“I was steps ahead of the competition before graduating.” - Class of 2015
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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
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 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 - Sr. Analyst, Baxter David Nichols - Americas Leader - EY Malcolm Weems - Senior Advisor Public Policy and Regulation, Dentons LaTonya Wilikens - Talent Development Leader - JLL Sharming Scott-Nathan - Human Resources Director, Fox Television Stations
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
On the Cover: Creative director: Joi Mitchell • assistant Creative director: Daneisha Goodman • Wardrobe Stylist: Dana “Dutch” Davis • Hair: Diamond Beach of Beauty Boulevard • Make-up: Deanna Beach of Beauty Boulevard • Photography: Shelby brown • Models include: Tiarra Lee, Kayla Armstrong, Kenneth Thomas (Kaotik), Daryl McIntosh, Sejahari Amaru. On Malcolm London: Shirt & Sweater: Gap / Jeans: Zara / Shoes: Adidas. On Kayla Taylor: Shirt: Agaci / Skirt H&M. On Lamon Record: Jacket: H&M / Shirt: TopShop / Jeans: All Saints / Shoes: Aldo.
YOUNG BOSS MOVES 9 KAYLA TAYLOR / A DANCER’S DREAM COME TRUE 10 MALCOLM LONDON / THE LEARNED & UNLEARNED WAYS 11 LAMON RECCORD / ACTIVISM IS MORE THAN ACTION 12 SULIYAT OLAGBENRO / LEADING BY EXAMPLE 13 MARQUIS SEWELL / THE CODING KID 14 BRAXTON NUNNALLY / PROGRAMMING WITH A PASSION 15 RAVEN SMITH / SHINING A LIGHT ON “THE GO” 16 ABDULLAH QUICK / THE QUICK PHENOMENON
REAL TALK 18 TURNING HOBBIES INTO CAREERS 19 IS YOUR ANGER AFFECTING YOUR
21 EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION
OF FEMALE LEADERS
41 MANAGING YOUR MONEY
22 BEYONCE’S BOSS MOVES
42 TREASURER’S COLUMN / STARTUP
23 PLANNING A TRUNK PARTY
INCUBATORS / BRANDING YOURSELF
24 THE CAREFREE BLACK GIRL
43 ONLINE BOOKS / BUDGETING FOR COLLEGE MEALS
FASHION 26 SPRING FASHION
32 CAN KANYE UPGRADE PAYLESS?
44 BESTIE IS BEING CHEATED ON. WHAT DO YOU DO?
45 POWER OF THE PASSWORD
34 BROADWAY IN BRONZEVILLE 35 BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE WITH
INSIDE & OUT
46 REMEMBERING TIMBUCK2 47 PUTTING DOWN THE POUNDS
TECHNOLOGY 36 SCENARIOS USA MEDIA CORPS MIXES
ON THE COURT
SOCIAL MEDIA WITH SOCIAL ISSUES
48 TOP HOOPERS SHOW UP & SHOW OUT
37 HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
AT THE MCDONALD’S ALL AMERICAN GAMES 49 ANDRE LOVE WINS THE LEGACY OF
UNDER THE RADAR
AFRICAN AMERICANS IN BASEBALL VIDEO
40 DAKOTA UNIQUE IS OUT TO PROVE
SOCIAL LIFE? 20 WHAT A BOSS WANTS
HOW DIFFERENT SHE REALLY IS
WHAT MATTERS TO US 50 THE POWER OF VOTING
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
1130 SOUTH WABASH SUITE 302
CHICAGO, IL 60605
True Star Magazine is produced by Chicago area youth through apprenticeship programs to celebrate the voice of today’s young people.
EDITOR’S LETTER KAYLA CRITTLE JUNIOR, DE LA SALLE
Executive Directors J. Na-Tae’ Thompson & DeAnna McLeary-Sherman Managing Editor Marti Parham Art Direction Design and Illustration Angel D’Amico-Bauer Copy Editor Alicia Haywood Promotions Manager DeShaun Adams Special Projects Manager Philistine Thompson Web Content Manager Joi Mitchell
Most people think that being a boss equates to being an adult. But the amount of amazing things youth are doing today proves that theory to be completely wrong. In this issue of True Star, we’re learning all about what it means to be a “young boss” and make young boss moves. Some of the outstanding young people featured in our cover story include activists Malcolm London and Lamon Reccord, and up-and-coming dancer Kayla Taylor. What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time? In the story “Turning Hobbies into Careers” find out how the things you do for fun can pay off big time for you in the future. A real Chicagoan knows about the impact DJ Timbuck2 has left on our city. In “Remembering DJ Timbuck2,” we take the time to appreciate the positive mark he’s left on such a wide range of audiences. As a teen, it can be hard to save your money. It seems that going out on the weekends and paying for the miscellaneous items we want can wipe us out pretty quick. Frivolous spending leaves us with nothing when it’s time to purchase the things we really need. Pay close attention to the article, “Managing Your Money,” if you’re ready to learn how to budget and save. If your best friend is being cheated on and you have no idea how to break the news, check out our Young Luv section to get tips on what to do. While you’re there, read up on building the bond in a relationship in “Power of the Password?” For those who enjoy baseball, check out our exclusive interview with the winner of The Legacy of African-Americans in Baseball video competition, Andre Love. If you’re looking for ways to lose weight without suffering through a diet, flip to the Inside & Out section and read “Putting Down The Pounds.” We hope you enjoy this issue. Be sure to share a copy with your friends. Happy reading! PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON TRUE STAR MAGAZINE Letters to True Star • 1130 South Wabash • Suite 302 • Chicago, Il 60605-2717 Letters become the property of True Star and may be edited for publication. EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
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VISIT OUR BLOG FOR DAILY NEWS, INFO & ENTERTAINMENT
WWW.TRUESTARIS.COM 6 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
Web Content Assistant Henry Collins Marketing Assistant Daneisha Goodman Radio Broadcasting at Chicago State Univ Instructors: Bionce Foxx & Chi-Blizz Erin Barker Hezekiah Basemore D’Lonnie Blair Ryan Crawford Kendell Dixon Kiyana Hunt Corey Jones Giana Mitchell Aron Morgan Kristian Parker Holliday Riley Lorren Ross Brene’ Stamps Nicholas Stroud Kayla Sullers Dekya Swann Graphic Design at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep Instructor: Polina Zionts Student Art Directors: L’Oreal Pace & Kamari Robertson Jessica Allen Stephanie Booker Alex Childress Haleemah Choyce Joshua Dixon Nakia Jones Justin Jordan Journee Lockridge Michaella Nethery Ijeoma Okere Alexis Oria L’Oreal Pace Pierre Poindexter Kamari Robertson Journalism at Morgan Park Instructor: Marti Parham Assistant: Mina Waight Jacob Bonds Coriana Brown Davora Buchanan
Serena Echols Janiah Jackson Maya Jones Kyra King Triniti Maye Taylor Miggins Malik Pugh Jacoby Riley Kayla White Kristal White Deair Williams Marketing Instructor: Joi Mitchell Jessica Bond Taylor Coward Pierrerasha Goodwin Madison Miller Journalism at Garfield Park Instructor: Camron Smith Ciera Barnett Schwanda Carodine Leah Ellis Naja Harrington Kamiyah Lipscomb Emmanuel Williams Briana Wilson Journalism at Thonton Fractional South Instructor: Tila Grant JaCarla Anderson Asia Billingsley Aisia Farmer Nashon Kelly Jr Jadyn Newman Jasmine Riley Lamonica Sykes Tiah Williams Street Team Amyrikal Adams Dashika Adams Breyjon Davis Deja Goodman Damerius Johnson Ariel Jones Ariel Moore Kayla Sullers Tonyae Tolliver Brianna Wadlington
True Star Radio at UBM Instructor: Fred Hill Kayla Sullers Morgan Hall Brianna Wadlington Kendall Gaines Journalism at Thonton Fractional North Instructor: Nikitta Foston Malik Albright Niya Ashley Heaven Bones Ana Gonzales Marcus Harris Kenzie Hillis Leneya Jones Ciera King Prince Lamptey Hope Parsons Daisy Rivera Jamya Robinson Shantell Shivers Freelance Journalism Instructor: Dion Dawson Jessica Bond K’Liyah Coopwood Kayla Crittle Destini Lindsey Shayla Rials J’Mila Sullivan Messiah Young Digital Media Instructor: Shelby Brown Zoe Blackburn Jalen Chatonda Deja Coolidge Daniella Fiawo Brianna Jordan Thomiya Kendricks Deja Lewis Micah Loudermilk Imani Mason Mckinzie Morris Asia Muhammad Theopulous Ransberry Johnathan Richardson Akaylnn Upshaw
CONTRIBUTORS 1. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF BEING A BOSS? 2. WHAT WILL YOU DO THIS YEAR TO BECOME A MORE ACTIVE CONTRIBUTOR TO YOUR COMMUNITY? 3. WHICH ONE OF YOUR HOBBIES OR PASSIONS COULD YOU TURN INTO A PROFITABLE BUSINESS? 4. WHAT BOSS MOVES ARE YOU MAKING IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW?
CIERA BARNETT SOPHOMORE JONES COLLEGE PREP EDITORIAL TEAM
1. Being a boss has great benefits, but also comes with challenges. You’ll get people hating on you. Plus, the pressure and difficulty related to whether you can really handle the role when things seem overwhelming. However, the benefit of doing something for yourself—and being able to own it and take pride—definitely outweighs it. 2. To become more active, I am doing a lot of volunteer projects in conjunction with my school service learning requirements. I am also helping to brainstorm and promote fundraising events for some organizations I am connected to. 3. I have a blog where I talk about music and other happenings in the entertainment world. I could definitely see myself turning that outlet into a similar career by being a reviewer or music executive. 4. As stated, I am running a blog and also helping out with volunteer programs. Beyond that, I am staying on top of my school work and taking all AP and honors classes.
MALIK PUGH SOPHOMORE MORGAN PARK EDITORIAL TEAM
1. Some challenges of being a boss are managing your business, avoiding failure, finding good employees and budgeting. The benefits of being a boss are that you make your own hours and that you answer to nobody. 2. Things I will do to contribute to my community are not loitering and helping kids stay on the right path. 3. I could turn playing video games into a profitable business. There are many companies that have game testers play and review their games to critique them. I could open my own video game testing business. Also I could start designing video games. 4. The boss move I am making in my life right now is starting my own business selling candy. I have already made a small business plan on how much the candy costs, the profit I should make, who is my market, and how I plan to overcome my competition.
HOPE PARSONS JUNIOR T.F. NORTH EDITORIAL TEAM
1. Being a boss means you will face challenges like, uncooperative employees, sleepless nights, and stress, but if you can overcome it you’ll be the boss of your workplace and more confident about yourself. 2. This year, I have one of the lead roles in my high school drama club’s performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We’re giving special showings to middle school children to spread the word about the fine arts and inspire others. I will also be volunteering to help get donations to the Chicago Heights Humane Society. 3. Creative writing is a passion that I hope to make a career by being a journalist and writing novels in my spare time. Journalists are the voice of the voiceless, and report on important topics so I think you have to have a creative mindset and passion to be a journalist. 4. I got the lead role in my school’s play despite auditioning for a small role. I’ve also done my first feature story for True Star Magazine, and being able to do that just kind of made me feel very confident and boss like.
