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 $200,000 in stipends and youth pay.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board President - LaTonya Wilkens Director Talent Management, University of Illinois Business School Treasurer -Giuseppe Commodaro Director Strategy & Execution - CME Group Secretary - Mia Nelson Sr. Analyst, Baxter David Douglas Founder & CEO – Yolobe, Inc. Leslie A. Hairston Alderman, Fifth Ward Sean Harden Non-Profit Consultant David Nichols Americas Leader - EY Malcolm Weems - Senior Advisor Public Policy and Regulation, Dentons LaTonya Wilkens Director Talent Management, University of Illinois Business School Sharming Scott-Nathan Human Resources Director, Fox Television Stations
Thank You To Our Major Partners
To donate visit truestarfoundation.org or send check payable to True Star Foundation - 1130 South Wabash - Suite 302 - Chicago, IL 60605 For Advertising Inquires email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312.588.0100
CONTENTS EXPOSE’ 6 #FINDOURGIRLS, BY FATIMAH SKEETS, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 7 CULTURAL APPROPRIATION OR RACIAL PROFILING? BY T’SHANA MCMILLIAN, FREDERICK DOUGLASS, ATLANTA 8 THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 9 ATHEISM Q&A BY KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
TALKIN’ NERDY 10 VIDEO GAMES DON'T ROT BRAINS, BY JESSICA GARCIA, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 11 THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN ADOLESCENCE, ASATTAH CYRENE YOUNG, KENWOOD ACADEMY 12 THE NEW AGE OF MOVIES, BY SOPHIA OVALLE, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 13 IS STARBUCKS WORTH THE EXTRA BUCKS? MADISON RAMIREZ, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 14 YOUNG BOSS: MICHAEL BROCK BY ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 15 YOUNG BOSS: SIDNEY KEYS BY ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
4EVER YOUNG 16 DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER, BY BRANDI OCHOA, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 17 NEVER TO YOUNG TO START YOUR BUSINESS, BY DARYA NELSON, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
HOT OFF THE PRESS 18 YOUNG BOSS: KE$HUN, BY RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 19 YOUNG BOSS: DJ FLY TY, BY RHANIYA DAWSON & KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 20 DISNEY'S DARLING TRINTEE STOKES, BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 22 YOUNG BOSS: LIL’ DEE DEE BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 23 YOUNG BOSS: ALYSSIA DUDA BY RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 24 SOSO SUMMER 17 TOUR BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK
26 DISNEY STRAYS FROM THE NORM WITH "ANDI MACK” BY RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
FASHION 27 SUMMER FITS
KEEPIN’ SCORE 32 JUNIOR GREAT DEBATERS, BY KEVIN ALLEN & NIA HOWARD, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
DEEPER THAN SKIN 34 NATURAL HAIR, DON’T CARE, BY NIA HOWARD, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 35 YOUNG BOSS: JAYDEN HAMMOND BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK
CREATIVE & CULTURE CORNER 36 DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS? BY JERMALE DABNEY, POE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 37 THE GUEST, BY SOPHIA OVALLE, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL 38 OH WELL, BY KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY 39 ART, JESSICA GARCIA, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
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 Lindblom Math & Science Academy, Chicago
Kellar Middle School, Chicago
not pictured Madison Ramirez
Kenwood Academy, Chicago
Poe Elementary School, Chicago
Whitey Young, Chicago
not pictured Asattah Young
Morgan Park Academy Chicago
Frederick Douglass, Atlanta, GA
not pictured Kayla Holloway
YOUTH FASHION MUSIC TRUESTARIS.COM
URBAN CULTURE BLOG
#FindOurGirls BY FATIMAH SKEETS, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
IT TOOK THREE YEARS AND 64,000 GIRLS AND WOMEN TO GO MISSING FOR A 15-SECOND NEWS SEGMENT TO BE ON NATIONAL NEWS.
utrage erupted in early spring over the lack of media coverage for the numerous Blacks girls who were reported missing in Washington, D.C. At one point, it was reported that eight girls went missing in 12 hours. Missing girls and women of color is not something new. Three years ago News One reported that 64,000 Black girls and women of color had gone missing. Since then, there has been little media coverage about them. Google “missing Black women” and most stories are from March and there are statistics from 2014. It took three years and 64,000 girls and women to go missing for a 15-second news segment to be on national news. It took three years and 64,000 missing women and girls to get attention drawn to their cases. It took three years and 64,000 people to go missing for the public to care. That's about 21,900 people per YEAR. Let that marinate for a moment. 6 TRUE STAR JR.
According to Black and Missing Foundation,“36.7 percent of missing people under 17 are Black.” And interestingly, St. Louis seems to be a popular area for girls and women to go missing. More specifically, a small town called Berkeley, Mo., has had 33 children go missing since 2000. That's almost two children going missing per year (all in the same town) yet the only news coverage it has had was a few articles in local news channels. You may have heard about Arianna Fitts if you stay in San Francisco. The three-year-old has been missing since February 2016. Her mother, Nicole was reported missing as well. Then Nicole’s body was found two months later, according to sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com. Arianna has yet to be found. This is just one example of many—there needs to be more coverage on these cases. #FindOurGirls.
Cultural Appropriation or Racial Profiling?
