona Antonio Scales Briana Byrd Cozene Williams DeAnte Law Dominique Barnes Dominique Johnson Jamilah Dodd Jasmen Welch Johari Dodd Kia Smith

Executive Directors J. Na-Tae’ Thompson DeAnna McLeary

PR Assistant Randy Bonds Executive Producer True Star Radio Bionce’ Foxx Associate Producer Ermina Veljacic Advertising Sales Consultant Robin Boyd Department of Family & Support Services Youth Division

Web Content Assistant Henry Collins

Contributors 1. How do you feel about Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan for longer school days in Chicago schools? 2. If you were a wealthy philanthropist with millions to give away, what cause would you give it to and why? 3. If you could make one suggestion on how to help our educational system, what would it be and why? 4. Do you think more teen employment can help decrease the crime rate? Why or why not? Fredrick Jones Junior, Simeon Career Academy Junior Freelance Graphic Design 1. We should have longer school days, because there are many students that hang out in the streets after school and that sometimes leads to big trouble such as going to jail, following people that are a bad influence, and you could even put your life in risky situations. 2. If I had millions of dollars, I would give it away to people who really need money such as homeless people, shelters, Africa, Japan, etc. I will give it to them because they’ve been through hell and they are struggling to survive, so why not give them a little help. 3. We should have more parent volunteers at the schools, because they can be good role-models, give children wisdom to keep them on the right track, and to look out for the students. 4. In my opinion, more teen employment could reduce the crime rate, but it’s like 50/50 because you know teens these days are lazy. Well some of them, but if there was more teen employment the crime rate will surely decrease. Christopher Summers Graduate, Al Raby HS Sales and Marketing 1. I feel that Rahm Emanuel’s plan for longer school days is going to be hard on some Chicago students. But it could help keep kids out of trouble. 2. I would help fund cancer research, because when I was younger I watched my grandfather fight and die of lung cancer. 3. I will suggest a better way of hiring teachers. We need teachers that are dedicated to helping the urban youth improve their everyday lives and teaching beyond the textbooks. 4. Yes, because filling the free time of any person regardless of age will make them less likely to have the time to commit a crime, and putting income in their pocket will reduce their economic NEED to commit a crime. In today’s society, teens are the most involved in crime and it would keep them off the streets. Jerome Harris Freshman, Indiana State University Photography Team 1. I strongly agree with longer school days. This fall, I will be an incoming college freshmen and I believe longer school days would have helped sharpen my skills and helped me more in my preparation for college. 2. This summer I volunteered as a referee and a coach for a basketball camp; the kids had a lot of fun. I would allocate 2 million dollars to a talent camp that would help kids with their future using whatever talents they may have. 3. Based on my experience, I would like to say most of my teachers were exceptionally good at teaching, but there were some that did not fulfill there job description. So all teachers should be well-qualified and simply do their jobs. 4. Teen employment is the perfect way to decrease the crime rate. This gives them job experience, along with giving them a chance to put there time and effort in to something positive.

Alexander Stockstell Freshman, Columbia College Chicago Freelance Editorial 1. Longer school days are not the answer for anything really. Sure, if the students stay in school longer they learn more right? One would think that, but I think otherwise. The only way students excel in school is through good teaching and challenging curriculum. 2. I would create a program that would send 50 students that I call “Under Achieved Learners” in every major city in America to a college of their choice for free. Under achieved learners would be any student who has just below a 2.0 GPA, but shows an interest in learning by other means. They could write, create presentations or videos to show how they have a passion in something else and that their learning can be done in other ways. 3. We need a real national standard of equal education in America. Inner city students do not necessarily have to learn the same topics as suburban students, but they should be learning on a same level. This type of environment challenges our children to be better students, and breaks everlasting statistics. This also creates more college graduates and new ideas for our society to benefit from. 4. Yes, I do think teen employment could potentially fight the crime rate. The time that is crucial for a student is between the hours of 3-6 p.m. on weekdays. Outside of homework and studying, a student needs this time to be filled with productive things to do. Programs like After School Matters understand this and offer jobs to help fill this time accordingly, but these programs come far and few and many students are still left out with nothing but the streets to occupy their free time. Ikea Johnson Senior, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, Radio Team 1. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan for longer school days in Chicago is bittersweet. I understand that it is to keep youth occupied, but I feel that not only should Chicago Public Schools go through this but also private and charter schools as well. 2. If I was a wealthy philanthropist with millions to give away, I would honestly start my own foundation to give it to. This foundation would be specifically geared towards at-risk youth, providing them with means and tools of expression, while also helping them get to college. This foundation would also have a section specifically dedicated to young men, just based on the simple fact that more women than men go to college. 3. If I could make one suggestion on how to help the educational system it would to recruit new, young, passionate teachers. I say this because a young teacher can relate a lot better to the circumstances of those they teach. Just as the world evolves, the educational system needs to as well. 4. I do not think more teen employment can help decrease the crime rate. I understand an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, but if somebody wants to fight someone they will fight regardless. Kia Smith Senior, Harlan High School Southside Editorial 1. I think Rahm Emanuel’s plan is RIDICULOUS. However, if we were able to start school later, for example 9 a.m. vs. 8 a.m., then I wouldn’t mind as much. 2. I’d give to a variety of causes, but I would give graciously to True Star Magazine because I love the opportunities they give to the youth. They inspire so many, and there needs to be more causes out here like True Star. 3. To make the education system better, I think standardized testing needs to be taken away. Standardized tests are racially biased and I honestly disagree with test taking to demonstrate one’s intelligence. There are lots of intelligent people who simply do not test well, and I believe the education system should give everyone a chance. 4. I really do think crime would decrease because if more teens had jobs, we wouldn’t be so angry and tempted to do illegal things to get money and attention. Teens are basic. We need/want/love money and we need/want/love attention. If we have more jobs, we’ll get both.

real talk

The “I”

Generation by Justin Bowles, Freshman, Brooklyn College


he chronology of cultural generations in recent American history would have to start with the Lost Generation. This group of young adults living from 1883 to 1913 was deemed lost because of how World War I negatively affected the psyche and capability of the people after having witnessed the horrors of war, according to Photo Credit: Tauron Falls, Junior, Julian HS

The next generation, deemed the GI Generation (1914-1924), are held in such high esteem because as Tom Brokaw put it, “These men and women fought not for fame and fortune, but (simply) because it was the right thing to do.” They were the generation faced with the task of challenging the massively powerful Nazi Germany and Japanese fascist and bringing an end to their tyranny. The “Silent Generation” had their turn from 1925-1945. They were seen as “withdrawn, cautious, unimaginative, indifferent, unadventurous and silent,” according to “Interested primarily in ourselves and our own destinies, we tended to be bored by politics and self-removed from social issues,” admits TIME Associate Editor, Gerald Clarke of his generation in a TIME Magazine article entitled “The Silent Generation Revisited.” The Baby Boomer Generation’s (1946-1964) claim to fame is bringing about the Civil Rights Movement, the Feminist Movement, Gay Rights Movement, Handicapped Rights and the right to privacy, according to www.geography.about. com. They were the most dynamic and forward-thinking generation of the century. Generation X (1965-1982) is the title used to describe the group of young people who grew up after World War II. The term “Generation X” was coined by Robert Capa, a Hungarian photographer, to describe a group of young people who seemingly were without identity and faced an uncertain future, according to The demographic following this was Generation Y (1982-1994). They were also called “Echo Boomers” because of the drastic increase in birth rates and because many of them are children of “Baby Boomers.” The term “Y” is used for no other reason than to identify the succession from Generation X. Generation Z (1995-2010) marks the end of the generational X, Y, Z sequence, as well as bring us to the present day. Members of this generation are characterized most for their affinity for digital media such as the internet, instant messaging, text messaging, MP3 players, mobile phones and Youtube, according to After learning the specifics on the different American generations, the one that fascinated me the most was the GI Generation. In 1998, Tom Brokaw, NBC Nightly News journalist, wrote a book entitled, “The Greatest Generation.” In the book, he calls the GI Generation the greatest generation because after World 8 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

War II they rebuilt America into the super power that it is today, with little to no complaining about their predicament. Members of this generation are John F. Kennedy, J.D. Salinger, Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson and Howard Zinn. After reflecting on the contributions this generation provided, it made me wonder: what do people think of our generation and input into society? Are we mostly positive contributors or mostly negative contributors to American culture? Can we, Generation Z, be the next Great Generation? Mark Bauerlein, English professor at Emory University, is very overt in expressing his dislike for Generation Z. On May 14th, 2009, Mark published a book entitled, “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30).” When asked by The Hub, Emory University’s Quarterly Magazine, why he decided to write the book, Mark responded, “In my limited experience as a teacher, I’ve noticed in the last 10 years that students are no less intelligent, no less ambitious but there are two big differences: reading habits have slipped, along with general knowledge. You can quote me on this: You guys don’t know anything.” Former Walter Payton student, Gabriel Rojkind, and constituent of Generation Z, agrees with Mark Bauerlein. “Our generation has more access to information than humanity has ever had, but still kids today are so disconnected and ignorant. I’m really disappointed with this generation for distracting itself and for letting itself be as distracted as it is. I’m disappointed at how much they take for granted and fail to appreciate. How everyone’s trying to convince themselves that they’re a special little snowflake and yet how blindly they follow trends and refuse to accept anything truly different. They fail to question things and often take things at face value.”

After considering the reality of our situation and how we fit into the context of all the other generations, I don’t find the letter “Z” befitting for our generation and instead propose the letter “I” to represent us for four reasons. First, the letter “I” because of our generation’s fixation with the Illuminati (Tupac’s “Killumanati” and Rick Ross’ “Free Mason”). Second, the letter “I” because of our fixation with the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Word Press, World Star, Bossip and the list goes on). Third, the letter “I” because of our fixation with ignorance (Waka Flocka, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Gucci Mane, George W. Bush, this list definitely goes on). Lastly, the letter “I” because of our fixation with the notion of “I’m entitled!” From students to teachers to workers to whites to blacks to Americans, in general, everyone in this country believes they are entitled to some, oftentimes, unrealistic, prerogative for some, oftentimes, unrealistic reason. The teens of this generation have seemed to take this attitude to new levels. But this is not to say we can’t still eventually become the next Greatest Generation. American culture at such a low point, I feel that this neo-depression that we are living in is ripe atmosphere for bringing about a cultural revolution just as the GI Generation did 90 years ago. Just look at what Egypt, Syria and Libya have accomplished in their time of cultural despair.

Sherry Posnick-Goodwin, staff writer for the California Teacher’s Association, gives a neutral analysis of Generation Z, describing Generation Z as hermits with an affinity for technology. “They’d rather text than talk. They prefer to communicate online — often with friends they have never met. They don’t spend much time outdoors unless adults organize activities for them. They can’t imagine life without cell phones.” She concludes on an optimistic note, stating that research is concluding that Generation Z is projected to produce greatness in spite of their introverted behavior. “While there won’t be any consensus soon about where Gen Z begins and ends, most educators agree that today’s kids are extremely different from youngsters of previous generations. They are children of Gen X parents, who came of age during the greatest technological leap in history, and they are headed for an even greater leap forward as they come of age this decade.” If we can finally get our minds off the irrelevant and occupy our vast energy with facing the harsh reality of our dire situation and working towards solutions, then we can take our place as one of the greatest generations to have ever graced planet earth.

