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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

Our Mission

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.

Our Work

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.

Our Impact

• True Star has provided apprenticeship opportunities for over 2,500 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 2014, 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. David Douglas – Founder & CEO – Yolobe, Inc. Leslie A. Hairston -  Alderman, Fifth Ward Sean Harden - Non-Profit Consultant Maze Jackson - Executive Director at Intelligence Group Monique Mayo - Professor, Columbia College Chicago Mia Nelson - Senior Consultant, Northwestern University David Nichols - Americas Leader - EY Barbara Thompson - Regional Marketing Manager McDonald’s Corporation Malcolm Weems - Senior Advisor Public Policy and Regulation, Dentons

Thank You To Our Major Partners

TRUESTARFOUNDATION.ORG

TRUESTARIS.COM

YOUTUBE.COM/TRUESTARMEDIATV

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 info@truestarmagazine.com or call 312.588.0100


CONTENTS EXPOSE’

6: SUMMER EQUALS GUN VIOLENCE IN CHICAGO BY LAUREN WEAVER, KENWOOD ACADEMY 7: IS HAIR A CULTURAL THING? BY ANAYA FRAZIER, KENWOOD ACADEMY 8: THE UNSPOKEN LANGUAGE OF SIGN FATIMAH SKEETS, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 9: HILLARY CLINTON VS. DONALD TRUMP BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

TALKIN’ NERDY

10: ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS VS. CPS SCHOOLS BY ANAYA FRAZIER, KENWOOD ACADEMY 11: OFF-PLOT BOOK ADAPTATIONS BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY & ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 12: OPTIONAL FRIDAYS BY NOVOTNA TALEVERA, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACAD​EMY 13: PC VS. CONSOLE GAMING SYSTEMS BY ANDY JIMENEZ, CHASE ELEMENTARY

HOT OFF THE PRESS

14: ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2016 BY ALDO BROWN, KENWOOD ACADEMY 15: GETTING TO KNOW ASHLEY BOETTCHER BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY​ 16: FRESH OFF THE BOAT’S FORREST WHEELER BY RHANIYA & SHANIYA L. DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY​ 17: INSIDE WITH GENNEYA WALTON BY BRIANNA RINGO, KENWOOD ACADEMY

FASHION

18: SUMMER FASHION

MINI BOSSES

22: JADE WATSON BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY 23: JAHKIL JACKSON BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY 24: SAMUEL LOVE BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY 25: DOROTHY JEAN TILLMAN BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY 26: KENNEDY COBB BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 27: PHILLIP CUSIC BY ALEXANDER SHAW & ANAYA FRAZIER 28: ZEDRIC THOMAS BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY 29: DEJA RAY BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 30: JERMALE DABNEY, BRIANA WILSON, VON STEUBEN METROPOLITAN SCIENCE CENTER 31: KEJUAN CLEMENTS BY FATIMAH SKEETS, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY​

4EVER YOUNG

32: #BESTFRIENDGOALS BY JORDAN BEASLEY, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 33: SUMMER GAMES BY BRIANNA RINGO, KENWOOD ACADEMY

34: CRAZY ZODIAC FACTS BY TATIANA VILLASENOR, CHASE ELEMENTARY

CREATIVE & CULTURE CORNER 35: A FLAWED SYSTEM BY ANAYA FRAZIER, KENWOOD ACADEMY 36: TOP LATINA ENTERTAINERS BY INGRID MENDEZ, CHASE ELEMENTARY 37: THE LOST ART, NOVENA TALAVERA, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACAD​EMY​ 38: EMOTIONS BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY 39: I AM BY LAUREN WEAVER, KENWOOD ACADEMY

KEEPIN’ SCORE

40: BULLS MISMANAGEMENT BY ALEXANDER SHAW, KENWOOD ACADEMY 41: NEW SEASON, NEW BECKHAM? BY DANTE MATTIAS, CHASE ELEMENTARY

DEEPER THAN SKIN

42: ACRYLIC NAILS: FASHION OVER HEALTH? VERENICE CAMPOS AND JAYLLA BRAGGS, CHASE ELEMENTARY

SCHOOL SPIRIT

43: LINDBLOM’S MUSICAL: WORKING BY MAGALY MURO, 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 MCLEARY & 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 MARKETING ASSISTANT DANEISHA GOODMAN

TRUESTARIS.COM TO DONATE TO TRUE STAR FOUNDATION, VISIT TRUESTARFOUNDATION.ORG


CONTRIBUTORS Chase

From the top and left to right: Andy Jimenez, Jaylla Braggs, Sebastian Cruz Alejandro Gaytan, Alejandro Sandoval, Tatiana Villasenor Joana Ruiz, Ingrid Mendez Dante Matias, Cheyenne Lugo, Adriana Cruz, Naydelene Matias Jonathan Guzman, Vereneice Campos, Mariah Quen Not pictured: Anthony Ramirez, Sierra Ramirez, Keilah Barrett, Edgar Venegas

​D isney From the top and left to right: ​Frances Schnepff Deven Ward Claire Lyons Anthony Jordan


Lindblom

From the top and left to right: ​Makayla Idelburg, Rhaniya Dawson, Novotna Talavera Shaniya Dawson LaDora Thomas, Jordan Beasley Nia Howard Fatimah Skeets, Jamelya Simmons, Monet-Aaliyah Harkins Not pictured: Magaly Muro, Abigail F. Dizion, Darius Maloney​

Kenwood From left to right: Anaya Frazier Yahzuri Zebulun Sage Butler Dylan Hunter Imani Joseph Brianna Ringo Alexander Shaw Not pictured: Lauren Weaver, Aldo Brown


EXPOSE’

Summer Equals GUN

Violence in CHICAGO

BY LAUREN WEAVER, KENWOOD ACADEMY

T

he Chicago gang violence rises with the heat of the summer. The streets and parks are still unsafe for children of all ages, therefore taking away the most important part of summer. Kids are not able to play due to the fear of being shot, killed, robbed or harassed. “Chicago violence during the summer has become a tradition… and it’s getting old,” said Sarudi Ivan, a teacher at Kenwood Academy. The high rate of violence in Chicago has given the city the searing nickname of “Chiraq”; a reference to the war going on in Iraq. Teenagers and children are tired of not being able to enjoy the weather because of the violence in their communities. South sider Mia Mitchell said there needs to be better options for all summer free time.“Summer is when Chicago is most dangerous,” the 14-yearold said. “Everybody has all this extra time and nothing to do, resulting in senseless crime.” Kenwood Academy student Asha Powell wanted to feel optimistic about summer, but was 6 TRUE STAR JR.

worried. “Summer is supposed to be something Chicagoans can look forward to, but it has turned into a dangerous and violent season of the year,” Powell, 14, said. “I wish that summer was safe and not as stressful.” The Chicago Tribune reported last September that summer violence in 2015 increased from the previous year. Homicides were up 22 percent and shootings had increased by more than 15 percent. In addition, shootings were most likely to happen on Sunday. According to a crime statistic website, in Chicago a person is shot every two minutes and 24 seconds and killed every 14 hours and seconds as of True Star Jr. press time. We all know major infamous cases in which violence has occurred in Chicago during the summer such as Shamiya Adams, Pierce Curry, and Darnell Walker. Only a few summer violence cases are actually publicized and brought to the public’s attention, but hundreds are getting killed and injured daily. Chicago and its people need to come together and do something about the violence and danger in our communities.


Is Hair A

Cultural Thing?

“PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE AND HAIRSTYLE ARE JUST HAIRSTYLES. AND IF DIFFERENT RACES WANT

BY ANAYA FRAZIER, KENWOOD ACADEMY

R

DIFFERENT HAIRSTYLE LET THEM WEAR THOSE HAIRSTYLES,”

ecent gossip and controversy over pop star Justin Bieber wearing his hair in dreadlocs plagued social media (Bieber had locs for about a month.). In addition to that, a video went viral after a Black female called out a white male on the San Francisco State University campus for wearing his hair in a dreadloc style. Since then, questions have come up in conversation because of this hair issue: (1) How do Black people really feel about white people wearing dreadlocs? (2) If white people can’t wear locs because society views it as some type of cultural thing, then why can Black people dye their hair blonde, get weaves and not face the same type of criticism? “White people can’t get dreads because it looks so freaking ugly,” said 12-year-old Tianni Marshall. “And Black people can dye their hair because every race does it now. Weaves are a little different, but still acceptable to me because there are different types of weave that fit Black women’s hair. I also believe that White people getting dreads are in a sense cultural appropriation.” Cultural appropriation—when one culture use aspects from another cultural—has been a hot topic for a couple of years. Does anyone really have any claim over dreadlocs? CNN.com reported that locs were worn by the Maasai and Ashanti tribes in Africa and can be linked back to India as early as 1800 B.C, but became popularized in western culture thanks to the Rastafarians in Jamaica. Hair extensions and hair dye can be traced back to ancient Egypt.

Many may agree with Marshall, but 40-year-old Chris Mitchell* had something a little different to say. “People are people and hairstyle are just hairstyles. And if different races want different hairstyle let them wear those hairstyles,” Marshall said. Marshall went on to add, “Many Black people don’t even know [why they wear dreadlocs] and just think it’s something for only their race to have. This just proves how the debate over hair, ethic brainwashing, and cultural appropriation may never end. But it does give people something to think about.” *Name has been changed. TRUE STAR JR. 7


The “Unspoken Language” Of Sign

BY FATIMAH SKEETS, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

T

he word “language” usually has to do with speaking and ways of communication, right? Well this language is different. Sign language has nothing to do with talking at all. People with limited hearing abilities often resort to sign language as another way of communication. How much do you know about this “unspoken language”? You may find it interesting to learn that approximately 37 to 44 percent of the world’s population knows sign language. American sign language (ASL) is reported to be the fourth most commonly used language in the U.S. after Spanish, Italian, German, and French, according to the Gallaudet University Library. It’s a very important part of communication for hearingimpaired people. Talking loud and yelling doesn’t work, so in 1814, Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet came up with sign language. Sign language is primarily used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing. To be considered hard of hearing, you must have 20 percent or less of your natural hearing abilities. But in recent years, mute individuals have also taken up sign language. Sure, there are other ways that hearing-impaired people can communicate, such as lip reading, 8 TRUE STAR JR.

but sign language is more efficient. Imagine not being able to hear a word your friends were saying, and having to decipher words by watching their lips move. It’s not easy. According to start-american-sign-language. com, “The history of American Sign Language… started in 1814 with Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet… a minister from Hartford, Connecticut. His neighbor Mason Cogswell, had a deaf daughter… named Alice Cogswell. Dr. Gallaudet realized Alice was very smart despite the fact that she couldn’t speak or hear, and wanted to teach Alice how to communicate.” Gallaudet travelled to Europe, where he’d heard of education for deaf individuals, to gain support for an American deaf school. The opening of the American School for the Deaf was a huge milestone in deaf history. In 1864, Columbia Institute opened The National Deaf-Mute College under the request of Dr. Gallaudet’s youngest son. It was later renamed the Gallaudet College, and once more in 1986 renamed Gallaudet University to honor Dr. Gallaudet. It is known as the first and only college for deaf and mute individuals in the world.


Hillary Clinton Vs. Donald Trump.

Does Gender Matter? BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

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wo people are looking to become President of the United States. Real estate mogul Donald Trump is the republican nominee and the former First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the democratic nominee. Here are some pointers about why voters should and should not vote for each candidate in November. Clinton served as the 67th United States Secretary of State under President Barack Obama from 2009-2013. You should have heard that Clinton is in quite the predicament. Apparently she exclusively used her personal email accounts when conducting official business during her tenure as Secretary of State. Several others in the president’s cabinet and under former President George W. Bush previously had done the same thing, according to the dailysignal.com. The only difference: They were men. Trump is a real estate developer, television personality, and businessman. The whole world knows Trump has said some pretty stupid things. For example, his comment on how all Mexican immigrants should be sent back to their country or come and work for him, ranks as one of the most memorable. He also said that Muslims would be banned from the U.S. What’s really crazy is that last year two Boston siblings where arrested and charged with beating up a homeless Latino man with a lead pipe. They cited Trump as a motivator, agreeing with his message about deporting immigrants, according to cnn. com. Trump’s immediate response was that they had a lot of passion.

Clinton Pros According to cnbc.com • Authentic • Will really fight for middle class • Understands foreign policy • Has the qualifications

Clinton Cons According to louderwithcrowder.com • MIA when the 3am phone call came from Benghazi • Illegally accepted millions of dollars from foreign governments • Defended a child rapist and laughed about it • A proven, verifiable liar

Trump Pros According to breitbart.com • Says what’s on his mind • Has business accomplishments • Has negotiation skills • Has celebrity status

Trump Cons According to timesofsandiego.com • Overconfidence • Ignorance about government • Inconsistency • Loose with facts You may not be old enough to vote yet, but you can share this information with people who are. Encourage them to vote based on facts, not gender. TRUE STAR JR. 9


TALKING NERDY

What’s Better?

Alternative vs. CPS Schools BY ANAYA FRAZIER, KENWOOD ACADEMY

A

lot of people look upon alternative schools in a negative light, but why? There are hundreds of alternative schools across the country. These schools are seen as an alternative for students who have behavioral, medical or educational needs that are unable to be dealt with at a traditional school. According to a 2015 NPR story, over 9,000 Chicago students attended alternative schools, a third of which are run by for-profit companies. That’s 8 percent of CPS high school students. True Star Jr. asked around about alternative school, created a survey and assembled the following information. Question: Why are traditional schools better? Most answers were negative. Some even answered that there should be no alternative schools. “Kids need to do what they need to in school,” says Jane Adams, 19. One girl said that alternative schools were a great chance for kids to take back control of their life. Question: Would you ever consider attending an alternative school? Many said “no” and did not offer a good reason for their answer. One person did say they would consider going to an alterative school. 10 TRUE STAR JR.

Her name is *Amaya Lopez. It turns out that the 16-year-old actually attends an alternative school because of life-wrecking home problems that caused her to drop out in her freshman year. “My school really works around my schedule which is good for me since I still have to take care of my mother,” Lopez said. “My school and teachers work with me to insure that my academic life and personal life are stable so that I can be successful. It’s truly the best school I’ve ever attended.” She added that if she can’t make school on a particular day or has to stay at school the whole day, she can take her classes online. “I feel I actually have a future ahead of me now,” Lopez said. When people think of alternative schools, people should not think of failure but second chances. *Person’s name has been changed.