BY T’SHANA MCMILLIAN, FREDERICK DOUGLAS, ATLANTA
n various social media outlets, the trending topic has been the broadcasting of individuals identifying themselves in various innuendos. The issue here is that if that individual doesn't look like the “culture” they are representing then they receive backlash about not respecting the culture of those people or cultural appropriation. This cannot go without acknowledging that this can very well be taken as a form of racial profiling. For example, MTV recently hosted their annual Movie and TV Awards where Farrah Abraham, from the series “Teen Mom,” wore a sari, which is an Indian attire where long and vibrant cloth is draped across the body. This may have been viewed by some as a simple outfit for her, but for many of those who saw her the look was perceived her as insulting the cultures of Middle Eastern people. This wasn't merely the jumpstart to the sociological wave of cultural appropriation. Some trends, such as “baby hairs,” perms, hair jewelry, or even diction that people use, have been precursors, that is until the question was finally raised in my mind: Is it possible to denote “cultural appropriation” without racially profiling someone?
The judgments that outliers throw on people simply because they associate it with another community, whether it's in another state or over in another part of the world, is insensitive to what the individual identifies themselves with. When an African-American female has long hair the first question asked is “What type of hair is this?” and “Who did it?” instead of simply saying that she has beautiful hair. Another instance would be if a Caucasian female has thick plats in her hair and someone would ask “Why is she trying to be Black?” She could simply just like the way it looks and it's her right to do whatever she pleases with her hair. Identification of what someone likes is dependent upon his or her background and the way or environment they were raised in. This can be brought back to that person’s social morals. The things that person relates to in regards to that culture and the opinions that they share can be interpreted as either racial profiling or racism itself because the person responding to such a case would have to resurface old history that may rekindle old or subsided opinions. TRUE STAR JR. 7
Think Before You SPEAK
You get the picture. Basically anybody that a guy can call sexy or easy to hit on is viewed by many people as a slut. It’s a stereotype. If you're a girl that likes to dress up and make yourself look nice, beware because you could be labeled a slut.
BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ave you ever walked down the halls of your school and heard groups of people jokingly call each other sluts for no reason at all? Have you ever done it yourself? Most people walk around saying a certain word because they can. A “slut” is the label for a girl who dresses inappropriately or different, has more than one boyfriend, or just looks like, well, a slut. How do you just look like a slut you ask? Let me tell you.
Supposedly Slutty Characteristics: •Fake Hair •Booty shorts •Tight dresses •High heels •Crop tops •Tight pants •Fake nails •Makeup 8 TRUE STAR JR.
Now let's talk about the problem with slutshaming. Let's say you're a nice, professional person with a high IQ, but you decide to post on Instagram a picture of you in a tight dress. Now you have all of these comments saying, “I’d tap that…” These comments could affect your future because you have “ruined your image.” “Slut shaming is honestly another sign of how society is degrading,” said 13-year-old Grace Nwankwo. “People shouldn't have to attack a female (sometimes male, but rarely) for being a slut by their clothes, or how friendly they are. How a woman chooses to wear her clothes and her sexual activity is no one's business except hers. The true definition of slut-shaming, according to Google, is: “The action or fact of stigmatizing a woman for engaging in behavior judged to be promiscuous or sexually provocative.” But this doesn't matter in the real world because labels mean everything. Once you get labeled as something there's no going back and it's unfair. The only logical way to fix it is if everyone understands how what they say can affect someone deeply. Sadly, we have a long way to go before that happens. #ThinkBeforeYouSpeak
Atheism Q&A BY KEVIN ALLEN LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
eople seem to associate atheism with bad things, but is it really that bad? Atheism is the lack of a religion, hence the root being “a” which means not attached to the word “theism.” Is the reason people associate atheism with bad things just because people don't understand it? Here are questions people of faith have for atheists answered by atheists. *Because religion can be a sensitive subject, some people have chosen to use aliases. Q: “I would like to know about their reasons for not believing in God. What lead them to their beliefs about God?” - Chas Barfield a Middle Schooler of the Christian faith A: “Not to offend anyone, because everybody has the right to believe or to not believe, but I think believing in God is foolish. To me it's the equivalent of believing in dragons or fairies. There's no way to prove that it isn't true, but the laws of nature go directly against the kind of thinking that can exist.” - Ben Anderson Q: “What do you think happens when you die?” - A student of the Catholic faith A: “Nothing, and I think people are scared of nothing. People want an answer and sometimes it's OK to not have one. That's why I think it's wrong to just say “God” for things
you can't explain. You were nothing before you were born and that didn't hurt, so if you're nothing after you die you shouldn't be afraid of pain.” - High Schooler Catherine Jones Q: “Did you grow up in a home where you were taught that there was no God or was it your decision?” - Amirah Ibrahim, a Muslim student A: Jaclyn Glen, a popular YouTuber who talks about controversial topics such as her position with atheism has stated in her videos multiple times that she grew up in a religious home. She actually got more religious as she grew older until her college days, for why she stopped believing in God you can search it on YouTube. TRUE STAR JR. 9
Don't Rot BRAINS
BY JESSICA GARCIA, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
ll gamers have heard this phrase before: "Stop playing video games so much! Don't you know they rot your brain?" Then you turn to them and say, "No they don't," but even then, people won't believe you. Here are some reasons to argue that they don't rot brains, but actually make people smarter. Studies have shown that playing action games and shooters, such as Call of Duty and the Battlefield series can actually increase hand-eye coordination, attention to detail, and are better learners. They show that fast paced games along with quick time events increase the brain's ability to predict the outcome of situations, and even execute them faster, without loss of accuracy. Studies done by the University of Rochester have shown that people who play action video games regularly would outperform those who didn't play much, or at all, when taking tests of estimating where something would appear. So action games help, but what about platformers, like Super Mario Bros and 10 TRUE STAR JR.
adventure games like The Legend of Zelda and PokĂŠmon? Well scientists at Berlin's Max Institute for Human Development and Charite University conducted a test and proved that these other games do improve the brain. They made 23 participants play Super Mario 64 for half an hour every day, for two whole months. After the two-month period, scientists noticed that the subjects had increased spatial orientation, memory formation, strategic planning and motor skills or actions made by the body. And more on the plus side, they also [improved] solving puzzles, timed movements, strategic thinking and actions, and entertainment. So, in the end video games don't rot brains. But that doesnâ€™t mean we should always play them. Whenever someone tries to tell you games aren't beneficial, go ahead and bring up this article. Until then, keep catching them all, shoot zombies, collect that one-up, and don't go alone, it's dangerous. So take this information.