A Teen’s Leap

Into the Real World by Alexander Stockstell, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago


s beautiful as the gift of youth is, unfortunately it does not last forever. At some point we all have to grow up and take on more responsibilities. As Americans, our way of survival is to eventually become a part of the workforce. Of course you could choose not to, but if you expect to live a successful life--you must. At around the age of 16, most parents expect us to start looking for a job. The difficultly of doing so, though, is a lot higher now than in previous decades. But there are still things you can do to help increase your chances. Consider this article a guide on how to land your first job.

Employers want people with previous work experience; the more the better. If you pass up your teen life without it, the more difficult it becomes in your twenty’s to land that first job. Just be persistent and stay motivated regardless of how difficult it is to find a job. Here are a few tips you should consider when trying to land that first job. • Look for those jobs that are always in need. • Fill out as many applications as possible,

First, we must answer the question of why you need a job. “I’m still in school and I can barely handle that. Why do my parents want me to have a job? We have been doing fine all this time!”

whether it be online or in person.

This is the type of reaction most teens have when they are confronted with this issue. There are many factors that go into why, and believe me they are important! Yes, you’re still in school, but having a job at the same time will teach you how to juggle many institutions of life at one time. Your parents have raised you while meeting other ends as well, so the best way to thank them would be to get a job. If you are able to provide food for yourself or pay for your own transportation, then that is one less bill they have to pay. Not to mention, the feeling is great to have some of your own money in your pocket to spend on whatever you want.

your application.

“Teen unemployment rates witness a 0.3 percent hike in June to reach an alltime high of 24.5 percent, giving rise to concerns about the future of the adult workforce in the US.” That was a quote from a PressTV article on July 9th, 2011. When young people don’t work, it negatively affects not only the future of those young people, but our country as well. Continued from page 8

• Follow up on those applications by calling back or emailing to check the status of

• Look for jobs in customer service first. • Don’t be picky and complain about pay. • Don’t forget you are a student so look for jobs with flexible schedules. • Network with people who have jobs to see if you can get the “hook-up.” • Don’t give up! You are going to get turned down a lot, but don’t let that hinder your search. Keep filling out those applications! TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 9

On Students? by Lynda Lopez, Sophomore, University of Chicago


acob Plaza was like any other student at Lane Tech College Prep, but an encounter with the school security led to some problems.

VOYCE, comprised of students of color from 7 community organizations and 8 Chicago Public High Schools, was hoping that its report would lead to some changes within CPS, specifically a restorative justice approach to incidents.

“I was sitting in sixth period P.E. when all of a sudden a student’s phone went missing from her bag,” says Plaza. “Next thing I know security is in the gym locking us in.”

Bryan Williams, former student at Carl Schurz High School, agrees that security reform is needed within the schools.

Security came up to Plaza and told him to allow him to see his bag. Plaza didn’t know where his bag was, but the Dean reached into a bag that was near Plaza. He found marijuana in it. “I tried to explain to security that it wasn’t mine,” says Plaza. “They even saw someone hand me my bag from somewhere else in the stands, but they wouldn’t listen.” Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) released a cost analysis report in early July criticizing the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for its zero tolerance policies. According to the report, the district spent $51.4 million on school-based security guards last year, 15 times the amount spent on college and career coaches. 10 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

“Security guards sometimes abuse their powers over students,” says Williams. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune named “More Tolerance in CPS Code of Conduct,” in late July, CPS adopted a new student discipline policy in which staff members are being told to treat minor infractions as learning opportunities to reinforce positive behavior. Out-of-school suspensions are to be used as a last resort. “I think the changes are a step in the right direction. Going forward administrators will need to continually review the SCOC to ensure that it fits the needs of an everchanging school environment and that the disciplinary procedures and actions are not creating unintended adverse outcomes,” according to Sean Harden of CPS.* The new rules will take effect September 15th. *The opinions expressed in this quote are personal and not intended to represent any organization or group.

Photo Credit: Rashiddi Salaam

Is CPS Too Strict


Old vs. Young by Justin Bowles, Freshman, Brooklyn College


ave you ever considered the possibility that you might be discriminated against simply because of your age? Usually when people think of age discrimination, they think of a senior citizen being discriminated against by a younger demographic, but this is not always the case. Consider the fact that in a 2007 USA Today article, written by Dennis Cauchon, the wealthiest generation in American history are a group comprised of 67 million people aged 55 and older. Dennis Cauchon writes, “The growing divide between the rich and poor in America is more generation gap than class conflict. The rich are getting richer, but what’s received little attention is who these rich people are. Overwhelmingly, they’re older folks.” Many of this demographic are in positions of power, which automatically puts all younger generations in a disadvantaged position. Since the inception of the term “ageism” by Dr. Robert Butler, then director of the National Institute of Aging in 1969, ageism has always been defined as “stereotyping and discrimination specifically against the old.” Most websites also define ageism in the same way, with one exception. The Gray Panther’s founder, Maggie Khun, defined ageism as discrimination against both old adults and young adults. She believed that a young person can be discriminated against because of their age in the same way as an older person.

Marketing mogul, Maze Jackson, would be inclined to agree with Maggie Khun. At 15, Maze worked so hard at his Burger King job that he was eventually appointed manager. But what he didn’t realize at the time was that his young age might cause some unforeseen problems. “The other employees would give me the hardest time!” explains Maze. “They would say they did things that they didn’t really do, like mop the floors or put things back where they were supposed to be. Whatever they could do to make my life harder, they would do it.” The other employees resented him because he was young and in charge. One thing you need to realize is that in your job or career, more often than not, the people in power will be older than you. You have to be aware that things you do at work, whether it be under-perform or out-perform, just might incite the jealousy of one of your higher-ups.

One prime example of age discrimination was also a well-publicised one. On July 9th, 2009, Jessie Jackson made a very hateful remark about then Senator Barack Obama. After speaking to Dr. Reed Tuckson of United Healthcare Group, unaware that his microphone was still on, Jesse Jackson spoke openly about his feelings towards Obama for the first time, according to www.ac360.blogs.cnn. com. Interestingly, it turned out that many of Jessie Jackson’s contemporaries also disliked Obama.

In Robert Greene’s “48 Laws of Power,” the very first law in the book is “Never Outshine the Master.” What Greene meant by master is someone who has power over you, whether it be your boss at work or professor at school. In order to avoid inciting their wrath, Greene suggests to “Always make those above you feel comfortably superior and brilliant.” A few ways to do this is to flatter and compliment your superiors discreetly; make it seem as if you need his or her help; and give them credit for your accomplishments. The cost of humoring them will be way less than simply ignoring the danger.

Now, one would assume that Jessie Jackson and all those who shared his desire for equal rights would be all for a black president. But what many didn’t realize is that a younger, vibrant and seemingly unstoppable Barack Obama could potentially offend the older guard of the Civil Rights Movement, just by being exceptional.

In spite of ageism, Maze says that teens should continue to follow their dreams and persist to work hard at whatever job or career they are involved with. “Ageism only becomes a problem when you let it affect you. Don’t pay attention to it because as long as you are a producer, no one can deny you an opportunity on the job.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 11

Say Something by Kia Smith, Senior, Harlan High School


hen a crime is committed, one of two things usually happen in a community: (1) no one offers information for fear of being labeled a snitch, or (2) the community gets together and takes matters into their own hands to put an end to what has happened. Unfortunately, the latter very rarely takes place.

on and law enforcement knows nothing about it, we do not have the chance to serve and protect the community. I’ve never understood why people wouldn’t want to protect their communities. You should always say something if your life or other lives are in danger.”

Most people don’t like to be labeled as a ‘snitch’ or a person who tells or tattles certain information to the authorities, which can land the person who did the act in legal trouble. In many cases, when the accused knows who gave up the information on them, the consequences can be deadly.

The only way information can be leaked is if the person who leaked it exposes themselves. According to Barber, law enforcement is not obligated to give information on informants. Usually the prospect of rewards or money makes citizens more open to give information when needed. But even if there isn’t a reward, if something wrong is happening, the authorities should know about it.”

That fact alone has led to many debates, rallies and even T-shirts printed with the words “Stop Snitching.” The problem is many don’t know if telling information will uplift or bring drama to the community. The uncertainty comes from wondering if justice will truly prevail once secrets are shared, and whether or not community safety will be compromised.

Alicia Thomas, a senior at Curie High School, knows the importance of speaking up. “I took a stand against sexual abuse in my family. I was sick of seeing my loved ones in pain. After my uncle went to jail, my family and community were safe again. I don’t care if I’m labeled a ‘snitch.’ Silence just causes more pain.”

Michael Barber, a Chicago police officer, wishes that more people could understand the negative consequences of keeping secrets. “People who do not tell important information put themselves at more risk, because if situations are going

If more people cooperated with law enforcement, instead of resisting them, a lot of crimes would be solved, people would be safer, and some of that pain just might be eliminated. Saying something can actually benefit the community, not hinder it.


Photo Credit: Desire Shelton

See Something,

Aggressive, Passive and Assertive: Which Communication Style Do You Use? by Clarissa Patrice Cowley, Freshman, King College Prep


emember the last time you and your bestie had a disagreement? It could’ve been because the two of you don’t communicate the same. According to personality researchers, there are three basic forms of communication people generally use – aggressive, passive, and assertive. Organizations such as the Small Business Association’s Women’s Online Business Center use their site to coach clients on understanding these forms to improve their odds of success. Chances are you know someone that fits into one of these three categories, including yourself. The aggressive person has an overpowering, “know-it-all” demeanor, and their inability to see another’s point of view can be annoying to many. They are also known for taking no prisoners when it comes to getting what they want. Typically, someone who’s passive avoids any confrontational situation. They hesitate to speak their mind, and to avoid conflict they don’t express their own feelings. Passives also tend to be apologetic and self-conscious. The assertive person is confident, but not cocky, and sees the value in themselves and others. They tend to be proactive people who are realistic in their expectations, and while being fair and just to others they speak firmly. For the most part, no one person strictly uses one style of communication. Many of us use at least two of the three. If you recognize yourself and are turned off by your particular style, you can always try communicating differently. The choice is yours to make.


5 Tips For College

by Kiana Brown, Sophomore, Western Illinois University

Transitioning from high school to college is no joke. While there is fun to be had, responsibility is important. True Star offers these tips as a guideline to your first year of college freedom.

Tip #1: Manage your time You will suffer the consequences for partying first and hitting the books later if you don’t learn this early on. Write down your schedule and complete your assignments first. In the long run, this will be a beneficial system.

Tip #2: Worship your syllabus Remember when your teachers reminded you when assignments were due? You can forget about that now. Your syllabus will be a layout of the work you are responsible for throughout the semester. Keep track of your assignments by using a calendar to remind you of upcoming deadlines.


Tip #3: If you need help, get it Don’t be afraid to seek assistance for class if you don’t understand the assignments. Free tutoring services are available on campus. Put them to use. Everyone has their own pace of learning. The tutors are not there to judge you.

Tip #4: Go to class Remember, you or your parents are paying for every course you take, so why waste the money? There are millions of people who would love to be in your position. Don’t take it for granted.