Off-plot Book

Adaptations BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY & ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL

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ovies such as Divergent, The Maze Runner and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters are wildly popular. These particular movie franchises are based off of best-selling book series that have been adapted into movies. Is it right to change and cut parts of the original book when it is being made into a movie? Is it necessary for the movie to have a different plot than the book? Veronica Roth’s Divergent was a thick book that was made into a two-hour-plus movie in 2014. The first movie in the movie franchise had a similar plot and conflict as the book. However, the sequel Insurgent decided to pursue a different path. The movie was slightly off-plot and the conflict did not change. The resolution and rising action was different from the book too. There are many other examples of off-plot movie adaptations. The second book in The Maze Runner franchise was slightly accurate to the book. The antagonists in the book were not visibly accurate though. People who did not read the books thought of the antagonists as zombie like things. Percy Jackson the Sea of Monsters book and movie were way off. Almost nothing was on topic. For one, Tyson, Percy’s brother, did not die by Luke. He died by an explosion. Also the

Great Prophecy was not revealed until the Last Olympian. And Hermes showed up on the beach at Camp Half-blood to give Percy his gifts, and he told Percy to go on the quest. Annabeth did not die by a giant bug she died by the cyclops that attacks her when she tried to get the Golden Fleece. The part that got everyone, is that Lord Kronos did not rise until the Battle of the Laybrinth. Some parts of the movie were right but not the most important parts. TRUE STAR JR. 11


Optional FRIDAYS

BY NOVOTNA TALAVERA, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

“I

can’t survive another day in this school!” We have all had this thought run through our minds countless times while listening to a teacher’s monotone voice echo through what seemed to be a barren, lifeless classroom, lit up solely by a projector light or a sliver of sun shining from behind the lowered blinds. The thought of you staring at the hands on the clock ticking endlessly, waiting for the bell to ring so you can finally be set free from the dreadfully long Friday is becoming a thing of the past. Well, maybe not everywhere, but at least in one place. Olfen Independent School District of Texas is the first school district in history to approve a fourday school week. The tiny school district in rural Texas has never received this much attention until now. With this huge step for education comes a barrage of questions. The most obvious question has yet to be answered, which is “How would 12 TRUE STAR JR.

this shorter school week be beneficial to students?” The new system includes the students passing their classes with acceptable grades. Those same students with good marks will have the opportunity to stay at home on Fridays as a reward. The students who need more help with the material taught will be forced to attend school on Friday. Nadiya Muhammad, a Lindblom 7th grader, said, “Personally I would try to strive to get good grades if I didn’t have to attend school on Fridays.” Each of the 160 school days have been extended with an additional 25 minutes. In total, the school year will provide 77,000 minutes of class, more time than the minimum required time, 75,600 minutes. So, do longer school days and shorter weeks provide the students with more learning time and help to reach their success goal? The only way to find out is to wait until the end of the 2016-17 school year at the Olfen Independent School District to learn the results.


PC Vs. Console,

Which Do You Prefer?

B

oth PC and console gaming are very popular in the gaming community. But when it comes down to both, we don’t know which is better. The book Console Wars explained the good and bad in both systems. But which one is better?

PC: When you play a game on PC, you

use a mouse and keyboard to control the game. You also have many keys on the keyboard, so you can change the controls until you are good with it. When you play a game on PC, you have better aim with the mouse than with a controller, and you will hit better shots.

Console: When you play on

a console, you use a controller to play. You have little control to play, but in games you can change the controls, but you can’t choose which controls for the action. Kalya Stypinski, 13, says, “PlayStation and Xbox are good, but lags because of the

programs the console has.” Stypinski also plays games on her PC. “PC has a lot of controls and can be confusing to memorize, but you are able to aim better.” Desiree Stypinski, Kayla’s sister, has played Xbox, PlayStation, GameCube and Atari. “For XBox, I think, the games are more high value or high quality but they lag a lot,” said Desiree, 18. “There is more lagging which ticks me off when I’m trying to play.” While she added that PlayStation is better than Xbox, she thinks that PC games are good for strategic gaming. When you look up PC vs. console, a lot of the websites say that PC is better because of better hardware, and performance. PCs have a lot more parts in them than consoles, and they also have better graphics than consoles because of the parts and how good they run. Even though PCs do not have the background like consoles (such as the Xbox one Windows Update, and PlayStations Update), they run a lot better and they are faster. TRUE STAR JR. 13


HOT OFF THE PRESS

Top ANTICIPATED Action Movies of 2016 BY ALDO BROWN, KENWOOD ACADEMY

A

long with the warmer weather comes the summer blockbusters that everyone has been waiting for. The fans chose this list for the top action movies they are most excited about seeing. Here are the results.

Independence Day: Resurgence Nations of Earth make a huge defense system to protect the planet. After 20 years, they are finally coming out with another one. The aliens are very strong and they attack with force. Scheduled release: June 24, 2016

TMNT: Out of the Shadows This is the sequel to the 2014 movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In this movie, it will be even more fun adventures with Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael. Scheduled release: June 3, 2016 The Legend of Tarzan Tarzan left the Congo years ago to be with Jane, but comes back to serve as a trade emissary unaware that he is a pawn. He has to deal with a deadly situation that includes greed and revenge. Scheduled release: July 1, 2016 The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Experiment Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star in the sequel to 2-13 hit The Conjuring. In this movie the couple goes to London to help a mother with four children to get rid of some dangerous spirits. Scheduled release: June 10, 2016 Finding Dory People have been waiting for this sequel since 2003. In Finding Nemo the original movie, Marlin and Dory were on a mission to find Nemo. In Finding Dory it is not all about finding Dory. Scheduled release: June 17, 2016 14 TRUE STAR JR.

Ghostbusters Thirty years after the original Ghostbusters, this female crew of paranormal researchers tackle ghosts in New York City. Scheduled release: July 15, 2016. Suicide Squad A gang of villains go on a mission that was assigned by the government. The government could have just gotten superheroes to do it, but they thought that it was too dangerous for them. Some of the villains include: The Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark. Scheduled release: August 5, 2016


Getting To Know Actress

Ashley Boettcher BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH AND SCIENCE ACADEMY

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t 15, actress Ashley Boettcher has a number of movies under her belt including a show that’s heading into its second season. You can check her out in “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street” now streaming on Amazon. But you might recognize her voice from Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 where she portrayed one of the puppies. She has also starred in Aliens in the Attic as Hannah Pearson and in Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer as Jessica Finch. The Texas native said she really enjoys acting and working on “Gortimer” has been a great experience. She loves working with her co-stars and thinks of them as her second family. “It’s tons of fun going on set,” Boettcher said. “I look forward to heading to the set.” Boettcher plays Mel fuller on the show and is Gortimer’s (Sloane Morgan Siegel) and Ranger’s (Drew Justice) best friend. Boettcher said Mel is a very smart, creative, loyal, witty, and kind person who loves art and National Geographic magazines. Boettcher said her life consists of spending time with her friends and family, playing video games, going to Disneyland and checking out the Wizarding world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. She loves taking in the local sites, but is ready to push the limits and try new things. “When I’m old enough I want to go skydiving, bungee jumping, and travel to other countries like England and all of Europe,” said Boettcher.