The Importance of
BY ASATTAH CYRENE YOUNG, KENWOOD ACADEMY
he world we live in is extremely complicated due to the lack of responsibility for our world. However, it is everyone's responsibility to approach our world and contribute positively, whether it be a smile to an onlooker or to sparing a dime to someone less fortunate. As able human beings our world is struggling due to make our communities healthy. Wikipedia's definition for social responsibility is.... “an ethical framework and suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. Social responsibility is a duty every individual has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems.” Having a voice is important and being able to utilize your voice to advocate for the needy is key. Kenwood Academy junior Keisha Smith wants to be socially responsible, but believes teens may not know how. "Many children desire
to help the needy, but don't now exactly how to do so,” the 16-year-old said. Andrew Jackson Language Academy freshman Jackie Taylor had a different opinion. “Kids are doing various things to help the community out, but aren't building their portfolios so these small things that they do around their community will not be noticed,” the 14-year-old said. Middle schoolers and high schoolers should start initiating service projects early on so that when the time comes and they are challenged to assist in community improvement plans these very students are able to contribute intellectually, emotionally and spiritually to build up our struggling communities. According teenbloggers.com, social responsibility is rising amongst our youth, however its up to leaders within our communities such as parents, teachers, and ministers, to provide access to such opportunities. TRUE STAR JR. 11
The New Age of Movies
BY SOPHIA OVALLE, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
lmost every movie in a theatre near you is either based off a book or is a remake of past movies. In 2016, some of the most popular movies that came out were Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, Deadpool, Me Before You, The 5th Wave and The Choice. But that’s not all, let’s go back to some famous ones: The Twilight series, the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games series, and the Divergent series. All of these movies were huge hits and fans carried out their support all the way from the release of these books to the release of the movies. As for reboots, we have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider-Man, Alien and The Mummy. In September people are anticipating a remake of Stephen King’s IT. The IT remake Facebook page already has more than 85,000 likes. “The original IT definitely gave me chills and so did the preview for the new remake,” said Veronica Gomez, 13. 12 TRUE STAR JR.
This past spring, a Power Rangers reboot starring Becky G as Trini (Yellow Ranger), Dacre Montgomery as Jason (Red Ranger), and Naomi Scott as Kimberly (Pink Ranger) came out and made over $67 million. Back on March 16th, Disney released a real-live action movie reboot of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. According to Variety Magazine, the reboot topped $900 million in the worldwide box office after being in theaters for nearly four weeks. Audiences are flocking to theaters for reboots. Thirteen-year-old Esmeralda Valadez was one of the Beauty and the Beast moviegoers. “I like how the creators put both a mixture of new and old in the movie with some added scenes and kept the same storyline and songs as in ‘Be Our Guest’ with Lumiere,” Valadez said.
Is Starbucks WORTH THE EXTRA BUCKS?
BY MADISON RAMIREZ, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
tarbucks: A place that can serve you different kinds of coffee. That’s cool, but what about the price? Some say it’s too much for a cup of coffee, while others say it's a reasonable price. But is it really? Is almost $5 for coffee too much, or just enough? Some people expect coffee to cost up to $3. Starbucks drinks like Frappuccinos, Lattes and Espressos cost up to $5. If you can buy coffee for less than half the price of that, why buy it for way more? Other places such as Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's sell coffee for as low as $1. So, why pay $5 when you can pay far less? Alexandria Berry, 13, said she gets coffee from Starbucks and prefers it there than anywhere else. But coffee is just coffee, right? “The coffee there is the best [compared to] anywhere else,” Berry said. “One reason I prefer it is because of their seasonal cups.” On holidays, they have themes for their cups. Berry also likes that baristas personalize the coffee cups, and it doesn't have to be your name necessarily. You could use unicorn or batman for instance. That could just brightening up your mood! Seventh grader Juana Gallardo, on the other hand, said coffee is coffee. She also doesn’t understand why people would spend so much on just one cup, Other places offer cheaper deals especially between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. “It's such a big price difference,” she said. “They are always coming out with new drinks, drawing in new customers.” One of the newest beverages is the Unicorn Frappuccino.
According to The Krazy Coupon Lady, “a daily tall Starbucks coffee will cost you $733.65 a year.” So is a cup of coffee with your name on it worth a whole $5? Imagine getting the Beats headphone, the latest cell phone or clothes with that $700. Just the thought could make you change your mind about how much you’re spending on your coffee. TRUE STAR JR. 13
Beyond The Cookie AND ITS MESSAGE
BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
atmeal raisin or chocolate chip? It may not matter to you, but to 12-year-old ww, it does. His business, Beyond the Cookie, is a company that helps raise funds by selling cookies for social impact and CS (computer science) campaigns. His business also shows his love for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Beyond the Cookie started more than 10 years ago when his mom started baking cookies, but his interest in business started four years ago. “When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I started taking [cookies] to school and sharing them with other kids because I couldn’t eat them all. When the kids tasted them, they said that those cookies were the best they’ve ever had,” Brock said. From there, Brock knew he wanted to sell cookies. But what would he do with the money? “My parents founded a non-profit coding industry and our first event was a summer coding event for kids from low-income communities. They eventually decided to fund the venture by selling the cookies my mom made. That’s how Beyond the Cookie was born,” he said. 14 TRUE STAR JR.