Tip #5 Don’t Procrastinate Prevent yourself from falling behind and playing catch up by skimming through your syllabus and completing some work before it’s due; that way you will have more time for the fun stuff. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 13

Giving back tech

Project Syncere: The Place to go for the Scientific Mind by Vernita Bediako, Junior, King College Prep


any young people have a passion for math and science, but if these students do not put their skills to good use with the right program they might wind up doing negative activities with their spare time, never reaching their fullest potential. Luckily, those students have the opportunity to join Project Syncere to use their talents in a positive way. Project Syncere is an organization designed to increase the number of minority, female, and underserved students to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The organization was founded by Jason Coleman, Seun Phillips, and George Wilson because they felt that students were not receiving exposure to the STEM fields. As a result, they felt the need to reach out to the community and educate students about the rewarding STEM careers through their project-based learning curriculum. “Many times students will perform math problems and not understand the application to the real world,” explains Phillips. “With Project SYNCERE we allow our students to relate first-hand the relationship of school to the application of engineering and technology. This approach is able to capture our students’ interest within school, which allows them to perform better in their classes.” Project Syncere caters to students from 6th through 12th grade and operates in multiple schools across the city. King College Prep senior, Raymond Westbrook,

has reaped the benefits of the organization. “The program challenged me in learning more about robotics, which increased my interest and knowledge.” For more information about Project Syncere, visit

Lights, Action: The Chill by Jameliah Salter, Freshman, Saint Xavier University


or generations, there have been countless television sitcoms that appeal to the black culture. “Good Times” gave us a view of life on the Southside of Chicago, while “The Jefferson’s” showed the brighter side of success for a black business owner. With shows such as these in the TV sitcom hall of hits, what’s next? Well, one that may interest TV lovers is a student produced film entitled “The Chill.” The original TV pilot was produced by Chicago State University students. “The Chill” revolves around the lives of students at a fictional urban college set in Chicago. The drama of college life intrigue audiences with romance, controversy and suspense. The writer of the film, Omar-Karim Strong, is currently a senior at Chicago State majoring in the program of Media Arts, Communications, and Theatre. His inspiration came from basic teen drama shows such as “Degrassi” and “The O.C.” With the filming done, students working on the production of “The Chill” have spent over three months editing. Dr. Christine List, Chairperson of the Department of English, Communications, Media Arts & Theatre, has been monitoring the production of the film. “We had a live video conference with one of the biggest African-American female producers, Kathleen McGhee-Anderson.” She spoke with students about her experience as a television producer over the years. 14 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

“Our program at Chicago State is a very successful program. Students are able to get internships at all major radio and television stations in Chicago. The CMAT Program has been in existence for 30 years. We give students degrees in radio, television, and public relations. Projects such as “The Chill” are encouraged by staff for students to earn course credit and to do what they love to do. Students can win festival awards and have them on their professional resumes,” adds Dr. List. She notes that the faculty is highly successful with work in film and television. “The screen writing professor, Christine Houston, is the creator of the hit TV sitcom “227,” and the radio professors Troi Tyler and Herb Kent were hosts on V103 Radio,” says List. The future of this production looks bright as it will be entered into various student film competitions, one being the Student Emmy Awards in Hollywood. To get more info about the CMAT program or the production: Visit the Facebook page: The-Chill or chicagostate-TV Call Dr.List at (773) 995-2280




Selling IN or Selling OUT? by Alexander Stockstell, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago


n March 29, 2011, one of the most anticipated albums from an up-andincoming hip-hop artist dropped. The name of this artist is Wiz Khalifa. Despite the eagerness of his fans to embrace this long-awaited work, after its release it created a divide in his fan base that never existed before. To put it simply, you had his hardcore fans who loved his mixtape’s true-to-life style with hits like “Pedal to the Medal,” “Gangbang,” and “Cabin Fever,” for example. Then you had his new mainstream fans who loved his new happy-go-lucky, enjoying the high life style with hits like “Black and Yellow” and “Roll Up.” Interestingly, this situation is not unique to Wiz Khalifa. It seems like every new hip-hop artist of today eventually gets to this point. From day one, a rapper dreams of having their songs on the radio and selling out stadiums full of adoring fans. In order to get to this point, their music must have mass appeal. Most rappers appear to not care how they get there, just as long as they get there. New rappers seem to make this “selling out” moment at some point. To sell in to the current sound at the risk of losing their music’s message, but also making themselves more popular. This makes an original fan feel betrayed. Even so, some artists do a good job of handling both sides of their fan base. Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne are prime examples of guys who are always “selling in.” They have so many styles that now they can please all aspects of their fan base. Jay Fresco, a 17 year old aspiring hip-hop artist from Chicago, says “The fans want to always hear the original; if you change, you will lose everyone except 16 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

the true fans. But eventually you have to do it, so I save one song for a single, but keep it in my original style as much as possible.” So eventually every artist is faced with the same dilemma: stay true to what brought you to this point and risk losing fans or sacrifice your creativity in order to tap into a larger audience. “Sometimes that’s their only chance to make it,” he added. “But they’re not being themselves by making that choice.” Sometimes record companies influence rappers enough to make them change. Especially rappers without enough buzz; they make this huge change as a last ditch effort to make it in the industry. Although the selling in or out theme is more common in our era, it resides in all aspects of music throughout history. From the beginnings of Motown music into the beginnings of rock, fans have had to deal with this issue. The day underground artists can be accepted into the radio and popular media will be the day mainstream loses its luster. For now, mainstream’s stranglehold on the money aspect of music influences artists too much. As fans, we can only hope to not be disappointed by our favorite artists. In the end, an artist has only one chance to make it big. That choice is on them. But as fans, we decide whether we remain faithful or dismiss them for selling in or selling out.

The Nintendo Wii’s Successor: The Wii U by Karl Thomas, Junior, Foreman High School


t E3 2011 (Electronics Entertainment Expo), where all the top game producing companies have conferences about upcoming titles for their games or game consoles, Nintendo revealed a new home console called the Wii U. The Wii U will be different from the Wii in so many ways. The most notable difference is the controller, which is rumored to be the next generation in interactive gaming.

ground. The Wii U controller has a lot of potential and can help change the way we interact with the games, the TV and our surroundings.

The Wii U will feature a different and more advanced controller than the Wii remote, as well as any other home console. The Wii U is the first home console to have a touch screen controller. The touch screen is 6.2 inches and will allow you to switch the game you are playing from the TV screen to the controller screen. The controller will feature a gyroscope for motion play, a rumble feature, video chat, a camera, a microphone, and a stylus. It will give you new views that you couldn’t get from the Wii.

Nintendo announced at E3 2011 that the new console will be released sometime between April 1, 2012 and December 1, 2012. They also announced several game titles that will make their way into the new console, such as a new Mario Kart, Luigi’s Mansion 2, a new Super Smash Brothers, a new Tekken game, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, Batman: Arkham City, Lego City Stories, Ghost Recon Online, and more. Many of these titles will be available as soon as the Wii U is released.

For example, at E3, there was video footage of someone playing Wii Golf on the Wii U and in order to hit the golf ball, you had to set the controller down on the floor and you could see the ball on the

For more information on the console’s specs, go to: or to: www. To see the presentation at E3, visit:

But unlike the Wii, which appealed more to kids, women and families, Nintendo plans to have this console appeal to all gamers, both casual and hardcore.

Life Before Cell Phones

also came out with the television and radio around the same time, which revolutionized communication and gave rise to the media.

by Ashley Hall, Junior, Carl Schurz High School


ave you ever thought about life before cell phones? Those of us teens who were born post-90s can only imagine. I’m sure your grandparents can tell you they didn’t have it as easy as we do now where going mobile is as simple as going to 7-Eleven and picking up a pre-paid cell phone with two weeks allowance. We can just touch a few buttons and we’re catching up on the latest gossip with one or more of our close or distant friends. They will tell you that it was much more complicated back in the day. The history of communication can be really interesting and it makes you thankful for what you have and how easy life is now. Life before any phone was complicated, to say the least. There were many ways to communicate with someone, but they all involved a lot of work and time to accomplish. The most common was writing letters to someone and having them sent on foot or horseback or boat and even writing a little note, tying it onto the leg of a dove and sending it flying to a specifc destination.

According to PigeonPost, “King Sargon of Akkadia—the present Iraq—ordered each messenger to carry a homing pigeon. If the messenger was about to be captured, he released the pigeon, which flew back to the palace. Its arrival meant another messenger should be sent.” This was back between the years 2270 to 2215 BC. Better hope your message wasn’t urgent because those modes of communication could take hours, days and sometimes months. Besides more advanced road systems, things stayed relatively the same for several thousands of years until Samuel Morse develops the Morse code in 1835 and Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson exhibit an electric telephone in Boston several decades later, according to But it still took more than another hundred years before the crudest cell phones hit the streets. According to the htm, the first house telephone was built in 1875. They

The first successful consumer pager was Motorola’s Pageboy I introduced in 1974, according to www. By 1980, they already had 3.2 million users and in 1990 they had over 61 million people using pagers. According to some unofficial sources, though the pagers were a sign of “coolness,” they were inconvenient in that once you receieved a beep, you still had to find a payphone in order to respond to the beep and by the time you found a payphone, the person might had already left. The big, bulky, so-called brick phones you hear so many speak about didn’t come out till 1983 when motorola introduced the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. The new technology at the time caused a lot of calls to be dropped or would suffer from bad connections, and it had yet to become affordable for the everyday consumer. From then on cell phones slowly became smaller, the technology more advanced, and luckily much more affordable. By the year 2000, the cell phone became as commonplace as any average accessory. This goes to show how good we have things now and that we shouldn’t take being able to easily talk to friends and loved ones for granted. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 17

TEEN BIZ fashion

Being Fashionable

On A Budget by Malikah Thompson, Sophomore, King College Prep


tyle says a lot about a person, and rocking a stylish outfit can sometimes mean putting a hurting on your wallet, which won’t be hard to do if you don’t have much money to begin with. But just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to dress like it. There are plenty of stores with hot trends at low prices that can make you look good and give you more for your buck. Krystal Giles, a freshman of South Shore High School, says that she is always on the hunt for hot deals at stores that sell nice clothes. “My favorite store is Marshalls because even on the clearance rack you can get a deal. They sell designer clothes at good prices” says Giles. Wardrobe stylist/fashion editor Shannon Davis says that when shopping for the perfect outfit, teens should set out to get their money’s worth. “You always want to make sure that you’re getting the best for your money and buying cheap does not always ensure that you’re getting the best quality. It’s better to spend your money on pieces that will last, that are interchangeable, and will survive the ever changing fashion trends.” 18 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Davis adds that there are many stores that give good deals to teens looking for fashionable, long-lasting clothes such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, TJ Maxx, Stein Mart, H&M and Nordstrom Rack. Although you may have to search harder for the more fashionable pieces, thrift stores also give shoppers an affordable shopping experience. Mariah Johnson, 15, a die-hard thrifter and a student at the Women’s Leadership Charter School, says that many people underestimate the value of thrift stores. “Thrift stores are so convenient and cheap. Sometimes you can find clothes that still have tags on them for super low prices. So many people think of thrift stores as hand-me-downs, but that’s not always the case.” The best ones to go to are in the Wicker Park area, and on North Belmont Avenue, according to Davis. In order to stay ahead of the crowd for fall and winter, Davis advises teens to look for colors like orange, chocolate, deep yellow, and forest green. Clothes like darkdenim jeans, leather knee-high boots, and military coats will also be the ‘in’ things to wear this season.

Fall Fashion Tips...

By Ebony Tripplett, Junior, Harold Washington College


his Fall it’s all about keeping it fun without overdoing it. If you’re working on a budget, there are some essentials you’ll need to convert your summer pieces into your fall lineup. Tights instantly turn a summer skirt into a Fall appropriate piece.

