Detroit Dialogue February 2020

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Dialogue//Feb. 27, 2020





PAGE 22 » Southeastern students train to help with tax preparations

PAGE 12 » East English Village program connects young men to mentorship program



DREAM Maintaining the

PAGE 15 » MLK High honors leaders, civil rights legacy,

at annual King Day event DETROIT



PAGE 6 » CMA starts planning move STUDENT LIFE


PAGE 9» Cristo Rey students build connections, robotics


PAGE 2 » Cass Tech students get ready for upcoming election ACADEMICS


PAGE 23 » DSO brings music performance to Western



PAGE 3 » Ben Carson welcomes new leader to school



2 Feb. 27, 2020


Vol. V, No. 3 | Feb. 27, 2020

Detroit Dialogue is published by Crain Michigan State University Detroit High School Journalism to showcase the work of student journalists in the city of Detroit. Dialogue has been established as a forum for student expression and as a voice in the uninhibited, robust, free and open discussion of issues.

All content is prepared by students at participating Detroit high schools. Students receive advice and training from program staff and professional journalists from Crain Communications Inc. throughout the publication process. Michigan State University, Crain Communications and participating schools assume no liability for the content of Dialogue, and urge all student journalists to recognize that with editorial control comes responsibility, including the responsibility to follow professional journalism standards. Opinions expressed in Dialogue are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of participating schools, Michigan State University or Crain Communications.

ABOUT CRAIN MSU DETROIT HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM Crain MSU Detroit High School Journalism enriches the educational experiences of students in the city of Detroit. Our work brings high school students together with professional journalists, Michigan State University faculty members and MSU journalism students to produce a newspaper and news website about the issues affecting students’ schools and their peers. The program is coordinated by the faculty of the School of Journalism at MSU with the support of Detroitbased Crain Communications Inc..

OUR TEAM Joy Visconti, Director, Crain MSU Detroit High School Journalism


Jeremy W. Steele, steelej Scholastic journalism outreach director, MSU School of Journalism Joe Grimm, Program adviser & editor in residence, MSU School of Journalism





Cass Tech performing arts seniors enjoying voting pep rally.

Students hold mock election to raise awareness

By Nyla Carter CT Visionary We hear all our lives that voting is our voice, it’s what gives us power. Although we know this to be true what is it that stops many young people from voting? The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement reports that “16.9 million youth voters became eligible in 2016 to vote in their first presidential election; and voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election dipped to its lowest point in two decades with only about 55 percent of votingage citizens participating.” So, what is stopping young people from voting? One of the reasons is because they are not asked or encouraged to vote by family, friends, neighbors or even their school. They’re not taught how the government and elections work, or they may not feel as if they know enough to vote. Some are not interested, or they are too busy. Others don’t like their choices, they don’t think their vote matters, or they think the system is corrupt. According to, “Among youth 18 and 19 years old who were not registered to vote, 23% said they missed the registration deadlines, 6% said they didn’t know where or how to register.” The Detroit Public Schools Community District, the Detroit Election Commission, and Citizen Detroit came together to combat these problems our youth are facing. Citizen Detroit is a nonprofit organization whose goals are to help encourage and teach minorities in Detroit about politics and voting. On Jan. 31, Citizen Detroit, Detroit Public Community School District, and the Detroit Election


Senior Sadia Rahman casts her ballot during a simulated voting event in Jan. 31. The event at Cass Tech included an opportunity to register to vote.

Cass Tech Commission partnered together to give Cass Tech students an opportunity to do a simulated vote. And the Detroit Election Commission helped eligible students register to vote. “We are hoping to create habits for our younger students, so that when they are of age they will go register to vote, and NYLA CARTER/CT VISIONARY

See VOTE on page 8 »

Cass tech students attend an assembly about voting Jan. 31.

2019-2020 CRAIN MSU DETROIT HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS Benjamin Carson School for Science & Medicine Principal Charles Todd Cass Technical High School Principal Lisa Phillips Communication & Media Arts High School Principal Donya Odom

Detroit Cristo Rey High School Principal Kevin Cumming Detroit School of the Arts Principal Lisa Reynolds East English Village Preparatory Academy Principal Larry Gray

Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School Principal Deborah Jenkins

Southeastern High School Principal Maurice El-Amin

Mumford High School Principal Damian Perry

West Side Academy of Information Technology and Cyber Security Principal Lenora Crawford

Renaissance High School Principal Verynda Stroughter

Western International High School Principal Angel Garcia

THANK YOU TO OUR CRAIN MENTORS AND SUPPORTERS In addition to the professional mentors listed along with student staff members in this publication, we wish to thank the following Crain employees for their assistance: KC Crain, Jason Stein, Omari Gardner, Kristen Pantalena, Phil Nussel, Dan Jones, Alan Luckwald and Terry Driscoll.


Feb. 27, 2020 3

Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine | ACADEMICS

New principal arrives at BCHS


Freshmen Ulyssia Jordan and Adrianna Holmes visit with Principal Sean Lively.


