TRUE STAR Foundation A LEADER IN YOUTH PROGRAMS
Our Purpose TO INSPIRE DREAMS SO THAT YOUNG PEOPLE CAN FIND THEIR VOICE, CHOOSE THEIR PATH, AND PREPARE FOR LIFE.
TRUE STAR FOUNDATION
The True Star Foundation’s mission is to demonstrate healthy transitions for youth coming into early adulthood by exposing them to real world experiences in the workforce through the development of their own media and being an intricate part of the strategic direction and overall business operations of the organization.
True Star is a youth work collaborative that amplifies youth voice through producing content for True Star Magazine, True Star Jr. Magazine, The Park Magazine, True Star Online, True Star Media TV, and True Star Radio.
• True Star has provided on-the-job training for over 3,000 youth since its inception. • The vast majority of True Star students (70 percent) reported that their team-working, oral communication, researching, problem-solving, writing skills, as well as their confidence and ability to do other schoolwork, improved as a result of True Star’s programs. • In 2016, True Star provided 600 work opportunities that paid out $200,000 in stipends and youth pay.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board President - Thomas McLeary CEO & President, Endow Inc. Giuseppe Commodaro Director Strategy & Execution - CME Group David Douglas Founder & CEO – Yolobe, Inc. Leslie A. Hairston Alderman, Fifth Ward Sean Harden Non-Profit Consultant Monique Mayo Professor, Columbia College Chicago Mia Nelson Sr. Analyst, Baxter David Nichols Americas Leader - EY Malcolm Weems - Senior Advisor Public Policy and Regulation, Dentons LaTonya Wilkens Director Talent Management, University of Illinois Business School Sharming Scott-Nathan Human Resources Director, Fox Television Stations Kathy Chaney Editorial Manager, Ebony Magazine
Thank You To Our Major Partners
To donate visit truestarfoundation.org or send check payable to True Star Foundation - 1130 South Wabash - Suite 302 - Chicago, IL 60605 For Advertising Inquires email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312.588.0100
6: SHOULD WHAT GIRLS WEAR DETERMINE HOW THEY ARE TREATED? BY RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE 7: KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES, BY ASATTAH YOUNG, KENWOOD ACADEMY 8: FREE LUNCH ACADEMY BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 9: WHY SHOPPING AT PETSMART IS NOT SMART, BY JORDAN BEASLEY, LINDBOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
25: THE SCOOP ON MISS MARIAH STARR, BY NIA HOWARD, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 26: SPRING STYLIN’ & PROFILIN’
10: IT MAY BE TIME TO CHECK OUT ANIME, BY ➳ BARNARD, KENWOOD ACADEMY 11: YOU NEED TO WATCH THE FLASH, SERIOUSLY, BY ANTWON HOWARD, KENWOOD ACADEMY 12: PRIVATE SCHOOL, HERE I COME! BY MIKAH MCMURTRY, DRUID HILLS MIDDLE SCHOOL, DECATUR, GA. 13: PRODUCTIVE THINGS TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME, BY SHANIYA L. DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 14: TRANSITIONING FROM ELEMENTARY TO MIDDLE SCHOOL, BY KAMARI CRANSHAW, NICKAJACK ELEMENTARY, SMYRNA, GA. 15: DEAR TWEENS, YOU GOT THIS, BY KAI TAYLOR, POWDER SPRINGS, GA.
33: LINDBLOM & THE EPIC SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE, BY KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
4EVER YOUNG 16: ORDER UP, BY NIA HOWARD, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 17: ATLANTA HOT SPOTS, BY IAMLILDEEDEE, ATLANTA, GA.
HOT OFF THE PRESS 18: GETTING TO KNOW ALSHEIGH ROSS, BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 19: RONI AKURATI HITS THE BIG SCREEN BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 20: KING ROSCOE, BY JELYN ANDREWS, TRUE STAR ALUMNI, ATLANTA, GA. 22: HANGING WITH THE BAKING TRIO, BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG & RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 23: INSPIRATION THROUGH POETRY, BY ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 24: THE RAP GAME
KEEPIN’ SCORE 30: IN PREPARATION OF A LEGACY, BY KAMREN CALE, KENWOOD ACADEMY 32: THE FALCONS ARE STILL THE PRIDE OF ATLANTA, BY MALACHI CRANSHAW, NICKAJACK ELEMENTARY, SMYRNA, GA.
CREATIVE CORNER 34: STAY SAFE, BY ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 35: FAN ART OF DECIM FROM DEATH PARADE, BY KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 36: DREAM CATCHERS, BY NIA HOWARD, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 37: UNICORNS, BY KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON TRUE STAR JR. MAGAZINE CONTACT US: LETTERS TO TRUE STAR JR. 1130 SOUTH WABASH, SUITE 302 CHICAGO, IL 60605-2717 EMAIL: TRUESTARJR@TRUESTARMAGAZINE.COM
EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS DEANNA SHERMAN & J. NA-TAE’ THOMPSON MANAGING EDITOR MARTI PARHAM EDITORIAL INSTRUCTOR NYKEYA WOODS WEB CONTENT & MARKETING MANAGER JOI MITCHELL WEB CONTENT ASSISTANT HENRY COLLINS ART DIRECTION DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION ANGEL D’AMICO-BAUER PROMOTIONS MANAGER DESHAUN ADAMS
TRUESTARIS.COM TO DONATE TO TRUE STAR FOUNDATION, VISIT TRUESTARFOUNDATION.ORG
CONTRIBUTORS Kenwood Academy, Chicago, IL
Nickajack Elementary, Smyrna, GA
Hill Grove High School, Powder Springs, GA
Druid Hills Middle School, Decatur, GA
Kellar Middle School, Robbins, IL
IamLilDeeDee, Atlanta, GA
Jelyn Rocque, True Star Alumni
Lindblom Math & Scince Academy, Chicago, IL
YOUTH FASHION MUSIC TRUESTARIS.COM
URBAN CULTURE BLOG
#DRESSCODE Are You Really What You Wear? BY RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ave you ever heard someone question a woman’s attire when she is the victim of an assault? One of the questions you may have heard is “What was she wearing?” Does this question make sense? Could the clothing have been the reason for the assult? Some people may argue no while others may argue yes. Eighth grader Novotna Talavera doesn’t think what someone is wearing should matter. “What clothing [a girl] chooses to wear doesn’t mean that you know anything about them, about their personality, about what they think, their views on anything,” said Talavera. “It’s just clothing and it’s as simple as that.” Like Talavera, Luis Papoca agrees that women and girls being judged for what they wear is unfair. “Anyone can dress however they want to dress. It shouldn’t really matter about the people,” said Papoca. Here is why this is such a controversial topic. For most people, since elementary school, especially if you wore uniforms, you have been told that in order to be taken seriously or be treated in an acceptable manner you have to dress a certain 6 TRUE STAR JR.