Tights are available in various colors and patterns. For the guys and girls as well, cardigans and denim jackets keep you warm and make it possible to continue to wear those summer tops underneath them. You can find all of these items at an affordable price and they will make all the difference in your closet, as you can mix and match for a seemingly endless wardrobe. Fall is the season of earth tones and neutral colors, but don’t be afraid to add a pop of color. A bright tank under a neutral sweater or cardigan, a colorful silk scarf, or you can allow your accessories to add the pop of color. Tribal prints are a must this fall; they are fun but not too loud and bright.


o you deserve to be in True Star Magazine? Is your fashion game on point? Does everyone

always tell you, you look great? Show us what you got by joining the True Star Models Group at , upload your pictures and you may be our next fashion model.   Ages 14 – 22, all sizes and races welcome!


Special Thanks To: Jimmy Skouls and PHLI Worldwide

Ocie Duncan IV Age: 19 School: Northwestern College “My style is more unique, it exudes a casual trendsetter in the room with an entrepreneurial mindset.” Hat: PHLI Shirt, Jeans and Shoes: Jimmy Skouls

Kiwanis Nelson Age: 18 School: High School Graduate attending Kendall College “Let people know who you are by speaking through your style of fashion. Trust me, you’ll leave them SPEECHLESS!” Outfit: Model’s Own Accessories: Jimmy Skouls

Name: Symone Starr Age: 18 School: High School Graduate “My fashion style is a combination of various eras. Often, I mix-n-match retro trends with futuristic trends. Meanwhile, I add some spice to my looks from my Caribbean background. I’m definitely, not afraid to take a risk.” Hat: PHLI Jacket: Macy’s Jeans and Shoes: Model’s Own Accessories: Jimmy Skouls

Tyree Davis aka Ree from the group Circle 7 Age: 17 School: Homewood Flossmoor “My style is casual and comfortable, usually with jeans and a distinct t-shirt.” Shirt: Jimmy Skouls Jeans and Shoes: Jimmy Skouls

Nina Austin Age: 17 - School: Harlan High School “People never know what to expect from me when it comes to fashion. My style is very creative and edgy, or sometimes I tone it down. It can be urban in a way, but overall my style is based on my attitude and how I feel on a particular day.” Jacket: Macy’s - Shirt: Macy’s - Skirt & Shoes: Macy’s - Accessories: Jimmy Skouls

Brent Williams Age :17 School: Harlan High School Destiny Gonzalez Age: 13 School: Murphy Elementary School

“I always try to stand out when it comes to fashion, actually Taz Arnold inspires my fashion choices.”

“I like vintage fashion with a modern twist.” Shirt: Nordstrom Rack Jeans and Shoes: Models Own

Shirt and Sweatshirt: H&M Jeans: Macy’s Shoes: Model’s Own

Deshai Lloyd Age 17 School: Donal E. Gavit (Indiana) “My fashion style would have to be what my mood is for that day. If I’m feeling like a rock star then I express that through my clothes.” Shirt: Macy’s Jeans: Jimmy Skouls Accessories: Jimmy Skouls Shoes: From True Star Closet

The REAL Diggy: Young Rapper; Older Flow by Alexander Stockstell, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago


rom the cute son on the show “Run’s House” to a 16-year-old rapping sensation, Diggy Simmons is expanding his horizons like never before and the sky is definitely the limit. Who is one to say otherwise? With the blood of hip-hop legend Rev. Run from Run-DMC running through his veins, he definitely has the potential for greatness. Diggy launched on to the scene with his first mixtape released on July 29th, 2010 entitled “Airborne.” With a couple of YouTube freestyles to follow, Diggy shocked the world as a young rapper with an older flow. Diggy’s success was followed with being featured as one of eleven artists gracing the 2011 XXL Freshmen cover magazine. Diggy has proven he has the goods, but few know Diggy, for real.

Illustration of diggy by Pierre Sutton

Diggy is only 16-years-old and still very much a teenager, so he does still attend school. But not in the normal means as you and I do. “I don’t attend normal school. Since I am a performing artist, I would miss too many days. I’m constantly on the move so I do have a tutor, in which I meet over Skype. I still have to complete finals and such things like everyone else, though.” Diggy does aspire to go to college as well. Despite his success, he still has a very clear head about having an education and its importance. Diggy is currently on tour with BET’s “Closer To My Dreams Tour” along with Tyga, Mindless Behavior, and Lil’ Twist. “The tour is going very well. I enjoy seeing people coming out to see me, being on the road, and performing with the other artists. I just feel like I’m having fun, just like any teen would find in a road trip.” New artists usually have to find the best exposure for them, whether it be touring, interviews, magazine covers or other means. “I choose touring and interviews as my best exposure outlet. I’m very excited about my fan base getting to know me. That’s why I enjoy performing because I’m showcasing my talent to them. Then doing interviews like this one lets fans learn more about my personal thoughts.” Of course most of us saw Diggy grow up on the MTV show “Rev Run.” While we did see how the family operates, Diggy’s opinion was never really expressed. “My family is everything to me. They are important for making me who I am, but not necessarily making music. I feel my music is me and me only.” 26 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

At the beginning of his “Airborne” mixtape, Diggy says “The potential for my success is the same as the potential for my failure.” “The statement is a reality that sticks with me every day of my life. It is my motivation to want to grow and never be stunted. A theme for my life, more or less.” If anyone knows Diggy’s music, they know his music lacks suggestive themes. Many applaud him for being able to rap and flow without having to curse or degrade women like most artists of today. “I feel like I don’t have to use curses in my raps because I am past that. I believe that I am a better rapper than that. I’m above having to rhyme words with curses.”

Older rappers that have been in the game for a while usually say this. Diggy has only begun to scratch the surface and he already has a mature outlook as a rapper. Diggy definitely has his mind on the future and has a really good idea of who he’d like to collaborate with. “The artists I listen to the most are Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Lupe Fiasco. I think it’s important to know an artist from his first songs to his current work, so I love all their albums.” After listening to his music, you can tell how these different artists inspired his creativity. “I have worked with artists like Chris Brown, Raekwon, Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell. As far as future artists I would work with, it’s with just about anybody with the same positive attitude on music as me.” Good news is that Diggy does have an album and it’s coming out soon. “Yes I have an album and the name as well! But I can’t say anything yet.” All he said was that he loves his album because it’s for real hip-hop fans and those who just love its sound as well. With the combination of creativity and a dignified flow, it is easy to see why Diggy has gained so much popularity in so little time. After listening to his music and meeting him in person, I finally realized that I was witnessing the future of hip-hop. For more on Diggy Simmons, check out his blog at

How do you like the attention from the females? “I love how they embrace me coming out at every show, showing support and love.” Do you have a girlfriend? “No, I’m Single yall.” Why is that? “I just want that one girl I can call on or chill with, you know, like a friend. I think most guys my age really want that too.” Photo Credit: Patrick Hoelck


Get Schooled: Nicki Minaj Comes to The Chi by Ebony Tripplett, Junior, Harold Washington College


magine a normal school day: you are in class and an announcement comes over the loud speaker, only it’s not your principle, it is superstar rapper Nicki Minaj! Minaj joined the Get Schooled Foundation along with Comcast as “Principle for the day” to reward Collins Academy High School in Chicago for winning the Get MotivatED Challenge to improve daily attendance rates nationwide. Comcast also awarded three $10,000 scholarships to three outstanding students.

Japone Johnson, a senior at Collins and one of the scholarship recipients says he was excited when he heard Minaj’s voice over the P.A. system. He declared that even his laid-back demeanor was no match for the rapper and he screamed at the sight of her. When asked if anything Minaj said really stuck with him, it was that entertainment is a business and if she didn’t have an education she would have probably signed a horrible contract. Johnson says his mother was excited when she received the news about his scholarship. “My mom has three children and when I told her the schools I wanted to go to, she told me she couldn’t afford it, but after I got the $10,000 scholarship, she was more open to my top school picks,” adds Japone. Afterwards, Sway and Nicki Minaj joined the entire student body in the gym and enjoyed performances from some students and played an ACT trivia game. Before leaving the stage, she reminded the students that they are the most important.


Photo Credit: D Trig Adams

Nicki Minaj taught an English class, had a pizza party with select outstanding students, answered questions, gave advice and words of encouragement, and took pictures. She told the group of students “don’t rush to grow up, take time to focus on yourself” and “People will always tell you you can’t, but it’s up to you to change that.” She also says receiving love from the youth makes her feel good. She was joined by MTV VJ Sway Calloway to give advice and positive reinforcement.

Rollin’ Around The World With OWN TV Host

Zach Anner by Benita Brown, Sophomore University of Missouri-Columbia


hen Zach Anner auditioned for Oprah Winfrey’s primetime series, “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star,” he never thought he would actually win. “It was a one in a million chance, but I knew I needed to do it,” says Anner about his initial thoughts on the contest. “When does Oprah give away shows?” He, along with another contestant, Kristina Kuzmic-Crocco, were each awarded a show. Anner plans to name his “Rollin’ Around the World.”

Being born with cerebral palsy, Anner, 26, has had his share of failed vacations, which inspired him to dedicate his show to adventurous traveling and coping with the things that can go wrong during a trip. Anner said the seed of this idea came from when he and his father went to Rome about a decade ago. “We were having a hard time going up and down cobble stone streets and having to break down my electric wheelchair.” For some, this might have been a setback; however, Anner believes that “adventure is in the attitude.” From Anner’s audition video, it is clear that he has an undeniable sense of humor and doesn’t take himself completely serious, even with his disability. His audition video gained him popularity when he said that cerebral palsy is “the sexiest palsy.” Anner has even caught the attention of John Mayer, who plans to write the theme song for Anner’s show.

Photo Credit: OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

The show plans to visit 6 cities including: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and our very own--Chicago. Anner, a native of Buffalo, New York, admits to initially thinking of Chicago as a constant “cold and wintery” place. Thanks to his show, he now has a new opinion. “It comes alive in the summer! Chicago is such a really awesome city.” He also added that he hopes to come back to Chicago again. Before Anner won Oprah’s contest, he vowed to help change the world, and now he has the chance to do it. He said, “The purpose of the show is to inspire people to get out there. People have their issues and it stops people from traveling, and my show shows them that it‘s possible for them to do it. The first thing is inspiring people who never thought they could travel to travel. It‘s about changing perspective.” Look out for Anner’s show, “Rollin Around the World,” to air later this year on the OWN Network. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 29

A Smooth Touch WITH

LeToya Luckett By Ebony Tripplett, Junior, Harold Washington College


ecently, True Star Magazine had the chance to speak with the beautiful and talented LeToya Luckett. She’s the new face of the Luster Smooth Touch line. She met with fans, took pictures and signed autographs at Walmart in Evergreen Park promoting the hair care products. LeToya says she can appreciate Luster products because it is difficult to find products that are specifically made for African American hair, especially ones that nourish and condition.

