Page 1



7601 South Cicero Avenue, Chicago, IL 60652 773-284-1678

4159 West 167th St., Country Club Hills, IL 60478 708-647-6438



841 West 115th Street, Chicago, IL 60643 773-468-1924


7550 S. Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60649 773-643-8573


205 West 87th Street, Chicago, IL 60620 773-783-5549

3900 West Madison St., Chicago, IL 60624 773-265-1549





2516 State Street, East St. Louis, IL 62205 618-482-3924

3349 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60616 312-225-7345

7501 West Cermak Road, Riverside, IL 60546 708-442-6138

96 River Oaks Center, Calument City, IL 60409 708-862-7365

Tobacco companies use menthol-flavored cigarettes to get you addicted. Don’t get burned. CITYOFCHICAGO.ORG/HEALTH This project was made possible by funds from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Table of Contents




16 College & Career

9 Are You Ready For College? by KayLynn Harris 10 HBCU Profiles by Brenae Scott & Kennedy Simone Ward 12 Nike Brings Youth Closer to Dream Careers by KayLynn Harris 14 Career Profiles by Tyme Anderson, Mina Waight, Jacob Bonds, Diamond Burton, Ieisha Banks & Kennedy Simone Ward 17 Getting Past The Pre-College Jitters by Jessica Jackson

Real Talk



24 The Next Big Thing in Technology by Matt Sanchez 25 Does What You Delete Online Really Disappear? by Tyme Anderson

42 Textbook Versus iPad by Alex Mitchell 42 ACT: It Pays to Prep by Michelle Houston 43 Start Saving your Money Now by Vicky Li



26 FASHION Freedom of Expression

44 Are Energy Drinks Good for You? by Mina Waight 45 Women and the Natural Hair Trend by Tierra Carpenter


32 T.I. Takes Chicago Hip-Hop Back to School by Alexander Stockstell

on the court

46 Rising Number of Arrests in NFL by Matt Sanchez 47 NIKE’s Girls Get Fit Challenge by Maya Bryant 48 The Beautiful Intrigue of the Nike Jordan Chi-League by Michael Walton II 50 Long Distance Love by Jessica Jackson

34 Respecting the Ways of a Legend: The Influences of Raekwon by Christopher ThoughtPoet Brown


37 Keaira Lashae is Independent by Tierra Carpenter

22 Hip-Hop Detoxx: Deciphering the Truth Through Music by Diamond Burton 23 Kid Millionaire by KayLynn Harris 23 LOV Cares by Mina Waight True Star Magazine



18 Time Management by Yuwei Lee 19 A Right Revoked by KayLynn Harris 20 No New Friends by Jacob Bonds 21 SENIORITIS: Don’t let it get the best of you by Maya Bryant

Giving Back

fall 2013


38 Gun Play: It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt by Chakira Wrencher 40 Will Bynum Violence Prevention Pledge by Michael Walton II

1130 South Wabash Suite 302

Chicago, Il 60605

312.588.0100 office

312.588.0175 fax

Editor’s Letter

Vinessa Gabrielle

Sophomore Columbia College Welcome back to school students! Now that classes are in full swing your head is probably about to explode from all your assignments. Look at the good side of things though: you get to hang out with friends, catch up with teachers, and read the latest issue of True Star! Our College & Careers section discusses some opportunities you might be interested in and lists different types of jobs that are within the professional world. It gives you a chance to think about your future and what your opportunities might be. In the Fashion section, get tips on how to show off your personal style by being open to the concept of “Freedom of Expression.” Nike has a dream, and their dream just so happens to have a team. Check in to see just who we are talking about and see how Nike is helping bring youth closer to their dreams. In Real Talk, check out all the hype about the “No New Friends” trend, and if it’s your last year of high school, make sure you read up on “Senioritis” and how to avoid the all too common mistakes that might end up holding you back. In Giving Back, the “Kid Millionaire” story sheds some light on a program that is out to help kids grow their wealth and stay far away from poverty. You’ll read about the Ladies of Virtue and what they do to assist young women. Thru Da Wire introduces some more new talent waiting to be heard such as Keaira Lashae and many more. Inside & Out discusses the issue of energy drinks and whether or not they are good for you. Read on to learn about “Women and the Natural Hair Trend” to find out if these styles are for you. Do you love to cook, or enjoy working out? If so, take notes on how Clifford Rome, Saran Dunmore and other Chicago professionals got their start in our Career Profiles section. Read On the Court to find out more about the startling amount of pro football players spending their time behind bars instead of on the field in “Rising Number of Arrest in NFL.” Lastly, in “Long Distance Love” get a glimpse into what other couples go through when their boo goes to another school. Thank you for reading True Star Magazine and good luck in your new school year!

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



Executive Directors J. Na-Tae’ Thompson & DeAnna McLeary Managing Editor Edgar Molina Copy Editor Marti Parham Art Direction Design and Illustration Angel D’Amico-Bauer Promotions Manager DeShaun Adams Special Projects Manager Philistine Thompson Web Content Manager Joi Mitchell Promotions Assistant Ermina Veljacic Editorial Assistant Alexander Stockstell Web Content Assistant Henry Collins True Star Digital Media South Shore International College Prep Instructors Darshon Gibbs & Kamaya Thompson Assistant Shelby Brown Jubril Adeagbo Tia Allen Zana Bullard Michelle Conley Asya Evans Akram Muhammad Angela Marrison Amber Flowers David Foster Chyanne Franklin Michael Green Julian Grissett Justin Grissett Brianna Harris Roderic Hodge Divine Holmes Tia Kemp Kenyatta Land Jerrold Lee Naikwayah Mays Sherwinskie Moss Jahmanley Needham Octora Rogers Erika Smith Jalen Talbert True Star Editorial South Shore International College Prep Instructor Marti Parham Assistant Alexander Stockstell Tyme Anderson Jacob Bonds Maya Bryant Diamond Burton Alexis Estes Kaylynn Harris Jessica Hill Jackson Tashauna Holiday Taylor Miggins Matthew Sanchez BreNae Scott Danielle Taylor Jalica Usher Mina Waight Chakira Wrencher True Star Radio Broadcasting Chicago State University Instructor Trey Da Choklit Joc Assistants Jelyn Andrews & DeAndre McCottry Donnell Ashford Devin Bertrand


Victor Cuevas Jasmine Eatman Kendall Gaines Morgan Hall Tavia Heron Shaunda Kelley Jacqueline Kidd Julian King Taniya Moon Shazea Nathan Alicia Nelson Kennedy Pulliam Lasandra Spencer Derricka Vasser DeQuann Vaughn Denzel Washington True Star Radio Broadcasting Tilden High School Instructor Teefa Assistant Gabrielle Ellison Bryan Bolling Tashay Carter Eleanor Douglas Miesha Dunnigan Justin Reed Nekeysa Stokes Keith Walls True Star Sales & Marketing True Star Headquarters Instructor Joi Mitchell Madison Bowen Ellington Bramwell Braylyn Brown Bryce Clark Dashun Green Deja Mannie Desitny McClendon Victoria Scott Johari Sherman True Star Brand Ambassador Team Amyrikal Adams Dashika Adams Braylyn Brown Jaylen Drakes Charles Floyd Shamar Jackson Jewell Jordan Mekah Jordan Deja Mannie Ganessa Mejias Dominique Nash Tyler Outlaw Amarie Ramsey Audrienna Ramsey Ricky Powell Imani Reid Shaquille Roberts Trenton Succes Tonyae Tolliver Almir Veljacic


1. What do you plan to do differently this school year that you didn’t do last? 2. Do you think the CPS school closings will affect you directly? Why or why not? 3. What specific thing do you think your school can do differently that can help improve your school environment and help students feel more motivated to work harder with their academics?

Matt Sanchez

Senior Marist South Side Editorial 1. I plan to be more involved in extracurricular activities during this school year and focus more on my semester exams than my previous years. 2. I don’t believe the CPS school closings will affect me directly because I go to Catholic School (LOL), but I know people that it will affect and I hope they can find a school to replace their old one. 3. I believe that my school can create more clubs that push for academic success and give credit or merit to those that do work hard in their classes.

BreNae Scott Junior Morgan Park Editorial

1. For this school year, since it is my junior year, I have to buy ACT Prep books. I didn’t have to do that last year. 2. I don’t think the CPS school closing will affect me directly because my school wasn’t closed, and to my knowledge we aren’t a welcoming school to those students whose schools were closed. 3. What my school can do differently to help improve my environment and help students feel more motivated to work harder with academics would be to have a little more compassion when it comes to the staff. Of course the teachers care, but to me personally, they can show a little more effort. Also they could just pay us to come to school (LOL), which I have a feeling will NEVER happen, but it’s a good suggestion.

Madison Bowen

Junior King College Prep Sales & Marketing Intern 1. I plan on working a lot harder and overall just doing more than just the work because, I’m a junior, which means the ACT test is coming up, and scholarships are something I need dearly. 2. I think there will be more attendance to my school because of all the closings, and this will cause a lot more kids that might not be college prep worthy to be admitted, causing problems such as fights. 3. Offering opportunities that will help prepare for the ACT test, scholarships and college preparation. This will allow many students to get their stuff in order now so later they won’t panic about senior tasks

Morgan Hall

Sophomore Kenwood Radio Broadcasting 1. This school year I plan to apply myself so I will get even better grades than last year, also I plan to stay focused and keep away from anything negative, because I know it will result in a positive outcome. 2. The CPS school closings did not affect me directly because my school did not close, but it will still have a minor affect on me considering the fact that the students whose schools did close might be attending my school. 3. My school already does so much to improve and help us academically. I strongly feel like that is their main concern – not getting a paycheck. I feel as though they actually care about us succeeding.

Erika Smith

Junior South Shore International College Prep Digital Media 1. This school year I plan to improve on my study habits by studying ahead of time and not waiting until the last minute before the tests or papers are due. I also plan on being more calm and trying not to stress out about everything I have going on, extracurricular activity wise that is. 2. No, I don’t think the CPS school closing will really affect me because I don’t attend public school, nor did any public schools in my area get closed down. 3. One thing that my school can do differently to motivate the students to work harder is have more fun activities during some of our classes. I feel that if I’m having a fun time learning, and I understand the work, it will help motivate me to keep trying and keep wanting to learn even more than I already do.

Audrianna Ramsey

Senior Jones College Prep S.T.A.R.s Brand Ambassadors 1. I plan to focus a lot more on my school work and college applications. It’s time for me to go away to college and experience something different. 2. I don’t think school closings will affect me because I’m a senior in high school and college is the next step for me. Also, my school is located downtown, so I doubt if that would ever happen to my school. 3. My school already has a welcoming and studious environment, however, one thing I think they can improve on are the privileges we have for working hard and being focused on our academics. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 7

college & careers

Real World 101

In between doing homework, studying for tests and whatever other extracurricular activities you may have, you also need to make time to think about life after high school. That’s where True Star’s College & Careers Issue can come in handy. The following pages offer insight into prepping for college life and shed light on the type of careers that exist in the real world from the professionals that work them. Since it’s never too soon to think about your future, what’s the harm in starting right now?


Are You Ready For College? by KayLynn Harris, Junior, Whitney M. Young High School


s upperclassmen our high school careers are coming to an end. Most of us are facing the dreaded question of college and if we are ready. For some the idea of college is foreign because school only prepares us academically, not realistically. We’ve been told college is a necessity. We’ve also been taught what we need to know but we haven’t been shown how to get there. Don’t worry. With a few essential tips getting into college should be a breeze.

1. Do Your Research:

Find out what you are interested in and what you want to do with your life professionally. Then look into colleges with appropriate majors. Find out graduation rates, tuition expenses, GPA and test score requirements. Then narrow down a list of your top 10 colleges to apply to.

2. Building your portfolio:

When applying to college a portfolio that shows the skill level and growth of your work can be the determining factor of your acceptance – depending on your major. If you’re majoring in graphic design or journalism your portfolio should include a collection of your best works and show versatility. Portfolios can be binders or even online websites.

3. Applying to schools:

Make sure you know the deadline of when the application is due; this is the most important thing ever. Submitting an individual college/university application usually involves a personal statement essay, a letter of recommendation and a fee. Most students can talk to their school’s counselor about getting the fee waived. Applications can be submitted online or mailed.