In the future, Brock wants to put CS education in every American school and from estimates, he said it might take around $109 billion to do the task. He is ambitious and plans to sell enough cookies to make that amount for the next 10 years. Although Brock dreams of Harvard and expanding Beyond the Cookie globally, he hasn’t ruled anything out. “Going to the NBA is not completely off the table, either,” he said. “My parents have advised me to build a global tech company, then buying a NBA team.” One thing he said he likes about himself is his confidence. “It makes me think nothing can stop me, and through prayer, faith and developing good mental passage, I can achieve anything I want,” he said. He is unstoppable! Brock even wrote a book, Dream Hustle Code, which will coming out in 2018. Show some support by following @ beyondthcookie and @dreamhustlecode on Instagram!
& Books N Bros BY ALISHA BUTLER, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
leven-year-old year old entrepreneur Sidney Keys, took his love for reading to another level when he created the book club Books N Bros, a reading club for the boys ages 8 to 12. He started Books N Bros because he wanted to spread the awareness of African-American literature, and he wanted to make more friends. His club has 35 members, and it is an all boys club. He likes to read because he likes to discover new stories. “There are so many stories out there I haven't read and, reading raises my vocabulary as well,” Keys said. Although he likes a lot of the book genres, Keys said he is really into Black literature right now. “That's the only thing I'm reading right now,” he said. “If I go to the school library, the first thing I look for is Black literature books.” Keys said that he likes black literature because it allows him to see positive and interesting characters that look like him. Keys said his book club is just like any other, sometimes themed and with music. They read a book over a month, then they discuss it for about an hour. In addition to books, the group also discusses movies. One of the places Books N Bros has been to is the screening of Hidden Figures. Keys said little things like this book club can change the world. Reading is one of the most needed things in life. Start clubs like these to help children around the world. We are the future leaders of the world and we need to start acting like it.
Like any other tween, he likes to play video games and watch YouTube videos when he has some spare time. Some sports that Keys is interested in are soccer and baseball. To learn more about Books N Bros, check out www.booksnbros.com. TRUE STAR JR. 15
A BOOK By its Cover
BY BRANDI OCHOA, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
ave you ever gone to take the bus or the train and found that the seats were taken? You scan looking for an open seat and you see it. Next you look at the person on the other side of the seat. What do you think, and why? Based on their appearance, are you judging who they are and whether or not you should sit next to them? Just because someone may look as if they are threatening doesn't mean they are. There are people who have been judged many times and the words people call them can hurt their feelings. You never know what someone may be going through. Huzaifa Vhora, 13, knows all to well about being called names. The average height of 13-year-old boys is 5-feet tall. Vhora is a couple of inches under that, and he has always been smaller than the other boys. He said he has been called “shorty,” “bones” and “stick”. “I don't pay much attention to the names,” Vhora said. “I don’t care what others say.” 16 TRUE STAR JR.
While Vhora has developed confidence, sometimes others who are called names don’t have such high self-esteem. Yunuen Arceo, 13, said being called names like “short,” “ugly” and “worthless” have made her doubt herself. “It hurts me,” the seventh grader said, “and I feel like the people don't know that.” Hearing those words made Arceo believe that she actually was short and ugly and worthless. Sarah Pinto, 11, has also been judged by others. Pinto has been called white-girl by many of her peers. Her hair (blonde) and eye color (blue) are not what people expect someone who is Mexican to look like. “These names make me feel bad about myself,” Pinto said. She added that being called names is more than just teasing; it is uncalled for. The next time you take public transportation, remember just because someone’s looks aren't what you would like for them to be doesn't mean they are untrustworthy. Everyone deserves the same amount of respect.
Never Too YOUNG
To Start Your Business
BY DARYA NELSON, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
ave you ever had an idea for making money as a child? Setting up a lemonade stand, cutting the grass or shoving snow may have come to mind. Today there are companies that are being started by tweens and teens. “According to a Gallup poll, 8 out of 10 kids want to be their own boss, and 4 out of 10 want to start their own business,” the Harvard Business Review reported. There may be a teen business starting in your neighborhood right now! Last year, 11-yearold Mikaila Ulmer landed a deal with Whole Foods to sell her Me & the Bees lemonade. She appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” and got a $60,000 investment. Ulmer is one of the latest, but not the only owner to start a business before leaving grade school. According to inc.com, Juliette Brindak starting drawing at 10 and by age16 Brindak had a social media platform with the site she created. Her company, Miss O & Friends, is said to be worth $15 million.
This could be you! It all starts with an idea and it can grow into something amazing. And there’s good news. If you can create code, cook tasty meals or design clothing you can learn more about being your own boss at teenbusiness.com. The site helps teens understand what investing means, exposes teens to entrepreneurship and presents teen business owners to the world. It can take time to grow but in the end you’ll be proud of your accomplishments. TRUE STAR JR. 17
HOT OFF THE PRESS YOUNG BOSS
New TRUE STAR ON THE Rise
BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
eet Ke$hun, a 15-year-old Atlanta rapper. Currently attending Arabia Mountain High School, maintaining a 3.6 GPA and having many songs to his credit, Ke$hun has learned to maintain it all. He has even appeared on the season 3 episode of “The Rap Game” and showed his talents to millions. True Star talked with the Peach State rapper and got a glimpse into his career. True Star: In what ways does rapping impact your life? Ke$hun: A lot of people are noticing me, especially with my music. It also gives me more stuff to do. I always have something to do. TS: What topics do you like to rap about? Ke$hun: I don't write a specific topic. I may write something based on how I’m feeling, and I just make it a complete song. TS: Who is your biggest inspiration in rap? Ke$hun: Rich Homie Quan, Young Thug, Future; rappers like that. TS: Where do you see yourself in the future with your career? Ke$hun: I see myself doing big things; it's going to take hard work, dedication, focus and staying on my grind to get there. 18 TRUE STAR JR.