Photo Credit: D Trig Adams

She also mentioned that her fans should keep an eye and ear out for her new single in a couple of months, “I’ve grown as an artist and hopefully you’ll see that on this album.” Not only is LeToya talented and beautiful, she’s fashionable as well. She owns Lady L., which is a fashion boutique with two locations in Houston. If you think she’s a triple threat with her hair, voice, and clothes, wait for her upcoming roles in “From the Rough” with Taraji P. Henson and the new season of the HBO series “Tremé.” For more on Letoya Luckett, visit

Dances With Words:

Collins Pennie BY Jameliah Salter, Freshman, Saint Xavier University


he one word that comes to mind when thinking of the young, multitalented Collins Pennie is dynamic. His career has certainly bloomed as he has accomplishments in the worlds of dancing, acting, and modeling. Recognition of his talents are way overdue. He showed off his moves in Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied” video and revealed some skin to the ladies in Calvin Kleins CK One fragrance campaign. Pennie can even be spotted as the lead in Beyonce’s recent “Run The World” video from her number 1 album “4.” Pennie’s desire for success also landed him a starring role in the film “Stomp the Yard 2.” The sequel to “Stomp the Yard” entails great dancing, a wonderful storyline, and lots of incredible talent. Pennie’s character, Chance Harris, finds himself in bouts of trouble just before he starts school at Truth University. With friends, a relationship, and a step competition in the mix, he faces his dark past in efforts for a brighter future. Pennie notes that his biggest challenge when filming the movie was to step with “no beat to follow” and to be “precise and right on.” Like any wide-eyed hopeful pining for a big break in Hollywood, Pennie became familiar with rejection. 30 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

“There are times where you are told ‘no’ and you have to understand that there are many factors that go into casting someone in a role and to continue to put your best foot forward and not take it personally,” says Pennie. Pennie’s accomplishments continued with his starring role in the horror film “Prom Night” and in the remake of “Fame” with Debbie Allen. He is currently working on a Fox Sci-Fi film entitled “Now” that stars the also ever-talented Justin Timberlake. He can also be seen in season 3 of the hit series “Hawthorne.” Pennie prefers to focus on crafting his abilities and has no plans to stop now. Expect to see him in many more hit movies and projects in the near future. For more information on Collins Pennie, check out his bio at

AT&T, Derrick Rose, and the Campaign Against Texting While Driving By Bryan Williams, Freshman, Northern Illinois University


exting has become more than just a convenient form of communication, it has become every teens favorite pastime. Ever find yourself having to wait in a long line and the first thing that pops in your head is “Who can I text in the meantime?” But with everything fun in life, there is a time and a place. Behind the wheel of a car, where you are expected to respond quickly to ever-changing circumstances, is not one of them. On March 23, 2011, AT&T teamed up with Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose and Illinois education officials to start a campaign to warn Illinois high school students about the dangers of texting while driving. “I have to be focused when I drive, whether it’s on the court or on the road. That’s why I don’t text when I drive. I tell my friends ‘It Can Wait,” says Derrick Rose in an AT&T news release. The campaign, named “I Don’t Text When I Drive--It Can Wait,” will include a public service announcement by Derrick Rose designed to discourage teen drivers from texting while driving, posters displaying his image and message, an AT&T documentary named “The Last Text” that explores the dangers of texting while driving. If after reading this, you still wonder “what’s the big deal?” just take a look at some of the disturbing statistics. According to, “Of those killed

in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction.” Even more disturbing, “The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving.” “We encourage more groups and families to discuss the dangers of texting and driving to ensure that young drivers – and all drivers – understand the extreme dangers and pledge to not text and drive. For more information, we encourage you to log on to:,” suggests Eric Robinson of AT&T Public Affairs. Nothing is urgent enough to risk your life and those of others on the road. If you ever do find yourself in a situation where you have to text urgently, pull over and park up beforehand. It might cost you an extra 10 minutes in commute time, but that is nothing compared to what you can potentially lose if you dare text while driving.

Crush On Your Prom Contest Winner: Charles Martinez By Jameliah Salter, Freshman, Saint Xavier University

“Whatever your dream is, don’t give up.” True Star’s winner of the Crush On Your Prom Contest Charles Martinez was provided a party bus for him and all his friends. The hosts of True Star Radio, Mina Vee and Marvin Frank, exclusively hosted his prom. Deejay and Hammond High graduate DJ Scratch of Power 92 spun at the event and Crush provided gift bags for the entire prom party. While growing up on the north side of Chicago, as well as parts of Indiana, 18 year old Charles wasn’t imagining a fly suit and a pair of shoes to match for prom. His main focus was to excel in school and to succeed with his non-for-profit organization named Focus on Hope, a youth empowerment program that’s funded by the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Indiana. While listening to Power 92 one Sunday evening, Martinez heard the promotion of the Crush on Your Prom contest and ideas started running through his mind. His school, Hammond High School, was already in need of a DJ and his organization needed to be familiarized with various communities. With a compelling story, Martinez managed to receive enough votes to win the contest. He described his night as amazing and one of the most memorable nights of his high school career. “The emotions that were going through my head at that point when I saw that party bus was amazing,” said Martinez.

With flashes surrounding him as he and friends arrived at the Belvedere Chateau in Palos Hills, he truly felt like a celebrity for the night.

“I was the first one to get things cracking.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 31

Under The


Titi Lokei musical style

Diverse. The best way to describe my musical style is simply versatile. It’s like I have A.D.D. when it comes to my flow because my mind can’t stay focused on one sound. If I had to narrow it down, I would say Afro hip-hop/pop

uniqueness I believe as a Femcee, I’m automatically

different from the many men we have in the industry worldwide. It saddens me that there are not many ladies in the hip-hop world. What makes me individually unique is how my passion for music came about as well as my cultural background. The appreciation of my Nigerian roots is evident in my music and dance.

Gideon’s Army musical style

Gospel Hip Hop


We speak the truth at all times. We are a very transparent group and we not only talk about what goes on in the world but what goes on in our daily lives as well. We don’t want to paint the picture that we are perfect because we are not, but we try to conform to the image of Christ and we let God use us to preach His message.


The goal of Gideon’s Army is to spread the word of God to bring more souls to Christ. Facebook: Gideon’s Army Music Twitter: GideonsArmy_GA Contact Info: (773) 876-1108 Anthony Sapp (Mgr)



Well, I am lucky to say I have been to many countries at a young age, such as Dubai, Nigeria, Canada, and of course here. One thing I realized is many radio stations overseas play a more diverse set of music. For example, in Africa they play local music as well as artists from London, America, Jamaica, and all over the world. In the United States, we just seem limited to the music we hear and videos we see. My ultimate goal is to Bridge the Gap! In my opinion, music is the world’s language. There should be no barriers.


What influences me to keep grinding is the lack of female hip-hop artists in the industry. People are so stuck on the negative and never try to think positive. Everyone has told me I would have to change my image, be more sexual etc. in order to make it, and that is completely FALSE! It’s all about work ethic, networking, passion, and most importantly FAITH. Queen Latifah has a major influence on me because she is talented in many different areas. Not only did she rap, sing, act, but now she is producing films, and part owner of many businesses. She is walking proof that woman can be so much more in this ‘game’ than just a sex icon. Contact Info: @titilokei

Lone Mantis musical style I try to combine numerous

performance elements such as punch lines, speed and tempo variations, and lyrical wordplay. I would say my style is diverse because I can rap fast or slow and switch up to do all different kinds of songs, whether it be a freestyle, lyrical track, or a more radio-friendly joint. I guess I’m just always trying to do something new and different.

uniqueness I think my most unique characteristic as an

artist is my dedication to improvisational freestyle rap. I had the opportunity to freestyle live on True Star Radio and show people what I’m about in that regard. I feel like not as many artists really freestyle off the top, so I like to let my audience yell out topics and words to rhyme with to show that I’m improvising. Also, I’m a recent college graduate and have had to balance music with college athletics and school work. There were times I would day dream of just dropping out to solely focus on music, but I worked hard to succeed in school and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Everything I learned inside and outside of the classroom the past four years helped me become the person and artist I am today.

goal My ultimate goal with my music is to keep progressing and

making moves that will increase my fan base and better my chances of recording and performing professionally. I just want to keep getting better at what I do and showcase my talents in a way that will allow for me to gain more exposure.


My major influences are life and music in general. The things I experience and people I interact with all have an influence on me as an artist. I don’t try to emulate any specific artist, and I couldn’t even tell you who my favorite rapper is. However, music does influence me because I’m a competitive person and I try to surpass and go harder than others who are in the music industry. I feel as though I have been influenced by more independent and underground artists than mainstream rappers. Other than that, my friends and peers are major influences because I can relate to their experiences and write about certain themes that are relevant to young adults adapting to a constantly evolving society. Contact Info: Facebook- Lone Mantis @MidWestFlo

In-Zo musical style

New Age hip-hop mixed with that old feeling from the 90’s all the way back to the 60’s. When you hear my music, you have that feeling like this is what music is supposed to sound like. My style is a charter that cannot be discovered; this is just that new new.


My music is a little bit of everything: dubstep ,pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B, techno and old school house music. The music you heard from me currently is only a sample. It’s a sound that you are familiar with, but never heard before.


Kanye West set the standard for producers in Chicago; work harder and grind harder as an artist and as a producer. I want to set the next standard to make original and new music to charter musical waters that have never been explored before. Also, to make a name and to build a new world of music that all nationalities would love for centuries.


My family, my team, my city, the love of my life and all styles of music, don’t care how weird or scary it sounds. My favorite industry influences have to be Kanye West, Timbaland, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Pharrell and Swizz Beatz. Contact Info: twitter : @Nzotheking



Smart Steps for Success by Maribel Arellano, Freshman, University of Illinois at Chicago


he college application process is now over and you are ready to go to the school that fits your needs and interests. Are you ready to take on the challenge? Have you thought about what steps you have to take and what changes to your lifestyle you will have to make? Students not only have to cut down on luxury spending, but they also often have to give up certain leisure activities and dedicate their time to the demands and rigors of college life.

It is expensive to not have money. I spend a lot of time talking about making good choices with money. I want everyone to know what it means to create a budget, set aside savings, donate and invest. However, you don’t need a financial background to realize that it is expensive to be poor. You have probably seen in the news the term “food deserts,” but what you may not have realized is how a shortage of grocery stores can raise a neighborhood’s cost of living. People who depend on convenience stores or drugstores end up paying more for basics like milk or coffee. Communities without traditional grocery stores have access to less fresh produce, and a higher reliance on snack food or fast food. Fresh produce and lean meats are basic components of a balanced diet. Making healthy meals not only saves money, it helps prevent disease, and that saves on long term health care costs. Another place my office is fighting for more and better access is in banking. People without access to a traditional bank account will spend an average of $65 a month just to cash checks. People with accounts also have a place to direct deposit their paychecks or tax refunds, a savings of $400 a year just by avoiding check cashing fees. The Chicago Treasurer’s Office just launched a program called Bank On Chicago to offer people an alternative to those high fees. I want to enable all of the readers of the “On the Money Magazine” to educate their families on the savings they can realize by opening a bank account, shopping at traditional grocery stores and making healthy and affordable meals. It may take a little extra work, but it’s worth it. Thank you,

Stephanie D. Neely Chicago City Treasurer


Most people cannot afford to fully pay for college and must depend on financial aid and student loans. According to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, “2/3 of college graduates in 2008 graduated with some loan debt. A shocking 52% of students graduated from college owing amounts from $24,600 to over $30,500.” Wouldn’t you like to keep the money you owe to a minimum? “By taking the amount of loans I did from the federal government, I had to become aware that any money that I earned throughout college would have to be used to pay off the loans. I cut down on spending money on night-outs and shopping. I also realized that I should take a good amount of courses during Fall and Spring semesters in order to stay on track for graduation as opposed to paying higher fees for the summer,” says Nairyna Constantino, student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Even if your student award letter covers your tuition for your first year in college, this does not mean that you can put off saving money. There are lots of additional expenses you need to prepare for. College classes have to be taken seriously; not only are you paying for your education, but your future depends on it. There is a whole life after college that you have to account for. Plan a budget no matter what your income and spending are. This will allow you to be fiscally sound and be prepared for life after graduation. Start now! Create your own budget online at and get an idea of the average cost of college before even starting your first class.