•Letter of Recommendation: It’s best to ask a teacher, principal, counselor or community leader that knows you personally for a letter of recommendation. Don’t wait until the last minute. Ask the person, at minimum, two weeks in advance so they can have time to write the best letter in your favor. •Personal Statement: Most colleges ask you to write and submit a personal statement or an essay based on a given topic. This is extremely important in the application process. The personal statement shows the college/university who you are as a person and how you view things. Be sure to sell yourself, be honest, and work to make yourself appear as an asset to the college/university.

4. Scholarships:

College is costly, that’s why applying for scholarships is crucial. There are hundreds of scholarships that exist including ones for academics, athletics, community service, art, music, hobbies and even being left handed. You may have to submit your portfolio, write an essay and even be interviewed in order to be awarded the funds. Make sure you apply fast and on time; in some cases the money can run out. The key to scholarships is applying to as many as possible and making yourself stand out as an individual. No scholarship is too small; a few hundred dollars could cover book fees or even room and board expenses. Use the “Scholly” scholarship app ( to help with your search. Remember, things may seem grueling now, but in the end it will all pay off. For those having trouble with the application process, websites like bigfuture. and have tons of tips that can help guide you further. So, the next time anyone asks if you’re ready for college, with no doubt, a part of you can say “yes” with confidence. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 9


Historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, continue to be considered as excellent places to further your education. Check out what these HBCU goers had to say about their schools.

Spelman College By BreNae Scott, Junior, Morgan Park High School


adies, if you don’t mind learning separately from the fellas Spelman College may just be for you. Located in Atlanta, GA., Spelman is the oldest historical black college for women in America. It was first founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary and was renamed Spelman College in 1924. U.S. News and World Report’s website ranked Spelman No.1 among the country’s HBCUs and No. 65 among national liberal arts colleges in their 2013-2014 report. According to the report, the college’s most popular majors include psychology, social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, English language and literature/Letters and physical sciences. On average, 38-40 percent of applicants are accepted into the college, according to Adepola Egbeleye, Spelman’s Midwest Regional Manager of Admissions. Incoming freshmen are required to live on campus the first year, which isn’t that bad when you think about it. That time gives you a year to be on your own and get accustomed to what adult living feels like, only without all the major bills.

The most important thing about this school would be its academics. In order to attend Spelman you need on average an ACT score of 23 or better and an SAT score of 1076 or high to accompany, among other things, a shining essay and letters of recommendation. Tayler Ulmer, an alumni of True Star, is now a junior at Spelman studying anthropology, sociology and international studies. She is happy with her choice to attend this college. “I would recommend Spelman to other young ladies because they strive to provide the best educational as well as academic opportunities,” says Ulmer. “My professors really care about my future. They are in place to nurture everyone of us into being better well-rounded women and provide us with all the knowledge to be on our game when we get into the real world.” Spelman may be an all-female campus but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to search far to find the guys. All you’ll have to do is go across the street to where Morehouse, an all-male college, is located. Clark University, a co-ed institution, is also nearby. So ladies, when considering all your higher education options be sure to place Spelman at the top of your list.

Hampton University By Kennedy Simone Ward, Senior, Morgan Park High School


ampton University alumni Malcolm Benson, admits that the thing that initially attracted him to the campus was its beautiful waterfront scenery and landscape, however, he soon fell in love with the school for more valuable reasons. “After the first few weeks I began to appreciate the vast diversity of black people, not from just the US, but worldwide. It was refreshing to learn how we are not all alike as some would assume.” Benson, an electrical engineering major who now works as a Cell Site Implementation Engineer for Verizon Wireless, says his education at Hampton soon became an extremely influential factor in his professional success. “Unlike some schools where there are hundreds of students, [Hampton’s] small class atmosphere required us to be accountable and responsible. These same standards apply in the workforce where you have to work together with groups of 10 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

individuals that you did not necessarily pick, but have to gel with towards a common goal,” says Benson. The small and close-knit atmosphere also allowed him to form close bonds with his peers, something that can be difficult to experience at a larger school. “Hampton is a family. The bonds I created in school have lasted the test of time. I feel this comes from being a school of 5000 individuals that operate as one unit.” Benson feels that even when compared to a traditional, more racially diverse college, Hampton is still a winner. “For a lot of us, it was the only time in our lives where we were in the majority, so many of the stresses experienced as a minority in America didn’t exist. [You’re given] a chance to work and strive to do your best without wondering if race is a factor in the outcome,” he explains. “The HBCU life gives you an appreciation of your heritage, so when you get out in the world you have a strong sense of self, and can deal in any circle of peers without excuse. The Hampton name is known and respected worldwide, not for just our beautiful campus, but because of the alumni that it has produced.”

Howard University By Kennedy Simone Ward, Senior, Morgan Park High School


think Howard’s main goal is always sticking to its motto that its one of the elites, if not THE elite, of HBCUs,” says Mark Davis, a Los Angeles native and Howard alumni.

Davis is the Senior Vice President of 20th Century Fox’s International Theatrical Marketing Department. “My primary responsibilities are producing audio, visual and print marketing materials for all of our television spots and movie trailers that Fox releases.” Translation: Every time you see a movie or television trailer/poster that’s released by Fox, Davis had something to do with that. His most notable works are “Avatar” and “Life of Pi.” Davis’ resumé is nothing short of spectacular and he credited Howard for preparing him for this type of success. “The school is fantastic,” said Davis.” During my time, there were true filmmakers who were instructing you. When you have people who’ve acted in, produced, and directed films giving you hands-on knowledge and experience on what’s

happening, it’s invaluable. They aligned us with some of the best and you had to really work hard to be at the top of your class.” During his attendance at Howard, his classmates included Anthony Anderson, Diddy, and Marlon Wayans. There are 106 HBCUs in the United States, so you may wonder what makes this Washington D.C. university so special? According to Davis, “It is the mecca. It is a school that’s right in the heart of the city.” He goes on to say that “to be at a place of higher education and to see so many successful peers of your race...there’s something to be said about that. There’s something about the feeling of being at an HBCU. There’s no way you can feel any more comfortable. That’s what Howard provides.” Davis loves his alma mater, but he loves his job just as much. “Traveling, getting to sit in a room with very imaginative and creative filmmakers, and being able to watch movies for a living are my favorite job perks.” If you’ve ever thought about entering the marketing field, take Davis’ professional advice: “Marketing and advertising are incorporated into a lot of things, so take a step back, looking at marketing as a whole, figure out what interests you about it, and identify your creative strengths.”

Florida A&M University By BreNae Scott, Junior, Morgan Park High School


hen JET magazine EditorIn-Chief Mitzi Miller talks about her almer mater, Florida A&M University (FAMU), there is an undeniable sense of pride in her voice for the Tallahassee school – home of the “Rattlers.”

“I loved my HBCU experience. Going to FAMU on a full scholarship gave me the opportunity to really enjoy college. I studied hard and enjoyed everything from making life-long friendships to the family environment. Not only were my professors great at teaching the textual information, but they were life mentors who actually cared about you.” The native New Yorker first majored in biology with a minor in education, but graduated with an English degree. When naming what she loves most about FAMU a strong sense of community and the life skills learned top the list. “The alumni network is so real. If I hear about anyone who went to FAMU that I can do anything for I will help, whether I know them or not.” Miller adds, “The most valuable things I learned at college weren’t in a book. …At Florida A&M I

learned how to hustle… how to network; it’s not just what you know it’s who you know.” After graduation Miller later began her writing career at the African-American publication Honey magazine where she became the entertainment editor. She later went on to work at Jane magazine, a mainstream publication that challenged her to write for all young women in general. When Miller’s former Honey boss, Amy DuBois Barnett, called about the opportunity to become editor-in-chief at JET she accepted the challenge of working for the legendary magazine. Her schedule revolves around building the JET brand and meeting with her editorial staff to brainstorming ideas on ways to keep the magazine growing. Some advice offered by Miller to budding young writers is “Read every single day. Learn to love books, magazines, blog posts etc. Take grammar classes seriously, and just be patient.” She got her first big break by just introducing herself to DuBois Barnett outside a party. That first impression was her first step to becoming the editor she is today, but no matter what the job title is, Miller will always be a rattler. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 11

Brings Youth

Closer To Dream Careers by KayLynn Harris, Junior, Whitney Young High School



Meet Nike’s DREAM Team Scoop Jackson Sports Journalist Career Notables: ESPN Analyst / Writer & Editor for SLAM, XXL / Nike Book Author (Sole Provider: 30 Years of Nike Basketball) Workshop Highlights: Jackson embodies the idea of achievement by always making sure he’s “true” to himself and stays “in control” of his own destiny. Jackson spoke to us about staying on the right path saying, “By surrounding yourself in a cocoon of positivity you will be successful. You cannot stay at home and wait for opportunity to knock at your door. It doesn’t work out like that. Sometimes it’s best that you go chase it.” Jackson instilled the lesson of “investing in yourself”; encouraging us to continue our education and pursue all interest.

Hebru Brantley Visual Artist Career Notables: Brantley’s influence of pop culture lead him to create beyond-dope illustrations that hold subliminal messages. His iconic portrayal of the Tuskegee Airmen in his “Fly Boys” series brought knowledge of historical black culture with a creative flare. Jay-Z is among his notable clientele. Workshop Highlights: We expressed our creativity through mixed art mediums by collaborating on a collage in the shape of a classic AF1 sneaker. Brantley shared his influence of cartoons in his work saying, “Cartoons have always been a bridging gap between generations. They are medias that anyone can gravitate too. It’s friendly and has always been a love of mine.” He stressed the idea of how art is a story and a narrative. Brantley inspired self-expression by encouraging us to make our own stories.

Photo Credit: COPYRIGHT Hannah Schneider


Andrew Barber Professional Blogger Career Notables: Creator and founder of the popular hip hop music blog Barber went from searching for one artist to post on his blog in 2007 to having hundreds of requests flood his email daily. Workshop Highlights: The best advice Barber gave us was simple and sincere – do what you’re passionate about, but don’t do it for the money. He elaborated on this concept by talking about his success saying, “It was never about me or the money or the fame or any of the perks that came with it. I loved music. I wanted to share my love with others and that’s what I did.”

Celebrity Stylist Career Notables: Choy has worked with big names such as the Kardashians and E Network and has done over 20 Nike campaigns. Workshop Highlights: Choy credits some of his success to being a walking advertisement saying, “Every time I dress myself I’m marketing my career, my style. Be your own brand and makes sure it’s a good one.” He talked about how styling is never about completely changing a person, but improving on who they are. “As a stylist I don’t want to change the person I’m dressing. My job is to just help them become better versions of themselves.” Choy challenged us to briefly step into his shoes by having us style each other for a mini photo shoot, in less than an hour’s time, with clothes supplied by Nike.

Trashhand Photographer Career Notables: His incredible adventure with photography started with the downloading of Instagram on his iPhone4. It then grew into a career leading him to be featured on Huffington Post, interviewed by Instagram and currently working with Nike. Workshop Highlights: Trashhand’s photos are mainly focused on Chicago. “I’ve always been a fan of city space and architecture and that’s a huge part of Chicago. This city is a playground to me.” Trashhand instructed us to head outside to the streets and snap a couple pictures, including some exclusive AF1 shots with only our phones. He emphasized how with passion comes growth and just going for whatever you believe in. Trashhand still shoots the majority of his photos with his phone.

Career Notables: Johnson-Griffin has designed shoes for top NBA players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. He is also the founder of the Nike Product Creation Experience. Workshop Highlights: Johnson-Griffin gave us the inside scoop on how a Nike shoe is actually created from concept to completion. “People don’t realize the time it takes to complete the design process... I am currently working on shoes for spring 2015. It’s different for every shoe, but it typically takes 14 to 18 months to go from a drawing to the actual shoe you would see at a retailer.”