She also likes to read and write and is currently working on scripts that we can’t reveal just yet. Boettcher said her goal is to become a director and one day have her own production company. She also has many role models such as Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence and Ashley Tisdale. One of the young actress’s most recent projects is the movie Yellow Day. She plays the Little Girl who teaches The Good Man (Drew Seeley) about love, faith and hope and also helps him find the Girl in the Church (Lindsey Shaw). Boetther is very active on social media. Visit her website ashleyboettcher.com to keep up with her and her future projects. TRUE STAR JR. 15


Fresh Off The Boat With

Forrest Wheeler

BY RHANIYA & SHANIYA L. DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

A

re weird food combinations just your style? Well just like most people in the world, actor Forrest Wheeler from ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” has a weird food combination that is unique in its own way. “It was on set one day,” the 12-year-old said. “It was a Friday, and I was like ‘Alright let’s try something new!’... I took a handful of pickles and I put them all on a plate. And then I squirted…syrup, you know like the chocolate, and I ate it. It was actually not that bad surprisingly.” Wheeler, who is a big fan of marital arts, tennis and hip hop, said creating weird food combos with his cast members is an example of the fun things they do together. He said that since he is an only child Hudson Yang, who plays his older brother Eddie, and Ian Chen, who plays his younger brother Evan, are just like real brothers to him. In five years, Wheeler said he has had an amazing journey leading to “Fresh off the Boat” where he plays the middle brother Emery. “I started acting when I was 7 years old,” Wheeler said. He went to a class and then went to a showcase where he met his agent, and from there he started going on auditions and casting calls. He was very excited to learn he landed a role on the show, which is based on a best selling memoir. It’s been more than 20 years since a comedy about an Asian-American family was on network television. “It’s just so great knowing 16 TRUE STAR JR.

that I’m on a show that is an Asian-American show,” said Wheeler. “Hopefully that can inspire other networks...to bring more diversity.” Other than trying weird food combinations on set, Wheeler likes to hang out with his on-screen family from “Fresh Off the Boat” who he treats as his real family. Wheeler also has other careers he would like to pursue but will still continue acting in the future. Follow him on Twitter @wheeler_forrest.


Inside With

Genneya Walton BY BRIANNA RINGO, KENWOOD ACADEMY

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f you havn’t checked out “Project MC²,” on Netflix you should. It stars Genneya Walton, a model turned actress who portrays one of three intelligent teenage girls being recruited as a spy. On the show “Project MC²,” the 17-yearold’s character name is Bryden Bandweth, the tech savvy girl who’s always up to date with the hottest trends. True Star Jr. had a chance to chat with Walton about her career and what she hopes to achieve. True Star Jr.: Was it hard to play the mean girl? Genneya Walton: It was challenging especially since it was my very first acting job ever and I had no prior experience. But the director was very great at helping me out with putting me in the right direction on how to play my character.

get stressful, he’s really good at keeping his composure and having a positive attitude.

TSJ: Do you still keep in touch with any of the cast members? GW: Recently Devyn Nikoda posted a picture from when we walked the Radio Disney red carpet together after we filmed [Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight] and we all just kinda connected.

TSJ: What was the most embarrassing or hardest time in your life? GW: I was in a audition and the lady asked what my name was but I thought since my character was supposed to be a cheerleader I literally thought she said give me an a, like how cheerleaders chant, so I was so confused and she

TSJ: What do you do for fun?

was like “umm no I asked your name” and I was like “Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry.” That was so embarrassing.

GW: I like playing with makeup a lot and going to the beach. TSJ: Who is your role model and why? GW: I would say my dad. He’s a super duper hard working person and even when days

TSJ: Where do you see yourself in five years? GW: In five years hopefully I will be transitioning into speech or film since I’ve mainly done television and more dramatic acting for sure. TRUE STAR JR. 17


Summer Fashion Photographer Shelby Brown • Stylist Nicole Parrott • Hair Diamond Beach Make-up Shekeyah Wallace • Creative Director • Joi Mitchell

Sam Grey PRPS Logo T-shirt- Jimmi Skouls PlayCloths Distressed Denim Shorts- Jimmi Skouls Navy Creative 18 TRUE Recreation STAR JR. Hi Top Sneakers- Jimmi Skouls

Kennedy Navy/Wht/Aqua Striped Dress- JimmiSkouls Silver Strappy Flat Sandals- Steve Madden Accessories- Burlington

Kaya LT. Wash Denim Patch Dress- Zara Heather Grey Sneakers - Keds Circle Frame Sunglasses JimmiSkouls

Philip Black/Turquoise/Aqua Trukfit T-shirt- Burlington Turquoise Le Tigre Shorts- Burlington Black Mesh Puma Sneakers- Burlington


Philip Light Blue S/S Button Up- Burlington Navy Blue Cargo Shorts-JimmiSkouls Navy Suede Wingtip Sneakers- Burlington

Sam S/S Blue & White Striped Button Up- Jimmi Skouls White Nautica Shorts- TJ Maxx White Puma Sneakers- Burlington

TRUE STAR JR. 19


Kaya Yellow Spaghetti Strap TankWalmart Navy/Pink/Ylw Print SkirtBurlington Silver Strappy Flat SandalsSteve Madden Sunglasses- Jimmi Skouls

Kennedy Hot Pink PZI Jeans-Jimmi Skouls Heather Grey Scoopneck Top- TJMaxx Pink, Turquoise Brown Beaded Necklace- Burlington 20 TRUE STAR JR.


TRUE STAR JR. 21


MINI BOSSES

A Female

Football Star

BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY

T

hree words you hardly hear in the same sentence are: female, football player. And when you do, you may hear about the women leagues that wear lingerie as uniforms. Can you name anyone from any youth girl football league? Chances are that you can’t, and that’s if you can find one. Meet Jade Watson. She defies those odds because she is the only female on the Jackson Park Wolfpack football team. Watson chatted with True Star Jr. about why she continues playing a sport that rejects women players. “I just like playing football that’s all. It’s really a cool sport that I love to do,” said the Beasley Academic Center student. “When people come to watch me play I’m usually nervous but I don’t really pay attention. [What] I do is pay attention to the game.” Even though society views football as a boys’ sport, Watson said her teammates look at her like a sister. They protect her from rude opponents and back their friend up at school. Watson’s positive environment serves as a major motivator for her while she works hard at breaking societal norms of what is a girls’ sport and what is a boys’ sport. “Everybody can play if you can believe,” Watson said. “I think everyone can play, including girls. It’s not just a boys’ sport.” 22 TRUE STAR JR.

Unlike her teammates, not everybody is comfortable with a girl playing the game. Watson has had to deal with misogyny every time she steps on the field. She shared what it’s like when people stare and whisper at her. “When I take off my helmet and they see I’m a girl they chatter and stuff; you know, say something about me. But I don’t really care, because I know I’m a girl and I can [play this sport] ...I just ignore them because I know they can’t say it to my face.” Football isn’t Watson’s only passion. She enjoys running track and runs in the mornings with her dog. Watson also loves to draw.