JADYN NEWMAN FRESHMAN T.F. SOUTH EDITORIAL TEAM
1. The challenges of being a boss include harsh decision-making and taking risks. However, the benefits include strong independence, experience and lessons for the future. It also helps you mature and helps you in other aspects of your life. 2. This year, I will continue to volunteer around my community through events, small jobs around my church, and possibly our town clean-up. I enjoy volunteering because it is a way to help out and gain experience. 3. I enjoy writing fiction, non-fiction and articles about subjects that interest me, such as psychology and art. I recently started a blog, to post short stories. I hope for my pieces to be published or if it gains enough views, produce ads allowing me to earn money. 4. I started a blog and I’m experimenting with different types of writing by being in programs like True Star to gain experience. I would encourage everyone to make some boss moves themselves. The benefits are incredible and it’s never too early to think about the future.
JOSHUA DIXON JUNIOR GWENDOLYN BROOKS GRAPHIC DESIGN
1. The challenges are constructing a team that will put 100 percent effort into a job task. Being a boss means you have control and that you have to teach people to do things the way it needs to be done. 2. I plan to help clean up trash and create a stop the violence poster. 3. I love video gaming and creating digital illustrations. When I graduate from art school, I want to turn that into being an art designer for video games and create the textures and artwork for the Art Institute. 4. Well, right now I am a trained graphic designer and I’ve been working for True Star as an apprentice graphic designer to better my digital art skills. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 7
YOUNG BOSS MOVES
Making YOUNG Boss Moves BY JACOB BONDS, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK
FTEN TIMES WE FIND OURSELVES CONFUSED OR SCARED ABOUT THE FUTURE BECAUSE ITâ€™S UNPREDICTABLE. THE BEST WAY TO GET PAST THOSE MOMENTS OF UNCERTAINTY IS BY TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE AND SUCCEEDING AT THE THINGS THAT MATTER TO YOU MOST. THE FOLLOWING PAGES ARE FILLED WITH STORIES ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE, JUST LIKE YOU, WHO ARE MAKING BOSS MOVES TODAY THAT WILL ULTIMATELY PLACE THEM IN A BETTER POSITION TOMORROW.
YOU CAN BE THE BOSS OF YOUR OWN LIFE TOO. THE ONLY PERSON STOPPING YOU IS YOU. 8 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
A Dancer’s DREAM Come True BY SHANTELL SHIVERS, JUNIOR, T.F. NORTH
ayla A. Taylor, a 17-year-old junior, is a dance major at The Chicago High School for the Arts, more commonly known as ChiArts. She has been in several dance competitions throughout her time there. Most recently, she advanced to the National Competition for the Youth America Grand Prix and competed in the New York finals with her partner, Alexander Roy. When asked if she was nervous or prepared for the competitions, she responds, “A little bit of both. Of course I am going to be [nervous] because it’s such a big competition, but I know if I go and do my best, it’ll be good.” Competing on a national scale like this requires a positive attitude. It seems as though Taylor definitely has one. She got her start in dancing when she was very young when her mom signed her up for dance classes. Her mom was a dancer when she was younger, too.
Surprisingly, Taylor didn’t really have a passion for dancing at first. In fact, she danced off and on until about 6th grade. But it was during this time that she started to take dancing seriously, and it continued from there. Dancing allowed her to be recognized by ChiArts, even though ChiArts was not her first choice for high school. In fact, she was not that excited about attending school there initially, but she decided to give it a chance. And soon, she loved it. Taylor says that she has met many, “amazing friends and amazing teachers.” She also shares how grateful she is to have the ChiArts experience. “It’s been amazing.”
Although she has a passion for dancing, Taylor would like to go into the medical field one day. But, she explains that will happen later on in her life, because she knows that the medical field will always be there. Dancing, on the other hand, is very rare to make a career out of, so she wants to see just how far she can go. For college, she plans to attend the University of Chicago. Since medicine is her ideal long-term career goal, she wants to go somewhere that stands out. Taylor says that she’s always liked the University of Chicago because they have an amazing medical program. When asked what imprint she wants to leave on the world, Taylor says, “I don’t know, but a positive one. I know I’ve struggled with being able to help others, so I would like to get better at that.” She adds, “I know that being in the medical field, I would help a lot of people.” FASHION CREDITS: JACKET: AGACI SHIRT: BEBE SHOES: NIKE AIR JORDAN’S
Taylor seems to really be focused on helping others later in life. But she’s doing that right now by being an example of someone who is following her dreams and passion. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 9
The Learned &
UNLEARNED WAYS OF Malcolm London BY CHRISTOPHER THOUGHTPOET BROWN, SOPHOMORE, THE ART INSTITUTE
rom the surging Chicago music movement to educating the city through writing and poetry, Malcolm London has fought for a great deal when it comes to culture. But let’s go back a little and see where his fight for expression and freedom came from. Coming from the West Side, London’s appreciation for balance has always been apparent. As one of the main anchors in Chicago’s current poetry scene, he sees the city and the world in a different light. “I get up every day thinking about my nieces and nephews. I try to imagine a world where things are so much better for them,” says London during a quick break from rehearsal with The O’Mys, a Chicago band preparing for an upcoming show.
“I GET UP EVERY DAY THINKING ABOUT MY NIECES AND NEPHEWS. I TRY TO IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE THINGS ARE SO MUCH BETTER FOR THEM.” – MALCOLM LONDON
The 2011 Louder Than A Bomb poetry slam winner is nationally known for his creative use of language. He has performed during a TED Talk taping and been featured on the show “Verses and Flow,” but it was his activism last December that sticks in the memory of many.
FASHION CREDITS: SHIRT/SWEATER: GAP, JEANS: ZARA, SHOES: ADIDAS
London is a member of the Black Youth Project 100, an organization dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people, with a major focus on Black fem, trans, and queer acknowledgment and rights, as well as the ending of police brutality. Marching the streets and speaking out is a normal thing for him. However, during the Laquan McDonald protest, London was accused of striking a police officer and charged with aggravated battery. After much community protest, charges were dropped. London says the incident was a precursor to his life’s redirection. “Last year I really was organizing a lot, which is super important,” he says. “But even before I was arrested at the protest I planned on taking a step back to focus my energies moreso artistically, so that I can show the world more from me personally.” With a new music project coming out soon and a huge collaborative project in the works with good friend Chance The Rapper and The Field Museum, London will show Chicago just how diverse he can be. Since London’s pull back from hard organizing, he’s been extremely busy with teaching history and poetry at different schools and institutions around the country. Most importantly, he’s been helping students all around Chicago learn more about their creative abilities with the “Open Mike” poetry series created by Chance The Rapper. The poetry series was created in memory of his late mentor, YOUMedia advisor, Mike Hawkins, aka “Brother Mike.” “That man helped me and so many others realize our power and our ability to mold a movement through emotion and power.” With amazing collaboration from other artists throughout the city and a curriculum being built through the poetry series itself, London is giving back in many ways
10 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
beyond his ability to influence with his own actions. “I want those who know me and don’t know me to understand that I’m not perfect, that I’m not only building my own legacy but working on continuing a legacy that’s been created by me and my friends for all to see.” In the end that’s all that really matters.
IS MORE THAN Action BY JESSICA BOND, JUNIOR, KENWOOD
ife in Chicago is definitely tough, especially for the young men and women who live on the South and West Sides who have to deal with the loss of loved ones from gun violence. Lamon Reccord, a Chicago native and activist, has had enough with the violence and unnecessary deaths by police, so he decided to take a stand against it. Reccord is probably best known for his stare off with police during protests over the Laquan McDonald shooting. His actions earned national attention. But his interest in activism didn’t start there. It began after someone he knew was killed. “I had a close friend name Endia Martin that passed away from gun violence on April 28, 2014,” Reccord says. “After her death I was just so lost in what I wanted to do in the future for myself, so I decided to express my anger towards the situation…and use it in a positive term to do more than protest, but to be an organizer working with the youth.” Ever since that tragic day, he has been organizing protests to stop the violence, Black on Black crime, as well as police brutality. Fighting for what’s right keeps the 17-year-old extremely busy, but because he knows the importance of what he is doing, he would have it no other way. “The hardest challenge I had to face so far was to have time to myself. I’m a freedom fighter and I refuse to be shut down, especially if I’m fighting for my people. I am FASHION CREDITS: JACKET: H&M, SHIRT: TOPSHOP, JEANS: ALL SAINTS, SHOES: ALDO
that voice in the light for the people who are silent in the dark! I just have too much passion and love for this movement just for it to go down the drain. I am so busy, it’s ridiculous, but I honestly just love what I do! Every day, [it’s] something new on my plate as an organizer,” says Reccord. Protesting is definitely not an easy thing to do, but Reccord’s lessons from it are endless, which makes it worth the ride. “The greatest thing I’ve learned from the movement is seeing people come together collectively and unifying, having a strong backbone for a weak body structure. But we have to build.” Reccord, who hopes to someday run for mayor of Chicago, has achieved a lot in his few years as an activist. His staging of local protests for the Black Lives Matter Movement has influenced other cities to do the same. He offers this advice to other young activists fighting for a cause: “Just always remember to think, not only before you speak but before you take action! One small decision can change your future. God will put you [in] situations where you feel as if you can’t handle it or want to give up, but He will provide you with strength to make you stronger in the future by telling your story,” says Reccord. Activism will always be a part of our culture. Never let anyone mute your voice because, like Reccord, we all have a story to tell.
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 11
LEADING By Example BY BRIANA WILSON, JUNIOR, VON STEUBEN
ne of the many dreams teens may have is traveling the world and seeing new places. They’d probably be eager to see a tropical country such as Brazil that may be featured in their textbooks. Fortunately, that is extremely possible for students who work hard and stay dedicated to their schoolwork. In fact, that is how Suliyat Olagbenro, a senior at Lindblom, was able to spend her school year in São Paulo, Brazil. Before this amazing opportunity, Olagbenro spent her junior year using her knowledge and bright personality to help her community. The young engineering student, and a few of her peers, worked hard and created a garden that positively changed their Englewood community, which had been previously known as a food desert. In addition to giving her creative ideas for the garden, she was also able to use her STEM knowledge to make the vision of a fresh garden come true.
“I WAS ABLE TO LEARN HOW STEM WAS ABLE TO HELP MY COMMUNITY, AND THAT IS WHY I’M SO DEDICATED TO CONTINUE WITH IT.” – SULIYAT OLAGBENRO
“I was able to learn how STEM was able to help my community, and that is why I’m so dedicated to continue with it,” states Olagbenro. Her outstanding accomplishments lead to her receiving the BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow Scholarship Award. As a recipient Olagbenro was given the opportunity to study abroad in Brazil. Although it was an exciting experience, she still faced some difficulties when getting accustomed to her new environment. Aside from having to learn basic words in order to communicate with others in São Paulo, she had to deal with feeling homesick and sometimes being discouraged. However, her Columbia Links mentor, Jean Williams, was always just a phone call away. In fact, Olagbenro considers her mentor to be her ears for ideas, worries, and dreams. “I remember countless times during my stay in Brazil, I would call her feeling doubtful or homesick, and she would remind me of my goals and my purpose for working so hard here,” says Olagbenro. As she finishes her senior year in Brazil, Olagbenro is eager to open a new chapter as a freshman at the University of Michigan. She is looking forward to studying biomedical engineering and minoring in Arabic. In fact, the outgoing senior plans to study abroad in an Arabic speaking country and find a way to combine her biomedical engineering and Arabic studies. Olagbenro hopes that her hard work and dedication to her commitments serve as a positive example for younger teens. “I don’t need to create the next biggest invention in order to impact others. I can successfully impact them by making sure I stick to everything I’ve worked hard for and show them that anything is possible.”