All the speakers gave great advice that’s crucial to career and life. Nike welcomed us with open arms and introduced us to a world we’ve only seen, but never experienced. As each participant left the workshops we stepped a little closer to our own dreams. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 13

career profiles

Saran Dunmore: Fitness Expert

by Mina Waight, Junior, Kenwood Academy

Barbara A. McDowell: Power 92 Music Director by Tyme Anderson, Sophomore South Shore International High School


urn on the radio to a local station and you will start to hear your favorite songs. The person in charge of choosing those tunes is called a music director. Barbara A. McDowell, also known as BAM, does the job for WPWX Power 92 FM. “I always knew I wanted to work in radio,” said McDowell who started listening to WKKC radio at Kennedy King College when she was in grammar school. As she grew up with a passion for music and radio she began networking and even interned at the FM radio station WEJM 106 JAMZ. While interning, McDowell became an assistant receptionist at V103. In 2000 McDowell became the music programming coordinator at Crawford Broadcasting. Because of her networking skills, and being great at her craft, she was named an assistant music director within three years, which eventually lead to her current position at Power 92. The Columbia College alumni said that as a music director one of the benefits of her job is getting to hear the music before most people and getting to meet the new and fresh-faced artists. She admitted that one of challenges of keeping Power 92 “#1 in the streets” is “finding ways to be creative and stay ahead of the cusp.” When determining what songs get played McDowell selects the hottest, new hip hop that’s out today. On Fridays and Saturdays the mix show on Power 92 plays brand new music along with Chicago’s rising local rappers like Chief Keef, Lil Durk and Katie Got Bandz. For anyone interested in pursuing the position of a music director or another line of work in radio broadcasting, McDowell suggested that you “find out who the power players are in your field of choice.” Once you have done that she stressed that you “network, network, network.” In addition to these things it would be to your benefit to take internships (even the non-paying ones) and some business and marketing courses to eventually get you to where you need to be so that you are great at your craft.



ince age 4, personal trainer and NBC fitness correspondent, Saran Dunmore, has always had a passion for working out. First, starting as a game between Dunmore and her older sisters after watching her parents, she continued on to run track in high school and college. She graduated college from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) after studying communications/broadcasting and minoring in athletic training. Dunmore came to the realization that she really enjoyed passing on the information regarding health tips that she was constantly asked at the gym. She officially became certified in 2005 and is currently in continuing education courses. “First become certified. That means studying for an exam and passing it,” Dunmore says about the necessary steps in her line of work. “Like any profession or field you need good study habits and you have to know your craft. To be on television you have to know your craft even more because you’re scrutinized by so many more people, and so many people watch you, and you have to know what you’re talking about.” She adds that it is important to know what you’re talking about because a lot of trainers don’t. Also, you only get one body and you have to know how to help people reach their goals. After being certification Dunmore explains that “you have to do ‘continuing education’ courses where you continue to study, because the moment you think you’ve got it all figured out, something changes and that’s when you’re left behind; so you always have to continue to grow.” When the certification process is complete, the actual fitness career can be very rewarding. One of the most beneficial portions of the career, according to Dunmore, is “changing lives, because a lot of people are depressed about their weight.” She explains, “If you can take care of the weight you can make the person feel better about themselves on the inside. So, I train from the inside out.” Dunmore went on to say that she offers coaching to make working out a lifestyle to help clients relieve stress with exercise. This includes nutrition guidance, designing workout programs and workout plans. But, that’s not the most challenging thing about her career. Dunmore says, “The biggest challenge would be people telling you things that aren’t fitness related, because while I can help with a lot of scenarios and situations I’m not a psychologist.” Meaning, you need patience and leadership skills to motivate others. If you have these characteristics, then this may be the career for you.

Clifford Rome: Chef

by Diamond Burton, Sophomore, Lindblom High School

Christopher Nolen: Screenwriter

by Jacob Bonds, Sophomore, Morgan Park High School


lmost everyone has at least one favorite movie that they love for the overthe- top action, jaw-dropping drama and the catchy lines that keep you laughing. It takes great actors and an even better director to complete a movie, but without the screenwriter none of it would exist. As a screenwriter your job is to tell interesting stories that will keep an audience entertained. Even though screenwriting is a respected skill, it is not necessary for someone to have a college degree in this line of work to sell a script. Despite having a good imagination it is, however, highly recommended that you learn as much as you can about this field if you want to be successful. Chi-Town native, Christopher Nolen, took filmmaking courses from Columbia College Chicago to become the screenwriter he is today. He also graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, after studying engineering and minoring in theater. He continued his education by earning a master’s in mathematics and educational leadership. Nolen started writing scripts in high school, but his first professional script was written in 1996. His first screenwriting project was titled “The Other Side of the Game.” Going to the movies to see films like “Boomerang,” “Love Jones” and “Set It Off “ had a major influence on him. “Those great movies that I watched inspired me to write my own films,” he said. Nolen, president/CEO of Nferno Productions, has been recognized for several of his independent films, including “The Cut” and “Subtle Seduction.” His most recent project, “Christopher Nolen’s Four Seasons,” which stars Robin Givens, Chris Robinson and Mel Jackson, wrapped this past July. Nolen is the writer, director and producer of the movie, which is set to debut in early 2014.


o say that Chef Clifford Rome knows his way around a kitchen is a huge understatement. The former Englewood resident has dedicated 20 years of his life to food service and fine dining. As the owner of the catering company Rome’s Joy Catering and H-Dogs, a fast food restaurant that specializes in what Rome calls “gourmet on the go,” his job is to create new and appetizing dishes for the public to enjoy. Rome’s love for food led him to become the entrepreneur he is today. With growing businesses in the Chicago area, he is also the proprietor of Parkway Ballroom and Blanc Gallery. “I’m a Chicago boy, so I would like to keep my roots here in Chicago. But there are tons of opportunities all over the country, all over the world actually,” he explains. Rome knew early on that he wanted to become an international chef, which explains his early job choices. “Every job I had in high school was in a kitchen; that’s from high school until today,” said Rome. “I started off washing dishes then graduated to a position on the line. I started off working in a hospital.” Those humble beginnings eventually became the stepping stones that would help enrich Rome’s career. To further his education in cooking he attended Kendal College where he majored in culinary arts. Rome lists Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo and Wolfgang Puck, who he once cooked for, as two of the chefs whose careers he admired most in his formative years. Rome advises teens who are interested in culinary arts to find mentors. Search out someone doing exactly what you see yourself doing in the future and let them be a source of inspiration. He also encourages youth to “stay focused, work hard, and be disciplined” on their journey. Anyone interested in this line of work typically dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, but it won’t happen overnight. Paying your dues by working hard will pay off eventually. “Nobody wants to work for anybody else,” Rome said. “Unfortunately you have to go through those growing pains.”

For the student interested in pursuing screenwriting as a career Nolen offers some advice. “The beauty of writing is to see it come to life on screen. …To get better is to continue to write. Continue to write, write and write. Practice makes perfect.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 15

career profiles

Jordyn Gaines: Dr. Creg Williams:

School Superintendent By Ieisha Banks, Freshman, Southern Illinois University


r. Creg E. Williams, superintendent of Thornton Fractional High School District #215, is a unique inspirational figure for all young adults in the Chicagoland area. Though being in charge of three different schools is in no way a simple task, Dr. Williams was never one to take the easy way out in life. Long before he received his doctorate, Dr. Williams was just another young adult trying to achieve a respectable college degree and figure out what career field he wanted to take. “I started college seeking a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science. It was shortly after receiving it that I decided to go back for a master’s in educational administration. While holding a position as principal, I went back to college again to receive my doctorate in educational administration.” Though Dr. Williams, who also worked as an assistant superintendent, is kept extremely busy managing Thornton Fractional North, South, and Center, he still continues to find time to properly manage both his professional life and his personal life to remain grounded. “I have to schedule both my professional life and my personal life,” Dr. Williams joked, “but somehow my professional life always ends up dominating my personal… However, for fun, I teach martial arts classes 2-3 days a week…It’s quite the rigorous schedule…” But don’t get too comfortable with this side of Dr. Williams. He does not intend on ending his career path as a superintendent anytime soon. “…I would like to keep going until I’m 60 at least,” he stated. When asked what advice he would give to struggling young high schoolers attempting to figure out what they would like to be in life Dr. Williams said, “Start early in high school and find what it takes to become what it is you want to be… It’s okay if you change your mind, just get enough general training so you can make a change on the path of what you want to be when you become an adult.” Dr. Williams serves as a prime example that as long as one is focused and disciplined enough, they can achieve whatever goal it is that they strive for in life.


Pastry Chef by Kennedy Ward, Senior Morgan Park High School


ind something you love to do, become an expert at it and make it your career,” says Jordyn Gaines. “The money will come.” Gaines, who speaks from personal experience, is the founder and owner of Jordy Cakes Specialty Sweets, a bakery that specializes in baking cakes and cupcakes that “taste just as good as the look.” With sweets that take the shapes of popcorn buckets, pool balls, and everything in between, Gaines, 19, has definitely earned her title as “Cupcake Queen.” It didn’t take the Homewood Flossmoor grad an extensive college education to realize her passion. “I started baking during my junior year in high school at the age of 16 after completing a 2-week cake decorating section in my Advanced Foods class. After the unit was over I started practicing at home, reading cake decorating books and watching Youtube videos and taught myself how to decorate cakes through lots of practice, trial and error.” After realizing that her creations were just as good as the ones she copied from Martha Stewart’s books, it didn’t take long for others to realize her talent. “When people saw the cakes and cupcakes I was baking for various family events they started offering to pay me to bake for their parties and events. I accepted and JordyCakes was born!” Gaines explains. From that point on her business skyrocketed to success, having baked cakes for Jesse White, Chaka Khan, and Dwayne Wade. Gaines adds, however, that being the boss and the baker isn’t an easy job. “Because I do all of the baking and decorating myself, I can never be tired, sick or even take a break without running the risk of ruining someone’s milestone birthday, baby shower or wedding.” With an amazing work ethic, passion, and talent, Gaines is certainly headed for a successful career. She currently takes orders and inquiries through her website and works out of her home. By 2015, she hopes to open her own bakery and have a team of employees to aid her in her baking business.

Getting Past the PRE-COLLEGE

Jitters by Jessica Jackson, Sophomore, Morgan Park High School


ave you ever thought about college and what your experience would be like? The problem is that instead of feeling excited about the possibilities, a feeling of anxiety washes over you. Suddenly, all you can think about is being homesick, or worse of all – failing all together. Don’t worry; True Star is here to set your mind at ease about a few of the things that may make you jittery about freshman year.

One major concern for many college newbies is meeting the roommate. If you let it, this situation can be intimidating as well as nerve wrecking. Jasmin Jackson, a freshman at Hampton University, admits to being nervous about whether or not she and her roommate would get along. Unfortunately for Jackson, they didn’t, but instead of suffering through months of uneasiness she decided to do something about it. “I had an opportunity to change my [roommate] by simply asking to get a new one.” Understanding that incompatible roommates are hardly ever permanent is good to know when it comes to surviving your freshman year. Ideally, you and your roomie could end up being the best of friends. However, if you don’t see eye-to-eye for some reason, don’t fret. You can always ask to be assigned a new bunk buddy like Jackson did. Being homesick is another common feeling for most freshmen, whether it’s in the first four weeks or the first four months of college. According to the USA Today article, “Cures for Homesickness,” some ways to help you get over missing the comforts of home are to surround yourself with family photos, keep a journal to express your feelings, replace your sad thoughts with positive ones, and finally, try concentrating on living in the present rather than in the past. Anyone who may be fearful of failing out of school your first year in college needs to know there are no guaranteed secrets to academic success, but managing your time will definitely help any student who wants to get good grades. Darien Boyd, a sophomore at Indiana University, can attest to this. “College is not like high school. Do not procrastinate. Playing it day by day is dangerous when it comes to trying to keep up with schoolwork and getting things done. Just do your work first and play later.” Boyd also advises the freshmen who want to get ahead to be mindful of the company you keep. “Surround yourself with like- minded people who are about academic success. College is a place where you can have all different types of friends. Have at least someone in each class that you can collaborate with. This way you have a better chance at getting the grade you want in the end.” Hopefully, this advice has you feeling less anxious about heading off to school. Just remember that experiencing anything new in life, especially a life changing event like starting college, is bound to give even the most confident person the jitters. It’s being able to overcome that nervousness that leads you down the path of success. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 17

real talk

Time Management:

Tips to Using Your Time Wisely By Yuwei Lee, Sophomore, University of Chicago


his back to school season many students are still struggling to switch from summer mode to school mode. Many students have to adjust from the care-free life of summer into the routine, rigid schedule of school, and whether or not one makes that transition successfully can be the difference between having and not having a successful academic year. One of the biggest challenges facing students is time management. With plenty of free time on hand during the summer, students often engage in unplanned, prolonged periods of leisure activities, such as playing video games and going to the beach with friends. While relaxation time is important, it is vital that students avoid unplanned periods of low productivity during the school year. It is okay to spend one hour per day watching TV, playing video games or browsing Facebook, but it must be planned before hand and must be after homework and other academic obligations have been fulfilled. Students also tend to mix social time with study time. Study groups are useful after one has spent a considerable amount of time pondering over their own material and have come up with pointed questions that other members of the group can answer; otherwise, a study session just turns into social time and no progress is ever made. Before each study session, individuals should prepare a list of questions that they would like help on, and they should be able to point to the specific information they have trouble with so that the person helping them can quickly find the root of the problem. Planners are vital in both long term and short term planning. Writing down academic assignments, extracurricular obligations, and other activities will help students keep their day organized. Once an obligation has been fulfilled, it should be crossed off. Students should also learn to set priorities. For example, an assignment that is due the next day should always be done before the assignment that is due next week, even if the former takes a lot more time than the latter. Keep track of how long each assignment takes, and develop a good sense of your own work pace and work style. Do you like to do things last minute or are you the type to turn in an assignment way ahead of the due date? Do you work better alone or with others? Do you prefer to work in your room or at the library? These are all things to consider when coming up with an efficient work strategy.