DON’T JUDGE A GIRL BY HER CLOTHES, MIND YOUR OWN CLOSET way. In most cases, it is true but not in all. For example, the stereotypical businesswoman is portrayed as a woman with solid color hair (usually pinned up) and wears a suit or a blouse with slacks or a skirt. But what if you have colored hair? Do you think you would be taken as seriously as someone with solid brown hair, or blonde hair? Bustle.com tackled this issue, although they talked about girls and women being able to wear something provocative without being shamed. “Fashion is a form of self-expression, and just as an artist’s style grows and adapts over many years, so does our sense of personal style. The clothing that we wear is, in many ways, a projection of what we are going through emotionally and mentally at a given time, and while helping your daughter/sister/friend/mother understand that her self-worth goes far beyond her sexual appeal is hugely beneficial, being overly critical of her self-exploration is not.”
Keeping Up With The JONESES
BY ASATTAH YOUNG, KENWOOD ACADEMY
rom social media to casual everyday conversations with your homeboy or homegirl, fashion is a focal point in the lingo of a teenager. Living in an inner city, many teenagers are concerned with glitter and labels like Michael Kors, Vans and Zara. Although these conversations about brands may seem trivial, for the “average” teenage boy and girl “fitting in” and becoming affiliated with the right “clique” is all about having clout, and fashion will get you there! Unfortunately, many teens give in to the pressure to look a particular way. Kenwood Academy freshman Kennedy Taylor is one of those teens who cares about perception. “I come to school every day dressing to impress because I wouldn’t want to be looked down upon by my associates,” Taylor said. People “classify themselves through the brands they wear and it makes them feel like they fit in. … Teens may feel like if they don’t have the latest brands, they aren’t worthy or not able to fit in and be themselves,” stated the website, teenink. com, a site written by teens.
Typically, everyone is judged in the hallways. And too often many teenagers, usually the loud mouth instigators, scan the corridors preying on which boys or girls they can demean to draw attention to their inexpensive attire. The pressure to fit in leaves some with low self-esteem, while others soar and become the epitome of style. According to teenvogue.com, teenagers who are feeling pressured to compete with their peers will only hinder their social and emotional growth and development. There are some, however, who understand that there is a flip-side to keeping up with the “Joneses.” Skinner West Elementary School student Jessica Beard recognizes the influence of this thinking and understands the consequence. “Pressuring my only parent (her mother) for the ‘latest and greatest’ fashion labels causes unnecessary financial stress,” the eighth grader said. Keep a level head by enjoying fashion but not letting it rule your life. Find a way to create your own style for an affordable price without becoming a slave to the latest pricey trends. TRUE STAR JR. 7
FREE Lunch Academy
BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ave you ever been bullied? For many, the answer is most likely yes. According to stopbullying.org, 28 percent of students in grades from sixth to 12th grade have been bullied and 70 percent have watched. “At my old elementary school the most dominant culture was the African-American culture and I didn’t live up to the stereotypes that were placed upon my community, so I was bullied for it,” said Laniah Moon. “I was also bullied for my light skin. It sucked because there is no reason to discriminate against a person because of their skin complexion, that’s no different than racism.” If you’ve ever wondered whether or not there’s a program that can help kids deal with bullying then you would probably like Free Lunch Academy. Is it like free lunches for low-income students? The answer is no, although that would be nice. Free Lunch Academy is an artistic outreach program that is dedicated to deterring violence, diminishing bullying, and mentoring students through the use of performing arts. That’s right people, Free Lunch Academy is a program that uses live stage performances 8 TRUE STAR JR.
to inform students about situations they may encounter as they get older such as being bullied. “By providing youth with inclusion themed performances, programming and employment opportunities in safe, productive and positive environments we aim to help students selfexplore, self-accept, self-appreciate and self-actualize,” says Free Lunch founder Calvin King. “By empowering kids to become their very best selves through purpose driven decision making, our goal is to foster self-respect in all, which translates into mutual respect for others. This approach will ultimately result in decreased occurrences of youth violence and threats of bullying related behaviors among youth.” English teacher Tom Clark thinks Free Lunch Academy is a great idea. “I think programs that help the social and academic growth of students are awesome! It’s an opportunity outside of school to talk to people in a different way than the way students usually hear about it in school.” Lean more about this program by visiting their website at freelunchacademy.com.