12 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
All in all, Olagbenro has positively shown everyone how dreams may come true as long as you work hard and stay true to yourself. While she is determined to make beneficial changes for herself and her community, it is clear that she is already doing that. Her bright path is leading her toward becoming an Englewood community success.
THE CODING Kid BY CIERA BARNETT, SOPHOMORE, JONES COLLEGE PREP
oo often our Black teenage young men are painted as criminals who are unable to behave civilly. The stereotype deepens when the boys are from rough inner city neighborhoods. That is why more attention should be brought to the great success stories that come out of these areas. Marquis Sewell, a driven 17-year-old senior at Nicholas Senn High School, caught the media’s attention when he helped design a website for a cafe at age 15. What makes his story even more amazing is the fact he was raised in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side. Sewell made it his business to not be subjected to the stereotypes and limits placed on him. Sewell works well with computers and is very interested in coding and technology. He was first exposed to the world of technology early on in high school through “Englewood Code,” a 10-week summer camp, offered by the non-profit Teamwork Englewood. The program introduced Sewell to coding and simple programming. He excelled in both areas and remembers enjoying the work. His instructor called him the next summer inviting him to join a small group of teens tasked with designing a website for the South Side restaurant Kusanya Cafe. The experience allowed him to go deeper into coding and programming and learn that this was actually something he could see as a career. “What I like most about technology is the way that it brings awareness to people and allows them to interact with others all across the globe,” Sewell explains. “What I like most about coding is seeing my finished product and the reaction on people’s faces after they see it.” Today, Sewell is a graduating senior headed for Morehouse College in Atlanta where he’ll be majoring in computer software engineering. He hopes to one day build apps and develop new computer technologies for companies like Apple and Google. Morehouse has been the college of choice for Sewell since he got to visit the school while in the 8th grade. Sewell says he felt he belonged there. He feels that since Morehouse is a Historically Black College, it would foster his growth in the world as a young Black man in a way that is unique to HBCUs, but also develop him in his craft. He intends to use their excellent computer software engineering program to develop himself professionally and prepare for the workforce in a fast moving field.
focused, and has a great support system that keeps him on the right track. He even mentors other young boys, as he understands that not everyone can have such strong support. He wants to be that for someone else. “I feel the desire to mentor other young men because I have some knowledge that others might not know, and I feel that I can also maybe influence others,” he says.
Sewell is no stranger to the stigma placed on him and the issues in his neighborhood, he just asserts that he remains
Sewell has an amazing story that needs to be shared. Not only can men from Chicago excel in entertainment, but they can code, too. Let’s thank Sewell for reminding us of that. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 13
WITH A Passion BY HOPE PARSONS, JUNIOR, T.F. NORTH
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The world is moving fast and social media is on the rise. Anyone can get into programming if they try hard enough. So if you feel a strong passion about it, then follow your heart and program your dreams into a beautiful virtual reality.
SHINING A LIGHT ON “The Go”
BY TRINITI MAYE & KAYLA WHITE, SOPHOMORES, & JANIAH JACKSON, FRESHMAN, MORGAN PARK
iolence is a big problem in the city of Chicago and most of the world knows this. What many people don’t know is that behind all the hardships, Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities around. Morgan Park senior Raven Smith has made it her mission to change Chicago’s negative image from bad to good. “Chicago isn’t just about violence,” Smith says. “I was born and raised in Chicago and I decided that Chicago must be represented in a positive light.” Smith, 17, wanted to make a brand that had a true meaning behind it, so she came up with the slogan “Straight from the Go,” which means Straight from Chicago. She says she chose the slogan because people have already heard of things such as Straight Outta Compton or Straight Outta somewhere else. She wanted to be original and put something different out there. “I created the phrase ‘Straight from the Go’ to dispel the belief that Chicago, by nature, is a violent city that has no interest in creating a safe community where citizens can live in peace and harmony.” Smith says she did not expect her shirts to become this popular. She admits that when she sees people in the hallways at school or out in public wearing her shirts, she gets excited. The teen entrepreneur has already been featured on CBS Channel 2 News and on “Windy City Live” (WCL) thanks to the popularity of her T-shirts. On WCL she told the hosts, “I want [Chicago] to be known as great. Everything good can come from Chicago.” Smith started her business in December 2015, and has already made a huge profit. But she doesn’t keep all of the money for herself. She donates a percentage of the T-shirt sales to anti-violence programs and she tries to attend every fundraiser she is invited to, such as the “Thou Shalt Not Murder” event here in Chicago. Smith is very grateful for all of the support she’s receiving, especially from her high school where teachers and students (including the entire basketball team) are wearing her shirts and donating to her cause. Her friends even help her sell shirts around the school, so those people who don’t have access to the website, straightfromthego.com, can purchase T-shirts directly. She shares that her most shocking moments are when she receives love and support from strangers, including those who have served our country. “A lot of veterans are wearing the shirts as well,” she explains, “and that was a big deal for me because you know how vets are—they fought for peace, like I want peace in my community.”
Even though Smith will be attending Millikin University in the fall to major in athletic training, she says she plans to continue producing the shirts and other “Straight From The Go” products. She encourages her fellow teens to do their part to shine a positive light on the city, too. “You don’t have to wait for people like the mayor to make a difference. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can create change.”
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 15
Phenomenon BY LAMONICA SYKES, SOPHOMORE, T. F. SOUTH
rom a phenomenon to an individual who dominates, Abdullah Quick has been “quick” to transform the power of his life-threatening illness to a skillset of a lifetime. Quick cites philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, as he shares, “In every phenomenon, the beginning remains always the most notable moment. However, it wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I found a specific drive.”
After two heart surgeries, Quick suffered a stroke and had to undergo a third heart procedure. Ultimately, he overcame a variety of challenges, including the inability to do tasks he once took for granted. Despite his misfortunes, Quick persevered. It all started when he finally got the chance to escape his sterile [hospital] surroundings. He says, “In that brief journey to the end of the walkway and back, all the smaller, grungy aspects of [this] foreign environment were incredibly vibrant and visually appealing. These moments were my motivation to seriously pursue art.” With that, Quick became a boss. The Art Institute of Chicago attendee expresses his perspective through photography, cinematography, graphic design, motion graphics, 3D modeling, ink illustration and sculpture/installation art. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in this case Quick is the beholder of urban life. The art expert explains his capturing process: “I often go out and explore the city in search of 16 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
“I OFTEN GO OUT AND EXPLORE THE CITY IN SEARCH OF ABANDONED AND OVERLOOKED LOCATIONS AND THROUGH MY PHOTOGRAPHS I ILLUSTRATE THE BEAUTY I DISCOVER.” – ABDULLAH QUICK
abandoned and overlooked locations and through my photographs I illustrate the beauty I discover. I find comfort in the uncertainty that comes when the surfaces I tread could give way at any moment while looking forward to the surprise around the corner.” He finds inspiration interacting with nature’s beauty. A perfect example is Quick’s favorite piece, titled “Crystal Cityscapes,” shown on the main page of his personal website, abdullahquick.wix.com/graphic-designer. Quick actively networks with professionals, peers and devotes himself to competitions, even freelance projects, scholarships, art shows and more. “I don’t believe in the concept of talent. Hard work and practice and the assistance of those around me contribute to my skillset.” Quick’s early accomplishments include the Missey full tuition scholarship. He is also a two-time nominee in the All-City Visual Art Competition, which annually targets unique leadership in artists. Quick was also presented with the Adobe Voices Award. Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel has acknowledged Quick’s fine works. “It is wonderful to see the beautiful future of our city in talented young adults like Abdullah Quick,” Mayor Emanuel says. With such an impressive beginning, Quick is designing a promising future for himself as he portrays the beauty of urban life in his works.
“I’M RUNNING LATE FOR
“MOM...WHY ARE YOU TEXTING?”
WORK AND IT’S A LOT GOING ON, BUT DON’T WORRY ABOUT THAT.”
“BUT WE COULD GET
“WE ARE NOT GOING
HURT. YOU KNOW THAT’S
TO GET HURT, I AM THE
6 years later... “BRANDON... YOU ALMOST RAN THAT LIGHT!”
“I SEE, I SEE I’M PAYING ATTENTION.”
“NO YOU’RE DISTRACTED
“I’VE LEARNED IT FROM
BECAUSE OF THAT PHONE!
YOU ALL OF THESE YEARS
YOU NEED TO STOP
MOM, YOU SHOULD TAKE
TEXTING AND DRIVING”
YOUR OWN ADVICE.”
Don’t Drive Intexticated. Practice Safe Text. Parents Take Your Own Advice. TRUE STAR’S TEEN SAFE DRIVING PROGRAM IS POSSIBLE DUE TO A DONATION MADE BY
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 17
INTO Careers BY DEAIR WILLIAMS, JUNIOR & KYRA KING, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK
ave you ever thought about how the things you love doing on your downtime can possibly benefit you in the future? After all, wouldn’t doing something you love be the ideal job anyway? When it comes to these popular hobbies, True Star offers a few suggestions on how to make them into something more.
THE SPORTS LOVER:
If playing sports is your hobby, chances are you are a very strong and athletic person. You are competitive, determined, dedicated, and passionate. In some cases, you may not be that good at playing sports but you love the game anyway. Boss moves you could make: Sports agent, coach, athlete, sports commentator, athletic trainer, fitness director, sports photographer, sports reporter.
Do you love food? Most good cooks are passionate, patient, creative, and know how to multi-task. In addition, they are oftentimes able to make quick decisions and like to experiment. Boss moves you could make: Executive chef, personal chef, sous chef, banquet chef, caterer, nutritionist, dietician.
THE SOCIAL BUG:
A talkative person who loves “spilling the tea.” The social bug often enjoys going to parties, and is seldom seen alone. This individual is always on social media, is usually fairly popular, and can always be seen out and about town. Boss moves you could make: Publicist, event planner, actor, lawyer, radio personality, TV personality pastor, marketer, teacher, blogger. 18 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
If you fall under this category, chances are you are competitive, enjoy a challenge and think strategically. Gamers usually have a low profile, are quiet, are risk takers, and unafraid of failing because they realize through gameplaying experiences there is always another way to accomplish the quest or task. Boss moves you could make: Video game designer, animator, illustrator, visual development artist, character designer, cinematic artist.
You absolutely love, love, love being in the mall surrounded by the latest merchandise. You are up on all the latest trends. The feel of new shoes, clothes, and accessories excites you to your core and you love the thrill of a good sale. Boss moves you could make: Fashion merchandiser, personal assistant, fashion designer, retail buyer, personal shopper, fashion stylist.
Do you excel in English class? Maybe you enjoy reading, being alone with your thoughts, and see beauty in the written language. Do you find yourself communicating better when you write your thoughts out instead of saying them out loud? Then chances are you are a writer. Boss moves you could make: Novelist, greeting card author, comic book writer, speech writer, writing coach, advertiser, screenwriter, songwriter, poet, editor.