By Nowrin Islam and Sarah Kabala The Diagnostic After the winter break, Ben Carson High School welcomed Sean Lively as its new principal following an extensive search. Lively has a vision to make Ben Carson the top high school in the district. “I just saw an opportunity to give back to students, staff, and the community,” Lively said. “I

saw this as a positive challenge to transform this school.” Lively had many different roles before becoming principal at BCHS, including as a teacher and basketball coach. Before becoming principal, he was a dean at Munger Elementary Middle School. He was also the State of Michigan Director of Education Career Success, overseeing adult education. “The most exciting part about

being a principal of BCHS now is bringing as much energy as I can everyday to school, to staff and students and to make sure that their experience is a positive one,” Lively said. Lively’s arrival has already made an impact, as students say school morale is rising. “He seems to be a good principal, and I am glad he is here,” See LIVELY on page 10 »


New club teaches about nursing By Ja’Miya Jackson, Amaris Underwood and Saniya Davis The Diagnostic Students at Benjamin Carson High School can now get a glimpse into the medical field with a new program called the Future Nurse Club. The Michigan State University Future Nurse Club is a group of students of all grades that share an interest in a career in nursing or, at the very least, want to learn what it would mean to become a nurse after graduating from BCHS. The club is run by Sean Henry, college transition adviser, and is based in the BCHS Clinic for Success, a program meant to help with college prep. Every other Tuesday from 3:15-4:15 p.m. in the Clinic for Success, a meeting of the Future Nurse Club is facilitated by Stephanie Gray, a nursing professor, and Raven Richardson, a nurse from the Detroit Medical Center. The meetings focus on a different theme each session and include topics such as, "Image of Nursing Then and Now," "Medical Terminology," and "Code Blue." Members of the Future Nurse Club also receive preferential status on nursing applications to Michigan State University's College of Nursing upon graduation, as well as regular advice on See NURSING on page 4 »


The dangers of E-cigarettes are explained to BCHS students.

Wayne State researches vaping among students By Syeda Amina The Diagnostic In December, Wayne State University’s Public Research Methods class conducted research on Benjamin Carson High School’s 11th graders about the impact of vaping and e-cigarettes, and found that most students were aware of the


impact of using these devices. The research focused on what high school students, especially juniors, thought about e-cigarettes and aimed to make teens aware of what vaping and e-cigarettes are, along with the consequences of using these devices. Iman Andari, an honors

Editors: Sarah Kabala, Norwin Islam & Aramis Underwood Adviser: Frank Odeh Crain Mentor: Alexa St. John, Automotive News

student at WSU and the student group leader of the research, said its goal was to find out what BCHS students think about vaping, “and then create an intervention,” or a way to help lower the prevalence of e-cigs among high school students. In November, WSU took Knowledge, Attitudes & Percep-

tions surveys of the students, with questions asking if they knew about e-cigarettes, the effects of using them, and if they are harmful to use. The survey answers followed a 1-5 scale, with 1 representing "strongly agree," 2 "agree," 3 "neither," 4 See VAPING on page 4 »

Staff Writers: Bassam Alasri, Zamzam Aljahm, Syeda Amina, Kenneth Banks, M’kya Benson, Lanya Cooper, Saniya Davis, Derrian Dinwiddie, Mirazul Haque, Howard Jackson, Jamiya Jackson, Marrissa Lee, Asif Miah, Remiyah Mitchell, Tahmim Nazim, William Newson, Christian Ogburn, Kyree Parker, Abdur Rahman, MD Rob, Makayla Slater, Garrick Smith, Adon’ai Williams

4 Feb. 27, 2020 ACADEMICS

Programs introduce freshmen to college By Kyree Parker, Remiyah Mitchell and Marrissa Lee The Diagnostic Ben Carson High School is home to a program for freshmen students known as SMASH (Summer Math and Science Honors Academy). SMASH is a program where freshmen are recruited to a college campus over the summer. According to,

SMASH Academy is a three-year STEM-intensive residential college prep program that empowers students to deepen their talents and pursue STEM careers. “The program seems nice and I plan to attend this summer,” said BCHS freshman Ra’Kyra Holland. SMASH has been recruiting students at BCHS for the last

Benjamin Carson few years. BCHS Counselor Millicynt Horton said, “I really like the program because it boosts students confidence and helps improve their skills.” BCHS offers freshmen

workshops to help complete the application to the program. “It helps you with school,” BCHS freshman Arianna Hill said. Many students are looking forward to the program. “The opportunity to stay on campus for five weeks sounds like fun,” BCHS freshman Leila Waters said.





Survey finds e-cigarettes use linked to stress, FROM PAGE 3

"disagree," and 5 being "strongly disagree.” After conducting the surveys, the WSU students put together seven surveys and visited BCHS again on Dec. 5. They presented the results to participants with answers to the vaping questions, along with additional information on how to stop teen vaping. Each group had different conclusions that were based on the different interventions. The data showed that many students were familiar with the health effects that can emerge from e-cigarette use. For example, 80% agreed that e-cigarette use is popular among their peers, and 49% were concerned with the fact that their peers use e-cigarettes. According to one of the presentations, the participants agreed that electronic cigarettes were primarily targeted to their peers and intentionally exploit insecurities that young adults deal with, such as wanting to fit or wanting to look cool to boost their self-esteem. “What we found is that people use it because of stress… (and) because it’s popular,” Andari said. BCHS student Zy’kiya Terry said the presentations did not have an impact on BCHS students. “Honestly it had no impact… (teens) go their own way… I guess they feel like ‘OK, I’m going to do what I want, I'm almost grown’ … whatever that they smoke, as long as they have that in their system, they’re good,” Terry said. “They already know all this information and they’re still gonna do it.”