Jahkil Jackson

Helping Out Others In Need

BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY

J

ahkil Naeem Jackson is one busy kid. He’s a basketball player, dancer, model, actor and overall good person. Jackson is a walking super star destined for the spotlight. Not just for his killer game and attitude but for his kind heart. Jackson helps feed the homeless, plays games and does stunning performances all at same dang time. Lately Jackson has been focusing on those less fortunate. The 8-year-old started collecting items put into what he calls “Blessing Bags” to give the homeless. Seeing people who were living on the streets deeply disturbed him and he wanted to do something to let the homeless know someone cared. These bags consist of several everyday household items the homeless don’t have the luxury to have such as razors, socks, deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste. With the assistance of friends and family, Jackson has put together about 400 Blessing Bags for homeless serviced by the Pacific Garden Mission, True to Life Foundation and Teen Living Program. His goal is to distribute 1,000 bags throughout Chicago. “I hate to be see folks on the street having to beg for money and food. It makes me very happy to help them.” He has also been named a youth ambassador with the Heartland Alliance, helping with their homeless initiative. Jackson is a player with the First Step Basketball Team. While most young basketball players aspire to be a professional player, Jackson takes it a step further by having goals of owning a

NBA team. Inspired by his cousin, he is also interested in starting a youth investment group.  What doesn’t this kid have his hands in? Basketball isn’t the only thing Jackson is a beast at. He can work tap shoes as part of Madd Rhythms and he is also a member of the Stick & Move Youth Breakdance Crew. Jackson is also an actor and has appeared in a Chuck E. Cheese commercial and the short film Candles. For more information on how you can get involved or donate, visit IAmNaeem.com TRUE STAR JR. 23


The Generous Heart of Samuel Love BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY

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amuel Love is an inspiration to all kids trying to make a difference. At a mere 12, the Murray Language Academy student has done something that most adults over the age of 30 have not – he gives to those who are less fortunate. His love has been collecting toys since 2012 and he has given away almost 15,000 to approximately 3,500 children who are victims of poverty and natural disasters that have destroyed their homes. He’s been all across the country visiting cities following these tragic events, in hopes of bringing some joy to a young persons’ life. His inspiration for starting the drive was simply to help people. “Basically [for the] kids who can’t get toys for Christmas and stuff, we go around and gather stations after tornadoes and floods.” Love recently visited Arkansas and South Carolina to pass out toys. Traveling across the country and donating thousands of toys isn’t a one-man job. “My dad and my mom are there to help out. Some sponsors like Studio Movie Grill, Walmart, and Dance Club... set up bins in their stores to have people donate.” The toys that Love receives are given to him by his sponsors Walgreens, Sam’s Club, local schools and generous citizens. Helping hundreds of kids has made Love very humble and wise for his years. He said he was touched by the reactions of kids for his actions. 24 TRUE STAR JR.

“Some were just shocked knowing they were getting helped,” he said. “And some actually cried.” Although he really enjoys being a young philanthropist, Love aspires to be a Major League Baseball player. He loves baseball because he’s been playing since he was 4-yearsold and is surrounded by a baseball family. His favorite video game is Call of Duty: Black OPs 3 because he loves the thrill of risky situations. If his baseball dreams don’t happen, Love plans on becoming a veterinarian because he has a soft spot for animals.


Chicago’s Own

Girl PRODIGY BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY

H

ow many 10-year-olds do you know who graduated this May with a degree from college? The answer to that is probably none. Well, here’s your chance to learn about one. Let us introduce you to prodigy Dorothy Jean “DJ” Tillman. She recently earned a degree in psychology from the College of Lake County. Tillman opened up to True Star Jr. about her education and future plans to work in the arts. “How it works is I took some courses online, and then I had to take more courses [at the college], then I could get my associate’s,” Tillman explained. Tillman said her multiple mentors helped her thrive in a rigorous academic environment and inspired her. She said of her many mentors, her mother is her biggest supporter and fan. She inspires her the most. “She’s so powerful and she never gives up on anything,” Tillman said about her mother. Tillman’s mother is the reason why she also has an interest in the arts. Her mother produces plays at the Harold Washington Cultural Center and Tillman helps with the productions. She said, “[Helping] gave me a lot of experience. I’ve seen a tech rehearsal and a dress rehearsal, then seeing everything go together, it was magical in the theater, and not just like acting and being behind the stage…. [Helping out] made it easier

to adapt to everything because I just get all types of jobs.” She has big academic plans. The associate’s degree is just the start. “I’m going to get my bachelor’s degree in theater arts,” said Tillman. “I’m going to get my master’s in business, but I’m not quite sure what I’m going to get my PhD in.” Tillman’s interest also includes literature. “I like to write books,” said the young author of three children’s book. She is looking into publishing options or she might self-publish her book. All her books center around a big family with a pair of twins and their trials and tribulations. Tillman is currently reading the Dork Diaries series and loving it. TRUE STAR JR. 25


Kennedy Cobb:

A Girl with a Bright Future BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

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he average 13-year-old girl is worried about boys, memorizing a dance routine or trying to make it big on social media. Very few participate in multiple activities while maintaining a stellar grade point average. Kennedy Cobb is an exception. She’s a cheerleader, volleyball team manger, Girl Scout, choir member, volunteers for vacation bible school, and still manages to keep a 3.75 GPA. How does she do it and what does she think about it? For one thing, the Romeoville native said she doesn’t think it’s boring because she likes to try everything she can and likes to get involved in a lot of activities. Cobb admitted that there are times when she wants to throw in the towel. “It’s difficult when I have to handle so much, but it also teaches me management for when I get older,” Cobb said. The 7th grader is very organized and even looks up ideas on how to study better because she wants to have a bright future. When life begins

When she gets older she wants to be a teacher for kindergarten because she loves kids. If teaching doesn’t work out, she will settle for

to get a little out of hand she knows what she needs to do. Cobb said, “When I have hard times I just take a deep breath and tell myself that everything is going to get better.”

being a veterinarian. Cobb said she knows she is a very bright person, a good friend, and can make things bigger than what they are. But most importantly she believes a small difference can make a change. Cobb is a girl full of pride and commitment, and if she keeps that up she’ll be one of the people who changes the world for the better.

She sings alto in choir, knows how to do a number of flips, and has about 20 badges from each group of Girl Scouts she participated in. 26 TRUE STAR JR.


Phillip Cusic

Stars in Jarbari’s Dream BY ANAYA FRAZIER & ALEX SHAW, KENWOOD ACADEMY

P

hillip Cusic starred in the play Jabari’s Dreams of Freedom this past spring. The play is about a 5th grader named Jabari who is scared and confused by the sometimes unjust world around him. Jabari escapes to the Civil Rights period through his paintings where he interacts with children from the past. He even talks to a young Barack Obama. The Chicago native plans to head to Lindblom Math & Science Academy in the fall. While the Chicago Bulls fan really enjoys acting, he is also very interested in engineering. Cusic chatted with True Star Jr. about his performance. True Star Jr.: Was it hard to learn all the choreography? Phillip Cusic: Not really because most of my choreography was just like stuff they wanted me to improvise. TSJ: During the play, there was a T-Rex in a police officer’s uniform, which was weird and hilarious to see. What was that suppose to symbolize? PC: Um okay, so you probably noticed there’s a lot of symbolism in this play, because it’s a children’s show. So, the T-Rex symbolized the brutal police officers, like the whole classroom scene, that was the whole South Carolina police brutality thing….

TSJ: What about that whole lion’s pride thing? PC: So that was symbolizing, like lions are dominant [creatures] and it really is just symbolizing someone out there who just wants to hurt someone. Instead of using, you know, like a masked robber or something, we used a lion so kids could kind of relate to it without being scared. TSJ: I know there were kids like you in the play, but there were also some adults. How was it working with different people from different age groups? PC: Well, it gives you a sense of maturity. You don’t get [that at] other places because they don’t look at you as a kid. They look at you as a co-worker, which is fun, and the people’s kids, they’re all hilarious. They’re all great actors. They’re all great and creative people that are fun to work with. TRUE STAR JR. 27


The Face Behind

I HAV 2 Foundation BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY

Z

edric D. Thomas II likes to talk to his friends, read books, watch cartoons and play basketball like most 10-year-olds. But there’s another side to Thomas. He thinks kids should have a voice and take a stand when they see a situation is wrong. His passion has led him to create the I HAV 2 (I Have A Voice 2) Foundation. “I’m trying to give kids a voice, and by that I mean that I want to help kids speak up because kids don’t really speak up a lot,” said Thomas. “The mission of I HAV 2 is to speak up, fight for what’s right, change what’s wrong, and help others.” Thomas wants to teach kids how to articulate their feelings and give them the opportunity to change their community in peaceful and educational ways. He also wants to give kids the confidence to stand up to bullies and defend themselves in a non-violent way using their words.  He is planning to create a workshop series for his foundation over the summer break and is looking forward to hosting the workshops as an afterschool program. Thomas will start with a Back-to-School Skate Jam fundraiser. All proceeds will go towards his school supply drive to help children in need as they prepare to start school in the fall. “I’m trying to get paper and pencils so kids can write down what they feel. Once they start doing that it will be a little bit easier to speak because they’ll know what’s on their mind.” 28 TRUE STAR JR.