TS: How has appearing on “The Rap Game” increased your popularity? Ke$hun: Being on “The Rap Game” increased my popularity a lot because people are noticing me, and a lot more people are listening to my music. TS: What kinds of things do you add to your raps to make them unique? Ke$hun: I’m sharing my flow. I think it's different because I listen to a variety of artists, or it could be one genre and that’s why my style is unique. TS: Why do you enjoy writing music? Ke$hun: It give me an escape from everything else. And it's fun. It's what I love to do. TS: Lastly, do you have any tips for anyone wanting to be a rapper? Ke$hun: Just keep going, keep working, be unique and hard work is going to pay off. Keep up with Ke$hun by following him on Twitter and Instagram @bmvkeshun.
DJ Fly Ty
BY RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ost fourth graders are into Minecraft, PlayStation or wrestling. Fourteen-year-old Ty Anderson a.k.a. DJ Fly Ty was into something a little different. “I started liking DJing when I was 9 [years old], when my parents started having parties,” he said. As his interest in DJing increased and he got older, his parents occasionally let him DJ when they had parties. This gave him more practice with the basics and layout of DJing, but his curiosity carried him on from there. Most people think that maybe one of Anderson’s parents is a musician or works in the field of music. Well, you thought wrong. “My mom is a high school business education teacher and my dad is a special ed middle school teacher,” Anderson said.
Anderon’s musical selections are also a little different from most teens that are influenced by today's hip-hop chart-topping singles. While they may be listening to artists like Fetty Wap, Drake or Rihanna to name a few, Anderson is influenced by old school hip-hop like Do or Die and a variety of R&B artists. Music is not Anderon’s only love. He also has other interests. One in particular is that he's really into basketball. He plays point guard for his team and he even used to want to be a basketball player before he got into DJing. He likes to watch basketball too, while he doesn't particularly like any team, his favorite player in the NBA is LeBron James. TRUE STAR JR. 19
Trinitee Stokes Returns to TV screens this summer in season three of Disney Channel’s "K.C. Undercover" starring as Judy, sassy little star and humanoid robot. BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
f you ever wanted to learn more about the girl who plays the sassy sister robot on Disney Channel’s “K.C. Undercover,” just check out Trinitee Stokes on Twitter and Instagram: @the_trinitee. Stokes invites her peers to join her for the journey. Upon venturing on Stokes' social media channels, fans will see photos of her spending time with her family, hanging out with her cast mates and other teen celebrities having a blast. “K.C. Undercover” is about a teenage math genius whose parents recruit her to work as a government spy on special missions. It’s an entire family effort to save the world! K.C. (Zendaya) works alongside her parents, brother Ernie (Kamil McFadden), and Judy (Stokes) as she does her best to complete missions and save the world. Judy, who in a pinch can be used as a flotation device, is fun to play, according to Stokes. “I’m half of her sass, not as sassy,” the actress said. “I just couldn't be that sassy if I tried.” Eleven-year-old Stokes started her talented path when she was 3-years-old starring in numerous commercials and then later “Tempting Fate” and “Austin & Ally.” “I’ve been acting for eight years, 20 TRUE STAR JR.
and I truly believe I was born to be in front of the camera,” the young star said. Not only is Stokes a talented actress, she also has a passion for singing. She released her gospel single “Win Now” (2013) and pop single “Miss Me” (2017), both of which she said she is very proud of. "It’s amazing to hear the final product out and see many of my peers enjoy it, which also makes me very happy.” The song “Miss Me,” released earlier this year is about inspiring confidence, being true to yourself and loving life. Be sure to head over to www.TheTrinitee.com to hear and learn more about “Miss Me.” As if acting and singing were not enough, Stokes is also busy designing pieces for her apparel line titled Designs by Trinitee. Along with being homeschooled, Stokes has learned proper time management skills so that she can still have time to complete her chores, complete school work and have play dates. Stokes has become quite innovative in her free time, so watch for a possible unicorn in stores near you. Be sure to catch the season three premiere of “K.C. Undercover” on Friday, July 7th at 8:00pm/est. Stay up to date by following Trinitee Stokes on Instagram and Twitter at: @The_Trinitee.