Club helps students learn about healthcare field FROM PAGE 3


BCHS student Jubair Ahmed taking a ride on the Lexus Velodrome track. The white dome structure sits in the shadows of BCHS.

Lexus Velodrome offers fitness options for BCHS By Jubair Ahmed, William Newson and Zamzam Aljahm The Diagnostic A giant, white bubble can be seen in the shadows of Benjamin Carson High School, leaving many who pass by it to wonder what it is. Known as the Detroit Lexus Velodrome, the “bubble” is a multifunction, indoor arena located next to BCHS on Mack Avenue near I-75. This bubble is mainly known for its indoor cycling track, which holds com-

petitive bike races every month, but it also offers many other activities. The Velodrome, which is operated by the Detroit Fitness Foundation, is free to all who are under 18 and is often used by BCHS as a substitute for gym class. “It’s a great environment with great people,” said Emran Ali, a senior at BCHS. Many BCHS students take advantage of their access to the Lexus Dome, including Brice Logan, also a senior.

Benjamin Carson “It’s a wonderful place for young teens to start a healthy lifestyle,” said Logan. The Lexus Dome also offers an exercise area including a weight room, fitness center, and running track. The Lexus Dome also offers fitness, inline skating and cycling classes. “It’s a good place for self relief,” BCHS student Daquan Anderson said.

BCHS senior Jonnel Ealy likes the Dome because it is a good exercise environment. “The Dome is a friendly place with good resources and a good environment for children, teens, and adults who want a healthy and fit lifestyle,” Ealy said. BCHS senior Bernard Bradley said he enjoys the physical activity he gets at the Dome. “It is pretty chill at the Dome, because I'm free over there and I'm able to push my body to the limit,” he said.

applying to nursing programs at other colleges, access to exclusive summer nursing camps at Michigan State University, and field trip opportunities. A lot of students said they enjoy what the club has to offer. “It provides information important for people looking to be a nurse after high school,” Jessica Brown, a junior at BCHS, said. “Even if nursing isn’t your plan for the future, the club is great for learning about the medical field.” Talasha Hilton, a BCHS junior who previously attended a club meeting, also had some positive thoughts about the club. “I liked how they didn’t rush any topic or skip over information,” Hilton said. “They allowed questions to be asked and they answered them well.”

Feb. 27, 2020 5


A public forum for the community of Cass Technical High School | STUDENT LIFE

SENIOR EARNS SCHOLARSHIP TO PRINCETON By Breyanna Campbell CT Visionary Cass Tech senior Brandon Campbell has been awarded a full ride to Princeton University through the Questbridge Match Scholarship. Campbell is the first and only Technician to receive this scholarship this school year, said Lisa Gooden, a counselor at Cass Tech.

The Questbridge Match Scholarship is awarded to selected students who demonstrate educational Campbell initiative, leadership qualities and financial need. Students

complete an application, submit the required documents such as test scores and transcripts, and individually apply to the partner school(s) of their choice. Those schools can then choose to admit the student and accept the Questbridge status, thus awarding them with a full scholarship. Campbell, who wants to be

a dentist, has been an excellent student since grade school. He is a full diploma International Baccalaureate student, as well as being the National Honor Society president for the Cass Tech Chapter, and he is ranked No. 1 in his class; all while maintaining a 4.3 GPA and earning a 1370 SAT score. His top five college choices



PASSING TIME Survey shows seniors would like added time between classes By Eryn Bryant CT Visionary The skill of time management is essential to everyday life. On Nov. 22, 34 Cass Tech seniors were given a 10-question survey on their opinions about Cass Tech’s attendance policy. The survey was posted to a class group chat of 60 students and it was only available for one hour. Thirty-four seniors responded to the survey. The information in the directions clearly stated that the information gathered from the survey was for entertainment and informative purposes only. The biggest takeaway from the 10-question survey was that Cass Tech seniors believe that adding an extra minute to the existing passing time would reduce tardies and therefore increase learning time. “I think it could be beneficial because it takes a long time to get from one of your classes to the next class, because there are a thousand people in the hallway,” CT student Erin Perkins said. “If you have to stop and go to the bathroom that’s going to take awhile because a lot of our teachers don’t allow us to go to the bathroom or go get water. “If you have to stop at your locker to go get homework or something like that, a lot of times your teachers won’t let you leave out of class and if you have a class on the sixth floor and your class could be on three, it’s going to take longer to get there.”

were “Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Northwestern University,” where he will then major in biology and work towards entering dental school after he receives his undergraduate degree. To learn more about the Questbridge Match Scholarship, visit


Cass Tech seniors Abdul Repon and Omar Ahmed each earned a score more than 1500 on the SAT last school year.