Your Social Life? BY BRIANA WILSON, JUNIOR, VON STEUBEN
s children, we learn about sharing and forming relationships with others. But what we don’t learn is how to maintain healthy bonds and what to do when we lose them. One of the leading factors that affects relationships is anger. Rather than being positive and social, a negative and angry mindset can easily affect your bond with another person and cause problems. One horrible possible consequence would be your friend or companion feeling pushed away and distancing himself or herself from you. “Solving conflict with anger, yelling, and violence also sets an unhealthy precedent in a relationship, ignoring the need for open, trusting communication,” according to TheHotline.org. Giving off anger while speaking may cause your friend/partner/relative to withdraw and feel as though they aren’t able to talk to you. In fact, reducing the amount of communication may result to even worse problems in the future. “After I lashed out at my friend everything changed. I missed out on the small events at her home and even our little nail dates which is the last thing I’d want,” says Alexis Ike, a junior at Von Steuben, who explained the consequences of her regretfully yelling at her best friend who attempted to joke with her while she was having a bad day. In addition, acting on your anger might make you do things before you’re able to think. You might do or say negative things to others and never intentionally mean it.
“I never really meant to give her so much attitude. The mean things I said just came out really fast. Then I knew I couldn’t take it back. I could only apologize,” Ike continues. Dealing with anger isn’t easy, especially when it feels like you’re losing relationships along the way. Fortunately, there are things you can look into in order to help control your anger and bad attitude, which will help you avoid lashing out on an innocent friend. According to the American Psychological Association, you can control fiery outbursts and negative comments by focusing on your breathing, talking to others about your problem, and even just changing your surroundings. “After weeks of barely talking to her, I finally sat down and explained to her what was bothering my day and told her that she had done nothing wrong to me,” Ike explains after finding a solution. “I’m glad I was able to fix my relationship with her. One of my fears is being the cause of someone not wanting to associate with [me],” she finishes. All in all, being in an angry mood is common and most definitely controllable. Rather than thinking you’re alone and a bad person, you can always bring your mood up by realizing you can control your actions and knowing that those who care for you are always eager to help you through the situation. Although it may be hard to talk to others while in a bad mood, it is always okay to explain to them your issues to prevent any bad blood from forming between you. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 19
WHAT A Boss Wants BY TAYLOR MIGGINS, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK
very employer looks for certain qualities in potential employees. Desired skills vary depending on the career. However, there are certain professional attributes that are attractive to all employers. When millennials send in job applications, some companies hesitate to hire them because many lack basic “soft skills.” Not having certain skills can affect a teen’s chance of getting a job and/or keeping one. This is also one of the reasons why there are so many “disconnected youth.” According to MeasureofAmerica.org, 5.8 million young people, or one in seven, between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither working nor in school. Here are basic qualities employers look for in potential candidates. Dependability An employer has to be able to rely on employees to get the work done. They like employees to be fast-paced and able to efficiently get things done. If an employer senses a lack of reliability with a potential employee, chances are the candidate won’t get hired. Adaptability Job recruiters want to hire people who have flexibility and the capacity to go with the flow if something unexpected happens. Working well under pressure will be appreciated by your boss. Ambition Employees with a strong work ethic who are determined to succeed won’t go unnoticed by an attentive boss. Perseverance goes a long way. Employers invest in goal-oriented employees who and will not give up, despite the difficulty of a task. 20 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
Punctuality One of the most common reasons people get fired is lateness. Employers want workers who will be on time to work and who will not waste their time. They need consistency. In some cases, being on time could actually mean coming 10-15 minutes early to give yourself time to prepare for the work ahead. Open-Mindedness Employees willing to learn new things are exceptional to employers. Job recruiters seek mature individuals who appreciate hearing others’ ideas, while adding their own to the table. Team-oriented People who have good communication skills and work well with others are key to a successful work environment. Employers want team players. Creativity Uniqueness and originality are important to employers. People skilled in thinking outside the box are crucial in competitive markets. Employers like employees who can bring new ideas to the table and enhance the company by adding flavor to what they can offer. These skills can help increase a young person’s chances of getting hired. They are also good qualities to add to your resume. Simply being punctual and having good interpersonal skills can make all the difference.
Empowering THE NEXT GENERATION of Female Leaders O
mbudsman Chicago is a Chicago Public Schools Options School Program that offers out-of-school and off-track teens a second chance at academic achievement. With three convenient locations on the Northwest, West and South Sides, Ombudsman is working with students throughout the city to help them achieve success in the classroom and in life after high school. Ombudsman Chicago provides a number of programs and opportunities to help inspire America’s next generation of leaders. Monica Watson, a student at Ombudsman West, is working hard toward her dream of attending the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Given that women are expected to comprise 56 percent of the labor force by 2020, that the number of women-owned firms is growing at five times the national average, and America may well be on the verge of having its first woman president, Ombudsman Chicago is doing its part to prepare students, especially young women, to carry the torch and lead by example for other youth.
Meet a few of our outstanding participants.
Monica Watson, a sophomore at Ombudsman Chicago’s West Side location, acknowledges the legacy of African-American leaders – especially women – as her inspiration to succeed. Watson, who was once homeless, attributes her drive to her mother. “I didn’t have a father in my life,” she says. “My mother was my mom, my dad, my sister and best friend.” Since enrolling at Ombudsman, Watson has excelled in math and now aspires to become a math teacher.
Destiny Wright, a West Side native, dropped out of high school during her freshman year, but now has big plans for her future. Wright never thought she would graduate from high school, and when she came to Ombudsman, she had been out of school for a number of years. Last summer, Ombudsman Chicago extended summer job opportunities to its recent graduates. Today, not only has Wright earned her diploma, she has a job at the school from which she just graduated. Recent graduates like Wright work closely with Ombudsman outreach specialists, fielding inbound student inquiries and conducting proactive outreach. They enhance their professional phone etiquette skills as they learn how to make calls to parents and students, and they gain grassroots marketing experience as they work with the teams to conduct neighborhood outreach. With the addition of the recent graduates, the outreach teams for the Chicago campuses have seen a significant increase in both the number of returning students and new student inquiries. Imani Tiney, a sophomore at Ombudsman Chicago’s South Side location, was part of an Ombudsman Chicago Black History Month program that focused on students’ interpretation of violence within the Chicagoland community. Tiney’s exhibit was dedicated to Malcolm X, a leader she says had a great influence on her life. “Malcolm overcame a lot,” says Tiney, who was adopted as a child. “I can relate to his journey because although he made some bad decisions, he made a complete 180 and ended up changing the world. I used to make bad decisions and got into a lot of trouble, but now I’m on a different path.”
Recent Ombudsman Chicago graduate, Destiny Wright, works with the school’s summer outreach team, assisting with student recruitment and enrollment.
Ombudsman South student, Imani Tiney, showcases her Black History Month display.
For more information about this alternative route to learning, visit ombudsmancps.com. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 21
Beyoncé’s BOSS MOVES Set New Standard BY KAYLA WHITE, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK
eyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is probably one of the most talked about people on the planet. This multi-million dollar recording artist we’ve come to know simply as Beyoncé, launched her solo career shortly after the disbanding of the trio Destiny’s Child, including Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, in 2006. The decision, although devastating to their audience, has proven to be quite fulfilling for this Houston native. The years following Mrs. Carter’s departure from the girl group have been filled with increasingly genius business moves. Some even believe that her marketing skills play a big part in her fame and relevancy in such a competitive industry. As of December 13, 2013, Knowles made an unexpected change to her approach with her surprise release of the self-titled album, Beyoncé and again this year with the visual album, LEMONADE. “As an artist and businesswoman, [her success] says that Beyoncé knows her fans and that she is very shrewd,” says True Star’s own marketing manager, Joi Darcel-Mitchell. She went on to say, “Dropping music without the typical marketing strategy and just using the “element of surprise” is a form of reverse psychology and [a good use of] simple but all powerful, timing. It’s natural for consumers and fans to get bored with a brand. Therefore, keeping them wondering just makes the anticipation more exciting and interesting.” Musicians on every level such as, Frank Ocean, Drake, and J. Cole have tried copying this risky strategy. Mitchell says, “I think other artists will never be able to pull ‘a full Beyoncé’ but, they can take elements of her marketing strategy and make it their own. For example, some artists have used the pay-what-you-want approach. Others have released new music via their own customized app. Even Prince released two new records via Spotify.” Unfortunately, not every artist is as well received as Bey, but the party doesn’t stop by lack of support. “It’s important to note that indie artists have been releasing music without major fanfare for years, simply because they don’t have access to the media and corporate connects that Beyoncé does [so] they often go unnoticed,” Mitchell explains. She notes that there is only one Beyoncé, and to imitate her would be in vain. Mitchell stresses that up-and-coming talent can be inspired by Beyoncé, but [should] set out to travel their own road to fame. “Artists today shouldn’t measure their success by trying to duplicate her marketing strategy. Instead, with all the platforms available today I would recommend finding your own musical sweet spots with your fans and do what works for you with a little sprinkle of Beyoncé on top.” Despite her unique ways of keeping people’s attention, Beyoncé didn’t become a smash hit because of chance. As a result of hard work, dedication, and a marketing team any artist would kill for, Knowles is not only staying at the top of the game, but she continues to empower women, inspire her peers, and pave the way for the future.
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“AS AN ARTIST AND BUSINESSWOMAN, [HER SUCCESS] SAYS THAT BEYONCÉ KNOWS HER FANS AND THAT SHE IS VERY SHREWD.” – JOI DARCEL MITCHELL
THINGS TO CONSIDER
WHEN PLANNING A Trunk Party BY KRISTAL WHITE, FRESHMAN, MORGAN PARK
enior year can be an exciting yet hectic at the same time. By the end of June you’ll be facing the next chapter in your life – college. To help with the expenses of freshman year, many grads have trunk parties. But before you plan yours, there are some things you need to consider. Use these four points as a guide to planning your special day.
It is always good to talk with your parents or guardians about the type of transportation you will be using to get to college. Knowing this will let you know if you want to accept gifts or just money/gift cards. It’ll also make things easier for you to eliminate issues that arise while accessing and delivering your belongings to your destination. Guests at your trunk party should be aware of how you’re traveling as well so that they can properly accommodate you. Kira Cutts, 21, a student at Ashford University, recalls putting together her own trunk party and what she did right. “The smartest thing that I did while planning my trunk party was ask for gifts cards. When you’re moving to another state and you don’t have a big storage truck, the things you bring have to be limited. So it is easier to suggest gift cards so that when you get to your location you can purchase items there.”
2. Research The Living Space
Read up on what you can and cannot have in the living spaces like dorm rooms. This will help you determine what you will need to bring or buy for yourself.
3. Write A List Of Needs & Wants
Make a list of all the things you will need during your stay on campus. Key word is need, not want. Think about the things that you use on a daily basis like toiletries, bed sheets and towels. Write them down. Don’t forget to take your study habits into consideration too. Lamps, jump drives, and highlighters are also necessities. There is nothing wrong with adding a few wants to your list too. Just make sure the essentials are written down first.