Why Shopping at
PETSMART Is Not Smart BY JORDAN BEASLEY, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ost of us have experienced begging a parent for a pet at some point in life. We’ve all wanted a cute little companion to take care of and love. Although cats and dogs are our most popular furry companions, there are also mice, hamsters and fish that can be great pets for kids. With such high demands for these small animals, companies like PetSmart and Petco supply them. Families opt to use these stores, but most people don’t consider where their supply comes from. Many of PetSmart and Petco’s animals come from a varied number of retailers, but some of them have been investigated for animal cruelty. One major supplier, Holmes Farm, was under federal investigation after PETA discovered extreme cruelty. “Petco store representatives dumped little animals in the trash or wrapped their bodies in plastic bags without even checking for signs of life,” according to the PETA website in regards to the investigation. In one photo, newborn rodents are seen piled up in a bin that “smelled like death” and was labeled “freeze,” according to the investigation reports. With other suppliers, animals are also neglected and left to survive without adequate food, water or exercise. They can be living in tiny storage containers, filing cabinets or overpacked tanks. The website thedodo.com reports, “Whether it’s a dog or a hamster, animals bred for retail are often kept in filthy conditions, exposed to abuse and illness, and deprived of water, veterinary care and other necessities.”
These conditions allow maximum profit and product, but at the expense of the innocent animals. The worst part about this cruelty is that this abuse is hidden from the public and people think that these animals are treated with compassion and respect. Injured and sick animals are hidden in the back and employees are often not informed about the animals. Before you go to buy a new companion, think about where you’re buying it from. Shelters are always the way to go when getting a pet and you will feel like a much more humane person if you adopt, don’t shop. TRUE STAR JR. 9
IT MAY BE TIME TO
Check Out ANIME
BY ARROW BARNARD, KENWOOD ACADEMY
hat is anime? Well, it is the most common animation style in Japan, and is also very popular with American audiences. It is often a comic book (or manga) turned into a TV series. In fact, if you ever saw “Digimon,” “Pokémon,” or “Dragon Ball Z” you have seen anime already. However, if you do not like subtitles then this is not the hobby for you. Anime is mostly made in Japan and you have to chose dubbed or subtitles. Unfortunately, dubs are often unreliable, especially with names. Always go for sub. Seventh grader Jerry Pinto is not intimidated by Japanese subtitles. Pinto said he loves watching anime and reading manga because he gets lost in the story. “I feel anime tells a good story,” the 13-year-old said. “It’s not [like] any other TV show. Most of the stories evolve. And once you start watching, you start sinking into the video thinking, and you think you want to be a part of them.” 10 TRUE STAR JR.
While mostly for boys, girls love anime as well. The website themarysue.com, recently posted how both genders like anime and pointed out an overlooked fact. “Even though ... manga and anime may be targeted toward men, and some of the most well-known are created by men, that doesn’t mean women won’t be interested. In fact, some of the most well-known manga and anime franchises aimed at men are created by women.” How do you tell the good anime from the bad? First, of all look at the girls’ hair. If they have random colors then it is a fantasy show. Not a sure fire thing, but that’s a good indicator. Are the girls in uniforms? Then the show is probably realistic fiction. Are there swords? Definitely fantasy. Next, Google the name and if others like it then go for it. Be aware that some people have different opinions, so be prepared to stop watching if it is not that great. Not all are epic or awesome. Keep that in mind as you journey into the epic worlds of anime.
YOU NEED TO WATCH The FLASH, SERIOUSLY
BY ANTWON HOWARD, KENWOOD ACADEMY
oo often you hear about how “good” shows like “Shadow Hunters,” “Empire” or “The Vampire Diaries” are, but have you seen “The Flash”? The DC Comics book turned TV show airs on The CW but you can catch the first two seasons on Netflix. “Great show to watch with good story content. It benefits from its purposefully light atmosphere, making it a superhero show uniquely geared toward genre fans as well as novices,” said Ayush Aggarwal, a reviewer, at quora.com. “It is an excellent show always full of great surprises and laughs. I love so much about ‘The Flash’; from Barry finding new ways to increase his speed to Cisco’s funny jokes.” Why should you watch? When the Flash is running through the show, the phenomenal graphics show great slow motion effects. The show also gets creative when it comes to the Flash’s superpowers and using various movements with speed. The Flash can move his
arms really fast to make a type of tornado. He also can use his speed to conduct lightning as he runs. “One of the best series on TV. I love the villains, the plot, everything from start to finish,” one reviewer at rottentomatoes.com said. Much like Peter Parker is Spider-man, Barry Allen is Flash. When Allen was 11, his life changed completely after his mother died in a freak accident and his innocent father was convicted of her murder. Now a crime-scene investigator, his dedication to learn the truth about his mother’s death drives him to follow up on every new scientific advancement and urban legend. Allen is obsessed with science gadgets and when a world-changing particle accelerator causes an explosion and generates a storm, he is struck by lightning. Nine months later, Allen wakes up with super speed. He dedicates his life to fighting evil.
TRUE STAR JR. 11
HERE I COME!
BY MIKAH L. MCMURTRY, DRUID HILLS MIDDLE SCHOOL, DECATUR GA.
ince my first day of school, I attended five different public schools because my mom and I moved around a lot. I like going to public schools because you get to ride the bus, most of the kids that go to your school live in your neighborhood, it is mostly free, and there is a lot of diversity (at least in some schools). But even though public schools have characteristics that I like, they also have some things that I do not like. For instance, there are a lot of students in one class and it is hard to concentrate sometimes. Also, some of the students do not take education seriously so they just act up and distract others (including me) and it is really annoying. I started to lose motivation for school in the sixth grade. I got bored with the schoolwork and I just did not want to go anymore. My mom found out about the A Better Chance (ABC) program to give me different options for education. A Better Chance is an organization that helps young 12 TRUE STAR JR.
ethnically diverse students get into private and boarding schools. At first, I thought that private schools were just like public schools but more boring, strict, and rich. I also thought we would need to have a lot of money to go to these schools. But when I started the ABC process, I had to tour and shadow different private schools. I was surprised that I had I different feeling about private schools. I learned that even though it was different from public school, I was still going to learn a lot there and it would be better for me. Going through the ABC process required me to complete multiple applications for the program and the private schools. ABCâ€™s process takes almost a year to finish. I am waiting for my results to find out which schools I have been accepted into. I will get my results in less than 30 days and I am confident that I will be accepted into a good school. I am proud that I completed the process to find the school that will help me become a great scholar.