Some other things to consider regarding time management are listed below:

1. Do you follow through with your planned schedule?

For some people, writing their agenda down makes them feel accomplished, so they forget that the real important thing is to follow through on the agenda. Writing it down is only a first step; if you make a schedule so unrealistically packed that there is no way you can accomplish it, then you are basically lying to yourself if you believe it to be any good. 18 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

2. What kind of environment do you work best in?

Some people work better in libraries, some people in their rooms, some have no preference. It is important to bring all of your study supplies wherever you go, so you don’t waste time trying to get adjusted to your surrounding space by getting distracted trying to look for books, notebooks or pens.

3. How do you organize your notes? Make sure you date

them because it will save you time when you need to go back to them. You will know exactly what page to flip to and not waste time flipping through the entire notebook. Lastly, it is important for students keep calm despite jam-packed schedules that can make them feel overwhelmed at times. Stress deters work progress and can cause other health concerns. Time management is a skill one will need for years to come, and perfecting it now will help one be successful in one’s future career.

A Right Revoked:

What Women Should Know About Sexual Education by: KayLynn Harris, Junior, Whitney Young High School


sat on a train with my earphones on listening to Kanye West and a particular

line caught my attention: I never understood Planned Parenthood. Cause I never met nobody plan to be a parent in the hood. This made me think about what’s happening today. Even as you read this very article, throughout the country the reproductive rights of women are being attacked. Organizations like Planned Parenthood and women’s health clinics are being bullied out of business by conservative lawmakers. Could you imagine not having control over your own body, or even being denied education about it? Abortion is a touchy subject and has many parts to it. No matter if you believe if it’s right or wrong morally the main issue is fairness. As young women of color the odds are not always in our favor. Though we have come a long way with voting equality, careers and financial independence we very well could be losing the fight over ourselves. States like Texas and North Carolina have nearly eliminated all Planned Parenthood and women’s health clinics that offer abortion procedures. More and more states are joining them as well. This is a setback for many young women. According to, more than 52 percent of abortions are performed on women under the age of 25. The fact of the matter is that abortions can be avoided through education and contraception. Most sexual education policies within the U.S. teach abstinence only; meaning the only thing youth are told about sex is simply don’t have it. This is a flawed method. Based on a study

published on, about 65 percent of American teen girls between the ages of 16 and 19 are sexually active. Vital safe sex information is being withheld from sexually active teens who desperately need it; this is a recipe for disaster. Things, however, are progressing. Recently in Illinois a house bill has been passed requiring schools that offer sex ed to teach medically accurate and complete information to its students. The bill awaits the signature of Governor Quinn; it will then be put into action by requiring schools to teach safe sex procedures and information more in depth. Today it seems as if the rights of women are on a teeter-totter and lawmakers sporadically lift up and then drop them down. Due to a flawed educational system, biased medical insurance and conservative lawmakers, women are in a paradox. Richard Muniz, Reproductive Rights fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, feels that “Our Constitution guarantees to women equality under the law, including the right to control one’s body.” He goes on to say, “This war on women is not just a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, but about women’s equality. Discriminating against women is wrong and unconstitutional.” The headlining issue may be abortion, but the foundation is the rights of women. As a young woman I cannot fathom myself or any of my counterparts being systematically oppressed, uneducated and controlled beyond belief. However, the fight continues and is in need of support. For some, our very bodies, freedom and rights are at risk and this is not a war to lose. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 19

No New

Friends By Jacob Bonds, Sophomore, Morgan Park High School


ou and your friend have been tight for years; suddenly he or she meets someone new. You start feeling threatened because the two of them are hanging out more and more. Is jealousy causing you to overreact? Is your friend being bogus for bringing somebody else around? If you find yourself in this situation there are some things you can do to addresses your dilemma.

*Get to know the new person.

With this idea you all can be friends. Try and make nice with the new person when your buddy isn’t around. This way you can find out more about them because you’re not being interrupted or disregarded by the old friend, and the newbie gets to know you better too.

*Do not separate yourself.

When you remove yourself from the situation you instantly become the outside person looking in. Get involved. Don’t be the one that refuses to hang out or talk to people you don’t know well. By including yourself in conversations and activities you are showing your buddy that you’re open to this new experience.

*Try making new friends too.

Don’t depend on your closest friend as your only companion. If you had more people in your life, your bestie hanging out with someone else wouldn’t cause such heartache. Kaland Young, a sophomore from Urban Prep Academy, speaks firsthand from his experience. “People change and they’re not always going to be the same as they use to be, and you might lose common interest. The best advice is to find other things to do [with other people], which is what I did. That friend will come back.”

*If all else fails, communicate.

While this is hard to do, it’s the best way of fixing the problem. Chances are one of two things could happen: (1)Your friend may be a little upset that you didn’t express your feelings before he or she became invested in this relationship or (2) Your bestie


will understand where you’re coming from and be more sympathetic to your view of things. Ebony Jones, a sophomore from Lincoln Way North, strongly believes in open communication. She says, “If you feel that you’re being pushed away, then tell your friend how you feel. Don’t let your friendship slip right pass you because you remained silent.” Irene S. Levine, PhD, psychologist and creator/producer of TheFriendshipBlog. com, says that it’s important to recognize that threesomes can be challenging and that these feelings you have are natural, but may take time to pass. She suggests taking a deeper look at the part you play in the friendship. “If you continue to feel like a third wheel, you may well be. You might seek out opportunities to strengthen each of the friendships individually or to look for friendships that are more welcoming and inclusive. It may be a sign that perhaps you need to speak up more and share more with your friends. You also may want to take more initiative in extending invitations to them rather than vice versa.”

Time will tell if your friendship is meant to be.


Don’t let it get the best of you BY Maya Bryant, Freshman, Harold Washington College


ecause it’s your last year, you may feel as though you don’t need to take it seriously. So many teens slack off during their senior year of high school that the phenomenon has a name – “senioritis.” Senioritis is a slack off, and seniors have an “I don’t care anymore” attitude, and become absent-minded when it comes to class assignments and homework. Former Bogan High School student, Sakira Williams, experienced the condition herself. “I had senioritis. I wasn’t coming to school and when I did come I was barely doing any work, and my grades dropped from B’s and C’s to C’s and D’s, and those D’s eventually turned into F’s.” Though her grades declined tremendously, Williams was able to bring them up by coming to school, turning in all old and new assignments, and doing extra credit work – just in time for graduation.

In order to keep yourself from falling into the senioritis trap and keep your grades up, here are some tips on what you can do.

1. Come to school!

We all have those moments where we just want to lay in the bed all day, but on those days you do give into temptation and lay around aimlessly, you could be missing out on important information, whether it’s about colleges or events going on at your high school.

2. Take advantage of all extra credit opportunities. Many teachers don’t like when

asked if they can give out extra credit, so even if it’s just bringing in useful items for the class DO IT!

3. Ask for help.

If you know you’re struggling in a class, especially one you need to graduate, don’t be afraid to get help; that’s what teachers are there for. You can also team up with a student who is good in the subject that you aren’t, if that makes you feel more comfortable. Remember that your priority should be to pull your grades up.

4. Turn in all assignments!

Even if you leave an answer blank still turn it in. Some credit is better than no credit. It’s also important to keep in mind that colleges and universities base their acceptance letters on student’s grades; they can and do revoke acceptance if a student’s grades fall too low during their senior year. “I can tell you that as we receive students final high school transcripts, any student who either failed a class or has fallen below a 2.0 GPA is sent a follow-up letter letting the student know we are concerned and their college acceptance letter is at risk of being revoked,” says College Admission Counselor Maxine Jefferson of Kansas State University. Seniors don’t slack off! Continue to work hard and show colleges you have what it takes to be in their school. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 21

Giving back

Hip-hop Detoxx: Deciphering the Truth Through Music by Diamond Burton, Sophomore, Lindblom High School


f you enjoy hip hop music, learning new things and taking part in positive activities within the community, then Hip Hop Detoxx (HHD) could be just what you’ve been looking for. HHD co-founders Enoch Muhammad and Kesha Wells are well aware that history proves that music, especially hip-hop, has been a great contributor to social change. That’s why a part of HHD’s mission is to use hip hop to help young people make informed decisions about their cultural heritage and to help with positive social development. “As a Hip-Hop EmPowerMenT Specialist my work covers assisting students in the discovery and development of their talents, along with raising their overall awareness and consciousness as a person, which will enable them to increase critical thinking, conscious listening [and more] to enhance prosocial behavior and the students making more healthy lifestyle choices,” explains Muhammad about his role in the program. Most of the HHD programs reach out to young teens about safety and violence but through many different outlets such as open mics, concerts and motivational speaking. Youth can take part in the HHD programs in a variety of ways. A student can sign up for the Detoxx Talent Development / Music Studio Apprenticeship Program at the Ark of St. Sabina on the city’s South Side for the after-school program, or they can attend or request for HHD at their school for in-school or after-school programming. Teens as young as 13 can sign up for any HHD program they are able to attend. According to Muhammad, youth in need of help are also provided with other means of assistance thanks to their community network. “Since Hip-Hop Detoxx is a public health organization that counsels, mentors, coaches, develops, educates, and empowers youth, HHD services are linked to a variety of health, faith, athletic & community based organizations, schools, hospitals, and groups all over the Chicago-land area. Once a student signs up to HHD they are connected to the various outlets and partnerships of HHD.” Muhammad adds that HHD is not just another Chicago organization taking up space. It’s a youth program that is desperately needed within the community for the betterment of today’s teens. “Hip-Hop (Truth Without Boundaries) Detoxx (Removal of Poison) must exist, for it is as KEY to making healthy lifestyle choices for teens, young adults and parents as the liver, kidney and colon are to the body fighting off toxins & diseases in a poisonous environment.” For more information about how to get involved with Hip Hop Detoxx visit



Believe in a Dream Kid Millionaire

by Kaylynn Harris, Junior, Whitney Young High School


he value of a dollar has been lost within this generation and the school system has failed to teach children the essences of finance. Without this basis the youth have no way to prepare for their future financially. It’s fundamental that as young people we learn budgeting to build our wealth and better our chances for prosperity. Author X’ernona Woods has made it her passion to help children become financially conscious. With her organization Kid Millionaire she supplies not only children, but parents as well, with tips on how to save money, budget and maintain stable finances. The program is after school with a business plan competition in place and includes trips to promote financial literacy. Woods created Kid Millionaire to prevent children from poverty due to bad money management. “I was inspired to create the program due to well over 88 percent of Chicago Public School students experiencing, or knowing someone, who is poverty stricken, and to support them in understanding that adopting a financially healthy lifestyle is within their reach,” said Woods. Her cause is not only incredible, but life changing. Financial security is often very hard to obtain when in poverty, but it’s accessible with knowledge. “Learning to become financially healthy now, versus later, will provide a strong foundation to understand how to make money work for you, oppose to you working for the money,” she explained. Kid Millionaire is now being supported and applied with more and more Chicago Public Schools further enriching the minds of the children. The four steps of the program – saving, investing, donating and spending – are instilled in the children

during the course. Woods added that these skills help youth and “further enrich and support youth learning to have a wealth building mindset that will inevitably create infinite possibilities for them and communities abroad.” Investing in a child can buy the world many more things than money can, and with the help of Kid Millionaire youth are gaining not only financial, but intellectual riches as well. For more information visit

LOV Cares

By Mina Waight, Junior, Kenwood Academy


y definition, a virtuous woman is one that displays moral excellence. Since 2009, this concept has been embraced and displayed by Ladies of Virtue (LOV) founder and Executive Director, Jamila Trimuel-McClinton. She has been spreading this concept to every participant of the 9-month long service learning program for girls ages 10-18. “When I started Ladies of Virtue, I always felt that all girls could succeed if encouraged and provided with the right opportunities,” says Trimuel-McClinton. “LOV was created to be the premier character building and leadership training institution for girls. Our innovative service learning opportunities provide differentiating experiences to urban youth when applying to scholarships, jobs and colleges. Our mission is to instill virtuous characteristics in young women while preparing them for college, a career, and adulthood.” Throughout the duration of the program, the participants will come up with an original idea and choose groups of 4-5. The groups will be given a budget and each member will be given a role. At the end of the 9-month session a recognition ceremony will be held where each group will give a presentation of their project and a winner will be chosen.