4. Create A Registry
If you are open to receiving actual gifts, creating a registry allows you to choose the things you specifically want. It also makes the task of shopping easier for your guests. Guests will know exactly what you prefer and can decide on what they want to buy you. Some stores where you can quickly get your registry started include: Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Walmart, IKEA, Kohl’s, and Macy’s. So seniors, by following these four basic tips you are well on your way to having the successful trunk party you’ve dreamed of. Congratulations and good luck! TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 23
The Carefree Black Girl BY KAYLA CRITTLE, JUNIOR, DELASALLE INSTITUTE
ultural appropriation has been an issue with the Black community. The uprising of feminism and pro-Black activists are a result of incidents that continue to attack our culture and sexuality. If you are a regular Twitter user, you’ve probably come across the popular hashtag, #carefreeblackgirl. There’s nothing complex about this term. In fact, it’s supposed to be taken literally. The concept of being carefree comes from the shaming and harassment Black women have gone through—and this is not implying that women of other races have not faced similar hardships. For instance, scenarios in which Black women have been asked to straighten their natural hair in a corporate setting—many people find this offensive. Why should someone have to alter his or her natural state if it is not adversely affecting co-workers? Natural hair blogger Andria Childress, whose social media handle is Anicolec_, explained why belittling women for their natural hair is offensive and inhumane. “A lot of people are conditioned to think of ‘good hair’ and ‘bad hair’,” she says. “So seeing people who might not have straight or super fine curls can make others who are not used to it think, ‘Why are they wearing their hair like that?’ or ‘Their hair looks unkempt’.” When asked if it is unprofessional to wear natural hair in a corporate setting, Childress says, “No it’s their hair. It’s no way you can tell someone not to wear what grew out of their scalp. All I suggest is that you take care of your hair
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whether it’s straight or natural. That’s what matters at the end of the day.” Alex Staton, 16, identifies as a carefree Black girl and is an avid supporter of the movement. In her own words, she describes a carefree Black girl as “someone who embraces her Blackness and is unapologetically accepting and loving of herself. She cares for and supports fellow Black girls and helps them get to the point of being carefree, instead of bringing them down in a society that is telling them they are worth-less.” Staton says, “Rihanna and Amber Rose represent embracing sexuality. Black girls are sexualized so much in society, but Rihanna and Amber Rose, rather than being victims, have turned the situation around, and are taking some of that power back. They’ve learned to love themselves and do what they want, without fear of being labeled slut or whore. They’ve even embraced these terms and are working against a society that constantly makes Black girls the victims of ridicule and regulations they must follow.” It’s important to keep in mind that the carefree Black girl movement was not made to belittle women of other races. It was made to draw attention to present-day problems that should have been resolved years ago. Staton views it as, “Other women of other ethnicities shouldn’t be offended because they aren’t placed in such tight restrictions and aren’t at such a point where they need all these supports. There are struggles, but you have to consider some struggles more than others and there are just more obstacles for Black women in many cases.”
PROOF INTERNET | TELEVISION | RADIO | MAGAZINES | NEWSPAPERS
How do you know if the information you see and hear is legit?
BEFORE YOU SHARE GET P.R.O.O.F.
P inpoint the source R esearch the credibility O bserve your own bias O mit bad information Form your own opinion Chicago, IL TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 25
Jacket & Hoodie: Under Leggings: American Apparel Shoes: Nike
Guy: Full look: H&M Accessories: UrbanOutfitters Shoes: Nike Girl: Full look: New York & Company Accessories: H&M Shoes: PRSVR
Creative Director: Joi Mitchell • Assistant Creative Director: Daneisha Goodman • Wardrobe Stylist: Dana “Dutch” Davis • Hair: Diamond Beach of Beauty Boulevard • Make-up: Deanna Beach of Beauty Boulevard • Photography: Shelby Brown • Models include: Tiarra Lee, Kayla Armstrong, Kenneth Thomas (Kaotik), Daryl McIntosh, Sejahari Amaru
Jacket & Shirt/dress: PRSVR Shoes: Steve Madden
Left: Jacket: PRSVR Shirt: J.Crew Jeans: H&M Shoes: PRSVR Middle: Shirt: H&M Pants & Shoes: PRSVR Right: Full look: H&M Shoes: Nike
Left: Hat and button up: H&M Tee shirt & shorts: PRSVR Shoes: Timberland Middle: Hoodie: TopShop Shirt: PRSVR Shorts: Zara Shoes: Nike Right: Matching set: H&M Accessories: UrbanOutfitters Shoes: Nike
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 31
UPGRADE Payless? BY JACOB BONDS, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK
e wake up every day, look at walls and then into our closets. We start placing the shirt with the pants and the pants with the shoes. Instantly, an outfit is complete. But honestly, you hate your shoes and wish you had the money to buy new ones. When it comes down to it, would it matter where you bought the shoes? During a recent appearance on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” Kanye West mentioned how he would like to partner with Payless to produce inexpensive, stylish shoes. His reasoning behind the business plan is to build confidence in those who can’t afford high price fashions—a plan West thinks could put a stop to bullying.
“If it’s good marketing and if it’s for a good cause, probably. They’re sold at Payless, but it’s Yeezus!” – Angelica Amezquita, Senior, Jones College Prep
Would you buy West’s shoes, even if they came from Payless? Here’s what some Chicago teens had to say.
“I’d buy the shoes based on how they looked, and I think it’s a nice cause. Artists never say why they’re putting out shoes, and we know it’s for money. And no one famous teams up with Payless. A lot of families shop there and some may be embarrassed, so I think this will help boost confidence unless greedy [people] take all the shoes.” – Unique Boyd, Senior, Morgan Park
“The shoe has to be unique and fit my style. Brand identity isn’t very important to me because I feel it’s how you wear the brand, not where it comes from.” – Tyrone Coats, Junior, Morgan Park
“If Kanye sold his shoes at Payless I would still buy them because they would be affordable and have the Kanye name on them, so they would still look pretty cool. It wouldn’t matter to me if he sold them at Payless or Adidas because shoes are just shoes. Kanye has a big influence in pop culture and his trends usually catch on pretty quickly. I also like his music and personality so I would buy them just to support him.” – Raven Blancas, Senior, Jones College
“I would buy the shoes because it’s for a good cause. I’m not quite sure how the shoes would help end bullying, but I would get the shoes. – Devin Foster, Freshman, Lindblom Math & Science Academy
“What would make me buy the product is the style of the shoe. It doesn’t matter where I get my shoes. If I like them I will get them. I couldn’t care less what other people have to say about what I have on. It’s not for their liking, it’s for mine. – Adrianna Clements, Senior, Morgan Park
“[The shoe] would need to be simple with interesting colors. …Location, however, does matter. A location is tied to a reputation.” – Amire Woolfolk, Senior, Homewood Flossmoor
“Brand identity isn’t that important to me. I’m more concerned with how the shoe looks. If I felt like the shoes looked nice, then I would buy the shoes.” – Imani Gatheright, Freshman, Kennedy King College
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YOUTH FASHION MUSIC TRUESTARIS.COM
URBAN CULTURE BLOG
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 33
Off The Streets and ON THE STAGE BY JANIAH JACKSON, FRESHMAN, MORGAN PARK
any youth in the community may not get the chance to experience all the excitement and fun that go with attending a Broadway play, but thanks to Broadway in Bronzeville, they can. Broadway in Bronzeville is a program on a mission to service the community of Chicago by providing an outlet for aspiring artists to develop their craft through the production of live theater. It is a way to expose the community to live musical theater as well as the impact of contributions Blacks have made to Broadway. Broadway in Bronzeville’s founder, Jimalita Tillman, also serves as Executive Director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center. She studied Theater Management/International Marketing at DePaul University, and is currently studying Board Development at University of Chicago’s Graham School of Business as well as Philanthropy and Nonprofit at Northwestern University. She is the writer of “Cooley High the Musical,” “Miracle on 47th Street,” “One Mic,” and “Broadway Soul.” In a city like Chicago where live theater is accessible, Tillman noticed at an early age that there was a need for live productions and theater awareness in Black neighborhoods. Tillman states, “Growing up I would go to live plays up north and downtown and wanted to contribute culturally to live entertainment in my neighborhood.” Those experiences played a big part in how and why the Broadway in Bronzeville program got started. Participant ages range from 6 to 24. Both male and females are welcome. This marks the 12th year the program has been in existence. Through Broadway in Bronzeville, Tillman hopes to develop leaders in the performing arts theater industry, give the community of Bronzeville a unique and magical Broadway
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theatrical experience, provide the youth of Chicago with a constructive outlet that fosters excellence, leadership, team building, pride, a sense of accomplishment, and provide the youth a monetary incentive to develop theater production, management, and leadership skills. The youth run everything from lights and tech to front of house and performing. They get the opportunity to perform, build interpersonal skills, and also receive etiquette training. The young people involved in this program get an opportunity to master classes with industry professionals and participate in directing classes. They participate in activities such as Shakespeare in the Park, Page to Stage, directing class, and iMovie. They also participate in college career building, performance outings, as well as show productions. The program also features a group trip to New York City. Participants must be 17 and older to attend, but exceptions have been made in the past. They must have demonstrated outstanding ability or growth in their field of interest. The people selected to go on the trip attend various productions and meet industry professionals. They also attend the Tony Awards. The fact that participants are spirit-driven and that the parents, students, schools, and community work together to put on productions is what makes this program a success. The Harold Washington Center, where the program is held, has a 1,000seat theater, computer lab, dance studio, multi-purpose room and recording studio. If you are interested in learning more about this program or other opportunities at the center visit broadwayinbronzeville.com.
Build Your Confidence WITH MODEL ESTEEM BY MAYA JONES, FRESHMAN, MORGAN PARK
oday’s youth face all sorts of problems on a daily basis. While the problems
may vary from person to person, two common issues are self-esteem and bullying. Entrepreneur Shettima Webb has made it known that there are people, like herself, to help teens deal with these kinds of problems with positive reinforcements. Growing up, Webb faced low self-esteem issues herself. In 2013 she decided to create a life-changing program called Model Esteem, a self-esteem and antibullying performance arts program for youth and young adults. The concept comes from Webb’s belief in performance arts as a way to express yourself. “Having low self-esteem isn’t something that is talked about. It’s not worn on your sleeve,” says Webb. “Self-esteem issues and bullying really need to be addressed because it stops you from pursuing your dreams.” Webb has big dreams for Model Esteem and would like to see it grow. “I would like to have at least 50-100 people each session,” she says. “I want this program to expand to CPS schools and suburban schools.” Joining this program will be worth your time. At the end of each session, Webb has a modeling showcase where participants can show friends and family what they have learned. This program is open for adults and youth, but it’s primarily for the youth because they are the ones bullied in school, and sometimes lack the ability to express and really appreciate themselves.