Productive THINGS TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME BY SHANIYA L. DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
pring break will be happening soon and after that summer break. The point is, at some point you may be doing nothing for a couple days. Well, here is a list of productive activities to do.
Sleep: Why is sleep on this list? Resting can be seen as a productive thing to do in the eyes of some people. Your body relies on sleep to relieve stress and it can relax your mind so that you are able to function in your daily activities. “I think the most productive thing to do in your free time is to sleep because during the school year I feel like I don’t get enough. It is so nice,” said Lindblom Math & Science Academy junior Alexa Diaz.
Organize: “I think the most productive thing to do on a day off is to organize my things because the next time I go to do work it will be easier to find my work and do it,” said 16-year-old Daniel Cervantes.
Organizing yourself is another productive thing to do. You can make sure that you are ready for the next day and make sure that all of your materials and belongings are together. Getorganizednow.com recommends that you make a list before doing anything. “Spend 15 minutes per day, preparing your ‘To Do’ list for tomorrow. In doing so, you will know exactly what tasks you have to accomplish,” the site stated.
Spending Time with Loved Ones: Spending time with your loved ones is productive because you are communicating with the people who have been around you for most of your life. According to fortmagic.com, there are several benefits to spending family time together. One benefit is creating lasting connections. Sophomore Naeem Brown enjoys spending free time with family. “I think the most productive thing to do in your free time is to spend time with your loved ones because if you love or like these people then you should want to be around them,” the 16-year-old said. TRUE STAR JR. 13
Transitioning From ELEMENTARY TO Middle School BY KAMARI CRANSHAW, NICKAJACK ELEMENTARY, SMYRNA, GA.
’m originally from Chicago. I moved to Atlanta when I went to second grade, however I’ve been told by my mom and sisters that one of the biggest differences between APS (Atlanta Public Schools) and CPS (Chicago Public Schools) is that APS has more middle schools than Chicago. Here in Atlanta, elementary school is pre-k to fifth grade and middle school is sixth to eighth grade. On the other hand, most CPS elementary schools are pre-k to eighth grade. Another difference in the two school districts is that in Atlanta most students ride the school bus or are car riders, but many Chicago students walk or take public transportation to school; only students that receive special services ride the school bus. Last week I visited the middle school I am registered to attend in the fall, for open house. While I was there, I dis-covered several differences between elementary and middle school. One difference is that middle school has lockers and elementary schools have hooks for hanging book bags and outerwear. Also, elementary school students start school earlier at 7:50 a.m. and are dismissed earlier than middle school students at 2:10 p.m. Middle school students 14 TRUE STAR JR.
start school at 9 a.m. and get out at 4:15 p.m. I’m happy that I will be able to sleep a little later and not have to get up at 6:15 a.m. in order to make it to the bus by 6:50 a.m. I also learned that middle school does not have the ASP (After School Program) like elementary school, but it does have plenty of after school clubs for students to join. Parents are responsible for picking up their children after the club sessions end, unless the student is a walker. Not many students walk to school in Atlanta because of how the neighborhoods are set up. There aren’t really any sidewalks or blocks. Most people live in gated communities. I’m really excited about transitioning to middle school from elementary school. I learned a lot about what to expect, between listening to my peers that have already moved on to middle school, my teachers, whom remind us every day what to expect, and the recently attended open house. I think it’s going to be pretty hard, but, I think I got it under control!
You Got This BY KAI TAYLOR, HILL GROVE HIGH SCHOOL, POWDER SPRINGS, GA.
was told that the late teens/early twenties will be the most fun and carefree time of my life. So far, at 17, I am being exposed to more responsibilities and two-way roads where many opportunities are presented to me. The difficult part is balancing the important stuff with a social life. Becoming an adult apparently means I must go through responsibility drills. It’s not all bad though. I work at a small café in Marietta Square, a city right outside of Atlanta city limits. The owner provides breakfast and lunch in exchange for 7:00 am openings and non-stop customer service until 3:00 pm. It’s weekends only, but when I can work on the weekdays, I take advantage as a day’s worth of tips alone are over $100. It’s good money for those mall days and allows me to have spending money without dipping into my paycheck. Then there is college preparation and all that comes with it–placement tests, college visits, counseling sessions, and the constant pressure to succeed. As an aspiring veterinarian, getting the best education I can’t afford is my top priority. I come from a single-parent home of a mom who, as a first-generation college graduate, did all she could to make life easier for me. Although it is not the only way, higher education has always been my pathway of choice to accomplish my goals. Despite my focus on college and money these days, for me, school and work do not define my
teenage years. The experiences in these settings, the social interactions with friends, the problemsolving skills I have built to make things happen are the moments that matter. I am learning every day how to handle conflict and disappointment, to provide advice and guidance, and to share hope and success. I am, more than anything, learning more about myself and how I relate to all aspects of the world. What do I stand for? What do I want out of life? Most importantly, who am I? I hope to answer each of these questions with confidence one day. In the meantime, I am learning to juggle, focus intently, and pay attention to my emotional needs and balance. TRUE STAR JR. 15
A PEEK AT CHI-TOWN’S
Best Burger Joints
BY NIA HOWARD, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
Burger Bar Chicago:
lthough many people know Chicago for its deep-dish pizzas and Garrett’s Popcorn, you may have not heard about the bustling burger joints around the city. Here are the top seven burger spots to visit in Chicago!