Hobbies: Coloring, Sewing, Singing, Working on her Fashion Line, Shopping, Hanging out with Friends, Running, & Play Board Games Favorite Stores: Justice & Macy’s Wants to Visit: Paris because of the Eiffel Tower and the food, and Egypt because of the pyramids Favorite Board Games: Life (she always wins) & Monopoly (she always loses) Favorite Colors: Pink & Green Role Model: My Mom Trinitee in three words (by Trinitee): Vivacious, Colorful & Adventurous Kids Today Need To: “Just have fun!” PHOTO BY: TARIK DENNIE
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All in the Family FOR DANCER
BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
s part of a new generation to an already talented family, Lil DeeDee (Donielle Hansley) is a 13-year-old dancer who has been dancing since he was 3. Having two parents that were also young dancers, Lil DeeDee felt as if dancing is where he belonged while picking up acting along the way. “When I was born I would always watch them dance and they inspired me to dance. Once I tried it I loved it. Once acting came along they just went together,” said Lil DeeDee. The talented pre-teen considers his parents to be his role models because they push him to go further. Lil DeeDee has toured with multiple celebs including MattyB and with his dance crew Jungle Boogie Crew, ImmaBeast and AtlaTakeova. He has appeared on various TV shows such as Tyler Perry’s “If Loving You Is Wrong,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with R&B singer Usher. He's even the voice actor for Darwin the Fish in Cartoon Network’s “The Amazing World of Gumball.” Lil DeeDee said that performing with Usher was favorite. “When I finally got to meet [Usher], I was excited, but the real excitement came when I got to get on the stage and show over 20,000 people how I dance,” he said. In the future Lil DeeDee plans to work with as many people as he can while practicing different types of dance. Along with dancing, Lil DeeDee loves to tumble, shop, get outside and play basketball although his favorite sport is football. He predicted Cavaliers vs. Warriors for the 2017 NBA Finals, but he does have a favorite. 22 TRUE STAR JR.
“I kind of like them both because I like LeBron and Steph, so I'm in the middle,” he said. When it comes down to who will win, he's rooting for the Warriors! Lil DeeDee is a chill person who's all about working hard to achieve his dream and going beyond everyone else's expectations. He’s someone that will become famous because of his work and not anybody else's. This is his motto: “Stay focused, keep going, and always follow your dreams. Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something. If you follow your dream you'll be fine.” ~ Lil DeeDee 2017
Alyssia Duda BY RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ave you ever thought: Would I be doing something better if my parents had gotten me involved with more activities? That’s what you’re going to be saying when you hear about talented 10-year-old Alyssia Duda. She has done things that most people can only imagine. First off, she loves to dance and has been doing so since she was 3. Recently, Duda performed with the Joffrey Ballet and portrayed the beloved Pierrot Doll from the legendary ballet “The Nutcracker.” Because of her love for ballet, Duda is inspired by Misty Copeland, the first African-American principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater (ABT). Duda considers Misty Copeland as a role model. “She’s so cool,” Duda said. “She is really good and inspirational.” Duda added that she is a big fan of Fabrice Calmels, who is a principal dancer with Joffrey Ballet. She relates to him because they both are biracial and because he is an amazing dancer. Acting is something she naturally gravitated towards after performing for years. She has appeared on the TV shows “Chicago PD,” “Empire” (multiple times), “Chicago Med” and “Chicago Fire.” She has also been in a commercial for Safe Passage. Doing all of these things at once must be hard for a pre-teen. Doesn’t it get in the way of school and homework you ask? Nope! Not for this ballerina. But school definitely comes first. “I want to go to ballet boarding schooling,” Duda said. This would be a school —in Paris—
dedicated to ballet, but there are also the normal school activities. It’s like the TV show “Dance Academy.” The school, Paris De Opera Ballet School, is also where Calmels did his training. It doesn’t stop there for Duda. This child prodigy also sings. She even got to meet and sing for Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child. Duda has proved that your age doesn’t have to limit how you live your life or what your aspirations are. She has reached a point that most people don’t ever get to. I forget to mention that she’s also a model! Follow her on Instagram @alyssia_ballerina. TRUE STAR JR. 23
MAKES A STOP IN THE CHI BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
his isn't a game, this is “The Rap Game”! The stars of the reality TV show “The Rap Game,” produced by Jermaine Dupri, came to Chicago May 27th. True Star held the SoSo Summer ‘17 Meet & Greet Day Party with Nia Kay, Deetranada, Nova, King Roscoe and Miss Mulatto. Beats were provided by DJ Fly Ty and DJ Nastradamus, and the day was filled with dancing, fun, and pictures with the cast members that attended.
“It’s 50/50,” said Prince of New York “I mean, even though there are a lot of negative things going on, there are a lot of positive things going on. It’s cool to have all of these people following me because last year I only had one thousand followers, now I have like four hundred thousand.”
Rap has been around since the 1970’s, before some of these rapper’s parents were even born. But these artists feel a connection and the music Now, what about the concert? The concert took is important to them. Deetranada said, “Rap place downtown at the Chicago Theatre. Some means life, love, laughter. It is like stories you can of the acts included were Supa Peach, Lil Key, Chicago native Dlow, Bow Wow, and Mani, just to tell through rap. It's infinite. I could write about anything, and it would never get old. That's what name a few. I love about rap.” After the concert was over, True Star was able to chat with some of the artists. They weighed in on how social media reaches people. “It has definitely impacted me a lot because it helped me get on the ‘Rap Game,’” said Lil Key. “Instagram is where I tagged Jermaine Dupri and ‘The Rap Game’ producers. J.D. kept reposting my videos. So, social media played a big role and that's how I got on the show.” 24 TRUE STAR JR.
“Rap means a lot to me. I started out in life wanting to be a rapper,” Mani said. “It has made a huge impact on my life, I wanted to be a rapper since I was 6 years old.” The artists want you to know that rap is what they sleep, breathe, eat, and live. This is the new generation of rap.
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Disney STRAYS FROM THE NORM WITH "ANDI MACK"
BY RHANIYA DAWSON, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
o you like the Disney Channel? Maybe you liked it better when “That’s So Raven,” “Hannah Montana” or “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” were on? And you may even watch “Lab Rats” now. But you will soon start to love the Disney Channel again because of its latest show “Andi Mack.”
Fans on different sites have talked about how they loved the subject matter the show is tackling. “I love any children’s show that respects and believes in their young audience enough to give them complexity,” Shannon Miller (@Phunky_Brewster) posted on Twitter.