Students prep for high SAT scores


The fifth floor at Cass Tech is jammed with students during passing time, making some late.

Assistant principal Tiffany Cox said that she does not necessarily feel that adding a minute would help the seniors get to their classes on time and ultimately avoid being tardy. Attendance gents Kimberly Redd and Stacie Wilson agree with Cox that adding a minute to the 5 minute passing time would not decrease senior tardiness. “Students need to make sure


Editor-in-Chief: Nyla Carter

“... it takes a long time to get from one of your classes to the next class, because there are a thousand people in the hallway.” Erin Perkins, Cass Tech student

that they are prepared with their clothing, what they are going to eat, whatever resources and ma-

terials they need in order to make sure they can get to their classes on time,” Cox said.

Adviser: Jill Thomas

By Demauri Ward CT Visionary During their junior year, all high school students take the SAT exam. This high stakes exam plays a large role in a student's academic future. Most universities in the U.S. consider a student's SAT score before admission. Every year at Cass Tech, there are a few students who score a 1500 or above. The state of Michigan's average SAT score was 985 in 2019. The test scores are scored in the spring session of the SAT every year. Monica Jones, a counselor at Cass Tech, said she believes that the great test scores have come from the school’s urgency to prepare the students. She advises students to take the exam a year early in order to get a feel for how the exam is. She said she believes it gives the students an opportunity to find out what their strengths and weaknesses See SAT on page 8 »

Crain Mentor: Don Loepp, Plastics News

6 Feb. 27, 2020


A public forum for the students and community of Communication and Media Arts High School |

Seniors compete in Pistons arts, poetry competition


By Dallas Sanders The Communicator On Feb. 4, the Pistons held their 15th annual scholarship for art and poetry at Detroit Institute of Arts Theatre. From Communication and Media Arts, seniors Cheyenne Britton and Imari Dedrick competed in the program. Dedrick completed poetry. The event’s theme was “Past, Present, and my Future.” First-place winners receive $25,000, second place $15,000 and third place $10,000 for poetry. For the poetry slam, each


Imari Deadrick holds up second place check for the scholarship.


person will have two minutes to say their piece. Dedrick was the third contestant to go on stage and perform. Britton competed in the art competition. For the art contest, each person art piece was platform in front of everyone. Five hundred random people selected the best art piece. Each contestant presented their art piece in front of the whole theatre. After the presentations of the art and poetry, it was the time to announce the two winners of the scholarship.

Dedrick placed second in the poetry slam. From the look on her face, she was amazed by the win. “It felt honorable to be chosen from our school,” she said. “I was absolutely nervous, I had panic attacks throughout the when I thought of performing in front of a large crowd. My teacher Mr. Stokes pushed me to keep on going.” Dedrick’s next goal is to get into Morgan State University. See PISTONS on page 7 »


CMA set to move to new building By Precious Strickland and Meloni Mcnairy The Communicator Dr. Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of DPSCD, recently announced to the faculty, parents, students and community that CMA will relocate to the campus at Ludington Middle School, 19501 Berg Road in Detroit. The move is long overdue and expected as the growth of CMA continues to soar. Currently, CMA houses 550 students and 45 faculty and staff members. The improved school will offer a wealth of amenities: central air, additional classroom space, athletic fields and a commitment from the district to upgrade and add many new features that support our training and teaching of media arts. CMA students have expressed their feelings and doubts about the move to the new building. Many have shared that they will not have transportation back and forth to the Ludington location. But Vitti said transportation services will be offered from the current building to the new one. CMA will also become a new test in school where students are required to pass the admissions exam to get in. Students who are See CMA on page 7 »


Fashion Forward

On Feb. 13, CMA hosted a student-organized fashion show to highlight women’s empowerment.

Seniors organize show to highlight women’s empowerment

By Jaylen Morgan The Communicator On Feb. 13, young women gathered together to enjoy an all women's fashion show to highlight women’s empowerment. The show was conducted at Communication & Media Arts High School. The show was run


by CMA seniors Zaria Newton and Stephine Jenkins. Newton aspires to be a fashion stylist which struck her to do this fashion show. She wanted to show off her talent while having a fun event for the women of CMA. With the help of the ex Dream Team director Nadeen

Editor-in-Chief: Caleb Bailey Co- Editors: Jaylen Morgan, Angel McLaurin Adviser: Robbyn Williams Mentor: Chad Livengood, Crain’s Detroit Business

Alaouie, she made the event one to be remembered. Jenkins, Newton and Alaouie found a group of models and started their mission. The team stayed after school a couple days out the week to practice the show and create outfits. It took them a month to get everything together.

They had several panelists, including CMA’s Jalesa Moore. They rented out a company to help them set up the venue. They enjoyed snacks, laughter and a whole lot of fierceness. All 13 women looked beautiful as they walked down the runway in all of their unique outfits.