This year’s winner was a group of five girls who created a brand called “UMAD” to help stop human trafficking. Michaiah Young (Captain), of Walter Payton College Prep, said, “This project showed me that if you see a problem you can go out and change it.” Janiela McKinney of University of Chicago Charter Schools, said, “I learned that human trafficking can happen to anyone and it doesn’t discriminate gender, race or nationality.” Cheyenne Harmon, of Bremen High School, said, “I would have done this project [if Cambodia wasn’t an inspiration] because human trafficking is something that happens in our backyard.” Zarria Bailey, of Miles Davis Magnet Academy, said, “We made it more efficient that a lot of people will gain the knowledge to help others avoid it and to help people get out of it.” The last team member, Keara Hunter of Christ the King High School, chose not to speak. For more information about this organization visit TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 23


The Next Big Thing in

Technology by Matt Sanchez, Senior, Marist High School


“3D printers can copy items such as food, cars, and even houses.”

merging as the next scientific breakthrough, the 3D printing process has shocked millions in the advancement of technology. The concept of 3D printing is to build a copy of an item that one already possesses, through computer aided design and animation software. To many, this sounds astonishing, but to even further the amazement, 3D printers can copy items such as food, cars, and even houses. The development of the printers is still undergoing finalizing alterations, but 3D printers are available to the general public right now. The tech website,, reports that “Smaller printers…can be as little as $1,000, but the larger, more professional models can cost anywhere from $14,900 to $59,000,” but every printer essentially runs through the same process. Right now, concerning the price, manufacturing companies are working on decreasing the cost of household 3D printers so that many can enjoy the features that they offer.

To add to the growing craze about 3D printing, some very impressive success stories are being shared. Some creations that 3D printing have brought to the world are that of 3D printed organs that actually work and grow. One instance is that of 3D printed kidneys, which have been reported to be able to carry human cells to shape the kidney. This development could someday put an end to countless recipients waiting for a matching donor. Also, 3D printed food is another possible creation thanks to a “universal food synthesizer,” that can produce this printed food, according to Scientific experts predict that it is highly possible this machine will have the capacities to allow restaurant customers and even dieters the chance to customize food by taste and desired calories, which can revolutionize the way we eat.

The procedure to create 3D printed objects runs on computer animation, a 3D printer, and a method called “additive manufacturing.” Starting with computer design, one would animate a copy of the object to the exact lengths and heights desired on the screen. Next, using “additive manufacturing” a person would gather the materials, which can be anything from plastic, rubber, and metal. After retrieving them, a person would place a block of the chosen material in the printer and the printer will add onto that block to create your object. Basically, the object begins with the base and the printer will use layers from the computer design to stack on top of the base. For example, if architects were constructing a building, they would start from the foundation and then build upwards. The process is complex, however, it proves to be very productive for business and marketing.

3D printing will improve the nation’s productivity tremendously due to all the innovative factors that it can bring. Factors such as fewer manufactured goods, printable necessities, and reduced manufacturing costs can become a reality. Liam Martin, a 3D printing entrepreneur, said that “Once it becomes more costefficient to build this way [and it will] you’ll have an ‘app store’ of objects you can download and print out at your leisure,” according to Ideas such as these can become realities, and even more are yet to come. Martin told True Star, “3D printing will be bigger than the Internet and it’s critical you get in on it now if you want to be at the top of the field.” In other words, teens should start to take advantage of 3D printing. With this being said, it’s not hard to see how 3D printing will be the next big thing in technology.


Gone but not for good.

Does what you delete online really disappear? by Tyme Anderson, Sophomore, South Shore International


ith today’s advanced technology we are able to communicate with each other through video chats, emails, text messages and photos. We set our settings to private so that our information is only seen by certain people. But, even though we delete unwanted content, it’s already been seen and saved by countless people with smart phones with special capabilities. What has been sent out may have been deleted on your end, but has it totally disappeared?

Some smart phones can screenshot, which is the ability to take a picture of what’s on your phone’s screen at an exact moment. You can screenshot anything including pictures, tweets, posts and any other information on the screen. Sue Thotz, the program manager at Common Sense Media, explains that even when you think you’ve deleted something, that may not always be the case. “Once an image is posted, there is no way to be sure that someone else isn’t copying and re-posting that image elsewhere. The photo can be taken out of context, given a caption, tagged with your name, etc. If the original poster decides to take down the first photo, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the copies are deleted.”

Thotz also explains some Internet etiquette that everyone should follow.

“Think before you post! Re-read that tweet or look at that image again and imagine the last person in the world you would want to see it. Everything you post becomes part of your digital footprint. If you want your privacy respected, respect others’ privacy and don’t share information or photos of them without asking for permission.” According to IT Specialist Eric Haynes, your “friends” aren’t the only ones with the capabilities to see what you’ve deleted. “All Internet providers keep a copy of all files. So when you delete something they are deleted from your system, but not from the hard drive,” Haynes explains. “Those files can be recovered with forensic software. If the files are in the cloud the Internet provider will always have a copy of the deleted items.” A popular and highly rated app called Snapchat is a photography app for iPhones and Androids that allows the user to snap a quick photo, type a quick message, draw an image and set a timer for the picture to be viewed and sent to however many people you want. Many use this for a fun way to communicate with others or to send selfies. Snapchat creates an illusion that what is sent, deletes and is gone forever. This, however, is not always the case. If someone screenshots photos that were sent, you have lost control over what happens next. Businesses such as Decipher Forensics claim to make all your deleted post problems go away. For just $200-$400 the company can retrieve “deleted” files from the recipient’s phone, including the Snapchats that were supposed to be gone. This business also claims they can completely erase data on a client’s phone. Before having to resort to these extremes, simply think twice about the posts you are putting into the world. You don’t want to be the person that has to suffer repercussions from what you thought at the time was a harmless post or message.

“Once a posted n image is , there way t is no o b someo e sure that ne copyin else isn’t postin g and reg that image elsewh ere.”

“Re-read that tweet or look at that image again and imagine the last person in the world you would want to see it.”

ing “Everyth you post part becomes igital d r u o y of t.” footprin

Be careful and be smart with the information you share. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 25



of Expression When it comes to fashion everyone has a way of dressing that makes them feel unique. Maybe you’re the type who can only be seen rocking the latest trend; or maybe you’re a free spirit whose taste in clothing changes depending on your mood. It really doesn’t matter what your preference is as long as you’re happy doing you. Let True Star inspire you with even more ways on how to better express your personal style this season. Photographer: Mireya Acierto Stylists: Samuel Ng, Julian Burnett & Christian Anderson Make Up Artist: Brittany Beach of Beauty Boulevard Hair Stylist: Diamond Beach of Beauty Boulevard Location: Little Black Pearl

Why be boring when you can be bold? Sahkyah Morris turns up her wild side with this white tank, cape blazer, and graphic leopard sweatpants. Dre Mauldin brightens up faded denim and a dark colored flannel shirt by sporting a white tee trimmed in red. The matching red and white cap completes the look.

On Sahkyah: Cape Blazer (Topshop) / Tank Top & Leopard “Happiness” Sweatpants (Akira) / Accessories (Stylist’s own) // On Dre: Private Stock Flannel Shirt (Leaders 1354) / T-shirt (Leaders 1354) / Levi 501 Original Fit Jeans (Levis Store) / Cap (Leaders 1354)

Sahkyah shows off her ethnic side in this two-piece tribal ensemble, cropped denim vest and bold accessories. On Sahkyah: Denim Vest (H&M) / Tribal Top & Pant (Akira) Jewelry (Stylist’s own)

You can never go wrong with denim and a graphic. Dre pairs up his dark rinse denim with a graphic hoodie and sneaks. Sahkyah is doing the sassy thing with this oversized graphic number sweater, acid wash denim shorts and platform shoes. Victor Cuevas goes all out by layering a graphic t-shirt and patterned knit cardigan with faded denim and a snap back. 28 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

On Dre: Hoodie (Urban Prep) / Levis 514 Straight Fit Jeans-Bastion (Levis Store) / Nike Air Force 1 (Villa) // On Sahkyah: Sweater, Purse & Earrings (Akira) / Denim Short (Topshop) / Platform Sneaker (Y.R.U.) / Necklace (Model’s own) // On Victor: Rag and Bone Cardigan (Leaders1354) / T-shirt (Leaders 1354) / Levis 514 Straight Fit Jeans-Bastion (Levis Store) / Nike Air Force 1 (Villa)

Nothing’s more classic than plaid flannel for the fall. Dashun Green rocks a plaid button-front shirt with a crisp white tee and dark denim. He tops his look off with a graphic snap back baseball cap. On Dashun: 10Deep Northwestern Flannel (Leaders1354) / T-shirt (Leaders 1354) / Levis 501 Slim Fit Jeans-Bastion (Levis Store) / “STA” Cap (Saint Alfred)

Making a fashion statement isn’t only about how people see you coming, but it’s about how they see you going as well. Dashun sports a t-shirt with a bold graphic on the back to give his onlookers something else to admire. On Dashun: Crew Neck T-shirt (Leaders 1354) / 501 Levis Dry Fit Jeans (Levis Store) / “STA” Cap (Saint Alfred) / Nike Air Max 1 Essential (Villa)

Sometimes a great graphic tee is all you need to make a style statement. Dashun goes the playful route with this giant “g” t-shirt worn under a denim jacket decorated with patriotic patches. Ariana Phillips is giving off a glitzy glam look with this sleeveless, gold, graphic crew neck and gold accessories.


On Dashun: Denim Jacket & T-shirt (Fashion Geek) / Go! Cap (Saint Alfred x New Era) // On Ariana: Top (Brian Lichtenberg) / Jeans (Akira) / Accessories (Stylist’s own)

Bright colors have a way of putting you in the best of moods. Ariana livens up the room in this color-blocked blue and white outfit with bold accessories, clutch and matching platforms. Victor also puts some fun in his wardrobe by rocking this bright graphic coach jacket and multi- patterned cap with sneaks.

On Ariana: Top with matching Pencil Skirt, Iridescent Clutch & Necklace (Akira) / Belt (H&M) / Shoes (Jeffrey Campbell) // On Victor: Cap (LaColpa) / Coach Jacket & T-shirt (Urban Prep) / Levi 514 Straight Fit Jeans-Bastion (Levis Store) / Nike Air Max 1 Essential (Villa)



“Learn how to get paid off your art; don’t just do it just for the sake of doing it.”

Back to School by Alexander Stockstell, Sophomore, Columbia College Chicago


ho knew the “Rubberband Man” from way back in 2003 would blossom into movies, TV, and the clothing industry just 10 years later. T.I., and a few other selected rappers, have transcended hip-hop and expanded its culture past what their alma mater, low income streets could offer. T.I. has proven himself lyrically and musically, allowing him to work countless times over the years outside his genre, from “My Love” with Justin Timberlake, to just recently, “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke and Pharrell. Seeing as T.I. is an older (but wiser) artist in the game, he has advice for young, up-and-coming Chicago artists on how they can break into the business. “The first advice I could give is to embrace the power of being an individual. Try not to emulate any other lifestyles except your own. Don’t portray the “street life” for attention if you’re not about that life. All you’re doing then is showing people the positives of it because you are unaware of the negatives because you don’t know that life. It is somebody out there that has it rough every day; don’t disrespect or use them just for attention. That is not what hip-hop culture is about; it is about honesty and being true to you. Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Common are so good at what they do because they aren’t just trying to do what sounds cool. They give you their own unique perspective. Chicago knows originality and it can continue.” T.I. is known as a “Trap Rapper” from Atlanta, meaning that his musical content involves the many situations a drug dealer or gangbanger would endure on a day-to-day basis. Despite many other rappers like that coming out of Atlanta, T.I. was one of the first, and set the bar high by adding substance to his sometime violent rhymes. With that solid foundation, T.I. has evolved past trap music and has used his ever present substance to make socially conscious records intertwined with the brute street rhymes. “To the young cats trying to do this, hopefully there is some substance within you so that you can deliver substance. If you have not learned something yourself, you can’t teach anything to anybody else. I am not trying to tell people who aren’t smart to go out there and try to sound intelligent. Look it’s this simple: If you learn something, you know something, so you can go tell somebody else something.”