Participant Danai Parker, 14, has seen great benefits from being in the program. “I’m more confident with my height now,” she says. “While some people said I should play ball, others said I should be a model, and I chose to be a model. I love the fashion industry, make-up, and cosmetology. I met new people in the class and have become friends with some. I now have opportunities coming my way. I get positive feedback from Shettima, my family, and even my peers, especially when they see the pics and videos I post from my shows. I really like Model Esteem and I’m going back for the next session to learn more.” Marita Jones, 16, also had good things to say about Model Esteem. “The first day of practice, I was shy and I had my head down during my runway walk. Being a member of Model Esteem, helped me gain confidence in myself. Now, my runway walk is more poised, fierce, and relaxed. Model Esteem also benefited my school life. When I present in front of my classmates, I have a confidence boost. I make eye contact with the audience and I keep them engaged. If I didn’t join Model Esteem, none of this would be possible.” Your self-esteem is important. Let Model Esteem help you build yours. For more information visit modelesteem.com. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 35
Scenarios USA Media Corps
MIXES SOCIAL MEDIA WITH SOCIAL ISSUES BY KRISTAL WHITE, FRESHMAN, MORGAN PARK
he Scenarios USA Media Corps is a free program for teens ages 14-19 that captivates the attention of young people and gives them a voice to speak about social justices. Through the program, the students investigate their chosen issue through film, writing and social media. One issue was allyship, or, “How do you help your homies?” As a response, the group came up with the “Homies Help Homies” campaign. Brianna Garrett, a 20-year-old sophomore at Columbia College, has been participating with the Scenarios USA Media Corps Chicago branch since the fall of 2014. She says, “The purpose of Homies Help Homies is to take social media platforms, with a focus on Snapchat, which can sometimes be used for negative reasons like being rude to one another, and create positive content of teens sharing their thoughts on how to be a friend or ‘homie.’” Through a partnership with True Star, talking to teens in lunchrooms, teens are given scenarios on the spot that they talk about for 10 seconds on topics they might not think about until it happened to them. Overall teens have showed positivity to the campaign, supported by Hive Network & Chicago Community Trust. “We talk and practice allyship at the Media Corps because we feel that it is important to support individuals whose voices are silenced,” said team member Malachi Jones, 16, of Marion Catholic High School. “We also want to get people’s viewpoints on why and how they help their homies throughout Chicago.” During the Homies Help Homies Snapchat campaign, teens elaborated on topics like communities and human rights, and are given questions such as, “How do allies lend a hand when they’re asked, instead of making assumptions or
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exercising privilege, or simply paying ‘lip service’ to the concept of allyship?” Garrett adds that these events made teens comfortable with speaking and talking about topics because it was just like they were talking to their own peers on Snapchat when being in front of the camera. While speaking, not only did they learn, but they taught each other things about real life situations. The events have been held at several locations such as Millennium Park, Jones College Prep, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and Columbia College. Scenarios USA, the umbrella organization that also produces professional films written by teens and fronted by Hollywood directors, hopes to give youth a platform to speak and to let them know that someone is always listening and does care about what they have to say. “My experience with Media Corps has challenged me to think on a high level, and it has turned me into an open-minded and nonjudgmental individual,” said Kayla Crittle, 16, of DeLaSalle Institute. “I also learn new skill sets from my instructor and peers every time we meet.” The Media Corps has recently been expanding their theme to include recognizing and supporting people’s multilayered identities. You can engage with them at the MCA’s free 21Minus event on June 11, 2016. Says Garrett, “We’re intelligent, we’re game changers, we’re going to make a difference, we want to make the world a better place!” You can follow the Scenarios USA Media Corps on Snapchat, Twitter & Instagram at @ ScenariosYouth and watch their funny, short films at bit.ly/youthmatters.
TO YOU! BY TRINITI MAYE, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK
REE FOOD” IS THE NEXT BEST THING TO FREE MONEY. THESE TWO MAGICAL WORDS SOUND EVEN MORE SPECTACULAR WHEN THEY ARE SAID ON YOUR BIRTHDAY. THE FOLLOWING RESTAURANTS WANT TO GIFT YOU FOOD ON YOUR B-DAY. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SIGN UP FOR THEIR “E-CLUB” ONLINE.
Au Bon Pain
This cafe/bakery gives you the option of a sandwich or salad of your choice, plus a free travel mug when you sign up through their e-club.
Home Run Inn
“Chicago’s Premium Pizza” offers two different clubs. One club is for those who enjoy the restaurant pizza. Signing up for this club gets you a free personal pizza on your birthday. The second club is for those who enjoy the “Home Run Inn’s” frozen pizza. Once you sign up you are entered in a sweepstakes for free frozen pizza for a year!
Red Robin Burger Works
Once you sign up for this e-club you will receive a free burger on your birthday. The best part about this is that you can choose from 24 different types of burgers on their menu. In addition to this, Red Robin’s “Royalty” program continues to give rewards as long as you stay a member. Rewards such as, every 10th item free and $20 towards your sixth visit. You must be 18 years old to qualify for this club.
This particular restaurant doesn’t offer free food on your birthday, but it does offer a $5 coupon. Plus, Jason’s Deli offers free ice cream with every purchase. So, you get $5 off your entire meal and you will receive an ice cream treat as a bonus.
There are several restaurants around town that offer freebies on your birthday. Some restaurants will even offer you rewards just for signing up for their mailing list. So, take time out to look up your favorite restaurant and see what extra treats you could be missing.
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THRU THE WIRE
FOR THE Love of Drill BY CORIANA BROWN, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK
ver the past few years, a new style of music known as “drill,” has slowly but surely taken over the ears and minds of not only Chicago, but all of America. You may find yourself asking “What is drill music?” Drill music, also known as “trap” music, is a subgenre of rap/hip-hop that originated in Chicago. Over bass-filled beats, explicit lyrics describe some of the most violent and shocking characteristics of street life in Chicago. Most, if not all, drill rappers are gangaffiliated and have witnessed what they rap about firsthand. While the description might make drill music sound vile to some, others enjoy listening to it. True Star conducted a survey with a group of Chicago teens and learned that 66 percent of the participants listen to this genre of music every day. Dylan Shadlow, 16, a Morgan Park High School student, says he enjoys the grittiness of it because “listening to trap music is like listening to a non-stop action movie without the picture…you can imagine everything that’s going on in the song.” Despite the innocent reasons for enjoying drill music, it is often connected with the ever-present violence in the city. Because actions speak louder than words, it’s obvious that teens of this generation are heavily influenced by what they see or listen to. Madison Lowery, 16, of Simeon Career Academy, thinks that many teens listen to the music because they can relate to it. “I believe the younger generations are influenced because some of those rappers could be telling that child’s story and come from a similar background.” Some teenagers’ favorite artists such as Lil Herb, Lil Bibby, Chief Keef, and King Louie, are all recognized for their provocative lyrics. Some listeners even admit that the music makes them “greedy,” while others say that the music just makes them feel more “hyped” or “energetic.” Morgan Park attendee Kendall Fulkerson, 16, does not listen to drill music because she feels that the emotions it evokes in people are much more complex than simply being excited. She says, “It kind of disgusts me how people act when they’re listening to it and how they actually enjoy listening to it. They talk about drugs, guns, and excreta. The [artists sometimes] get too carried away with their words.” Another Morgan Park attendee, Alina Scott, 16, agrees to a certain extent and says she prefers her music to be “comforting rather than something to jump up and down to at a party.” After receiving feedback from teens about how they feel about drill music, we asked the survey participants if they feel that the music influences violence or if violence influences drill music. Shadlow and other teens strongly agreed that drill music is the reason for the increasing violence. Surprisingly, between the years 2001 and 2011, Chicago’s overall murder rate decreased from 667 murders in a year to 433 murders in a year, according to city-data.com. These are the same years when drill music began to become popular in Chicago.
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FROM STREETS TO BEATS: THE IMPACT OF BY JADYN NEWMAN, FRESHMAN, T.F. SOUTH
ap music has changed a great deal over time—from the basic themes, the audiences, and even the artists. The impact it has had on pop culture is massive, and whether the impact is seen as good or bad, we can all agree that rap is a genre of music that has no comparison. Rap music began to gain popularity in the early 1970s as a form of street art expressed by rebellious African-American teenagers. It caught the attention of record labels everywhere as interest in the new influential style was immense and undeniable. The group The Sugarhill Gang is widely credited as the pioneers of rap music. In 1988, MTV introduced “Yo! MTV Raps,” as a debut platform for the newest rap videos. This was a new way to spread the impact of rap music throughout the country. Many would say rap finally developed a style by that point – most songs were based upon the struggles of growing up African-American in big cities, including references to gangs and living in “the hood.” In 1991, Tupac’s controversial 2Pacalypse Now inspired followers, community consciousness, as well as government concern as his lyrics addressed police brutality. Fabian Newman, a Chicago DJ of 26 years says, “In my opinion, the best rapper of all time is a difficult claim to make. However, I personally think it is Tupac Shakur. Though his music at times was extremely confrontational and
aggressive, it spoke to the frustration of many people at key points in our nation’s racial history.” The 1990s and 2000s saw change in the style of rap music. The beats became more electronic as lyrics seem to spotlight the less important aspects of life. Female rappers were fairly popular in the earlier rap years, with acts like Saltn-Pepa, MC Lyte, and Queen Latifah. But they somewhat disappeared in recent decades. Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Kim, and Missy Elliot are just a few lyricists who have helped make a comeback for the girl-power of rap. Rap was an African-American dominated genre until late 1990, when white rapper Vanilla Ice became the first hip-hop artist to hit number one on the Billboard charts, with his single “Ice Ice Baby.” Rap has since progressively become more diverse over the years, with such favorites as Eminem, Pitbull, and Psy. These rappers are legendary whether it be for their music or their unique twist on traditional rap music. The impact of non-African-American rappers on pop culture has been monumental. The breakthrough of Vanilla Ice may have been questionable to some, but the public’s response to diversity in the rap game has shifted with time. People are more open-minded about new talent and styles. We may not know what the future holds for rap music, but we do know that the impact it has had on our society so far is revolutionary.
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UNDER THE RADAR
IS OUT TO PROVE HOW
“I FEEL LIKE I’M DIFFERENT BECAUSE I DO MORE THAN JUST MUSIC…” – DAKOTA UNIQUE
Different She Really Is BY CORIANA BROWN, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK
akota Unique West, yes, that is her real name, is an 18-year-old rap artist from East Chicago, Indiana. She first got involved in music at the age of 13 while rapping with her cousin. “We’re around the same age…,” she says as she reminisces about how she started to take an actual interest in rapping. “We used to freestyle a lot. Then one day she was like ‘you could make a song,’ and I made one.” Her younger brother also motivates her to do music. “He has autism and he listens to music so I want him to look at me one day like ‘Awe, my sister does music,’ you know, and look at me on TV [the way] he does the others.” In 2013, Dakota Unique was signed to Broadcast Music Inc.. She manages to stay unique because there are not a lot of young women who make party music like she does. “We got Dreezy, Katie Got Bandz, but there’s no one that’s 18 and trying to get out there on their level. So I feel like I’m different because I do more than just music, I promote. Like my single ‘Juice’, I have t-shirts, hats and more to promote that single.” She hopes her uniqueness will help her accomplish her ultimate goal to be number one on the Billboard music charts. Although there are many artists she’d love to work with, such as King Louie, Famous Dex, and Tink, she says her favorite artist is Young Thug. Currently, the East Chicago Central High School senior has been working on a lot of different projects, from balancing schoolwork, real work, making and promoting her music. Life for Dakota Unique is very busy. “I just dropped my mix tape, “1997,” she says. “It’s mainly about my family – me, my father, who passed away when I was 2, and my brother who has autism – and I put all of that in one. Now I have my new single ‘Juice’ out, and I’m pushing that for the summer. I’m shooting a video in June.” When asked about how her fame impacted her friendships, she states, “All of my friends are supportive. I try to get along with everybody so there’s no choosing sides. I’m involved with everybody so everybody supports me.” To keep up with the latest news on the up-and-coming emcee, visit her website at dakotaunique.com.