“Andi Mack” shows all the adventures a 13-yearold girl encounters when dealing with family secrets, identity, crushes, jealousy, and more. The mystery starts when Andi’s older sister Bex comes home from traveling. It doesn’t seem like everyone is happy when Bex comes home and a lot of secrets are floating around, including one BIG life-changing secret that Andi's mom doesn’t want her to know.
At the “Andi Mack” Facebook page Katie Fisher said, “I love watching this show. It’s awesome.”
Andi has been raised to believe that Bex is her older sister when in fact Bex is her mother. Because Bex thought she was not ready to raise a child at such a young age she let Andi’s grandmother raise her. After this is revealed Andi seeks help and comfort from her best friends Cyrus and Buffy. 26 TRUE STAR JR.
Many have said that with this new show the Disney Channel is exploring a number of topics so that they can connect with their growing audience. “Hang on to your mouse ears: Disney Channel — land of safe, sweet sitcoms — is exploring this charged terrain with ‘Andi Mack,’” the New York Times reported. Will this bold type of programing be the new normal for the kid-friendly network? Only time will tell. The “Andi Mack” show has been renewed for a second season.
FUN FUN SUMMER FITS FITS
Photographer - Shelby Brown Fashion Stylist - Nicole Parrott for Kaleidoscope by Kalaberry Hair - Diamond Beach for House of Her Make Up - Brittany Beach for House of Her
Left to Right: Blue & White Striped Top-Burlington, White Ankle Skinny Jean-@HenryAndBelle, Patch Denim Flats- Steve Madden; White Tank, Distressed Denim Shorts- Burlington, Custom Pom Pom Sandals-@NicKnackApparel; White Printed Button Down, Blue Cargo Shorts, Red Nike Sneakers-Burlington; Coral Ice Cream Dress-@RichGirlCandy, Adidas Sneakers; Acid Washed Denim Shirt, Khaki Joggers, Black Tom's Hi-tops-Burlington, Bowtie-@thakingroscoe TRUE STAR JR. 27
Floral Bomber Jacket- Zara, Logo T-shirt @KFabFashions, Black Shorts- Topshop, Peach Sneakers-XOXO
Off the Shoulder Black & White Striped Top, Distressed Denim Patch Shorts, White Adidas Sneakers-Burlington
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Left to Right: White Tank, Distressed Denim Shorts- Burlington, Custom Pom Pom Sandals @NicKnackApparel Blue & White Striped TopBurlington, White Ankle Skinny Jean-@HenryAndBelle, Patch Denim Flats- Steve Madden Coral Ice Cream Dress-@ RichGirlCandy, Adidas Sneakers
Black & Tan Paint Splatter S/S Tee, Black Denim Shorts, Oatmeal & Blk Nike Hi-tops- Burlington
Blue Button Down, Khaki Overalls - Zara, Jordan Sneakers, Bowtie @thakingroscoe
White Printed Button Down, Blue Cargo Shorts, Red Nike SneakersBurlington
Multicolor Print Tank DressForever 21, Black Knotted Fabric Slide-Burlington
Tan S/S Hooded Top, Destroyed Denim Shorts, Black Tom's Hi-TopsBurlington
Junior GREAT DEBATERS: Thorp Debate Team
BY NIA HOWARD & KEVIN ALLEN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
ebates typically bring to mind words such as political or boring. However, two Thorp Academy, students—Morgan Berryhill and Kristina Muharremaj—definitely don’t think so. Because of their dedication, they found some enjoyment in debating and both won the 1st place Novice Team Award in the city championship. “[Debate] can be boring at times, but it's usually fun,” said Berryhill. She also said debate to her means “fair argument with just cold hard facts and maybe a little bit of opinion.” Now you may be wondering why it's fun for debaters to debate. While proving your point against other people is fun, Berryhill said a lot of the fun comes from “learning about the world…when we get to work together to try to understand.” Muharremaj, however, thinks debating is interesting because “you get to express your opinions about the world and various topics.” One of Muharremaj’s favorite things she said was getting to know people as well as the 32 TRUE STAR JR.
collective learning that she receives on others’ viewpoints. Muharremaj said she owes her newfound interest to her language arts teacher Deirdre Littleton who helped give the debate space a comfortable vibe. “The more they got into lessons, the more interesting it would get,” Muharremaj said. She also plans on attending debate camp over the summer and to join debate club next year after school so she can stay busy and on top of her game. Mrs. Littleton is very proud of this debate team, which has 16 students, ranging from sixth to eighth grades. “Every student grew in confidence and skill from the beginning of the season, and their excitement about debate made team practices competitive and fun,” Littleton said. “The students were constantly looking for the better strategy and the stronger argument, and their commitment paid off.” Just like judging a book by its cover, don’t judge debating because it just might pique your interest!
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DEEPER THAN SKIN
Natural Hair, Don’t Care
BY NIA HOWARD, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
s the website blackhair.about.com explains, “Natural hair is hair whose texture hasn't been altered by chemical straighteners, including relaxers and texturizers.” Some people prefer to not have natural hair because it’s “too much to manage” but pain is beauty, right? At least that’s what Kayla Holloway of Morgan Park High School had to say. “To me, natural hair is BOMB. Natural hair is a way for me to let my hair breathe and be whatever it wants to be. I prefer natural hair and/or weave because I actually went through a 1-year journey from perm to natural and I learned a lot through the process. I would rather put work into making my hair look good.” Natural hair seems like a challenge to deal with because it’s “nappy,” “too thick,” “poofy,” or “tangled.” Nia Jackson from Banard says, “‘Natural hair doesn’t really matter to me, as 34 TRUE STAR JR.
long as you know how to take care of it and know what you’re doing with it, you should be fine.” Blackhair.about.com advises that twists, braids/ cornrows, Afros, bantu knots, ponytails, buns, loose styles, and tapered cuts count as good hairstyles to “tame your mane.” Olivia Jackson, a student at Lindblom MSA is basically a pro at anything natural hair and has some tips for those transitioning into wearing and styling their natural hair. “A lot of deep conditioning is good. Make sure to stay away from a lot of direct heat. Be consistent with washing, deep conditioning, and styling. Also make sure you find good products that’ll work for your hair since everyone has different types of hair.” Whether you have pin-straight hair or kinky-coil tresses, your hair is precious, so treasure it.