He said he believes that if the kids in his program have a cause and a voice they can succeed. He also thinks it’s important that kids speak a certain way. “The way I say things is really proper and if you say things the right way,  you will be able to communicate effectively and be heard…. everybody has a voice.” Thomas’ program – targeted to kids of all nationalities, genders, and socio-economic levels – is aimed toward kids age 8 through mid-teens. His goal is to make I HAV 2 a national program helping kids all over the country that have been silenced and need to learn how to use their voice in a positive way. For more info about the I HAV 2 Foundation and the August 6th launch fundraiser, visit ihav2.com.


Deja Ray: The

Gymnast To Watch BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

F

or the past six years, 10-year-old Deja Ray has been training to be an Olympic gymnast and competing all over the world. She trains at at Romeoville Rec Center and has worked hard to become part of the team starting with the beginner’s class. “It’s great being a gymnast because you can do challenging things and the teachers challenge you because they know you can do it,” Ray said. The 4th grader has won a number of ribbons in the 40s and medals in the 30s. These awards have been for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th place. Ray has learned to do a number of tricks such as round offs, back handsprings, tucks, back-flips in the air, and front-tucks off of the beam and floor. While she is passionate about becoming a successful gymnast, she understands the rules of being a successful athlete. “I like soccer because it boosts my cardio. I also like basketball because I can play it with other people and my family,” Ray said. Besides gymnastics her hobbies are baking, playing soccer, doing math (which is also her favorite school subject) and reading. She also likes to sing and write songs. Her favorite song is “NO” by Meghan Trainor and her favorite artist is Michael Jackson. Ray is an animal lover and her favorite is a puppy.

In addition to these things, Ray never forgets to stay in shape and have fun while doing it. She knows the rules of being a successful athlete and being a gymnast is her Plan B. “I really want to be a lawyer when I grow up,” she said, “but if that doesn’t happen then I want to be a gymnast and compete in the Olympics.” Ray is a positive, confident, and passionate athlete and with that attitude we’re sure we’ll be seeing her in the Olympics in the future.

TRUE STAR JR. 29


Jermale Dabney

,

Motivating the World BY BRIANA WILSON, VON STEUBEN METROPOLITAN SCIENCE CENTER

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ome talents aren’t natural and may take a while to develop. However, Jermale Dabney was gifted with a way to motivate and push positive thoughts into people at a young age. The Poe Classical School 3rd grader became a motivational speaker just at the age of 3 and started off speaking at his church. “It feels good to have all attention on me [when I’m] speaking and also being able to help others,” Dabney explained about his favorite part of motivational speaking. Although he is young, Dabney is a very wise and smart adolescent and hopes his younger siblings learn many lessons from him, such as believing in themselves. In addition, he said he also hopes that other kids would learn new things as well. “I believe that kids today really need to move from in front of screens and go out and enjoy life,” said the young speaker. Aside from motivational speaking, Dabney lives a normal life just as any other child. He enjoys playing the piano, playing outside and watching his role model, Steve Harvey. “I want to be like him when I grow up and become a talk show host.”

30 TRUE STAR JR.

Because of Dabney’s accomplishments and work as a motivational speaker, it is safe to say that no matter the age or time length it may take, it is conceivable for anyone to have a dream and make it come true by simply never giving up. That is most definitely possible, especially if a person receives a few motivational words from this powerful young man himself.


Talking B-Ball WITH KeJuan Clements! BY FATIMAH SKEETS, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

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ormally, you’d expect seniors on a varsity basketball team, and maybe the occasional junior or sophomore right? Well, this 6-foot-1 freshman has proved us wrong. KeJuan Clements is the point guard on the Simeon High School Wolverines, and has become a basketball phenom over the past few years. Clements began playing basketball in 5th grade. Though he was the best player in elementary school, the transition to high school was difficult for him. “I was the best player then. When I got to high school, I expected to learn a few new things and just be the best, but it wasn’t like that,” he said. All that has changed now. According to ilprepbullseye.com, “…he was one of the top performers in the second 30 (top 60) cream of the crop all-star game (in 2015)” (class of 2019 player watch: KeJuan Clements). Clements said that basketball has helped shape him into the person he is and it comes with it’s own bonuses. When asked about how basketball has affected his life, Clements responded, “I get more respect from more people, and they agree with me more.” I guess the fame is pretty nice, huh? His role model is NBA superstar LeBron James and it makes sense, because who wouldn’t want to be as great as him? Outside of basketball, playing video games is one of Clements’ past times.

“He has improved a lot over the past few months. He had to adjust to the fact that he wasn’t the best player and that there were better players than himself,” said Rob Smith, the basketball coach at Simeon. Smith has coached basketball at two other schools, including Curie High School, and he also attended Simeon for high school and played on the basketball team. This young basketball player has his work cut out for him, but he’s not one to give up easily. Keep it up, Clements!

TRUE STAR JR. 31


4EVER YOUNG

#Best Friend Goals

BY JORDAN BEASLEY, KENWOOD ACADEMY

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ho are your best friends? Why do you love them so much? What’s different about them than others? What is a best friend? If you have a best friend, there may be things that come with that. For example, arguments or disagreements can damage the relationship if you don’t know each other well. Here are five tips you and your bestie can use to make sure that you have a “goals” relationship.

1. Get to know them. I think that this is the most obvious. If you are close with someone, you should learn who they are and what life is like for them as much as possible so you can connect and better understand him or her. What my best friends and I do is ask each other questions over text. Questions like “would you rather,” “would you ever,” “if you could _________ what would you choose.” The answers they give will tell you more about who they are. The truth is, you can never get to know anyone too well.

2. See them. If you see your best friend less than once a week, it can be difficult to feel 32 TRUE STAR JR.

one hundred percent like a best friend. What you can do to resolve this is plan times to see each other. Set aside a day once or twice a month to do something with your bestie, outside of Snapchat, FaceTime, Instagram or any other social media outlet. Instead, connect one-on-one in person.

3. Go out with them. In Chicago, there are many places to go to have fun. Some favorite spots are Chicago Ridge Mall, AMC theaters, Dave and Buster’s and restaurants like Friday’s, Culver’s and Red Lobster.

4. BE a best friend. Be helpful to them. Give them advice. Let them know they are not alone. Talk to them. Get to know their family. Be their family.

5. Be trusting. Lastly, the most important thing is to trust the person you call your friend. If they love you as much as you love them, you should be able to trust them with secrets, inner feelings and more.