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NEVER GO BROKE AGAIN!
TEEN TEEN BIZBIZ
TIP$ TO MANAGING YOUR MONEY BY MALIK PUGH, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK
t is well-known that a lot of teens spend their money on unnecessary things like junk food, the latest must-have fashions, phones, and entertainment. If you’re one of those people who is always blowing money and then wondering why you’re always broke, maybe you should pay more attention. Finance Literacy Instructor Jae Joseph suggests that teens start a savings account to help stack their money. “Start with at least 10 percent (of the money you earn and receive) and before you spend any money on anything else, put some aside for yourself.” The money you save today will eventually come in handy for major purchases you may want to make in the future, such as buying a new car or paying for college courses. Joseph also advises students to create a budget. The first step is to create a list of all the things you spend money on in a week’s time. For example, if you spend $2 a day on snacks from the gas station, that adds up to be $14 a week just on junk food. Those small purchases can add up to big bucks you’ll wish you had later. The second step is to separate those same items into “wants and needs.” Let’s say the new iPhone7 just came out but you already have a perfectly good phone. That urge to spend is a want, not a need. Money spent on wants can be saved and put towards something more important. This exercise will help you better prioritize your spending.
Joseph’s third tip for making a budget is to “find out how much money you spend on those expenditures and compare it to your monthly income to see if are you spending more than you should.” The fourth step is to decide how much money you will put in your savings account, how much money to spend on your needs, and how much money to spend on your wants. Joseph also recommends you leave some money out for the unexpected, like a new screen for your phone if it breaks. The last and final step is to put that budget into play and be persistent about following it. Get the most out of your money. One of the ways you can do that is by purchasing items that will last longer than the average quick fix. For example, instead of buying lunch every day, buy sandwich ingredients and pack a lunch for every day of the week. The hardest parts about managing your money are starting the process and being consistent. Once you begin to take control of your finances you should keep at it. This is something that can help your financial life in the long run.
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 41
Startup Incubators AN ENTREPRENEUR’S DREAM BY COLETTE GORDON, JUNIOR, WALTER PAYTON
M Dear On The Money readers, As we gear up for the warmer months ahead, I want you to start thinking about smart money management with the paychecks you will bring home from your summer jobs. If you work hard, you deserve to have some of that money saved up for bigger purchases down the line! Now is the perfect time to build the financial habits that will help you succeed in college and your career. Not sure where to start? Here are a few easy things you can do: • Open a bank account: A bank account gives you a safe way to keep and save your money. My office has made it super easy for you to find a free or low-cost bank account. Check out bankonchicago.org/osc to find a bank that’s close to you and meets your needs. • Sign up for direct deposit: Did you know that using check cashers can cost you $65 a month? By signing up for direct deposit, your employer will automatically deposit your paycheck in your bank account, saving you the hassle (and cost!) of having to cash your check. Learn more at plan2achieve.org. • Create a budget and save: Think ahead about the expenses and goals that you might have in the future. I also recommend starting an emergency fund, so that you’re prepared for anything that comes your way. These steps are easy to do and will help you get the most out of your paycheck, setting you up for a future of financial success. Interested in learning more about my office or a future in finance? You can always reach me at city. email@example.com. Enjoy your summer!
Kurt Summers Chicago City Treasurer
The financial education information in the Teen Biz section is provided in partnership with the Economic Awareness Council, On the Money Magazine and the City Treasurer of Chicago and is sponsored by HSBC USA, N.A. and State Farm Insurance Companies®. 42 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
ore often than not, when thinking of companies, the average person thinks of a well-oiled and fully functioning corporation. However, few companies begin that way. So how do companies actually start and how do they grow? One way is through a startup incubator. The startup incubator assists entrepreneurs in getting their ideas off the ground. Its primary goal is to provide startups with support services and physical space to work. Some incubators might have rigorous application processes or require companies to fit into certain categories. The wide variety of incubators has led to specializations, with some focusing on science and/or technology based companies. One incubator that is changing the incubator business model is the Chicago-based Roniin. At Roniin, each company is started by Roniin and then developed in their space. “Roniin provides everything a founder/CEO needs to be successful,” explains co-founder Ryan Jeffrey. “This means all administrative and back office related tasks and execution based support. Essentially, everything a startup needs to get up and off the ground while pursuing
sustained and intelligent growth.” Roniin has been very successful thus far with a growing network of companies that includes Office Luv, Pearachute, Grace, and Matchist. EnterpriseWorks Incubator at the University of Illinois focuses on scientific based startups that are primarily linked to the university’s graduates and professors. EnterpriseWorks Director Laura Frerichs says, “The defining feature of the incubator is the support services they provide to companies. These services include Entrepreneurs in Residence, which matches companies with mentors, and EnterpriseWorks’ ability to match companies with global venture capital firms.” These programs, in addition to many others, have allowed for EnterpriseWorks’ 230 companies, all in various stages of development, to raise $880 million in capital. Incubators are becoming the place where many startups spend their first few years. As a result of the growing number of incubator options, the next issue for budding entrepreneurs might not be how to start their company but with which incubator.
Branding Yourself On Social Media BY AKILI MOORE, SOPHOMORE, LINCOLN PARK ACADEMY
ocial Media is one of the most powerful tools in the 21st century–giving regular people a voice and a tool to brand themselves. The Pew Research Center reports that 95 percent of teens between the ages of 12-17 are now online–with 81 percent on some sort of social media site. However, using social media accounts as a marketing tool probably never crossed their minds. Social media has become the number one resource for marketing and branding oneself. For example, Ashlee (@Annifaras), has used social media as an outlet to express herself, become a successful brand ambassador, and also start a channel on YouTube, all by the age of 15. In order to successfully market yourself in a similar method consider these tips: • Set a Goal Set a specific goal like gaining “x” amount of followers by a certain time, and stick to it. Staying focused on what you’re trying to accomplish will take you a long way. • Know Your Product Knowing your product shows the audience that you’re
paying attention and are fully a part of the process when it comes to production. It lets them know that you stand behind your product and can extend your market reach to different demographics. • Know the Consumer Your consumer is your following/target audience. In order to come up with a sufficient marketing plan, you have to know who you’re trying to attract and what else they may like. • Thrive on Positive Energy Social media can be quite obnoxious sometimes with people making crude jokes all the time. Just remember that if it’s not helping you get better, it’s not worth the attention. Rob Johnson, (@RobJhonsonCBS2), a professional news anchor, uses social media to stay on top of what is trending, share resources, and promote stories. “It’s easy to criticize people when there is no face to put with that criticism,” says Johnson. “If somebody criticizes in a constructive way, I will engage them. If they are profane or exceedingly rude, I will delete it, block them and/or unfollow them.”
Tomorrow’s Times: WILL ONLINE BOOKS HELP YOU SAVE? BY HILARY PHAM, SENIOR, WHITNEY M. YOUNG
ately the prices of textbooks required for undergraduate classes have skyrocketed. Between 2008 and 2013, the average price of textbooks rose 34 percent–the largest increase in the last few decades, according to the National Association of College Stores. For the 2015-2016 school year, The College Board estimates an average undergraduate expense of $1,300 for books and supplies. To help ease that financial burden, many college students are turning to digital textbooks as a cheaper and more convenient alternative. Companies like Amazon and Chegg offer digital textbooks with prices up to 60 percent less than print retail versions. Jordyn Goffo, a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has noticed a “significant increase” in the use of digital textbooks, especially in business and science classes where “half of the material is completed or taught online.” Despite the benefits, there are drawbacks to online textbooks. Some, like Goffo, who feel a “level of disconnect or separation from the material,” prefer print textbooks. Paper text also minimizes screen time. As the demand for paper text decreases, the need for a campus bookstore–a popular source of employment for work-study students–declines as well. Melody
Wong, a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who works at a private campus bookstore, notes that the store where she works is “going to close the textbook [section]” and focus on clothing instead. Being a college student is quite costly. However, if you are heading off to college and looking for ways to save money, digitizing is the way to go. There are more professors incorporating digital content into their courses and more vendors to meet the needs/demands of every college student.
College Budgeting & Food Costs BY KEZIA BRANCH, SENIOR, ROWE CLARK ACADEMY
ere it is again, the age-old topic – having enough money for college. For the past two months I have conducted a savings case study to see how much I spend eating out versus not eating out at all. The study will provide information on how much money a college student could possibly save or lose by eating out a lot. Despite the on-campus convenience, many college students still seek meal variety not usually offered by set plans. Tracy Frizzell, Executive Director of the Economic Awareness Council and On the Money Magazine, suggests not to lose sight of the extra expense and to keep your savings goal in mind. David Borom, an analyst at Loop Capital, also recommends that you make a list before shopping and stick to it so that you don’t go over your budget. For two months, I participated in a case study assessing the difference between eating out every day versus cooking. I spent approximately $85 on outside food for one month of eating out. During the month, I was completely unaware of my spending, and I got so used to swiping my credit card that I didn’t notice how much I had spent until I checked my bank statement. The case study revealed that it is imperative to manage money wisely when funds are limited.
How do other students budget?
In a survey of 112 students attending Rowe-Clark Academy, only 60 percent reported having budgeted before. These same students gave themselves an average rating on budgeting ability a 2.7 out of 5. In contrast, 98 percent of youth reported that they understood the importance of saving.
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 43
Bestie IS BEING
Cheated On. What Do You Do? BY KRISTAL WHITE, FRESHMAN, MORGAN PARK
“IT TAKES A GOOD FRIEND TO TELL THE TRUTH, SO BE A GOOD FRIEND AND TALK TO YOUR FRIEND,”
or as long as you can remember, you and your best friend have told each other everything. But what do you do when you find out your bestie is being
cheated on? How do you tell her this crazy news? Lucky for you, True Star is here to help. There are several ways you can go about this situation. Dr. Daniela Schreier, a certified clinical psychologist who specializes in life, stress and relationship issues, suggests being honest without being mean. “It takes a good friend to tell the truth, so be a good friend and talk to your friend,” says Schreier. “State facts about what you have seen and [what you] know. Don’t bash the partner.”
you should, “remind yourself and your friend that knowledge is power, and that it’s better to be in the know.” Once the conversation is over and your friend has cooled down, Schreier suggests telling your buddy to think before she acts because an argument with her partner won’t resolve anything. In fact, it may make things worse. Instead, advise her to talk to her partner in a calm manner.
Before telling her the news, make sure the information is true. Gather your evidence (i.e. pictures, messages, and/or videos) to reduce confusion, assumptions and any doubts that your friend may have about your story.
After you have shared what you know, the only thing you can do is leave the situation alone. You did your part as her friend by making sure that she was aware of what was going on. By holding out on this type of important information you would be breaking the unwritten rules of the “Girl Code.” In the end, the goal is to make sure she knows what is happening and takes care of the situation however she sees fit.
Schreier recommends taking your friend someplace private that allows her to deal with all of the negative emotions that come up during the conversation. When you are finally ready to talk, do not stall. Apologize for being the one to tell her about the situation but do not let that hinder you from stating the facts. Schreier adds that
Remember, your friend is in a vulnerable state and she may need you now more than ever. Schreier recommends that you “be patient and kind [but also] realize that relationships are complex. She may need time.” When it comes down to it, as a friend, the best thing you can do is let her know you care.