1578 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 This place is literally Build-A-Bear Workshop for burgers. You design your own burger with toppings and over dozens of sides to choose from.
Top Notch Beefburgers: 2116 95th St, Chicago, IL 60643 Selling beef burgers since 1942 on the South Side of Chicago with shakes, sandwiches, and soups to die for.
1900 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616 This spot has super juicy burgers, wings, chili, and organic condiments. Plus, they take your order on an iPad and the food is made while you wait, as soon as your order goes in.
DMK Burger Bar:
The Burger Point:
2954 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 An uppity restaurant with tons of options of sides, homemade sodas and friendly staff that’s sure to make your meal even better.
550 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60661 A local restaurant that uses natural and organic ingredients in their food; a place you’re sure to love at first sight.
Grange Hall Burger Bar:
BRGRBELLY Portage Park:
844 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607 This burger joint has a rustic twist to it with “farm-to-table” burgers, ice cream, and food that suits almost all eaters. 16 TRUE STAR JR.
5739 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60634 With a classic ‘50’s theme within the restaurant, this spot serves hand-ground beef and hand-cut fries. The epitome of original classics.
Atlanta HOT SPOTS
BY IAMLILDEEDEE, ATLANTA, GA.
ll kids, tweens, and teens like to hang out when they come to Atlanta! There are a lot of different places and restaurants that I like to go to with some of my celebrity friends. Here is a list of some of my favorite spots.
This is where your hangout-needs like eating, gaming, and chilling meet the competitive sport of golf. It’s a tri-level indoor/ outdoor 240-yard outfield where you hit golf balls off the balcony.
Ever thought about jumping off a cliff with a parachute backpack or even jumping out of an airplane with skis attached to your feet? At iFly they can make those dreams come true – just indoors! You strap up just as you would in reality and you actually get inside this glass building and experience the same rush in your free fall. There’s no jumping, no parachute, literally nothing is attaching you to planet earth.
This place has to be one of the best indoor gokarting spaces that I have ever been to! There are about four to seven different tracks you can choose from. You can get your own VIP exclusive area just for you and your friends. The food is amazing too! Choices include pizza, hot wings, or even jumbo slurpees.
If you’re in town for a quick meal or even just a night out with the gang, this is the place for you. If you enjoy humorous Japanese foreign language, well-done steak and seafood, and a full belly come swing by. Guest eat in front of a 55-inch grill and enjoy fresh food. It can’t get any better than that.
I have a shopping addiction. I love my sneakers, H&M, thrifting, all of it! If I’m not at the outlets I’m in this mall that has almost three floors full of almost every store you can think of. You can even go bungee jumping in this mall! You want to go shopping with a celebrity? This just might be the place where you run into one. TRUE STAR JR. 17
HOT OFF THE PRESS
GETTING TO KNOW
Ashleigh Ross BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ore than half a million people are following 17-year-old Ashleigh Ross on Instagram. Are you? The Australian actress, featured on Free Form’s “Dance Academy,” talked with True Star about how she became a social media influencer. True Star: What was your reaction when you realized that you were getting really famous on Instagram? Ashleigh Ross: I was a little nervous and confused. I couldn’t believe that people actually wanted to see my posts! TS: How old were you when you made an Instagram account or any kind of social media account? AR: I think I was around 9 years old when I made a Myspace account. Do you remember Myspace? TS: When did you start receiving j ob opportunities and guest appearances? AR: When I was 13. That’s when social media really started to get to the point where I was receiving job opportunities and things like that. It was so surreal. I couldn’t believe that my social media was helping me receive jobs! TS: How did it feel to have a part on “Dance Academy”? AR: Being a part of “Dance Academy” was an incredible opportunity. I was really young at the time, but I was so excited. Back then, I didn’t really think about showing off my skills or anything. I was just so excited to be there. 18 TRUE STAR JR.
TS: Who is your inspiration? AR: My famous inspiration would have to be either Ellen DeGenerous or Zendaya. They are two incredibly strong and powerful women. TS: How would you describe yourself in three words? AR: Shy, happy and welcoming. TS: Favorite Color? AR: Pink! TS: Favorite souvenir/possession? AR: I hate to say it, but it’d probably be my phone. Especially when I’m in a different country. I can be in touch with my friends and family at home, which I love. TS: If you could change one thing about the world what would it be? AR: No more hate. TS: Name a gift you will never forget. AR: For my 13th birthday I climbed the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia. I will never forget how terrified I was and how incredible the view was. TS: Name one thing you really like about yourself. AR: My hair. Red hair is pretty rare. I love that.
Hits the Big Screen PHOTO CREDIT: JASON WILLHEIM, STYLIST: SHANNON KOMSKY, GROOMER: MICHELLE HARVEY
BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ou know those people who are extremely relatable? That’s 14-year-old Roni Akurati. But before we jump into why he inspires others, let’s get some behind the scenes info. The Chicagoan is a hardcore Bears fan (actually sports fan in general), but that’s not all; he also loves reading (favorite book series being Percy Jackson). “I like hanging out with my friends to talk about books and TV shows,” said Akurati. He also loves watching movies (favorite movie being Guardians of the Galaxy). Akurati can be classified as a laid-back kid who likes to hang out with friends while talking about good reads and binge-watching Netflix. He describes himself as “smart, funny and immaginative.” Now, let’s talk about Akurati’s acting career. His most recent movie, Growing Up Smith, is about an Indian family who moves to the United States in 1979. Smith Bhatnagar (Akurati) tries really hard to be more Americanized—his father thinks Smith is a popular American name—because he likes the girl next door, Amy Brunner (played by Brighton Sharbino). Akurati said the Growing Up Smith family is different from his normal family, but he doesn’t love them any less. Akurati said he is easily able to connect with his character because they both have a love of sci-fi and action based movies. Akurati believed
that Growing Up Smith shows the quality of expressing yourself, which he believes is a great thing. “Expressing yourself is always a great quality because you know who you are and can share that with other people and not be afraid,” he said. The movie also goes into the hardships of being an immigrant, which is the main focal point. On the Growing Up Smith twitter page (@ GrowingUpSmith), they tweeted for their fans to share their immigrant experience among other things that require fan involvement.