Good Credit or Debt? by Kamal Bilal, Freshman, Whitney Young


ne of the most popular ways that teenagers and young adults pay for things is with a credit card. But usually the outcome of having these credit cards is the same: you spend more than you make and end up in more than debt than you can pay off anytime in the near future. The average debt of most college students is $4,088, according to a recent report from Demos-USA entitled “Generation Broke, The Growth of Debt Among Young Americans” by Tama Draut. When you buy an item that you will not be able to pay off in that month, you start to pay interest or extra money on that item. This interest can sometimes double or triple the original cost of that item. Additionally, if you cannot pay your monthly dues, you then get late fees, so that $200 iPod Touch can end up being a $500 purchase. Getting a credit card, however, is not always a bad decision—you just have to know how to use it.

can control your purchases and your budget, and you can ultimately build up your credit score. Second, buy things that you will be able to pay off quickly. When you cannot pay off your WHOLE balance, and continually pay the minimum, you will end up paying a lot more than the original cost once all the interest rates add up. Finally, know your limits. If your credit card limit is $500 and you buy something that is over $500, you can end up paying 20% of that in overcharge fees. These steps will help you make better credit cards decisions, and make your young adulthood debt free.

First off, have only one credit card. The more credit cards you have, the more things you will be able to buy, potentially causing more debt. The typical consumer has For more information on establishing a healthy access approximately $19,000 on all credit cards combined, credit history, please visit and according to However, with one credit card you

Career Profile:Sales & Trading by Stephanie Greene, Junior, Walter Payton College Prep


arrison N. Greene III is an MBA student at Kellogg, the Northwestern School of Business. After graduation this spring, he will start working at Robert W. Baird & Co. in sales and trading. My interview with Harrison helped me understand what equity research salesmen actually do.

What is the day-to-day work look like? We start about 6:00 am in the morning and we have a research call. On the call, analysts talk about stocks that we follow. Then the day starts, and you’re sitting at a desk fielding calls from clients who want to buy or sell stock. My job is to get them to buy or sell large shares of stock, and create the markets until the market closes. Then you get back on the phone with your clients and see if you can get orders that can go into the next day. After that, you are calling on clientele in a more of a social setting until about 8:00 pm in the evening when you workday finally ends.

What is the best thing about working in finance? I would definitely say it’s the fact that you never know what’s coming around the corner. It’s influenced by so many things; it’s influenced macro trends, geo-political

Teen Investing 101

by Skyler Lemons, Sophomore, Kenwood Academy


re you a planner? Are you always looking to ensure that you have money for the future? If the answer to either one of those questions is yes, then you need to start investing your money today! Just because you’re a teen doesn’t mean you can’t come up with the money to invest. Stop wasting money on the next pair of shoes or in fast food restaurants after school and start investing in your future.

There are several main types of investments. 1. Ownership Investments where you own part of a business. Examples of these are stocks. 2. Lending Investments involve lending money to an organization and they pay you back interest. An example of this is a bond which is when a corporation, federal agency, or the local government needs a loan today and pays you back in the future with interest. 3. Cash Equivalents where your investment can easily be converted into cash

news, perceptions and reputations. You literally never know what is going to happen until you walk into the office. You also get to meet a lot of interesting people. It is one of the most relationship-based businesses out there.

What advice would you give a high school student interested in working in finance? You want to be a well-rounded person. You want to keep your GPA above a 3.5; it will make getting into finance a whole lot easier. You will be competing for a relatively small number of jobs, and the differentiator is: are you someone people want to spend time with?

like a money market. Other examples include regular savings accounts, savings bonds or certificates of deposit where you have to leave your money for a set period of time or pay a small penalty. 4. Real Estate: You can invest in real estate by purchasing land, a home, commercial real estate, etc. One of the most common types of investments that I highlighted above is stocks, which are basically shares that you purchase within a company. When you decide to sell your stocks, you generally want to sell when the market is good and make a profit. Remember: buy low, sell high. Personally, one stock I find interesting is Apple (AAPL) because Apple is always coming out with new products and their stock is often going up. Another interesting one is Pfizer (PFE), which is a pharmaceutical company. People always need medicine! With any stock, by investing instead of just spending, you’re ahead of the game and well-prepared for the next time the market inflates. Learn more about investing from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission at

SavingTip: When paying your bills, be sure to pay yourself first!


True Star Magazine Presents

The Next “Star Mogul” W

hether it’s mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, washing cars, walking the neighborhood dogs or selling candy, teenagers are always looking for ways to come up on easy money. Who knows, maybe someday you can turn mowing the lawn into a landscaping business. Take a look at what these teens are doing to make money. - By Maya Bryant, Junior, Morgan Park High School

Kellin Dixon

19, Freshmen, Southern Illinois University TS: What is your business?

Attallah Wilson

KD: The name of my business is Kings Clean Up, specializing in foreclosed clean ups.

17, Senior, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep. TS: How did you get involved with that? TS: What is your business? AW: The name of my business is Stick and Zips. It’s a resealable strip that I made. You can attach it to any foods bag such as chip bags, cereal bags, salad bags. The strip helps you seal the bag instead of having to roll it up or transfer it into a food storage bag.

KD: Before I transferred from Hales High School, we had to take an entrepreneurship class. I decided to do construction because with construction there is multiple departments. After a couple of months, I decided I wanted to do foreclosed clean up seeing that there’s a lot of foreclosed homes that needed to be cleaned..

TS: What made you want to start doing this?

TS: What inspires you?

AW: It started off at my school. I was in a business class. I was juggling different ideas, but eventually I wanted to think of something very innovative, and our teacher always pushes us to look for a problem within our home. I thought about trying to save food in the house and keeping it from spoiling.

KD: My 3rd grade teacher bought a house that was foreclosed. She was under the impression that when you buy a foreclosed house from a bank or realtor, it would already be clean and prepared to move in, but that wasn’t the case for her. That’s what inspired me to do cleaning.

TS: What goals do you plan to reach with your business?

TS: What goals do you plan on reaching for your business?

AW: I don’t know much about the industry, so I hope to gain more knowledge about it.

KD: A law has been passed that banks have to keep foreclosed homes clean. I’m really pushing to put a proposal together and talk to a lot of banks.

TS: What obstacles did you face?

TS: What obstacles have you faced?

AW: Having faith in the idea, because a lot of times when you talk about an idea you may get a response like “Oh, that’s an okay idea.” So it’s just keeping the faith in the idea and knowing that it’s going to work.

KD: An obstacle that I face is the banks might not take me serious seeing that I’m only 19. They might not give me the time to speak, or they might take my proposal and lay it somewhere.

TS: What advice would you give to young people trying to come up with their own business?

TS: What advice would you give to young people starting their business?

AW: Just keep faith in your idea. Every idea is a good idea, keep working with it if you really want it.

KD: Act very mature. You can’t talk to everybody like how you would talk to your friends, because then no one would take you serious.


Shedd’s Summer Jam

Connects Students With Nature & Technology by Taylor Price, Freshman, Southern Illinois University Carbondale


f you missed out on this year’s Shedd Aquarium Summer Jam for Teens, you missed out on a treat. The event, hosted by the Digital Youth Network and the Shedd Aquarium, gave local high schoolers the opportunity to learn how to use computer technology in a way that can make a global difference. Students pushed their creativity to the limit by soaking up new knowledge in the fields of graphic design, animation, videography and music. With newly acquired skills, participants conceived and customized creative messages and digital productions to share with one another. This year’s program was designed to develop a connection to the natural world through the Shedd’s animals and their mind-blowing exhibits, such as the “Jellies,” on display until May 2012. I had the pleasure of making a podcast about water pollution and the dangerous effects it has on sea life. It was a fun experience to work with the program GarageBand on the Mac laptops, where I created tracks for my background music. Sidney West, 15, of Project Exploration, worked with the design program. West said she “learned all about how the different sea creatures lived and how much they ate.” In her program, she was taught how to do video design, and created a visual showing how water pollution affected penguins. “What I do for fun is draw, so this was fun for me,” replied West. “It was just so exciting. I would love to do it again.” According to Shedd Assistant Director of Education, Safiyah Jackson, Shedd’s ultimate goal is to inspire program participants to become “environmental ambassadors” by figuring out how to use digital media to convey their passion and knowledge about nature to their peers. In Jackson’s opinion, the event was a hit. “For a brand new program, we think it was quite successful. We learned a lot and have lots of ideas for making future ‘jams’ even better.”

Don’t feel too bad if you weren’t able to take part in this Jam. Registration is currently open for the fall Club Shedd Program. Teens will get a behind-the-scenes look at our exhibits and animals and much more! For more information, visit TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 37


f you’re thinking of going to a college in the heart of downtown Chicago— where you can meet people from all walks of life and be exposed to an extensive network of professionals all within your own home city— then Roosevelt University just might be for you. Roosevelt University first opened in 1945 and was the first college to admit all qualified students, regardless of their background. Roosevelt’s six colleges offer a variety of programs, which include careers in education, arts and sciences, business and performing arts. When considering a college, cost is very important. Roosevelt’s annual tuition is about $25,000. To help offset this cost, Roosevelt offers a variety of scholarships. About 90 percent of students who attend Roosevelt receive one form of financial aid or another. Students who live on campus will reside in the University Center, which are shared dorms between three other universities. In 2012, Roosevelt’s new vertical campus will be completed. The vertical campus is a 32-story building and the sixth tallest university building in the world. The first 13 floors will be used for classrooms, lecture halls, student recreational centers and a dining center. As for extracurricular activities, Roosevelt offers plenty of them. There are intramural/intercollegiate sports— including basketball— with the reintroduced Roosevelt Lakers. Check out all the teams at And if you don’t see a club on campus that fits your personality, you always have the option of creating your own. If cost, location, diversity and extracurricular activities are important to you when deciding on a college, then you need look no further than Roosevelt University. For more information, please visit 38 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE



inside & out

CVS Caremark:

Providing Pathways To Pharmacy By Kia Smith, Senior, Harlan Career Academy


VS Caremark has created an opportunity for youth to gain insight on careers in pharmacy through their nationwide Pathways to Pharmacy program. The program has been in existence since 2000, and is responsible for introducing over one million youths to pharmacy. The program has also surpassed its goal of generating $4 million in summer internship wages for high school students. Available in various schools around the city of Chicago, CVS Caremark has opened up an innovative opportunity for underrepresented minorities. The Pathways to Pharmacy summer internship runs six to eight weeks, where high school students learn about the field of pharmacy in a classroom setting, and during the last weeks receive hands-on experience while interning at a CVS/pharmacy store. Following their internships, students are eligible to continue working at CVS/pharmacy and to work toward a national certification to become a pharmacy technician. Ultimately, the program creates opportunities for future employment with CVS Caremark. In fact, many graduates of the Pathways to Pharmacy program are pursuing degrees in pharmacy and/or are currently working at CVS/pharmacy stores. Celene Hernandez, an incoming senior at Sullivan High School, was involved in Pathways to Pharmacy this summer and speaks to True Star about her experience and the impact it had on her life. True Star: How has the program affected you? Celene Hernandez: I gained a different viewpoint, and I was introduced to options in careers where miniorities are underrepresented and I decided to get involved. TS: What got you interested in the program? C.H.: I was involved in my school’s medical program and I was interested in learning more, so I decided to apply because I want to go into nursing and I want to eventually become a mid wife and I figured pharmacy would help me learn more about the fields I plan to go into. TS: Would you advise other students to take advantage of this program?