5 Summer Games TO PLAY

BY BRIANNA RINGO, KENWOOD ACADEMY

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ummer’s here! And you don’t necessarily need a lot of money to have fun. You just need some time and your friends. Here is a list of fun games to try. • Water Balloon Dodgeball Enjoy staying cool and having fun when you get splashed. Fill balloons with water, tie them up and get ready to have fun. Last one standing wins. • Watch Your Step – Tie balloons to your ankles and then try to pop the other kids balloons. The one who has their balloons the longest wins. • Drip Drip Splash – This game is like Duck Duck Goose but with a twist. You take a bucket of water, then you put your hand in the bucket and say “drip” and let the water on your hand drip onto the person’s head. Once you get to the traditional goose part you say “splash” and pour the whole bucket of water on them. The person has to chase them back to their spot. Whoever is last to the spot is “it”.

• Red Rover – This is old school, but it’s a fun game. You have two teams with at least three people on each team. They have to link together by joining hands. Next, decide who goes first. The team that goes first will say “Red Rover, Red Rover, send (person’s name) over!” The person that comes over has to break the link and get through. If they get through they go back to their team and bring one person with them. If they don’t, then they join the other team. The team with the most players wins. • Invisi-bottle – Take an empty, clear two liter plastic bottle (with no labels). One with a white cap, or the same color as your pool tiles is also a good idea. Fill the bottle with pool water and line the players up on the pool deck, backs to the water. Have someone throw the bottle into the pool. When participants hear the splash, they can turn around, jump in the pool and try to find it. It’s harder than it seems as the bottle camouflages to the bottom. TRUE STAR JR. 33


Crazy Zodiac Facts BY TATIANA VILLASENOR, CHASE ELEMENTARY

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sually people say that their zodiac signs are just like them, not at all like them, interesting or super boring. But if they actually look and see all the meanings and information about the signs they will find some crazy, unusual, amazing, and sorta awkward meanings. The Zodiac signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. What does yours say about you?

Aries March 21~ April 19 - If you

excuse an Aries of doing something wrong, they straighten you out and then leave you in the trash.

Taurus April 20~May 20 - When a Taurus is crazy in love, they become attached. They are always, always thinking about you, even though you may not be together.

Gemini May 21~June 20 - If a

Gemini is depressed, they are a non-stop eating machine they will never stop eating.

Cancer June 21~July 22 - Just

because a Cancer is madly in love with you does not mean they’ll put up with all your crap. They might be madly in love with you, but they were not born foolish.

34 TRUE STAR JR.

Leo July 23~August 22 - If it makes

the Leo happy, they are all about it and your approval isn’t needed.

Virgo August 3~September 22 - Virgo doesn’t always take “no” for an answer without some sort of debate.

Libra September 23~October 22

- Libra’s are easy people to be around and enjoy making people laugh.

Scorpio October 23~November 21 - Scorpios are good at making you flip out. They know just the thing to get you worked up while they’re just standing there all calm about it.

Sagittarius November

22~December 21 - Sagittarius won’t lose sleep if you don’t like them or are impressed. They already know they’re dope.

Capricorn December

22~January 19 - Capricorn’s are completely dedicated in what they believe.

Aquarius January

20~February 18 - Aquarius usually like people that are a little nuts.

Pisces February 19~March 20 - A

Pisces will be the first to cry, but they can go ice cold if they think you’re not worth the tears.


CREATIVE & CULTURE CORNER

A Flawed System BY ANAYA FRAZIER, KENWOOD ACADEMY

They call me dirty cop but no one starts bad it’s the things that makes you that way I used to be good but these street they do sum these corrupt cops get in your head So when I saw him I only saw thug When he didn’t listen I knew he was a criminal like the rest of them negroes I mean like the rest of them boys When he kept walking I didn’t wanna look like no punk no pushover I didn’t want my butt handed to me back at headquarters So I did what I had to do they won’t look at it as a crime tho cuz he was thug he was black boy he was criminal with no good intent he couldn’t had good intent he was black thug I think that night I had a blood lust I didn’t mean to kill em but after one shot followed 3 more His chest the target And my aim never off point his heart now pierced by my bullet to my surprise his blood looked like mines you see they Never told me that Cuz negro I mean black boy no negro ain’t human like us they backs was built to serve us whites men

they’re mute to pain and if a negro don’t know they place We emit till his butt no More mace Watch how they gone protest over this shooting call me the mess when he made me the barrier of death all I need is prayer They prayed cuz a boy lost his life nobody thought to pray for me I’ve just became a murderer last night A boy lost his life at my hands That boy bleed the same blood color as me as his blood flowed out into my hands I became one with my sins I didn’t mean to But with each step he took I felt threatened It doesn’t matter he ain’t have no weapons cuz he black boy and as they tell me negro threat It don’t matter his sin it’s his skin that make him criminal And They joke They joke that we don’t have to make them slave anymore because they suspending they own heritage But last time I checked black bodies are getting bodied by me I can’t look at myself in the mirror any more cuz when I see him I only see thug

TRUE STAR JR. 35


The Top Influential

Latina Entertainers BY INGRID MENDEZ, CHASE ELEMENTARY

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elena. Jennifer Lopez. Celia Cruz. They are the most famous Latinas in the world. Their music is popular because they are very energetic, love to dance and they are not afraid to be super confident and sassy.

Selena

Selena, the Queen of Tejano, is one of the most celebrated Latina musicians. More than 20 years after her death, her legacy is still being felt. M.A.C. makeup line announced that a Selena inspired lipstick would be released later this year. In total, Selena has been nominated for 85 awards and has won 66 of them. According to SelenaForever.com, as a young child she was not allowed to play an instrument for the reason being she was to small. But, Selena was determined to be part of music. She went to her father and sang out a melody. Her father was amazed and created a small band with his children “Selena y Los Dinos.” Sadly, Selena was murdered on March 31, 1995. She was 23.

Jennifer Lopez

Many people did not know this but the Lopez’s breakout acting role was when she played Selena. Currently, Lopez is worth $300 million according to latina.com. In addition to movies, 36 TRUE STAR JR.

Lopez has released several albums. In 2002, she was the first woman to have an album (J to tha L-O The Remixes) and movie (The Wedding Planner) debut at number one. She also served as a judged on “American Idol,” and recently stared in and produced the NBC hit show “Shades of Blue.” Currently, she can be seen performing in Los Vegas.

Celia Cruz

Earlier this year, Telemundo started airing a telenovela called “Celia” about the singer’s life. Cruz, the Queen of Salsa, was the most popular Latin singer in the 20th Century. Sadly, She was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and died July 16, 2003. There are some websites dedicated to her who are trying really hard to keep her spirit alive and make other generations listen to her. According to nativocrafts.com, near the beginning and ending of her songs she usually shouted “¡Azúuuuuuuuucar!” very happily. Many people still remember her and her songs will always live in our hearts. In 2005, the National Museum of American History, opened “¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz,” an exhibit celebrating her contributions.


ART BY NOVOTNA TALAVERA, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACAD​EMY

TRUE STAR JR. 37


Emotions

BY IMANI JOSEPH, KENWOOD ACADEMY

Momma said not to cry. Daddy said not to lie. Does that exclude you? Does that exclude my feelings to? The neighbors whisper. The morgues fill. We stay still. We do not lie. We do not cry. We express in victory. And grieve in 2nd place. There is wall high and mighty. Our feelings punch the wall. Blood splattering our egos. The wall chips but never really goes away. The dents, forever grudges. Punch punch. Momma said not to cry. Daddy said not to lie. “Are you alright?” “Yes.” I lie. I cry.