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POWER OF THE
PASSWORD BY DESTINI LINDSEY, JUNIOR, CHI ARTS
n today’s society, there are many things that fall into play in a relationship, including the different levels of expressing how much one person loves the other. This can range from saying those three very important words, “I love you,” to the formal first-time meeting of your mate’s parents. Now for our generation, the next level of signifying a relationship is serious: The sharing of one’s password. Whether it’s to social media accounts or your cell phone, giving your partner your password is a huge milestone. Daniel Gayden, 17, of ChiArts, has been in a relationship for two years. He shared passwords with his girlfriend within the first year of the relationship. Gayden thinks the sharing of your password stage isn’t so much about reaching a milestone in a relationship as much as it’s about being comfortable with each other. He says, “I think the passwords exchange should come whenever one feels comfortable and secure with their partner enough to let them into their social media life.”
Jones is fully aware that there are good and bad things that come with sharing those important digits.
As Gayden stresses the importance of comfort, he also points out the importance of never allowing technology to control a relationship. Sharing can come at a different time in your courtship, which may mean earning your partner’s trust first.
“You might not let passwords play a big role in your relationship because you have so much trust instilled within that person,” she says. However, Jones adds that there are consequences to sharing your password. If you’re not the honest or faithful type, secrets will inevitably be revealed to anyone with full access. “A lot of break-ups happen because of the sharing of passwords…” says Jones.
Trust is definitely a factor. Raven Jones, 16, of Hillcrest High School, thinks sharing passwords should happen when [a couple becomes] really close and trusts each other. “People want to know what their [partner] is doing,” Jones says. “If I ask for your phone, I expect you to give it to me no matter what I need it for, and it shouldn’t be a problem for me to know your password.”
Who knew a simple four-pin password could be so powerful? If you let them, passwords can either make or break a relationship. If you’ve gotten your partner’s passwords, it’s safe to say that you have reached a certain level of trust and comfort in your union. The power is love. Once you’ve gotten to the password stage, at this point, you’re considered to be in a pretty serious relationship. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 45
INSIDE & OUT
REST IN PeaceTIMBUCK2 BY MINA WAIGHT, FRESHMAN, HAROLD WASHINGTON COLLEGE
ecember 19th, 2015, marked the end of Timothy Francis Jones’ lengthy battle with renal cell (kidney) cancer. At age 34, the Chicago legend known to most as had built quite the name for himself as what could only be described as the heart of the local music scene. It was during his adolescence that he started gaining attention as a DJ, according to the Chicago Tribune. Shortly after, Jones began touring nationally with guys like Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Common while playing events for the likes of P. Diddy and Jay Z. According FakeShoreDrive.com, “Tim was revered as one of the best DJs to ever do it in Chicago. He was an innovator and pound for pound (arguably) the best DJ in the city. He came up under the tutelage of The Twilite Tone (interning for Tone and No I.D. at WHPK) and would later become the marquee DJ at WGCI [at age 21].” Through Go ILL Radio, an hour-long segment on Saturdays at WGCI, Jones gave artists like Vic Mensa and Rockie Fresh an outlet for their music to be heard. Richard “Filthy Rich” Lomax, good friend and former manager of Jones, says, “One thing I know he took pride in was Go ILL Radio and him being able to have an outlet for a Chicago artist... He gave so many of them their first radio exposure. He was giving them national exposure, taking the music on the road with him, and playing them at the parties he was doing nationally. So, I would love to continue Go ILL Radio and to continue his legacy exposing Chicago artists.” In his life, Jones managed to capture the hearts and ears of anyone who listened. Good friend, Demo Salazar says, “His musical background opened up a lot for me in terms of exposing me to a lot of different styles of music, and I guess I was spoiled. I was spoiled having him as a friend because his knowledge of music was so vast… He made music cool. …Many people fell in love with him playing hiphop, but the idea of playing rock in the hip-hop sense was just like something that he did that nobody else could do.” Despite, the gloomy outlook of his situation, Jones remained optimistic of the outcome and did not allow pity. “He wanted to be private with it and I could tell you, going to the hospital with him during that time, he always thought in his mind he was going to beat it no matter what they told him,” says Lomax. “In his mind he was saying, ‘I’m going to beat this Rich, and when I come back DJing, it’s going to be this way. It’s going to be that way.’ He never let cancer beat him down and throughout it all, he had a positive attitude.” In the end, Jones decided to share his story with the world, encouraging men all over to do what they can to maintain their health. The first step toward a healthier male population has been a collaborative effort of close friends Salazar, Lomax, Anton and Anthony Murphy as well as, Jones’ parents and younger brother, to start the Timothy Francis Jones Foundation. In addition,
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Timbuck2uesdays will resume as they have in the past, and the last Tuesday of the year, as proclaimed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, will be Timbuck2 Day. Plans for an annual concert, galas and more are also in the works. All events will center around living a healthier life and going to the doctor. For more information visit thetimothyfrancisjonesfoundation.org.
PUTTING DOWN The Pounds BY DESTINI LINDSEY, JUNIOR, CHI ARTS
hile most people are aware that losing weight is difficult, it can be easy to forget that our everyday decisions affect our ability to drop those unwanted pounds. Working out seven days a week can be a challenge, especially, if you have school, work, extracurricular activities and long commutes in-between. So what’s another way to put down the pounds? True Star offers these helpful tips.
• Drink more water. Water is a necessity. Experts suggest
• Don’t order out ALL the time!
When you’re eating, use your nondominant hand. It’s proven to make you eat less and more slowly.
Everything you eat doesn’t have to be homemade, but a lot of it should be. Why? Fast food restaurants often use a lot of salts, sugars, and grease, which can make losing weight even more difficult. Whatever you can buy at a restaurant, you can buy at a store and it’ll be a healthier option.
• Smaller Plates. Along with not ordering out, eat smaller portions. The smaller the plate, the smaller the portion.
• Always Eat Breakfast. Breakfast starts your
metabolism, which helps you burn those daily calories. It makes you feel energized so you won’t be too tired to work out.
• Eat a ton of protein.
Protein is important. It can make you feel fuller and reduce the desire to eat. Some good examples include: almonds, Greek yogurt, chicken, and fish.
drinking at least nine 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The more water you drink the less likely you are to eat large food portions.
• Be ambidextrous!
• Don’t call it exercise. It’s a fact that burning calories makes you lose weight. Burn some extra calories by walking instead of taking the bus and taking the stairs instead of using the elevator. WebMD.com reports that when you don’t refer to physical activity as exercise you are more likely to keep moving.
• Make healthier choices.
Once you stop making those trips to the corner store for a bag of chips or a honeybun, you will not only see a difference in your waistline, but you’ll have some extra change in your pocket. Use that money to purchase healthier snacks like an apple or banana. There are still many more ways to lose weight without starving yourself and spending endless days in the gym. There are alternate ways to put down the pounds. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 47
ON THE COURT
SHOW UP & SHOW OUT
AT THE MCDONALD’S ALL AMERICAN GAMES BY KAMIYAH LIPSCOMB, SOPHOMORE, WESTINGHOUSE
ast coast! West Coast! Let’s Go! On March 30, 2016, the 15th annual girls and 39th annual boys McDonald’s All American Games took place at the United Center in Chicago. The games were memorable—with unbelievable dunks, 3-point shots, never-before seen crossovers and super supportive fans. There were players from all across the country who played that night like they had all came from one school, one backyard with one love. The unity amongst the players excited the crowds as they gave everyone something to wow about. There was great sportsmanship amongst each player. Although there weren’t any players from Illinois, it was amazing to witness a multicultural game with unique talents on and off the court. Both West Coast teams won with outstanding hard work. Hard work almost always beats talent. Although the East Coast lost, they still showed team spirit. A lot of people may claim that the boys game was a little more intense because the boys seem to play harder although, girls play smarter. Sabrina Ionescu of Orinda, CA, won MVP with a girls’ game record of 25 points. Ionescu, who was still undecided on her college choice at press time, states, “I didn’t really think about what the record was before, I didn’t even know how many points I had, I just did whatever I [could] do to help my team win.” Ionescu exhibited sportsmanship and humility, as she never really credited herself as the main reason her team’s win. She also showed leadership on and off the court. Duke bound Frank Jackson, of Highland, UT, also won MVP. After the game, Josh Jackson, also undecided, and Jayson Tatum, who’s heading to Duke, expressed how they felt about their All American Game experience. Josh Jackson says that they all have been good friends for a long time and that made the game more special. The players agree that the talent on the court was unbelievable. They say it was an honor as well as a lot of fun to play. Tatum says that the players were giving their all and putting on a show. That was clear. The McDonald’s All American Games featured future star basketball players for Duke, Kentucky, UCLA, and many more, all playing their best. After college, they may be headed for the NBA. Everyone is hoping for a new and improved version of Stephen Curry or Michael Jordan. That night made history and there are many years to come. All American 2017, here they come! 48 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
Andre Love WINS
The Legacy of African Americans In Baseball Video Competition BY JANIAH JACKSON, FRESHMAN, MORGAN PARK
Contest winner Andre Love is congratulated by former White Sox player Harold Baines at US Cellular Field. Photo Credit: 2016 Ron Vesely/Chicago White Sox
ecently, True Star teamed up with the Chicago White Sox to celebrate the African-American legacy in baseball. The call was put out to create a two-minute video honoring a Negro League baseball player who helped pave the way for African-Americans in the sport. Andre Love, a senior at Percy L. Julian High School, took the challenge and created an outstanding video honoring the baseball player, Larry Doby. He incorporated photos, used vintage footage of Doby, and included a voice over to tell Doby’s story. Love showed great creativity throughout his video, earning him the first place spot. Check out what Love had to say about the competition and his win.
True Star: What inspired you to select this Negro League player? Andre Love: I got the inspiration because Larry Doby isn’t someone who is talked about when making a reference towards African-Americans in baseball. Larry Doby didn’t get the credit he deserved because he didn’t get as much publicity as Jackie Robinson. He was the first African-American to play in the American League. TS: How did you become so good at making videos? AL: I became good because of what my teachers taught me. I picked up a thing or two and I just performed what I knew.
TS: How long did it take you to put together your video on your Negro League player? AL: It took me about three days. There was a lot of thinking about what I wanted the viewers to understand. I wanted them to understand that anything is possible and you are capable of doing things different. Don’t be afraid to venture into the unknown. TS: What occupation would you like to have in the future? AL: I would like to be in the United States Air Force to go into space exploration. I want to go places where people haven’t gone before. TS: How did it feel to win this competition and have your video played at US Cellular Field? AL: Honestly, it felt really amazing. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I really felt happy. TS: Do you play baseball? AL: I do play baseball. I’ve been playing for seven years and I’ve now completed my senior season with Percy L. Julian High School as a center fielder. TS: What did you learn from doing this project? AL: Well I learned a lot about Larry Doby and that barriers are meant to be broken. I also learned that with great determination you can reach your goals. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 49
Why do so many McDonald’s owners start out behind the counter?
We believe ambition needs a starting place. Everybody deserves a place to start. And for many, that “start” results in them owning their own McDonald’s, with training and financial support through us.
McDonald’s and McDonald’s independently owned and operated franchises are equal opportunity employers committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. Franchisees are the exclusive employer of their employees and as such are solely responsible for all employment related matters in their restaurants. © 2014 McDonald’s.
Mitchell General Manager
True Star Young Boss Issue June 2016