According to many different online sources Tyler, The Creator’s (Leader of Odd Future) net worth is allegedly around $4 million. Even if that number is not entirely accurate, based off his record sells, amount of shows worldwide, and popularity of his clothing line “Golf Wang,” it seems about right. Tyler’s first viral music video was “Yonkers,” released on YouTube February 10th, 2011. He was only 19 years old at the time. Two years later he is still reaping the fruits of his labor from his first two albums, and now his third, at the ripe age of 22. All of this coming from an artist who is independent and only relatively known via the Internet. His music is not radio friendly. Truth is, the game is getting younger and younger, but artists should not be ignorant about how they can make money. “Please educate yourself on the business of music,” said T.I. “A lot of people want to be in the music business, but a lot of people don’t know what the business all consist of. You can get an opportunity today and not know how many streams of revenue you should be expecting, and which way they should be coming from. Learn how to get paid off your art; don’t just do it just for the sake of doing it.” T.I. thinks that diversity in your abilities is what sets you apart from others and allows you to get into other things than what you’re originally good at. He encourages those who aren’t as blessed to try and branch out their skills with another trade while working on the first – kind of like sharpening two swords at one time. “I had straight A’s and the most fights on the playground when I was a kid. That was the beginning of me being able to relate to any situation. More than just being intellectually gifted, I wanted to be understood [from] the street corner to the corner office, from the dope house to the White House. Plant the seed of dichotomy now while you’re young in the field you want to work in. Preach it to others and practice it with yourself. Just watch your seed grow branches of diversity, then touch something like being an actor, then another branch lets you design clothing and so on and so on.” It’s hard to say what is next for T.I., but he is always open to giving wise words to the youth as you can see. For more information on tour dates and appearances for T.I. hit up

illustration by Pierre Seaton

Takes Chicago Hip-Hop

“ The first advice I could give is to embrace the power of being an individual. Try not to emulate any other lifestyles except your own.�


Respecting the Ways of a Legend: The Influences of Raekwon By Christopher ThoughtPoet Brown


ometimes, in order to truly understand the constructed ways of hip-hop you have to retrace steps and see how things were done before. One of the problems that exist with hip-hop now is that this isn’t done as much. However, slowly the forefathers are showing the younger generation how to better portray themselves in the limelight. One of these legends doing such is Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon. There are many ways to express how much of an impact Raekwon has brought to the world of music, by himself and with the legendary group Wu-Tang Clan. The fact that he makes a strong effort to help younger, aspiring artists is something that isn’t being done by many. One of the things that makes him remarkable is the fact that he gives back to not just the younger artists, but to the hip-hop community that helped him become the teacher that he is. In order to understand the legacy that Raekwon is constructing you have to understand the powerful impact and reception he and his team had and still possess, not only through hip-hop but through the world of music in general. His sound and his message still touch the young and old.


“House music would be one of the greatest teachers that pieced together my sound,” Raekwon said about the influence of his music. He went on explaining the genuine embrace that music of his heyday had on him and Wu-Tang. “It’s a tremendous difference between the music that helped me as a child and the music of today. It’s sad to say, but we can’t get that music back; we can only continue to build with that type of mindset.” Raekwon’s position as a big brother to hip hop, in a sense, is almost as important as the content that is being released and being called music. Originality might be lost for the moment through the masses, but as long as “The Chef” has something to say it’ll never lose its foundation. That’s the beauty of listening to your elders; you can always learn a thing or two.

Under The


Aaron Fonts tae musical style

A collaboration of old school hip-hop beats with a new modern flow. It’s like you want to give appreciation to what was there. I don’t want to change the game, I just want to start over and take hip-hop back where it should be.


My very premature voice.


Fill a football stadium with people, to remain humble, and make everyone that loves me family.


Influences aren’t just based on musicality or anything specific to an activity, but who helps me develop into the man and artist I want to be. With that being said, my three biggest influences are my mother, sister and grandfather. My friends Carlos, La’Charles, Brangman, Tyler, Jordan, Jonny, Sirge, John, Andrew, Max, Justice, Kinidee, Jasmine, Taylor, and of course, Brittany. I have learned to develop me into me. My musical influences include J. Cole, Eminem, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Wu Tang, Black Sheep, Kings of Leon, Dance Gavin Dance, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Shy State of Mind and many more. CONTACT INFO Twitter: @FontsYouUgly Instagram: AaronFonts_ Youtube: Soundcloud: Email: 36 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

musical style

I would say I strive to be the best of hip-hop old school and new school. I drop bars! Lyrics are important to me. My rhymes represent my view of life from politics to the hood. I just give my perspective as a black man living in America.


I’m just doing me. A lot of emcees are trying to be Jay or 2 Chainz. I’m just doing me. I represent hip-hop as it really should be and always was.... the voice of a generation who wanted to share their stories with the world. I’m merely one of the contributors to the culture, and that’s what’s dope about hip-hop; you can have your own lane, and I’m riding hard in mine.


I want to make the world my stage and become one of hip-hop’s greatest emcees and contributors. I want to make it to the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame.


I love black music; old school and new school.

…I’m hip-hop to the core.


Keaira Lashae is by Tierra Carpenter, Senior, Thornton Fractional South High School


or over 10 years Keaira Lashae has been working in the music industry as a singer, songwriter, dancer, choreographer, and fitness instructor with the ultimate goal of becoming a successful music artist and performer. At the age of 14, she was part of a trio music group along with her sister. Although the group did have a record deal with Sony Music, and almost signed a deal with Virgin Records, they were never able to have a high level of success. After moving to San Antonio, TX, in her late teens, Keaira Lashae, started to have some commercial success on radio and television. She decided that she did not like the direction her career was going and decided to take it in her own hands. Keaira Lashae is currently working on an album. When asked if she will ever sign with a label she said, “Right now I like being independent because I can make my own decisions as far as what kind of music I want to put out and when I want to put it out. …Eventually I will go to

a label because they have a bigger platform than I can provide on my own.” The two songs being promoted the most right now are “Drunk Love” and “Luv You.” Keaira Lashae describes “Drunk Love” as “fun and flirty” and “Luv You” as “more serious and around the way girl.” All of Keaira Lashae’s music is fun, original, and selfwritten. She is inspired by her environment, friends, experiences and her imagination. Besides writing songs for herself she is also interested in writing for other artist. “I have written a few songs already that are being looked at by some people. … I’m kind of particular about who I give them to. I have written songs that I would love to give to Jazmine Sullivan, Melanie Fiona, Bruno Mars, and a lot of other artists,” said Keaira Lashae. To see and hear more from this multi-talent artist, check out her YouTube channel KeairaLashae and her website,


anti - Vi - psi

Gun Play:

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt by Chakira Wrencher, Senior, Hyde Park Academy


everal cases of accidental shootings amongst children and young adults have received little public attention over the years. With so many cases constantly occurring, why is gun safety still not being heavily enforced to protect households from deadly consequences? In 2010, at least 606 people died from an unintentional shooting, according to an article from USA Today titled “Epidemic: Guns kill twice as many kids as cancer does.” In 2011, 14,675 people were wounded but survived in what’s described as unintentional shootings. According to the same USA Today article, in approximately 49 percent of unintentional shooting deaths, the victim is shot by another person. The article also states that 65 percent of accidental shootings occur inside of homes. Safety precautions and more information about guns and their dangers would do countless families who own a weapon some good. There is a possibility that if more stories about accidental shootings amongst youth were being broadcasted to the public, more families would take action in their own homes and be spared the heartbreak of losing a child to a careless mistake. Three incidents in particular have received media attention. On April 15th of this year a 13-year-old girl by the name of Titania Mitchell was shot in Jacksonville, Florida, according to the Florida Times-Union. She was left unattended in a house with four other children, all under the legal age to be left home alone without an adult. The children were believed to have been playing with the firearm. Authorities said Mitchell died from a single gunshot wound. Weeks later on April 30th the Huffington Post reported that a 5-year-old boy, who was playing with a .22-caliber rifle he received as a gift, accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister in Kentucky. Lastly, on May 3rd, a 3-year-old boy made national headlines when he fatally shot himself in the face with his grandmother’s gun while at his home in Yuma, Arizona. There are hundreds of similar cases that should be talked about publicly to avoid future mistakes. Cases of this nature are more common than the world thinks they are. From 1999-2010 USA Today reported that nearly 800 children under 14-years-old were killed in gun accidents. This topic struck home for a Chicago family as well. This past June Hyde Park High School student Malcolm Whitney, 16, was accidentally shot in the head by his older brother Michael Whitney who is 19. Michael pointed a handgun at his younger brother, unaware that there were bullets still inside the chamber. The gun went off inside their home. A silly mistake has left Malcolm’s family and friends in mourning. Michael is now imprisoned and must deal with his own guilt for the rest of his life. This tragedy should never have happened. It all ties back to gun safety precautions, maturity, communication and common sense. If you see a gun lying around don’t point it at anyone or even pick it up. The chances of the gun going off accidentally are high. Instead, find an adult who is responsible enough to put the gun out of harm’s way.



Will Bynum and Above The Rim’s

Elite Summer Camp By Michael Walton II


his summer there has been plenty to do to keep Chicago’s youth off of the streets. One of the more well-known events is Will Bynum’s Annual Elite Summer Camp, which is held at Chicago State University and sponsored by the Above The Rim footwear and apparel company. The camp invited some of the better basketball youngsters of all ages to participate. The camp obviously taught the players basketball skills, but it differs from most camps of its type in the fact that they also emphasize leadership, healthy eating, and the importance of mentorship. This was the first year the camp was an overnight one. From August 5th to August 7th the kids took part in extensive training, as well as breakout sessions that focused on life skills. These life skills included but weren’t limited to etiquette, public speaking, balanced diet, and proper nutrition. The main theme of the camp was anti-violence and it had some great moments. Asean Johnson – the nine year-old who made big waves when he gave a memorable speech at a Chicago school closings protest – was presented an award for his activism and his pledge to non-violence. After the presentation, all of the camps participants signed a non-violence pledge. Former head of the Illinois Senate, Emil Jones, and Governor Pat Quinn were also on hand to sign the pledge, along with Bynum himself. When asked what was the most rewarding part of the camp for him, Bynum got very emotional. “I was one of them [the kids], I know what it’s like to not have the funds to go to a camp like this.” He went on to say, “My main goal is to give back to my community.” Bynum also talked about how basketball can make you a better man, especially through its core values of “discipline, hard work, dedication, and focus.” The camp was a huge success and plenty of youth are looking forward to the camp next year. With the continued efforts of great characters such as Bynum, there is no doubt that Chicago can move past the senseless violence that has plagued it.



Now Accepting Applications for the 2014-2015 School Year


We offer:

A unique, state-of-the-art learning environment Smaller class sizes Individualized attention Drawing, photography, glassblowing, animation/gaming, and music production. · College and Career preparation


Open House

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. Please visit the school at 1060 E. 47th Street for an application or call us at 773-690-5500 for additional information. LIMITED SPACE – ENROLL NOW! LBPA is a CPS contract high school.

Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation or need for special education services.



Textbook Versus iPad by Alex Mitchell, Whitney Young High School

T Does a college degree still pay off? Even in our struggling economy there are good reasons for getting that college degree, and they will show up in your paycheck from the day you graduate until the day you retire. Workers 18 and over with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of just over $51,000; those with only a high school diploma earned just over half that, just around $28,000. Those holding bachelor’s degrees earn about $2.27 million over a lifetime; those with masters and professional degrees earn even more. A high school diploma will earn around half that; $1.3 million over a lifetime. The value of a college degree will only continue to grow in our competitive job market. Plus, college graduates are more likely to get a job or keep a job even during times of high unemployment. The bottom line: if you’re wondering if a college degree is worth it, not only is it worth it, but the premium is growing. College is expensive! Make the most of your college major! College-bound students and their families are looking at an average cost for a single year of college of nearly $22,000. That’s enough to give anyone second thoughts about taking on heavy debt. It’s also an incentive to explore career options so you can choose a major that will deliver job opportunities and a good enough salary to pay back your loans. Careers with the best return on investment include Health, Business and Engineering. Students who graduate with degrees in Humanities and Social Sciences tend to earn a lower income. Remember, it’s your money, your choice.