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“The Rap Game’s”
READY TO REIGN OVER HIP-HOP
BY JELYN ANDREWS, TRUE STAR ALUMNI, ATLANTA, GA.
f you haven’t heard of the King, now’s the time! King Roscoe is a 13-year-old, rap powerhouse who has certainly owned his title as “King.” When King Roscoe enters a room, he does just what a king is supposed to do, which is to command everyone’s attention. His vibrant personality, creative word choice, and personal style are just a few of the key ingredients in his possession that make him destined for greatness. Although he is one of the youngest in the game, his lyrics serve as proof that he most certainly is a force to reckon with. King Roscoe takes his career very serious and works diligently with an image consultant, a vocal coach, and his “momager,” in order to perfect his craft. However, he considers himself to be a “jack of all trades.” The King not only raps, but he also dances, models, acts, does public speaking, and so much more.
role model to those around him and remains humble throughout all of his endeavors. Similar to his rap idols, T.I. and Tupac Shakur, King Roscoe chose a career that not only allows him to express himself musically, but also gives him the opportunity to reach out to and be a voice for his community. He schedules tours to speak and perform at various schools around Atlanta, as well as hosts community service events. The King is well aware of what is going on not only in his community, but also in his country and around the world, and is able to speak on a variety of subject matters.
With a great support system behind him and confidence as his shield, he is rapidly overcoming obstacles, reaching new peaks and is now a walking testimony that you don’t have to become a product of your environment and when you work hard enough, dreams do come Being raised on the Westside of Atlanta, Ga., true. You can watch King Roscoe in action on King Roscoe was faced with many moments of season three of “The Rap Game” on Lifetime, adversity, mainly involving bullying. Despite or keep up with him on Instagram these challenges, he never allowed his experiences to alter his personality and deter him @thakingroscoe, on Twitter @iamkingroscoe, and on YouTube @KingRoscoe. from his dreams. King Roscoe serves as a great 20 TRUE STAR JR.
IM HIND H TEM BE S Y LY S T P IS RA ID PPOR LD, HE EAT SU R IE H G S A PEAKS S HIS WITH G NEW NCE A IN E H D I C F A ON YOU , RE AND C Y THAT TACLES S N B O O M STI OMING ING TE F YOUR OVERC WALK UCT O D A O R W P D NO EA K HAR AND IS BECOM U WOR VE TO O A Y H N E ’T . WH DON E TRUE T AND O COM NMEN D O S IR V M A EN H, DRE ENOUG
PHOTO BY: TARIK DENNIE
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The Baking Trio BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG & RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
The trio has been on other shows promoting their delicious treats such as “Windy City Live.” People were impressed with the taste and look of their cakes and how beautiful the glaze was. The sisters sat down with True Star and talked about being young entrepreneurs, working with as a family and being normal kids. In the business, each sister has a job. “Well, Na’ilah mostly makes the cakes,” Na’imah said. “If she’s not there or is feeling sick then I’ll make them, but I’m usually the one who tries out the glazes and the icings.” Nuriyah said, “I put on the stickers and [place] the cakes in the boxes.” As far as cooking goes, they believe it’s always fun when they are together. “It’s fun because I 22 TRUE STAR JR.
PHOTO CREDIT: CYDNI POLK FOR XPOSEUR PHOTOGRAPHY
he Johnson sisters went from helping their mother in the kitchen to creating their own money-making business. With the hobbies of sleeping in, gymnastics and playing outside—Na’ilah, 13, Na’imah, 11, and Nuriyah, 8—are sisters who are anything but ordinary. They’ve taken their baking skills to the next level. Na’imah took the chance of auditioning for “MasterChef Junior” and made it to the Top 40. get to help them all the time and put decorations on the dishes,” Nuriyah said. With all the possible baking ingredients, the sisters do have a favorite. “Cream cheese,” Na’ilah said. “You can put it in a lot of things to make it creamier and it has a nice taste.” The Johnson sisters got into cooking on Sundays (mostly), and then started making little things on their own. But here is how their love for baking began. One day their mom, Rheanna, was going to a potluck and didn’t make a cake. She asked her daughters if they wanted to make the cake and they did. ... The cake was gone in five seconds. When mom found out they really had baking skills, she asked them how they would feel about opening their own business and selling the cakes. Thus, NaNiNuBatterCakes was born.