Photography Editor: Tyler Parker Business Manager: Meloni McNairy Staff Writers: Ariel Appling, Jathan Houston, Zaria Newton, Dallas Sanders, Precious Strickland Freelance Writers: Joshua Thomas, Kahliah Baker

Feb. 27, 2020 7




Move concerns some students, teachers

Win or lose, students benefit from contest



currently enrolled at CMA will be grandfathered into the new building, which becomes CMA’s home this fall. “I feel like this is better for us and the school needs to expand because this area is so small and we will have enough room for activities such as ROTC,” said sophomore Jayla Rodgers. New people are very curious about the new opportunities open to the students, and what the new location will bring for the students and staff. Math teacher Lauren Bayles said: “I feel that the move to a new location can be positive and a good thing for CMA if the adjustments and improvements that are to be made at the new location are made to accommodate high school students and the high school program, if the accommodations can not be made I think it may be better not to move until they are made, such as science classes made for high school students, and the gym made for older children.” Other staff and students share the same concern. Concerns noted were: the science classes aren't going to be able to accommodate older high school students to be able to learn to the best of their ability. The gym isn't big enough to house a basketball game, so of course most students are concerned about where the games will be held. On Jan. 17, board member Angelique Peterson-Mayberry spoke with some students about the move. Peterson-Mayberry said that they are trying to adjust all the major things they see as a constraint of not being able to move, like updating science classrooms to be able to teach high school students and a bigger gym. But until the gym can be rebuilt, CMA games will be played at the current location.

“I want to go into business administration so afraid that I take my knowledge and put it into the field that I want to work in which is the makeup industry the beauty industry,” she said. Even though Britton didn’t win in the art competition, she kept her head high and still focused on her craft. “So, even though I didn't win, it really showed me to perspective that I am not the best artist in the world, but I'm still a really good artist, and I still lived up to my potential but there will always be other people competing for that same exact thing that I want,” Britton said. “It will always be people that have taken art classes or have gone out and found someone to teach them how to do what they need to do, and me being a self taught artist, that's going to take a lot more work for me to do, but I am completely 100% down in debt, because every Bob Ross started from a failure. “Any good artist finds their way and knows that just because they don't win one competition doesn't mean that they, their art is bad, or that their art doesn't have monetary value in that. And I don't care if I have to enter 100 competitions just to lose one or win one, I will keep going because my dream to become an animated show creator, or my dream to create an animated show on Netflix or wherever I decided to go or be a well known artist that doesn't die, because I lost a scholarship.”


Gucci loses black customers among missteps Communication & Media Arts By Zaria Newton The Communicator High end brands have been rumored on Twitter to promote items with racial symbols. On different occasions, brands like Gucci, Adidas and Prada sold items with racially insensitive symbols. In 2019, Gucci’s company received backlash for a sweater they released in 2018. A year had passed before anyone commented See GUCCI on page 8 »


Communication and Media Arts robotics team members pose for a group photo.

ROBOTICS TEAM GROWS WITH 7232-PHARAOHS By Tyler Parker The Communicator Jordan Boyd, junior and captain of the robotics team at CMA says: “Robotics is an art that brings the student together with professional engineers, scientists and other highly educated men and women in the STEM field as mentor and guides the students to the right path for a better future. I am around more than twenty different educated college graduates who help me plan my future.” Boyd’s views are not unlike the majority of his teammates. Robotics is a powerful group of innovative, creative and futuristic thinkers. Robotics team 7232-Pharaohs are on the uprising. The 7232-Pharaohs have won 50% of their matches. From first being in 30th to now sixth in the ro-

Communication & Media Arts botics competition. At first, just 14 students were participating now there are 42 members. The robotics team meets up every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at Detroit Hispanic Development Corp. The theme of this year’s competition is “The Infant Recharge from Star Wars.” The robotic team partners with two other schools for a 3 vs. 3 match. The robot has to shoot a ball inside a whole for different points, spin a spinner to a certain color and then have the robot hang itself off the ground by reaching for a big hanger. The team has to do everything within two and a half minutes.

The student math and the ability to follow instructions play a big role in building a robot. The team created to design the robot for the theme for that year is part of building the robot. The name of the robot is Anubis. When building a robot students have the opportunity to use different types of tools/ equipment like a screwdriver, electrical equipment, drill presses and saws. The instructor of the robots team, math teacher Matthew Guyton said: “My best memory is not just being with the robot but with the students when they learn new things and finding different skills they didn’t know how to do. Like how to work a drill presses and programing. It’s just cool how all the parts come together and watch the competition.”


Black women dominate pageant world By Ariel Appling The Communicator For the first time in beauty pageant history, all five major title holders are black women: Nia Franklin (Miss America), Cheslie Kryst (Miss USA), Zozibini Tunzi (Miss Universe), Kaliegh Garris (Miss Teen), and Tuni-Ann Singh (Miss World). Over the decades, black women have won all five crowns, but never at the same time. In the 1920s, people of color couldn't even compete in beauty pageants. Seeing as though black women were

Communication & Media Arts discriminated against for their looks and appearance less than 60 years ago, having all major title holders women of color, sends a positive message to younger black women. On Dec. 8 Miss South Africa, Tunzi, won the 68th Miss Universe competition and became the first black woman to win the celebrated pageant since Leila Lopes in 2011. She was also the first dark-skinned

black woman to wear the crown with short, natural and conditioned hair. During the competition, Tunzi said: “I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful. I think it is time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and want them to see their faces reflected in mine.” One week later, Jamaica’s Tuni-Ann Singh won Miss See PAGEANT on page 8 »


Schools in city, suburbs not equal By Angel McLaurin The Communicator In recent years, Detroit Public Schools Community District has been rated one the worst school systems in the country by National Assessment of Educational Progress. A NAEP report had the district’s weakest areas in math and reading.