Stephanie D. Neely Treasurer, City of Chicago

he textbook: A staple of the average student’s learning diet used by teachers for over a century. The iPad: An up-and-coming technological phenomenon, and a developing tool in the education and work environment. How long will it take for the former to become obsolete to the latter? Some more progressive schools are exploring the new Apple product for in-class research purposes and making use of educational apps. However, virtually no schools have abandoned the textbook. Financially speaking, the average textbook costs around $175, according to, while the iPad costs $400. In Illinois, the average high school has around 713 students. This means that a school would have to pay $71,200 for 178 new student iPads (for every freshman class). Another cost that must be considered is the cost of getting the textbooks on the iPad. According to cultofmac. com, the average cost of buying an online textbook is around $82, but a school would only need to by a class set and that would last forever (or at least until they wanted a new version of that textbook) for a total of $33,000.

In comparison, textbooks could last for seven or so years, but only cover one subject (therefore different books are needed for different grades). Assuming one student needs on average five textbooks, a school would pay close to $156,000 for each grade, or about $624,000 for the whole school. However, given the life expectancy of a textbook, a school would only need to buy new books every seven years resulting in a year total of $89,142 for textbooks. These numbers, of course, vary from school to school. But overall it would appear that switching from textbooks to iPads is not only educationally beneficial but also economically beneficial as well. For the most part, students also like the idea of retrieving their texts on an iPad. After polling 20 high school students, 18 of them said they would prefer to use the iPad.

ACT: It Pays to Prep by Michelle Houston


he ACT (American College Test) is an important factor in college decision-making, which means every student should prepare for the exam. The ACT is an exam that measures college readiness, and most colleges weigh it heavily when accepting students. High school students preparing to take the ACT exam should seek methods to prepare. One example of an outside course is Revolution Prep. Revolution Prep meets every Saturday and provides practice ACT exams every other Saturday to help students feel at ease when taking the actual exam. Revolution prep prices range from $599-899. One student participant says, “Revolution Prep prepared me for ACT by teaching me how to look past the tricks of the test, and improved my ACT score by three points.” If this is too expensive, there are other options. Another way to prepare for the ACT exam is to get outside tutoring from companies such as Academic Approach. A Chicago high school senior adds,

“The tutoring took my ACT score from a 22 to a 28.” Outside sources like these can improve a student’s score by focusing on the students individual weaknesses. If none of these options work, there are several ACT self-study practice courses and tests that have been published and some can even be checked out at the library. This might be more challenging to stick with on your own, but it is better than no ACT prep at all! According to, the average ACT composite score in Illinois is a 20.9. On average outside preparation courses raise a student’s score 2-3 points. This may not seem like a significant increase, but the difference between an ACT score of 26 and 29 could mean the difference between student loans and an academic scholarship.

Start Saving your Money Now! by Vicky Li, Freshman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Do you keep track of the money you spend? Do you set aside a small portion of your money for regular weekly expenses? Do you save money towards your college education? The majority of the teens do not know how to control their spending habits. Based on the Teenage Consumer Spending Statistics, the total U.S. teen spending (Products bought by and for teens) is around $208.7 billion.

1. When you have money, you should always save at least half of that money first before you spend.

2. Think before you buy. 3. Always try to compare prices in stores and have coupons when you are buying things like groceries. The top two things that teens usually spend money on are beverages and eating out. According to the 2012 article “Money 101: For Parents & Teens,” posted on the site, eating out is around 29 percent of teen spending, and buying beverages and snacks is around 20 percent of total spending.

One senior from Kenwood Academy High School says, “In order for me to control my spending habits, I try to buy cheap food coupons for half price at Groupon and not go out as much.” A parent of a Chicago high school student says, “I prefer my child to save her money by giving me half of her money to save.” If you take these tips into account, then you will have more control of your spending habits.

Tips for teens on spending from Tracy Frizzell, chair of the Young Illinois Saving Coalition:

1. Save first. Set aside some funds before you start spending. 2. Deposit funds in a bank account so it will be less visible to spend. 3. Set savings goals. People with savings goals tend to save more than those who don’t.

Finances for College-Bound Students By HSBC


reparing to say goodbye to your high school years may be difficult, but your upcoming college experience can be a thrilling and exciting new chapter! The following financial insights can help you prepare for the next stage of your life. Short-term: Set-up or fine-tune your budget

investigating what a typical first year salary might be once you graduate. A good rule-of-thumb is to make sure that when you graduate, you have no more in student loans than what your first year’s salary may be. If your calculations are worrisome, you may need to consider a less expensive school, start out at a junior college for a year or two, or even aim to graduate in three years.

If you haven’t already done so, get a solid grasp on your finances. A good understanding of your cash flow can help lessen the financial anxiety many college students face. Know how each dollar of your income is allocated and spent, including federal and state taxes, gas money, clothing, savings and entertainment. Establishing a solid budget, sticking to it and using your credit card wisely can help you avoid money mistakes your freshman year.

Your college years can be some of the most thrilling and anxious times of your life. Having a solid plan for your short and long-term finances can help you focus on the other aspects of your college years, thought-provoking coursework, a newfound sense of independence and friendships that can last a lifetime!

Long-term: Plan wisely for college debt

Carlo Airdo Vice President Corporate Sustainability HSBC

It’s never too early to start planning your finances beyond college. While you may not be one hundred percent certain of your career plans yet, you can begin

Visit for more information.

Sponsored by

inside & out

Are Energy Drinks

“In 2012 ABC News reported that 5-Hour Energy had 13 reported linked deaths and 33 hospitalizations. Five fatalities have also been linked to Monster,”

Good For You? by Mina Waight Junior, Kenwood Academy High School


very year, various substances are identified to take the life of a youth. The substance believed by many to have claimed lives as recent as 2004 is the energy drink. By definition, an energy drink is a beverage containing stimulant drugs and/or caffeine. Because of the contents, Monster, Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy and Full Throttle are not advertised as soft drinks such as Pepsi, Coke, Mountain Dew or Sprite. They’re instead marketed as drinks providing mental or physical stimulation. reported that energy drink sales have increased by 60 percent selling $12.5 billion in 2012. Sales are increasing because advertisers are placing ads for energy drinks at big events where youth are likely to attend such as concerts, festivals, and conventions. At events like these, fast energy is desired and teens consume large amounts of caffeine to keep going. Sales are high in colleges as well. Students buy them to stay awake to study or finish assignments late at night. Some just consume the drinks to get them through the day, meaning multiples are being tossed back within a 24-hour period and the likelihood of dependence is high. Energy drinks can range from 40mg of caffeine to an alarming 400mg, as reported by On a daily, adults can safely intake 200mg of caffeine, according to the Food and Drug Administration. That means one Monster, Rockstar or Full Throttle, with 160mg of caffeine, is enough for an entire day.

The beverages have taken their toll on many people. In 2012 ABC News reported that 5-Hour Energy had 13 reported linked deaths and 33 hospitalizations. Five fatalities have also been linked to Monster, including the death of 14-year-old Anais Fournier of Maryland. After consuming two 24-ounce cans of Monster in less than 24 hours Fournier went into cardiac arrest and died, according to As of now, the American Medical Association (AMA) has joined the many experts and parents in support of banning the selling of energy drinks to minors. Reuters reported that in a released statement AMA board member Dr. Alexander Ding said, “Energy drinks contain massive and excessive amounts of caffeine that may lead to a host of health problems in young people, including heart problems, and banning companies from marketing these products to adolescents is a common sense action that we can take to protect the health of American kids.” Maureen Beach, a spokeswoman for the American Beverage Association, commented on the statement. Reuters reported that via email Beach said, “Leading energy drink companies also voluntarily display total caffeine amounts - from all sources - on their packages, as well as an advisory statement indicating that the product is not intended (or recommended) for children, pregnant or nursing women, or persons sensitive to caffeine.”

But, how does this beverage really affect teens?

According to Holistic Health Coach Mishra Keller, there are energy drinks on the market that don’t contain harmful ingredients. “One of the supplements that I recommend to clients is called Limitless. It provides a natural energy boost from Korean ginseng, taurine and green tea extracts. It also contains GABA and gotu kola, which helps with mental clarity and focus.”

Karen Ansel, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said, “Children and teens metabolize caffeine more slowly than adults [therefore] no amount of caffeine is safe for children or teens.” She also stated, “Too many caffeine-rich energy drinks can cause blood pressure to increase and may also cause seizures and palpitations. They may also interact with certain medicines.”

Now that you know the facts, what will you drink the next time you need an energy boost?


Women and the Natural A

s black women in the 21st century, there are many style options for hair. You can wear a weave, a relaxer, a natural Afro or curls, natural straight hair, locks, twists or braids. Other styles involve chemicals and a way of manipulating your hair that can be damaging. Over the last three or four years natural hair styles have become the latest trend.

Hair Trend by Tierra Carpenter, Senior, Thornton Fractional South

I think natural styles have become popular because of the many benefits; one of the benefits being the large variety of hairstyle options. The same styles you wear with straight hair, you can wear with natural hair and sometimes pull them off even better. Styling natural hair is simple. Most of the time all you need are bobby pins and your bare hands. Another plus of natural hair is that it’s healthier than the alternative. You just have to know how to take care of it. There are a few simple things you can do to keep your natural hair in good condition; like washing your hair with a sulfate free shampoo at least once a week. Sulfate strips hair of the natural oils that are needed to prevent hair from becoming too dry. You should also co-wash (wash your hair with conditioner) when necessary and deep condition at least once a week. When you have natural hair, conditioner is your best friend; it moisturizes and makes your hair more manageable. Whenever you detangle your hair in its natural state you should always have conditioner in it and use a wide tooth comb to minimize breakage and shedding. In between washes you should “moisturize and seal.” This is when you first apply a moisturizer on your hair, then “seal” in the moisture with a natural hair oil. If you do all of this you are helping your hair grow faster with less split ends. Natural hair has come in and out of style over the years. Afros were very popular among black women and men in the 1970s. They remained popular throughout the decade even though the relaxer was around at that time. People just chose to wear their hair natural, embracing the look, because being natural was what the 1970s was all about. Since natural hair has come back in style, you can even see some of your favorite stars embracing the look. Celebrities who often ware their hair natural are Solange Knowles, Tracee Ellis Ross, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, and Jill Scott. Celebrities wearing natural styles have grown the natural hair movement and taken it to a higher level. Even if you don’t wish to go natural, you can still embrace the look. You can do this by wearing a weave or wig that gives the appearance of kinky or curly hair. This way you can rock the natural look, minus the worry of products, patience, or care. Knowles and Kelly Rowland are two good examples of people that do this. Knowles has been seen with her natural, medium length Afro, and other times her huge Afro wig. Rowland has turned heads and started a trend with her voluminous curly weave. Women decide to go natural for a variety of personal reasons including: searching for a different look, being influenced by someone else’s style, wanting something low maintenance, wanting to embrace their culture, or wanting to start a more healthy lifestyle. Some people may consider natural hair a trend; some may consider natural hair a way of life. The views will vary from person to person. For now, I predict that the natural hair look won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Vogue Italia Profiles Natural Hair Trend on the Runways TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 45

young on the court luv

Rising Number of

Arrests in NFL by Matt Sanchez, Senior, Marist High School


uring the 2012-2013 NFL off-season, a number of athletes have been charged with crimes for various offenses, some of which are accused of first degree crime while others face minor misdemeanor offenses. Having disobeyed the law and the NFL, some players have been released of their contracts and banned from the National Football League. The arrests have made it clear that NFL players are not invincible; they live under the same laws and with the same consequences as everybody else.