CH: Definitely. Especially if you’re a miniority, we really don’t get opportunities like this handed to us. I definitely encourage any teen interested in the medical field to get involved with this program. TS: What’s the most important thing this program has taught you? CH: This program taught me how to persevere and stay determined. It has taught me how to keep going and represent the underrepresented, such as the Latino community. 40 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

The CVS Caremark Pathways to Pharmacy summer internship program in Chicago is available to high school students enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) Health Science programs. For more information, email CTE Program Coordinator Regine Rucker at

Teens and Tobacco in Chicago

Are you a target?


ave you ever walked through a gas station or neighborhood convenience store and noticed the flashy cigarette ads showing attractive people at a party or on the beach having fun with friends? Guess what – these ads were purposely targeting you, an underage consumer, to become a lifelong customer of deadly, addictive tobacco products. Each year, the tobacco industry spends billions of dollars on advertising that clearly speaks to the lifestyles and interests of teens with images of hip-hop culture, social freedom and hot models. What these ads don’t show you are the short-term effects of tobacco use like yellow teeth and wrinkles or long-term effects like cancer, lung disease and strokes. The Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project (CTPP), a local effort dedicated to showing teens the truth about tobacco, has been offering a program called Operation Storefront at high schools across the city. Operation Storefront educates teens about the dangers of tobacco and the marketing tricks tobacco companies use to target teens.

“Winning underage consumers is the name of the game for tobacco companies. That’s why programs like Operation Storefront are so important,” said Janet Lara, school policy coordinator for CTPP. “Studies show teens are more influenced to try cigarettes by tobacco marketing than by peer pressure.” Recently, True Star staffers went out into the Roseland and Chatham communities to conduct our own “mini” Operation Storefront fieldwork to look at how tobacco is being marketed to teens in these areas.

Here’s a snapshot of what we found: •Most gas stations and convenience stores had several tobacco ads blanketed across the check-out counters close to products like candy and gum. •Many tobacco ads from major brands were positioned near the bottom of counters and shelves, making them easily visible to children. •When trying to purchase cigarettes, many stores did not ask teens for ID. •It’s easy for teens to buy illegal “loose squares” or single cigarettes off people instead of buying them in stores.

Even though tobacco marketing is prevalent throughout our communities, teens can fight back by educating other teens and community members at health fairs, starting a tobacco-free group at school or even writing an editorial in a school newspaper. Remember, whether you smoke or don’t, know the truth about tobacco. For more information on the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project and Operation Storefront, visit

Know the facts • Tobacco causes 443,000 deaths per year in the U.S. • Every day, about 1,000 people under age 18 begin smoking on a daily basis. • Seventeen thousand youth in Illinois start smoking on a daily basis each year. • American teens consume 800 million packs of cigarettes each year. • Major cigarette companies spend $12.5 billion on advertising per year. • About 50 percent of Chicago teens reported smoking in 2009; this is down from nearly 60 percent in 2008, showing that teens are changing their minds about tobacco. By True Star staffers: Alexander Stockstell, Jameliah Salter, Taylor Price of True Star and Jamila Johnson of the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project

Nutrition Made Easy by Juan Martinez, Senior Notre Dame College Prep


n our society, which is constantly in a rush, nutrition is often ignored because of inconvenience or lack of time. To our misfortune, teens who strive to become healthy tend to get discouraged when they realize that in order to understand nutrition, they must first learn the terminology. But don’t get discouraged by the complicated terminology. All you need to do is be disciplined and focus on the essentials of the body: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Protein is the most important out of the three essentials. Protein is a complex organic compound found in every cell of the human body. According to www., protein is necessary for the repair, growth and development of the body. It is the necessary component needed to build muscle. Despite the benefits, not all protein sources are good. For example, fish such as: salmon, tuna, haring, and trout are categorized richer in protein than meats such as: pork, ham, salami, and bacon. A few other good protein sources are: poultry, lean red meat, eggs, cottage cheese, and beans, according to www. Carbohydrates are the most common compound found in living organisms and also play an important part when it comes to nutrition. According to Harvard School of Public Health, they are responsible for supplying the body with the energy used in physical activity to keep the body running properly. But like proteins, not all carbohydrates are good food sources. Some examples of good carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables and grains such as: avocado, mango, apples, 42 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and whole wheat bread. Some bad carbohydrates to stay away from are: chips, cookies, cake, white rice, white bread and other process foods. Fats also play a vital role in maintaining a healthy diet. According to www., fats are necessary for brain development because it provides energy and produces the proper hormones needed for the body. Although not all fats are good for the body, there are many that indeed help the body. Good fats can be found in olive oil, flaxseed oil, sesame seed oil and fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Also, it is important to stay away from saturated and trans fat oils such as: corn and vegetable oil. “A healthy diet is indeed of importance. You get more than one benefit from it. At the long term, exercising and eating vegetables, fruits and less processed food will grant you healthy life” says Dr. Ebrahim Ghodsi of Resurrection Medical Center. Truth is the only way to be healthy is to respect your body by eating right. It is critical to acknowledge the reality that, as the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” Statistics show that teens nowadays face more health problems than ever due to the total misuse of fats. For that reason, if you care about your appearance, health and ability to perform, then nutrition is of the utmost importance. Now that you know what is essential, all you need to do is make the right decisions on where to get your protein, carbohydrates and fat.


Environmental or Genetic? by Karl Thomas, Junior, Foreman High School


besity is a serious health problem that affects millions of Americans every day and many have no idea of the cause. Research has proven that the two major factors that contribute to obesity are genetics and the environment. But the question remains: which is more relevant than the other? Can someone overcome obesity even if it runs in their family? Can someone overcome the obstacles of environmental constraints such as poverty or distant fresh food sources?

American life is built around the idea of making your life easier. According to, “In recent decades, obesity has reached epidemic proportions in populations whose environments offer an abundance of calorie-rich foods and few opportunities for physical activity.” Easy access to unhealthy foods, little to no access to fresh foods, and little to no physical activity is the exact recipe needed to build an obese society. Environments like this are generally called food deserts.

Obesity is defined as being greatly overweight and having more fat in your body then what is considered healthy. According to the Center for Disease Control, “during the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high.” Obesity currently is about to become America’s leading cause of preventable death. Regardless of these alarming trends, most Americans still have no idea of what causes obesity.

It is not just the ease, but it’s also the fast pace of American life too. Most people can get food for cheap easily by going to the McDonald’s dollar menu. When you work 40 hours a week, commute 2 hours a day, and have a host of other responsibilities to deal with, buying some cheap, fast food is much easier than having to do groceries and cook.

Have you ever wondered why your doctor always insisted on asking about your family history before diagnosing your illness? What they were trying to figure out was if any of your problems could potentially have been passed down to you by your parents or grandparents. This is genetics. They use this information to see if you are genetically susceptible to any of those problems.

Even so, there is not enough research on genetics to provide an exact comparison between the two factors. But from the research already done, environmental factors seem to be more relevant. Regardless of the cause though, the solutions to both are the same: eat healthier and exercise more. Try to eat more natural, unprocessed foods, such as fruits and vegetables and stay away from fast foods whenever possible.

If your parents or grandparents were obese, then you just might be more genetically susceptible to becoming obese as well. Genetics researchers have theorized that many of us might have inherited what’s called an “energy-thrifty gene,” accoding to This gene was used by our ancestors to store fat in times where there was no food. Even though we have food now, that gene might still be in our DNA. However, the environmental factors are said to be a more probable cause of obesity.

For those who live in a food desert, the task of staying healthier is a bit more difficult. According to Professor Bill Kling from the University of Illinois Chicago, “if you live in an environment with a lack of healthy foods, you should make the best possible choices that are available to you and just work hard and make the effort to be as healthy as you can. If you have a set mind in thinking that you need to work for everything you get, eat right, and exercise, you will not be obese nor do you have to worry about ever becoming obese.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 43


Relationships By Amanda Lee Nazario, Junior, Foreman High School


eople say trust issues in relationships come up when someone in the relationship breaks the trust, but this is not always the case. Trust issues can come from personal insecurities and past experiences as well. When a person has insecurities about themselves, it can make them jealous, get them thinking negatively about every situation, and cause them to be overly-possessive over their boyfriend or girlfriend. Some people feel that being in their business helps their trust issues. They start looking through everything: phone, Facebook, Twitter and whatever else they can get their hands on. But sometimes doing these things can have negative consequences. One insecurity a lot of teens deal with is with their looks. If a person has insecurities with the way they look, they tend to gain the impression that they are not good enough for their significant other and that can cause jealousy issues. Another insecurity that a person can have in a relationship can be one of economic differences. If their significant other makes much more money than them, they can begin to feel inadequate. These issues then cause them to react irrationally and that’s when suspicion leads to investigation and investigation leads to trouble. If a person is constantly being checked on and told that they are doing wrong when they aren’t, this can cause one of two things. The person either uses the accusations as an excuse to do wrong or gets so fed up with it, and eventually walks away from the relationship. The person can potentially do wrong because they feel since they are already being accused of doing wrong, it wouldn’t change the situation. The person may also just walk away from the relationship because they can become frustrated and feel powerless to the situation, thinking nothing they do will make them happy. Re-evaluating your self-worth can help you overcome insecurities. When you reevaluate your self-worth, start thinking about all the good characteristics you have as a person. Think of the good that you bring to your relationship and also 44 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

ask your significant other what they feel you bring to the relationship. Remember that they are with you for a reason. Accept that for what it is and it will help you understand those things that make you valuable as a person. Trust is something that is obviously difficult to achieve. But understand that in order to have a healthy relationship, one MUST trust. You have to dig deep within yourself and give the person the benefit of the doubt. Understand also that checking up on your significant other will not stop them from cheating. If they are inclined to cheat, nothing you can do will stop them. You also can’t use your past experiences to judge present ones. Just because one person cheated on you in the past does not always mean everybody will. “Someone who cheats will cheat regardless if you check up on them or not. Just know that the truth always comes out and at least you can walk away from the situation knowing that you gave them trust and they took it for granted” says Michelle Plaza, 25, of the north side of Chicago.

Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be lifethreatening. ~Maya Angelou

Photo Credit: Amyrikal Adams, Junior, Victor Andrews

How Trust Issues Can Destroy

When Flirting Becomes Uncomfortable By Taylor Price, Freshman, Southern Illinois University Carbondale


irls, have you ever felt uncomfortable when a guy flirts with you? Guys, has a girl ever avoided your advances? Flirting can be harmless, but it can also cause discomfort to the person on the receiving end who may just “grin and bear it” to avoid drama. King College Prep senior, Jamie Smith*, believes that her “passive nature” helps her to believe that an uncomfortable flirting situation will just blow over with time. “I’m not the type of person that would go and say ‘no I don’t want this.’ I would hint at this, but I don’t think people really get my hints.” Kevin Whyn, another senior at KCP, states that poking and annoying the girls he likes is his way of flirting. Whyn admits that he rarely notices a girl’s reaction or rejection to his flirts. “It depends on how she says no. If I see that they’re playful, then it’s OK, but if they’re serious, then I’ll stop.” The self-proclaimed Relationship Diva, Donna M. Allen, believes that females have the ultimate power in any relationship. She tells young ladies to never be afraid to say no and to speak your mind, so there won’t be any misunderstanding. “Communicate plainly that you are not interested in the person’s advances and where they want to go with them.” Donna’s advice is that if the person is a real friend then they will understand and respect how you feel. However, if it comes to a point where you have been pushed

to the limits of your comfort, involve an adult. “Tell someone and get help. If not, you run the strong risk of putting yourself in a position to be raped or stalked or some other terrible thing. Remember you have a right to say no.” So guys, the next time you are flirting with a girl you like, be mindful of her reaction and if the signs are too confusing, then just ask her about it. And ladies, if a guy comes at you with aggressive advances, tell him to slow down or just stop. It will put you in control and you will be in a better place with yourself. *Name has been changed to protect identity.