J-Rock POPS HIS WAY INTO THE
Business Scene BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL
OP, goes the weasel! Nope, actually the popcorn. Popcorn is a treat mostly everyone enjoys, whether it's at the movies or as a regular snack. But, popular popcorn places and movie theater popcorn have nothing on 13-year-old Jayden Hammond. His popcorn business, J-Rock’s Pop, started when he was hanging out with his parents and younger sister. “I was at a family movie night, about two years ago,” Hammond said, “I popped the popcorn and seasoned it. After tasting the popcorn, I thought it was really good and I thought it would make a good product. I asked my parents, and they agreed to help me on this venture. That’s how J-Rock’s Pop was born.” Here's the twist though. Hammond makes healthy gourmet popcorn, all organic of course. It is free of GMO’s and any other harmful chemical and/or substance sitting in your popcorn. Hammond wants people to know what the effects of unhealthy popcorn can do to people. “No offense to other popcorn establishments, but I feel that their popcorn isn't as healthy,” he said. “Most of the time, people are consuming something that's not really that healthy and their health is deteriorating over time. I just wanted
to find a way to help people with their health by having something that's good at the same time.” According to Hammond, this is the best part about selling his product. He likes to let people know that they can have something that’s tasty and something that is healthy at the same time. For future plans, he says he wants at least two or three shops on the South Side of Chicago and at least two shops outside of the United States. You can check out more of him and his future endeavors on his website: jrockspopchicago. com, follow him on Instagram, @jrockspop_ chicago, and follow his Facebook Page @J-Rock’s Pop. TRUE STAR JR. 35
CREATIVE & CULTURE CORNER
Do You Know
How Hard It Is? BY JERMALE DABNEY JR., POE ELEMENTARY
Do you know how hard it is To keep your rage in To be on point To not scream out during class? Do you know how hard it is To not yell at your brother and sister To have your attitude great To do what you were called to do? Do you know how hard it is To keep up in class To not yell at peers To not be bullied? Do you know how hard it is To write this poem To write my feelings To attempt to make your day better?
36 TRUE STAR JR.
BY SOPHIA OVALLE, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
s I sat at the hospital, I recounted the event that happened earlier tonight. My injuries consisted of a cut at the top of my left eyebrow
don't want to draw too much attention to the situation we're dealing with,” said the Detective.
and the long deep cut I had on my arm. As I sat in the room on the bed with my worn clothes and exhausted body, I heard the commotion of a hospital. A knock came at the door and the doctor came in followed by a detective. The detective situated himself in a chair in the corner as the doctor came in front of me. He looked down at the chart he was holding.
I looked over, then up at the doctor. He responded, “Of course, Detective. I’ll go get what I need to fix you up.” And with that he left.
“Hello, Aila. I'm Dr. Calloway. I'll be your doctor for today. I see here you have a small cut on your face and one across your arm,” he said.
“Seeing as we’re going to be here for some time, why don’t you tell me what happened earlier. My name is Detective Richardson,” he said. Dr. Calloway came in with medical supplies. He grabbed a chair and sat down in front of me. “Okay now, Aila. I’m going to have to numb you.”He had the usual doctor-like voice that tended to soothe most patients.
I nodded. “I'll have a nurse come in and have those bandaged up,” he said.
I looked up. “I can start explaining if you’d like.” My voice sounded shaky. His head gave a nod in my direction.
“Doc, you mind if you fixed her up yourself? I
“It all started two weeks ago… .” TRUE STAR JR. 37
Oh Well BY KEVIN ALLEN LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
Oh well The phrase that defines my life The phrase I've been taught to embrace Because of my anger issues Because of my depression Whenever something bad happens Just say oh well And you'll get through it Let me test that logic just a little bit He wants to fight you Oh well Muslims and Isis are being portrayed as the same thing Oh well My orange president is a racist, sexist, homophobic, sugar daddy Oh well Thousands of people die every day from preventable diseases Oh well My city is full of lots of people ready to catch you outside Oh well Could it be That maybe the reason I have so many problems is because of this That maybe just maybe what was engrained in me is wrong That turning a blind eye to things is wrong If that's the case consider If all this stuff in the world is still happening How many people do you think have this mentality People walk by and see you getting jumped Oh well 38 TRUE STAR JR.
Do they care No Why would, Why SHOULD they Because this injustice is happening to you? Because it's the right thing to do? No we are humans Born by chance Prolong ourselves out of weakness then die We don't want to get hurt so why would WE help YOU I mean it's very unfortunate that this is happening to you But what can we do about it Every single one of us is a selfish being And we want our lives all for ourselves We don't want anyone to take it from us So why should we help you At most we'll call the cops then forget about you Oh well This phrase that defines my life Does it define yours What about the people around you What about your country And what about this world And if it does will we get through it Will we live to get through it Will everything be OK If you don't think so The rest of the world seems to Oh well I guess you're out of luck
Art BYJESSICA GARCIA, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL
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True Star Jr Summer 2017