Former New England Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez, is amongst these players. He was accused of murder for the homicide of Odin Lloyd and charged with multiple weapon charges. In court, Hernandez pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, but was denied bail, leaving him in the county jail for the duration of the trial. The Patriots immediately cut ties with Hernandez, and owner, Robert Kraft, commented on the situation by saying, “If this stuff is true, then I’ve been duped and our whole organization has been duped,” according to Some teammates were surprised about the incident while former teammate Matt Light was quoted by as saying, “I have never embraced -- never believed in -- anything Aaron Hernandez stood for.” Hernandez wrote a letter from jail saying that he is “not guilty” and that all the people who turned on him “will feel like crap.” At press time, Hernandez was in jail unable to see his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, and infant daughter, Avielle Janelle. Another New England Patriots, Alfonzo Dennard, was arrested for DUI while on probation for a previous offense of assault against a police officer that occurred over a year and a half ago. Dennard was found guilty of his first offense and was sentenced to 30 days in jail starting March 1, 2014; however his second confrontation with the law could alter that sentencing. Now, former Detroit Lions wide receiver, Titus Young, faces 11 charges due to a weeklong crime spree that also resulted in three arrests. On May 4, 2013, Young was charged with robbery for stealing items from a gas station but was never arrested as the authorities weren’t immediately notified. Afterwards, Young allegedly entered someone’s house in the middle of the night and scuffled with the officers when the residents of the household called 911. On that offense, the ex-Lion faced six initial charges, but two felonies were added for the prior gas station robbery as the police made the connections to his two cases. Days later, Young was arrested on suspicion of DUI for making an illegal turn; but was released by the authorities on the same day. Hours later he was arrested again for trying to steal his car out of an impound lot. The next day, May 11, Young was arrested again for attempting to break into a second home and vandalizing the homeowner’s property; he was never arrested for his first offense. Also, Young’s ex-girlfriend has filed a restraining order against him, requiring him to stay 100 yards away from her and their infant son. 46 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Young, whose court date was still pending at press time, was released by the Lions towards the start of 2013 after a drop in productivity and disruptive behavior that included punching a teammate and intentionally lining up incorrectly during a game. Former Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker, Ausar Walcott, has been charged with first-degree attempted murder and second-degree aggravated assault for allegedly punching a man in the head. Walcott was noted as turning himself in to the authorities after being identified as a suspect. Taken into court, the judge issued Walcott a $500,000 bail, which was not reached by press time. Remaining in jail for the duration of the legal process, the Browns released him immediately after the arrest. Walcott claimed self-defense in his case. Many may view pro players as superstars who are above the law because of their natural athletic abilities and the millions of dollars they earn, but they can easily lose that money and glory due to crime. Teens that aspire to play professional sports should realize that being involved with crime, at any age, can significantly harm your chances to play professionally. Ultimately, these athletes are people that have to follow the law just like you.


Get Fit Challenge

by Maya Bryant, Freshman, Harold Washington College


ver set a goal but you weren’t quite sure how to go about doing it? Same here. I love working out, but I’ve always hated running, however, I’ve always wanted to run a mile in 10 minutes or less. I didn’t know how I was going to go about running this mile until True Star teamed up with Nike for a Girls Get Fit challenge. In this program were teen girls from different Chicago organizations such as Kuumba Lynx, BAP, Artist Development, and True Star Magazine. Because this was a fitness program, Nike supplied us with new gear, a variety of workout routines, and a meal plan. From the middle of July until the end of August each week we participated in different activities such as Zumba and Turbo Kick, which is kick boxing mixed in with strength training. Many people dread running, but we made Run Club fun by dressing in neon colors and grabbing people’s attention. One thing I’ve learned about running is you can go at your own pace. If you’re a beginner and you start off really fast, you tend to get tired quicker, so set your own pace and eventually you will become a better and faster runner. Why is it important to run? Nike trainer Nick Thomas says, “When you run, you’re improving your self-esteem, building stronger bones, and you’re becoming healthier. When you run you also have less doctor visits, you’re reducing the risk of heart disease by almost half compared to non-runners, and you live longer.” The program ended with one final activity - NTC (Nike Training Club). NTC is a strength training, fat burning workout routine that targets all your muscles. There is also an app that can be downloaded called NTC. In this app there are a variety of workouts where you can get lean, toned, and stronger. Don’t worry about the pace, for there are beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, so you set the tone. Just because the program ended didn’t mean I gave up trying to meet my goal. I got up every day and ran. My goal was to run a mile in 10 minutes or less. Did I meet my goal? Just barely; I ran a mile in 10:15. That’s better than when I first started, which was around 15 minutes. I don’t run every day, but if I keep at it I’ll become a good runner in no time. The same thing applies to you. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Practice every day until you’ve reached your goal, and once you reach it, keep going! There’s no greater feeling than when you achieve something you thought you couldn’t do. Even if you don’t have a goal, it’s still important to be active. If you’ve just eaten a big meal, instead of going to sleep, take a walk so that your body doesn’t store fat. Even the little things count, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You can always join a team, walk, run, jog, ride a bike, or just play a sport for fun. Regardless of what you do, stay active, and JUST DO IT! TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 47

The Beautiful Intrigue of the

Nike Jordan Chi-League By Michael Walton II Freshman, Truman College


t was a routine fast break during my team sports class. I was handling the ball and had a teammate flanking either side. I jumped in the air and then (as you’re taught not to) decided what I was going to do. I locked eyes with my teammate on the right and then promptly fired a no-look-behind-the-back-pass to my teammate filling the lane on the left. The layup that followed produced a thunderous cheer. The ridiculous pass was the finest move I had ever executed on the court. Seeing as I had two wide open guys, the pass was the last thing my teacher expected. He looked at me perplexed and asked a question that carries special significance with me to this day.

“Why would you do that?” The answer has a lot to do with what makes basketball so special in the first place. The Nike Jordan Chi-League received a warm welcome in Chicago because it combined the two things that the city craves most: intense hoops action and a refuge for the youth. The Nike Jordan Chi-League was a summer-long professionalamateur event at Whitney Young High School. The event was free and provided Chicago fans of all ages plenty of great entertainment. The Final Four of the Nike Jordan Chi-League featured teams Solid Gold vs. Wright Sports and Code Black vs. We Got Game. All four teams had some big-name stars including Bobby Simmons, Jacob Pullen, Osiris Eldridge, and Tony Bennett. As I flowed through the dense and rabid fan base, I witnessed kids arguing over whether Pullen could make it in the NBA; I heard an older fan reminiscing about the high school career of Simmons, and I even saw three women arguing over seating arrangements. Simply put, the Nike Jordan Chi-League was the place to be this summer. “I don’t know who that cat is, but he is a killa,” said an older gentleman sitting next to me, in reference to Code Black’s Othyus Jeffers. Jeffers palmed the ball in one hand as he stared down Simmons – his defender. He blew by Simmons and posterized the help defender with a vicious one-handed slam.

A “killa” indeed. Despite Jeffers’s acrobatics, We Got Game staged an amazing comeback behind Simmons’s veteran savvy. Simmons shot poorly throughout the game and took quite a bit of verbal abuse from the opposing coach. “Get that 708 stuff outta here!” said the coach in reference to the 708 area code. Simmons gazed into the opposing coach’s eyes, but he refused to talk back. He kept his composure and 48 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

rallied the troops. He did the little things: ran the fast break, distributed the ball well, and hit a few timely shots. In the end his leadership led his team to victory. Wright Sports defeated previous Nike Jordan Chi-League champion Solid Gold with tough defense and the passion of their coach. The coach got so excited during a big three-pointer by Mustapha Farrakhan that he tossed a towel into the stands and chest-bumped a few players. The stage was set for the We Got Game vs. Wright Sports championship. For the championship game the stands were packed. Every seat was filled and additional fans stood around the court to see the game. Big name stars came to enjoy the event including, but not limited to, rapper Coolio, New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, and Bulls legend Scottie Pippen. The game was a slugfest between two teams that badly wanted the title of Nike Jordan Chi- League champion. The spectacle was something to behold, but individual details are not important. What was important is understood by few:

The flow of the game. The crowd was connected through the fast, yet steady pace, of the game. The crowd let out “oohs” and “aahs” for every shimmy, shake, sweet-jumper, and big dunk. At every moment you felt as if you were one with every spectator. Not a single eye was looking at anything other than the action on the court. The crowd was rewarded for their attentive eyes with a vicious posterization by Nike Jordan Chi-League MVP Billy Baptist. Baptist read the passing lane and knocked the ball away from the intended receiver. He finally chased down the ball, took one power dribble, and then unleashed a one-handed tomahawk jam for the ages. It seemed as if the crowd would never stop cheering. The deafening roar was so loud that players on the court struggled to hear the ref’s whistle after the play. At the end of a tough game, Wright Sports walked out as the new Nike Jordan Chi-League champions. The players and coaches celebrated with the same intensity that they played with. The players were so overjoyed that you would’ve thought they won the NBA Championship. The important thing to remember is these players enjoyed this in a special way, separate from the professional ranks. This title proves to them that they are the best at providing the hard-to-please Chicago fans with entertainment, while still playing winning-basketball. For those who underestimate the skills of the ballers in the Nike Jordan ChiLeague, look no further than the Nike Tournament of Champions. The Tournament of Champions was a tourney comprised of teams from New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and of course Chicago. There was a men’s level and a boy’s level for high school age ballers. The men’s title was taken home by none other than Team Chicago. They soundly defeated a squad representing D.C. and the notorious Goodman League by 18 points, 108-90. Team Chi used a disruptive defense to thwart the D.C. offense; they never allowed the D.C. team to get comfortable. Team Chi’s transition game was relentless and sparked by the numerous turnovers and defensive stops. Winning the Nike Tournament of Champions only further brought legitimacy to the high-level of basketball played in the Nike Jordan Chi-League.

High level basketball is all Chicago knows. There are no plays taken off in Chicago basketball. There is no lack of effort in Chicago basketball. And the Nike Jordan Chi-League is Chicago basketball. Because of its connection with the roots of Chicago basketball and the support of the community, the Nike Jordan Chi-League was a huge success, and gave fans something to remember for the rest of their lives. What I remember most from the event was when a young fan asked aloud to his mother:

“Why did Nike do this?” Nike created this event for the same reason Eldridge tried to throw down a 360 dunk on a fastbreak, for the same reason Jeffers scored 25 points in a half, and for the same reason I threw a flashy pass in a high school gym class. Nike created the event because basketball is not a sport as much as it is an art form. It is a great canvas for the athletes to show off their creativity. Basketball is the only sport where team play and individual play are valued as equals. Basketball is the beautiful game that unites the masses and lifts the everyday pressures of life off of your shoulders and leaves nothing for you to think about but the flow of the game. I know this. Now you know this. But Nike... they’ve always known this. And what else does Nike know? Nike knows the power of sport, and how it can truly transform a community, and show young and old, the potential that exists when athletes are given an opportunity to perform. This potential, is in full display on the court, then extends into the streets, the playgrounds, the schools and the community and encourages everyone to live up to all they can do. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 49

Long Distance Love:

When Your Boo Goes To Another School by Jessica Jackson, Junior, Morgan Park High School


et’s say that pretty much everything between you and your sweetie is going smoothly. The only real issue is the fact that he or she goes to another school and you don’t get to see each other as often as you’d like. For many couples a “long distance” relationship can either make you grow closer or cause you to break up. Jessica Hickman, a junior at Morgan Park High School, went through this very thing last year. “Being in a long-distance relationship was extremely testing,” says Hickman. “There would be days where I would just want to see him and tell him about my day and problems. Instead the closest thing I could have to that was to call him. Besides, we were only sophomores and didn’t have cars. Considering I lived across town from him, the only option left was to get on the bus. What helped us prolong our relationship was having reassurance, communication, and trust. That helped maintain us.” It’s the little things that are done that can make the biggest difference in helping to sustain a relationship. For example, something as simple as a regularly scheduled call or face-to-face contact via ooVoo, Skype or FaceTime can be done by using your phone or computer. If your other half is at another school or you are contemplating dating someone not so close, here are some other tips that may help you keep the love lasting in your long distance relationship.

Discuss Expectations. In the beginning

of your relationship you both need to have a serious discussion with each other on what the rules and boundaries should be. This will help to prevent misunderstandings and heartbreak. For example, will you be allowed to date other people at your school? Is hanging out with friends of the opposite sex a deal breaker? These are things you may want to know up front.

Stay Faithful.

Between the hot guy that showers you with compliments and the cute girl in class who has the rocking hot body, temptation is always there, even in the best of relationships. Don’t begin a long distance relationship if you know deep down that you can’t be faithful to someone you don’t see on a regular.

Communicate Honestly.

If something in the relationship is bothering you speak up about it. Not expressing yourself only leads to your imagination running wild. Talking openly with your partner about your concerns will allow him or her to settle your negative feelings and calm your fears.

Make Dates & Keep Them.

Because your situation makes it more of a challenge to see each other, it is very important to schedule one-on-one time to hang out. When planning your time together be realistic about what is going to work for both your schedules. Pick locations that are easy to get to and meeting times that are realistic. Remember, being in a long distance relationship doesn’t have to be frustrating, hard or problematic as long as you both understand the consequences, sacrifices and reality of the situation. If the old saying is true, the distance will make the heart grow fonder. 50 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE


True Star Magazine Fall 2013  

True Star Magazine Fall 2013

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you