Communication & Media Arts In a recent online poll, students were asked if they felt that DPSCD and suburban school systems are equally educated. Of the students surveyed, 97% agreed that city schools are not educated the same way as suburban area schools. See EQUAL on page 8 »

8 Feb. 27, 2020


Inner-city schools lack resources to be great FROM PAGE 7

“I feel like the suburban city schools have a better learning environment because they have more materials and learning experiences with their teachers,” Kahliah Baker said. “I feel like DPS schools have a disadvantage with the learning system anyways because of not having many teachers also.” The inner-city schools lack fundamental needs in order to have a great education system. Building conditions lack fundamental needs such as heating and cooling. Students are not fully equipped with supplies such as laptops and/or textbooks, and sometimes physical


Black beauty queens become powerful symbol FROM PAGE 7

World. In a speech at the competition she said: “To that little girl in St. Thomas, Jamaica and all the girls around the world, please believe in yourself.” Continuing her statement on Twitter, she wrote; "Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your

Sheila Cockrel CEO of Citizen Detroit. Photo credit: Khalil Myles

support is not there. Another recent online poll showed that 97% of surveyors felt suburban area schools have a better learning environment than the inner city. “I feel that both schools are not equally educated, because in suburban schools they are provided with better environments and better supplies as of the city schools,” Alexis Gleason said. Students are completely outraged yet not surprised on how they are treated. It’s always been different treatment amongst the school systems. Additionally, non-city schools have better necessities and have more privileges than the rest. DPSCD has not been fairly treated and it has negatively impacted its students where they can not completely focus on bettering their education. dreams. This crown is not mine but yours. You have a PURPOSE." Chelsie Kryst, won the Miss USA contest, Kaliegh Garris won Miss Teen USA, and Nia Franklin was crowned Miss America in September. In a December article in the New York Daily News, writer Theresa Braine wrote, “The five wins have become a powerful symbol of how much American views on beauty have evolved from a past ruled by racism and gender stereotypes.”


Omar Ahmed and Abdul Repon sit on the stairs of the dining commons at Cass Tech. The two seniors each earned a score more than 1500 on the SAT last school year.


CT prepares students for college entrance exam FROM PAGE 5

are on the exam. “I usually advise students to take it don’t wait until the April exam of your junior year,” Jones said. “I usually advise them to take it at the end of their sophomore year and the beginning of their junior year.” Two seniors at Cass Tech received a score over 1500 last school year. Abdul Repon received a 1550 and Omar Ahmed received a 1510. Ahmed and Repon are both friends and said they looked at each other's scores in a friendly competitive way. Repon originally scored a 1420


Discriminating design lost customers for Gucci FROM PAGE 7

on Gucci’s piece. Using their social media platform, the black community expressed how disgraceful it was to them. The sweater that was released resembled the degrading term “blackface.” In the 1800s, the humiliating term was often used

on the SAT, but to the Ivy League schools he was considering that score was average. “I wanted a score that’d set me apart from others,” said Repon. In doing so he exceeded his own expectations. Repon credits his teachers throughout his years at Cass for helping him prepare. “I’ve had the same math teacher since sophomore year and he’s helped me so much in the math aspect of the SAT,” he said. Since his freshman year he has always taken advanced courses, and credits surrounding himself with students who had the same goals and aspirations as him. Repon’s family was surprised by his high score, but they had high confidence that he would perform well on the SAT. to describe the face of an African American. The sweater was all black with a long neck that extended over the mouth . Most buyers offended by it expressed that the design of the sweater wasn't the problem, it was the added bright bulkie red lips to the mouth area. At the time, Gucci representative Alessandro Michelle said it was not his intent behind the balaclava sweater. He apologized to their customers for any confusion. After apologizing, Gucci removed the

Ahmed took a completely different approach towards the exam. His junior year he was overwhelmed with work from his honors and AP classes. He didn’t get a chance to study for the SAT until the week prior to taking it, which is when he says he heavily utilized Khan Academy’s SAT study material. He credits Luis Jiminez, a class of 2019 Cass Tech graduate, for helping and setting an example for him on the SAT. He believes that Cass has provided him and his fellow classmates with a different SAT experience than other schools in the district. “Cass gives its students many opportunities and challenging curriculums that help to maximize their academic potential,” Ahmed said. sweater from its line. Even after apologizing it still lost customers, primarily black. “How could they even release something as sensitive as this?” said Kym’mya Averette, a senior at Communication & Media Arts. No matter how discriminating the sweater was, Gucci still had promising customers. “I mean, Gucci is just a label and a brand. The sweater didn’t really offend me personally, I’ll still shop there,” said Dominick Gray, a senior at Communication & Media Arts.


Sheila Cockrel, CEO of Citizen Detroit, was among the organizers of a Jan. 31 assembly at Cass Tech. Citizen Detroit is a nonprofit organization whose goals are to help encourage and teach minorities in Detroit about politics and voting.