THROUGH Poetry BY ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
poken word poetry isn’t just for adults. Kuumba Lynx is making sure teens and preteens have a place to go when they want to spit lyrics, produce music and provide performances. Half Poetics Spoken Word & Poetry Writing, one of Kuumba Lynx’s programs, is a writing and slam poetry project for ages 8 to 14. “I started this program because I wanted young kids to have the chance to be exposed to poetry and writing,” Kuumba Lynx’s co-founder Jacinda Bullie said about the nine-year-old program. Bullie said she has big ideas for her program and wants it to go far. In the next five years she sees the program engaging to more younger folks. She also wants Kuumba Lynx to make generations of leaders. The weird thing is that Bullie never did poetry in her younger years because of a bad experience and she didn’t like it until she was 18. Bullie’s believes in the program so much that even her middle school-age daughter Askia is one of the poets. “I grew up around poetry. My dad and brother do poetry so I wanted to do it,” Askia said. She added that besides being an activity, which makes her family bond stronger, poetry has helped her with creativity. Askia said one of the things she enjoys most about poetry is “getting to express myself. Also getting to collaborate with my friends and family. They say great minds think alike.” Kuumba Lynx has traveled cross the country having teens perform in various spoken word
competitions. Askia said she has enjoyed that experience as well. She admits that she does have a favorite spot. “Atlanta, Georgia. School of America,” said Askia. “It was a lot of people that I got to express my feelings to. I also did one of my favorite poems.” These kids are really doing something amazing than just expressing their feelings. They’re also giving other people a chance to listen to their feelings. When people listen to poetry some people take that piece and think about it, about what it means. For more information about the program check out kuumbalynx.com. TRUE STAR JR. 23
THE RAP GAME
he third season of “The Rap Game,” brought to you by hip-hop royalty executive producers Queen Latifah and Jermaine Dupri, is currently in full swing on the Lifetime network. Rappers Da Brat, Bow Wow, Rick Ross, Fabolous, Jon Jon, I Heart Memphis, Jeezy, and Jadakiss, singer Kelly Rowland, and producers Brian Michael Cox, Zaytoven, and Mike Kalombo, join Dupri to help guide the artists to victory with a recording contract with Dupri’s label, So So Def Recordings.
TRUE STAR POLLED CHICAGO YOUTH ON WHO SHOULD WIN THE CHAIN AND CONTRACT! DO YOU AGREE WITH THE RESULTS?
15, Baltimore, MD
16, Reading, PA
13, Atlanta, GA
12, Savannah, GA
16, Nashville, TN
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ON Miss Mariyah BY NIA HOWARD, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ave you ever wanted to design accessories like necklaces, head wraps or earrings? Meet Mariyah Lang, an 11-year-old from Kipp College Prep who does just that. Lang said it all started in December when her mother had given her a kit to make these accessories. Lang’s inspiration for making these is the fact that when she was a baby, she was diagnosed with alopecia—a condition that causes hair loss. The fifth grader said she has always liked wearing bows and other accessories. “I like making accessories,” Lang said. At the moment, she doesn’t sell her accessories, but she plans to in the near future to make a profit. Although her business is just starting, Lang already has plans about where she wants to be in the next five years. “I see myself as an independent woman, making money and being successful,” she said. The fifth grader said that her big brother is her role model because he protects her and supports her as well as inspires her to do good in school like him. Lang typically finds herself doing athletic things like dance and cheer and she loves everything about herself, especially the way
she dresses. In the future, she wants to attend Gwendolyn Brooks for high school and maintain her A/B honor roll status. If her house was burning down, she said that she would save her “phone, cat and shoes. I love my shoes.” Her favorite food is cheese sticks and her favorite artist is singer Jacquees, who she would love to see in concert. Her favorite season is summer, in school she enjoys her writing class, and she likes to pass the time reading the Dork Diaries series. Make sure you follow her on Instagram @bandsbowsby and show some love! TRUE STAR JR. 25
SPRING STYLIN' Ayipey & Isis @HOUSEOFTROPHIES
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Isis Nautica TRUE STAR JR. 27
Jahkil & Carley
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Jahkil Photographer: Shelby Brown Wardrobe Styling: Dutch Hair Styling: Diamond Beach for House of Her Make Up Artist: Brittany Beach for House of Her All of the clothes & shoes are from H&M and Trophies
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OF A LEGACY BY KAMREN CALE, KENWOOD ACADEMY
imeon Career Academy is a high school on the city’s South Side whose basketball team is going to play in the semi-finals. Simeon has had a great history of producing outstanding players in the past like Ben Wilson and Derrick Rose. When I went to go talk to some of the players practicing I talked to Evan Gilyard, Talen Horton, Tucker Kezo Brown, and Madison Lowry. Gilyard is a senior who is also a 5’10” point guard. He said his love for the game began “when I was young, around 5 years old.” According to Gilyard his team chemistry is great. “We love each other and we treat each other well.” Gilyard’s role model is Isaiah Thomas, starting point guard for the Celtics. He said that Thomas is his role model because they are one inch off from being the same height and they play similarly. I asked him what would you tell a young athlete like me, he said, “Keep working. There will be obstacles to go through in life but you know, just don’t let that hold you down. You know, just keep working and keep pushing.” Lowry is a senior power forward on the team who is 6’5”. Lowery wasn’t always interested in basketball. At first he thought for sure he was going to play football. But when he realized that he actually liked it he started to play. He says that his dad is his role model because he sees him getting up early to go to work, and he is always working hard. Lowry hasn’t always played the position of power forward, but he said if a power 30 TRUE STAR JR.
forward is a position that the team needs that is the position that he will play. Practically any sacrifice that needs to be made, like switching positions before a game or staying late for practice, is no big deal for a team like this team. With players like Gilyard and Lowry, Simeon is in good standing of continuing its sports legacy.