38 TRUE STAR JR.


I Am From BY LAUREN WEAVER, KENWOOD ACADEMY

I am from the vintage rug at the door to welcome you from the kitchen visio and orange pillows we lay on after the day we’ve been through. I am from the Weaver Manor, the only house on the block, where love is our rock. I am from the front yard roses The “Big Fir” right under our noses. I am from high expectations pushing past my limitations and getting my education. I am from strength and determination from Betty and Reginald who are my foundation. I am from thinking, singing, and dancing. I am from love is all you need and “He died so we could exceed.” I am from praying because we believe. I am from Africa and the Windy City. I am from the sweet potatoes and fried food that changed a person’s mood. I am from my “History Maker” grandpops being the 3.2 million-member National Education Association President. From grandmamma being the first nurse in her family, focusing on medicine, while being elegant. I am from the memories forever underneath my bed waiting for the generations ahead. This is me.

TRUE STAR JR. 39


KEEPIN’ SCORE

Bulls Mismanagement:

Is It Time For A New Coach, Already?

BY ALEXANDER SHAW, KENWOOD ACADEMY

I

f you don’t know, the Chicago Bulls had their worst season since Derrick Rose tore his ACL in the 2012 playoffs. And everyone always puts it on the coach when a team is not doing well. Sometimes it’s unfair and that’s just how it works. But this time it is on Fred Hoiberg. Yeah, Hoiberg is a rookie coach so we should cut him some slack, but come on man. “The Bulls are playing selfish and don’t have good enough coaching,” said 14-year-old Brian Bruce. Bruce is a huge basketball fan and was disappointed when the Bulls did not make the playoffs. Phillip Cusic, who has been a Bulls fan for as long as he can remember, was disappointed as well. “The coaching has been horrible this season,” Cusic said. “Thibodeau wasn’t the greatest, but just the entire management of this season was terrible.” Cusic added that Hoiberg’s choices to sub players during the game just didn’t make sense. 40 TRUE STAR JR.

In comparison with the Bulls’ previous coach Tom Thibodeau—who was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2011 and was the fastest coach to reach 100 victories—Hoiberg has huge shoes to fill. You can’t play the huge stars like Pau Gasol, who is not expected to be with the team this upcoming season, and Jimmy Butler for 48 minutes every game. It’s just not right. Butler’s play is being affected by the fatigue. And Gasol is pretty close to 40 years old, so playing 48 minutes isn’t good. Twelve-year-old Jason Ramirez doesn’t like that Joakim Noah—who was Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team—and Gasol will not be back because of management. “I don’t like what management is doing,” said Ramirez. There is some good news. Hoiberg is doing quite well with getting some of the bench players evolved. That was something Tom Thibodeau could never do. Nevertheless, the Bulls had a pretty crappy season and it’s on Hoiberg.


New Season,

New Beckham?

BY DANTE MATIAS, CHASE ELEMENTARY

I

n a couple of months, preseason football will begin. Will there be any controversy for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.? Last season Beckham was excused of using enhancement supplements. He was suspended for an illegal hit. Beckham had the most personal fouls in a season since 2011, according to newsday.com. Gay slurs were yelled at him. He was even fined for unacceptable on-field actions. According to espn.com, Beckham certainly committed several acts potentially worthy of exclusion. Despite the controversy, football fans believe in Beckham. “I didn’t hear about (the supplements), but I think it’s fake because he’s a great football player,” said Jose Rivera, 12. He added “I think it’s a lot of gossip.” Fourteen-year-old Selwyn Ulanday was another football fan who had not heard about Beckham’s accused supplement use. “Odell is a good foot-

ball player and it’s like he’s throwing his career away,” said Ulanday. In 2015, Beckham told mensfitness.com that he never really wanted to use any supplements, but he started using a supplement called EXOS. He said the supplement has helped him achieve the athletic level he wanted. Regarding the homophobic slurs from an opposing team, Beckham seemed to shrug it off. In the media Beckham was asked how he felt on TV and he responded wisely saying, “Words are just words,” nj.com reported. Beckham didn’t seem offended by the allegation. A video was released which showed a Carolina Panthers player, walking towards the Giants with a bat before the game started. Nj.com reported that it was unclear what the argument was about. Perhaps a new season is just what Beckham needs to bring about some positive change. TRUE STAR JR. 41


DEEPER THAN SKIN

Acrylic Nails: Are You

Choosing Fashion Over Health? BY JAYLLA BRAGGS & VERENICE CAMPOS, CHASE ELEMENTARY

H

ey girls! Do you like getting your nails done? Well, did you know that acrylic nails give off toxic fumes as they are being applied? If you are exposed to a lot of fumes it makes you sick or nauseous. Did you also know that nail polish is the most toxic cosmetic there is? Polish includes poisonous substances such as formaldehyde (used to embalm dead people), phthalates (closely related to organic acid and toxic to the nervous system), acetone, toluene and benzophenones. According to mayoclinic.com, “Acrylic nails aren’t likely to harm your nails but can sometimes cause problems, such as an infection.” Damaged nails can lead to infection. Acrylic extensions are good for woman with brittle or weak nails. Making sure your nails remain healthy is the best thing to do when you have acrylic nails, bustle. com reports. Don’t skip heading back to the nail shop. Make it a routine for every two weeks. If you wait any longer, your nails are more likely to become damaged. Make sure the nail tech knows what they are doing, especially if you take longer than two weeks to meet. Gel and acrylic nails have similar results. They can make your fingers look longer and more slender. There are some pros and cons that might help you decide which nails to choose. “I love getting my nails done,” said 13-year-old Cheyenne Lugo. “Pros about gel nails are that they last longer and they look nicer. One con is 42 TRUE STAR JR.

that things get caught in them.” Monica Esparza, 15, loves to get her nails done too. She was inspired to get her nails done because of her sister. “I started doing my nails because my sister started getting hers done. I liked how they did them on her so I went along with it.” Despite the health risks, Esparza continues to get her nails done. “I don’t like having my nails short. I don’t like having booty fingers,” Esparza said. She added that she likes to keep her nails natural looking and loves the coffin shape. If you decide to wear acrylic nails, Mayo Clinic suggests getting your nails done from a licensed salon and letting your natural nails breathe by removing the acrylic nails every two to three months.


SCHOOL SPIRIT

Lindblom’s Musical

WORKING

BY MAGALY MURO, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY

W

orking was a two-day spring musical performed by the Lindblom Math & Science Academy student body and staff. The musical was based on interviews given by Studs Terkel. Terkel was a Pulitzer Prize-winning political reporter who had a radio show on Chicago radio for 45 years. According to the school’s website, “The stories are moving, the songs are powerful, and most importantly our students are amazing. This one is not to be missed.” The performance contained different descriptions of jobs and it showed the employees point of view with everyday jobs, providing a deeper understanding of thoughts that the working class today have. It was an enjoyable experience that had the audience’s attention throughout its whole time span. The musical itself would be considered a

comedy to most. Aaliyah Deanes, 13, said,”It was funny and the talent was very well trained. The cast’s alive and cheery attitude really had the audience engaged.” Both the audience and the cast members of the musical were able to have an extraordinary experience watching and/or performing. Maatkara Wilson,14, played the role of Terry Mason, a flight attendant. Wilson said, ”The experience was sort of invigorating. It was my first performance, but I enjoyed it a lot. Of course, I was very nervous, but once I got on stage, I felt very comfortable.” Although both experiences were different, they both showed great pleasure in what the performance had to offer. TRUE STAR JR. 43


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