80% of CT students participated in survey FROM PAGE 2

participate in progress,” vice principal Todd Henderson said. He also said that “80% of our students participated in the election.” Students said they enjoyed

the event and felt that it made them more prepared to take part in actual elections in the future. “I liked the set up of the event, it made me feel like I was really going to go vote,” senior Paige Bozeman said. “The mock election motivated me to want to vote, and it also taught me that the process is very quick and easy.”

Feb. 27, 2020 9

THE HOWLER Detroit Cristo Rey High School |




Students Santino Lopez and Emiliano Cantu are among the Cristo Rey seniors accepted to college.

By Kiara Dancy The Howler For the ninth year in a row, Detroit Cristo Rey High School seniors have reached 100% college acceptance. At an assembly on Jan. 31 the entire school celebrated the news with applause, cake, and encouraging words from President Mike Khoury. This year’s senior Wolves howled their way to over 296 individual college acceptances from 210 universities and 83

community colleges. As part of their first semester college readiness course, taught by college counselors London Johnson and Jassadi Moore, seniors were required to complete FAFSA applications, attend three college visits, apply for four scholarships, and apply to at least six colleges. Although the process required much work, seniors like Telrionna Grandberry said it was worth it. “Having 100% college ac-




Program seeks to diversify STEM


FIRST Robotics brings students together By Lizbeth Morales The Howler n most competitions, such as athletics, Detroit high schools are rivals. But at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corp. (DHDC), students from various Detroit high schools gather as family for robotics. Since 2001, the DHDC has been a home to many. Founded by Angela Reyes, the center had an initial goal of reducing violence within the community. Almost 20 years later, DHDC has held many programs to help the community, ranging from educational programs to family services. One of the main programs run by DHDC started six years ago: the international For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition (FRC) program. DHDC focuses on robotics at the high school level, but students can participate in FIRST programs starting as early as kindergarten. FIRST requires teams to build a robot for competitions involving game challenges at each event. Teams can compete up to an international level, and this year the FIRST championship will be in Detroit at the TCF Center. FIRST Robotics is about more than just building the best, fastest, or nicest robot. The program has a mission of inspiring young leaders and innovators in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) fields. At the DHDC, over 60 professional mentors from companies like General Motors, Detroit Edison, and Ford Motor Company take part in helping students get exposure to science, technology, engineering, and business skills through FIRST. Over 190 Students share their ideas, creations, and solutions to constructively, design, and create their robot. The center holds 12 FRC teams and has continued to bring back alumni, like Western High graduate Christian Gutierez, a former FIRST competitor who has been here since the beginning of the program. “Learning to build a robot in six weeks was fun,” said


See ROBOTICS on page 10 »


ceptance is a great feeling,” said Grandberry. “One-hundred percent acceptance is an accomplishment for our school and made me feel proud of my senior class.” Senior Naieemah Muhammad agreed that the effort the seniors put in to the application process “Going to college is a great experience and opportunity,” said Muhammad. “I’m so proud of the seniors and myself because of what we have been through together this year.”


While Detroit high schools may be rivals in athletic competitions, at the DHDC, the schools come together as family. The DHDC provides a space for Detroit robotics teams to share ideas, creations, and solutions with each other.

Advisers: Sydney Redigan-Barman & Michael Cleary Crain Mentors: Hannah Lutz & Jacqueline Charniga, Automotive News

By Marissa Flowers The Howler According to 2018 data from the Pew Research Center, black engineers and scientists represent only 9% of STEM workers. Initiatives are in place to increase these numbers, starting as early as elementary and high school. SMASH Wayne State is one of these programs. SMASH Wayne State is a three-year science and math summer honors college residency Program established on the west coast that found its way to Wayne State University in 2017. Each year SMASH recruits 40 underrepresented students of color from area high schools at the end of a rigorous selection process. Now, 73 students from all around Wayne County are currently in the program and will spend five weeks during the summer residing on Wayne State’s campus and taking courses like computer science, coding, and design thinking. To balance that work, SMASH Scholars also have the opportunity to take weekly field trips to places a lot of students don’t get to experience, such as the Detroit branch of the U.S. Patent Office. The program only recruits ninth graders because it is designed to take them through high school and to prepare them for college. See STEM on page 10 »

Staff Writers: Kiara Dancy, Lizbeth Morales, Nicolas Perales, Rhiannon Slotnick, Edward Zavaleta

10 Feb. 27, 2020


Principal Lively taking time to pose with some BCHS seniors.


New principal brings good energy to BCHS FROM PAGE 3

BCHS senior Bassam Alasari said. BCHS junior Christian Ogburn agreed and said Lively seems eager to lead the school.

“He seems cool, really haven’t seen any flaws,” Ogburn said. Lively said his goals are to raise test scores and turn BCHS into a testing school. He also is working on bringing athletics to BCHS. “I think his energy is good for our school and we are off to a very strong start,” BCHS teacher Regina Weiss said.


SMASH participants gather for a photo during the summer 2019 program at Wayne State.