PHOTO CREDIT MICHAEL JOHNSON
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ARE STILL THE PRIDE OF ATLANTA BY MALACHI CRANSHAW, NICKAJACK ELEMENTARY, SMYRNA, GA.
iving in the city of Atlanta is very exciting, especially this year because our home football team made it to the Super Bowl for the first time in almost 20 years. Unfortunately, they lost to the defending champion New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. I was surprised to see them make it to this year’s Super Bowl because in my opinion, the Falcons are an okay team, but I’m honestly a Panthers fan, I would rather have seen them go to the Super Bowl instead. I guess since I live in Atlanta I have to at least like the Falcons. So when they went to the Super Bowl I was excited, just to blend in with everyone else. The whole city was excited and lit every time they played, leading up to the big game. There were fans everywhere. Lots of people traveled to Atlanta to support their favorite team. Even fans of the opposite teams flooded the streets on game day. Traffic was extremely heavy, especially downtown near the stadium. Everywhere you went you saw Falcons shirts, hats, and even cars decorated with Falcons flags and gear. The Friday before the big game, we celebrated “Falcons Friday” at school by wearing the colors 32 TRUE STAR JR.
red, black, and white or wearing Falcon’s jerseys to cheer on the team. On Super Bowl Sunday many people hosted Super Bowl parties in their homes. Some restaurants and local businesses even gave discounts on food and party items. Although the Falcons didn’t win, there were many fans that were thrilled that the Falcons at least made it to the Super Bowl. There were great interviews and half-time commercials that caught the eye of millions of viewers. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched events of the year. It gave many viewers the opportunity to view each team in comparison to each other. Despite the loss from the Falcons, they still proved themselves as one of the best teams in the 2017 NFL season. Although I’m not a fan of the Falcons, I have to give the credit where credit is due. It was one of the most exciting Super Bowls of our time.
Lindblom & The EPIC SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE
BY KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ver noticed that strip of green land in the middle of the street while you ride by in your car? Those green strips of land and parks that make a semi circle around the city are boulevards, and it’s a part of Chicago’s now aging system. Chicago’s parks are used for many things but what about the boulevards? Ever notice that the boulevard is used as a stop to cross the street? That makes the boulevards seem like wasted space. The EPIC Sustainable Youth Challenge that Lindblom Math & Science Academy’s Horticulture Club is participating in looks to change that. As part of a Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum program, the challenge provides an opportunity for Chicago high school and middle school teachers and students to develop community-based sustainability campaigns focused on the historic boulevard system. “Students in Horticulture Club have constructed survey questions, collected survey responses within the school and within their communities, synthesized responses for each questions, came up with possible solutions, and drafted a large
scale and small scale boulevard model,” said Ayesha Qazi, the Horticulture Club main teacher. “I am excited and looking forward to student’s contribution and progress.” Kristin Rivera, one of the mentors for the EPIC Sustainability Challenge, had good things to say about Lindblom’s progress. “I think the Lindblom team was ahead of the game from the start. The group was the most prepared from what I saw during our first EPIC kickoff meeting at the museum.” Qazi also said that the Lindblom Horticulture Club was on track with where they’re estimated to be and they had great ideas. Lauren Levites, the teacher sponsor of the club, gave her thoughts on the ideas of the members which were: “I really love that the ideas stretch so many different ways—artistic, environmental, practical, improve the aesthetic appeal, etcetera. They provide a community that has something for everyone!” The top three student campaigns will be announced in May. TRUE STAR JR. 33
CREATIVE & CULTURE CORNER
Stay SAFE BY ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL We need to stay safe. America will get better, it has to get better. You just need to keep breathing to see it. You just need to stay strong to believe it. We need to help each other. We need to stay close to one another so we can stay safe. You’re wondering, stay safe from what? Well, to stay safe from the disaster America is beginning to look like. So stay safe, and have faith, and always believe America will get better, it has to get better. And it will only get better if you don’t lose hope, because inside, just like the myth of Pandora, we will always have hope. So stay safe, stick together, don’t lose hope. And remember, America will get better, as long as I don’t lose hope and hold on to the ones I love.
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Fan Art OF DECIM
From Death Parade BY KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
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Dream Catchers BY NIA HOWARD, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
I have a dream, that’s contradicted by a fear Others relate, but can’t seem to hear, I dream of trust, but I fear it will crust, Crust away into the horizons of tomorrow’s failure. I dream of being heard, that what I say aren’t just words, Words with no relevant meaning. I have dreams, dreams that are always replaced with “what if’s” and worst case scenarios. I used to believe I could do and be anything I wanted, I guess I grew up and looked at the world through it’s clouded over eyes. I used to overdose on the ecstasy of growing up, high off the thoughts of achieving stupid things. Now, I just want to lay off the drugs tomorrow supposedly supplies, and go to rehab to rethink my options. I have dreams, but are they worth chasing? Are they even real? Maybe it’s paranoia, or it’s the voices telling me things, things that change my mind and make me once again crave the high.
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Unicorns BY KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY You know what? I like unicorns Like me, they are majestic, magical creatures that are liked by many Though unicorns aren’t real Unfortunately, you are I have to deal with your constant evil You, constantly trying to drag me down from my pedestal into flames But you can’t take me so you take my friends Now some unicorns have wings and Wings are made to fly Naturally, I was one of them I used them to soar above your negativity and put-downs Until you clipped them off like the sick being you are You tried to cripple me so that I wouldn’t resist you I let your petty comments get to me But I’m too strong for that You’re so sick that you would dig your claws into your own children if you could You would probably even consider unicorn meat as a thing if they existed Luckily for them, unicorns are about as real as your brain and your humanity As I’ve gone through this torture I’ve been able to heal And you’re confused as of how You’ve tried your very best so that I would conform So that I wouldn’t embarrass you But no I AM a unicorn Unicorns have the power to render poisoned water pure I counsel the people you get your grimy little hands on and free them from your grasp Unicorns have night vision I guide people through the darkness you cast over them And most importantly, unicorns can be immortal You can’t bring me down and I will always be here guiding the lost and helping the weak survive you Why? Because I am a unicorn In no description are unicorns ever talked about as gentle I’m definitely no exception
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Congratulations, True Star. You have our respect. Success doesn’t come easily. That’s why we’re always proud to celebrate those who overcome obstacles to reach their goals and achieve great things. Way to make a big difference!
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