Can a Cheater Be Trusted? By Kia Smith, Senior, Harlan High School


here’s an old saying “Never leave someone you love for someone you like, because the one you like will leave you for someone they love.” The new saying should be: “Never cheat on someone, then try to start a new relationship with the side piece, because there will be NO trust.” Or will there? If they’ll cheat to be with you, why wouldn’t they cheat on you? Many people believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt, but other’s believe that line shouldn’t be crossed because of karma. Tiara Thomas, a junior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, who tried having a relationship with the person she crept with, knows the story of karma well. “Although he was known for being unfaithful, I thought I could change him. Little did I know, he didn’t care about anyone but himself. He cheated on me too. I got my heart broken in the end.” Some people believe that if you cheat once, you won’t do it again. Cherrice Howard, a senior at Julian, is one of those people. She was able to have a successful relationship with a boy she cheated with. “The boy I cheated with had an easy time trusting me because he understood my reasons for cheating. I was always honest with him. I’d probably never cheat again, but I liked the fact that the guy was open to trusting me.” Photo Credit: Leah Smith, Junior, Thornwood High School

Whether or not a cheater can be trusted depends on the situation and the person. Everyone deserves a second chance, but some will never change. Cheating is wrong under any circumstance, so if you’re unhappy, end it before you hook up with someone else. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 45

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First Months’ Rent




on the court

Like Father,

Like Son: Ronnie

Brewer Jr. by Justin Bowles, Freshman, Brooklyn ColleGE


onnie Brewer Sr. played college ball at University of Arkansas and would go on to play for the Bulls just as his son, Ronnie Brewer Jr. does now. In spite of Ronnie Sr.’s accomplishments in basketball, Ronnie Jr. says that his father did not want him to pursue basketball as a career. “My dad would have been happy with any field I would have gone into, just as long as it wasn’t basketball.” With this in mind, Ronnie’s career goals were to be an English teacher, but after talking to his high school English teacher, Ronnie made the decision to pursue basketball.

“I told my teacher I was struggling between pursuing basketball and becoming an English teacher. I told her ever since I was little playing in the NBA had been my dream. She told me to follow my dreams.” Ronnie Jr. went off to play for the Razorback’s at the University of Arkansas. In 2006, Ronnie became the 14th draft pick being picked up by the Utah Jazz, finally accomplishing his dream of playing in the NBA.

“The best piece of advice my father ever gave me was to stay focused and practice. He taught me that if I just focus and practice my talent, my dream will come to fruition and that’s what I did.”

Ronnie Brewer Jr. currently plays for the Bulls alongside Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose. Ronnie believes that the Bulls will bring home the championship this year.

Ronnie essentially offers teens with hoop dreams the same advice his father gave him.

“I believe we can do it. We have a strong team and after just coming off of a championship, we’re definitely ready to go back.” Ronnie says that his siblings have been his biggest support group. He adds that his dad’s words of wisdom have helped him get to where he is today.

“First and foremost, you have to believe in yourself. The odds of a person making it into the NBA are very slim, but you have to believe that you are an exception. Once you believe that you can do it, from there you practice, practice and practice some more.” For more on Ronnie Brewer Jr., visit TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 47

Trey Johnson:

The Ultimate

Free Agent by Alexander Stockstell, Freshman Columbia College Chicago


rey Johnson is a 26 year old professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. Also known as the “Ultimate Free Agent,” his hard work and dedication to his game is something to be envied by any aspiring basketball player. His story to the NBA is an odd one, fighting his way through the D-League to become a stand out player. AS: Who was your favorite basketball player growing up? Who was your favorite team?

AS: Describe how hard you had to work in the D-league to make it into the NBA.

TJ: Oh man, Scottie Pippen was my favorite player hands down and yes I was a Bulls fan. They were the best, who couldn’t like them?

TJ: The D-league is definitely a grind. I appreciate my time there to learn the game. I didn’t go into the NBA at first. I was 22 when I went overseas first and that didn’t work out too well. I came back undrafted to the New Orleans Hornets and did a camp with them and then went back to the D-League. Got called up first to the Cleveland Cavaliers for about a month, then to the Toronto Raptors for a month then back to the D-League. You got to work hard. If you don’t, you can easily quit.

TJ: Mississippi is not what you see on TV with cotton fields and prairies everywhere. I grew up learning how to make crops and work on a farm, so my experience was much more humbling than most kids in the states. My first love was baseball since my dad played 7 years in the MLB. I only started playing basketball in my junior year. AS: Baseball was your first choice, but you continued on with basketball, why? TJ: I came out of high school drafted into the MLB by the Kansas City Royals, but I never signed with them. I wanted to go to Jackson State to play basketball instead. I don’t really know why, I just felt that was the right thing to do at the time. I wasn’t a ranked player or anything, so I had to work very hard to get noticed.

NBA Guard

Will Bynum

Gives Back To Chicago Kids by Darien Boyd, Freshman, Indiana University 48 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

AS: How do you feel about the potential NBA Lockout? Have you made any decisions about what you are doing? TJ: The whole thing is really sad but this game is a business and sometimes the business aspect is forgotten. It has to get taken care of by the powers that be; we players can do nothing. I’m not taking any chances. I have actually signed with a team over in Italy for this next season. AS: Thank you so much for taking time out to speak to True Star and good luck in all your future ventures. TJ: You are welcome.


AS: Describe living in Mississippi and how you discovered sports down there?


hen meeting Will Bynum for the first time, you may not think that basketball was his profession. Listed at 6’0” in his NBA profile, Bynum, in person looks no more than 5’8”. But what the Pistons point guard doesn’t have in height, he definitely makes up for in heart, on and off the court. Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Bynum, 28, saw many of the things that afflict our urban youth first-hand. “Growing up in Chicago was tough,” admits the former Ida B. Wells and Robert Taylor Homes resident. However, being tough helped make him a great athlete. At Crane High School, he averaged 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists in his senior year. That’s no small feat in the competitive Chicago Public School League.

“It was a big game every night,” he says of the Public League. “Every night in the NBA is a big game too, whether it’s against Chris Paul or Deron Williams. That’s carried over from high school.” Success followed Bynum from Crane to college. However, he didn’t take the path usually mapped out for college players of his ability. After struggling in the NBA his rookie year, he decided to play overseas for Israel’s Tel Aviv. This was a different type of experience for Bynum. “I would score a bunch of points and my team would win, but I would still get criticized in the paper,” he explains. “I realized it wasn’t about what I did, but how I did it. [That experience] helped me mature as a player, but also as a person.” To Chicago’s youth, Bynum offers this advice: “Always stay disciplined in spirit and in attitude, and always be aware of the positions you put yourself in.”

These experiences have influenced Bynum to reach back to the different places that have molded him into the person he is today. This summer Bynum ran his first youth Point Guard Leadership Camp at Malcolm X College.

It’s worked for him. Maybe it will work for you too.

“I wish when I was growing up I had a camp that offered this for free,” says Bynum. “I am honored to give back to the community.”

For more information on Will Bynum, visit

From the Projects to the Pros: NBA Player Tony Allen Inspires Youth to Keep Grinding

by Darien Boyd, Freshman, Indiana University Photo Credit: Rich P. (

“If you want it, do it with pride. Study it, live it, wear it on your back. That’s part of the Grit and Grind movement that I preach.”


his is Tony Allen’s advice to young people who aspire to be successful. Allen is no stranger to these principles himself. The 29-year-old Memphis Grizzlies guard has done nothing but grind since he entered the league in 2004. The path to success never came easy for Allen. Raised on the Southside of Chicago in the Lowden Homes, he grew up around the pitfalls that surround the housing projects. “You walk outside and you see everything from gangs to prostitution. It all depends on the lane you take walking through the hood,” says Allen who, this summer, brought his inaugural Grit & Grind Basketball Camp to the Chi on the near Westside where he grew up. After some time at Julian High School, Allen, the first athlete to be to be honored by the National Public Housing Museum as someone who grew up in public housing, dropped out and moved to the Westside to stay in the Henry Hornet Homes. It was then when he decided to attend Crane, where he excelled alongside Will Bynum in the Cougar’s backcourt. “He is the worst,” Allen jokes about fellow NBA player Bynum. “Naw, that’s my dude. Will was one of the main people that got me to come to Crane. He showed that trust in me, and that was big for me. I loved playing with him in high school.” Allen went to junior college, exceeded there, and then transferred to Oklahoma State where he eventually became Big 12 Player of the Year. Though a very talented player, Allen had to wait a little longer to achieve the NBA spotlight that he aspired towards. Drafted to the Boston Celtics in 2004, he spent continued from page 48

much time on the bench due to the team’s wing talent. This continued throughout his tenure in Boston. “I spent seven years playing behind Paul Pierce, Wally Szczerbiak, Ray Allen; all guys that were great offensive players. But all I did was just stay down and keep fighting.” This past year Allen joined Memphis, who this year reached the second round in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In a starting role for the first time in his career, Allen earned 2nd Team All-Defensive Honors, a testament to his relentlessness on the court. “I just want to be a motivation to these young people,” says Allen. “Don’t nothing come to a sleeper but a dream. If you want it, go get it.” Allen said that his future plans only involve him getting better, and that he isn’t really interested in getting his name in the spotlight now. “I’m not really worried about the fame,” he says, “As long as I’m reckoned with. That’s good enough for me.” For more on Tony Allen, visit TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 49

Can You Put A Price

On Virginity? BY Shaquille Roberts, Senior, Hyde Park Academy


ow much is your virginity worth? Would it make a difference if a stranger was willing to pay up to $3.8 million for it? If you’re anything like Natalie Dylan, it just might. reported that at age 22, Dylan made headlines when she set up a private auction through the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada, to auction off her virginity to the highest bidder. Since then she has been criticized for her actions by people who believe that what she is doing is prostitution. Dylan doesn’t deny this. According to, Dylan is selling her virginity in order to pay for college. Going into it, she anticipated that there might be some unfavorable feedback. “I don’t think auctioning my virginity will solve all my problems. But it will create some financial stability. I’m ready for the controversy.” Though Dylan has had offers of up to $3.8 million, the winning bid has yet to be announced. It has been reported that she is expecting the winner to be an intelligent, genuine, and nice guy. But, does a person’s personality really matter as long as they’re willing to pay the largest amount? Not everyone will follow Dylan’s lead, but reports show that more are considering it. By selling your virginity, you are putting your purity on sale to complete strangers, allowing someone you don’t know to possibly disrespect your body and care very little about your feelings afterwards. Losing your virginity is a one-time deal. Why use this special occasion to bond with a stranger? Adults say you never forget your first, so instead of sharing the memorable moment with someone you don’t know or care for, why not wait until you find someone who you love and consider worthy of this extraordinary experience? Some will be tempted to lose their virginity without regard just to get it over with. Others will wait until their wedding day to share the moment with their life partner. It’s a decision that both sexes, not just girls, will have to make at some point, and one that needs to be taken seriously. Your virginity should be looked at as a priceless and precious part of who you are. That’s why it’s important to know your worth, because once it’s gone, you’ll never get it back. 50 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE




True Star Fall 2011  
True Star Fall 2011  

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