Program participant aims to break stereotype FROM PAGE 9

Aaron Harvey, a junior at Frederick Douglass Academy is a SMASH participant who hopes to “break the Harvey stereotype by giving our community more representatives in the STEM field.” He is the Class Representative (2021) for Frederick Douglass, executive officer for JROTC. Marissa Flowers, a Howler staff writer and Detroit Cristo Rey junior, sat down with Harvey to discuss his involvement in the program. Marissa Flowers: Tell me, what did you take away from SMASH during these last two years? Aaron Harvey: One thing I took away from SMASH is responsibility. All 35 days I was responsible for waking myself up, developing a relationship with my roommate, and keeping my room clean. Post-SMASH, I’ve found myself being more of a leader in the classroom and taking care of responsibilities at home. MF: If you could say something to the kids applying to SMASH what would you tell

them to try and convince them that this is a good decision? AH: I feel it would be an extremely pleasant experience for new applicants. You get to show off why you got selected in the classroom, have marvelous excursions (field trips) every Wednesday, and get to create relationships/connections that can last a lifetime. MF: What was or is the hardest obstacle at SMASH and how did you overcome it? AH: The hardest obstacle for me was learning responsibility. In the beginning, I had to throw myself into time management, healthy eating (which I did none of ), and just the “college life”. I do feel more confident about going to college now though. MF: What colleges do you wish to go to, and how do you think that SMASH is preparing you for it? AH: The top colleges I would like to attend are Morehouse, Grambling, Florida A&M, University of Michigan, and Wayne State. I personally feel with my next two years of SMASH, I’ll run through college and use everything I learned from SMASH, in my college life. MF: How do you think SMASH in Detroit helps break the student stereotype in Detroit? AH: SMASH helps break the stereotype by giving our community more representatives in the STEM field, where people of color are lacking.


Students from various Detroit high schools work on their robots at the DHDC. Over 60 mentors, many former FIRST Robotics participants, help out.


High schools come together to compete FROM PAGE 9

Gutierez. “It is a place where you can come learn things that you don’t get taught at school.” Luis Gutierrez, a senior at Detroit Cristo Rey, joined to increase his knowledge base. “I saw an opportunity to become immersed in a world of STEAM and the chance to gain

knowledge about the fundamentals of engineering and business,” said Gutierrez. “They have molded me into the person I am today.” Ann McGowan, Detroit Cristo Rey science teacher, is the lead coach of the robotics program at Cristo Rey, which is called the Kinematic Wolves 5577. According to McGowan, FIRST robotics has numerous benefits for students. “It is the total package,” said McGowan. “As a science

teacher, I am constantly looking for opportunities for students to be hands on with the content. The robotics program provides that platform for the students to find success in STEAM fields.” DHDC has created a place for students to learn and polish many different skill sets for potential job opportunities. From marketing, engineering, business, programming, electrical, safety, and design, there is something for everyone to learn.

Feb. 27, 2020 11

THE DSA MIDTOWN TEA Detroit School of the Arts | DETROIT

DSA TO BECOME ‘PREMIER ARTS SCHOOL’ From Staff Reports The DSA Midtown Tea Detroit Public Schools Community District has partnered with 24 arts organizations to create the Detroit School of Arts Pathways Initiative. According to a DPSCD press release, the “initiative is designed to position DSA as

the premier arts school in Metro Detroit and to develop students’ talent in the years to follow.” “The Detroit School of Arts is a beautiful facility that is underutilized as an asset to the arts, students and the city,” DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said in the release. “We know that

Detroit’s children represent historic arts talent and that DPS has developed some of the world’s best artists. As we continue to rebuild the school system, we are committed to the whole child, this is a critical piece to the process. The concentration of focus by the district and partners will


Course culminates in photo exhibition

make DSA the destination for Detroit’s talent.” As part of the initiative, four middle schools will become middle school conservatories and eventually feeder schools to DSA. Those schools are the Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts, Duke Ellington

Conservatory of Music & Art, John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy and Spain Elementary-Middle School. The middle school conservatories will work with the 24 arts partners and DSA. DPSCD will provide transportation from the four middle schools to DSA.



DSA sophomore Arise Rock, right with teacher Karen Lemmons, is a talented actor, avid reader and also a published author of two books.

DSA sophomore also an author THE DSA MIDTOWN TEA

During the nine-week program/course, students learned basic camera operations, studio lighting, photo editing, and entrepreneurial skills. After the course was over, the 21 students’ work was showcased at a photo art exhibit in DSA’s art gallery.

‘Inside my Lens’ in DSA gallery By Arthur L. Johnson The DSA Midtown Tea In 2019, fellow Detroit School of Arts alum Devonte King and I decided it was time to give back in an effective way: by changing the way structured learning and creativity collide. “Photography101: Inside My Lens” gives students what they deserve: the opportunity to have choices, professionally and creatively. Students explore the art of photography and develop entrepreneurial skills.

Telling stories is no longer a past time. Telling stories is now a career pathway. Opening eyes to the world of visual storytelling through digital devices and media provides alternatives to traditional classroom practices. In this nine-week program/ course, students learned basic camera operations, studio lighting, photo editing, and entrepreneurial skills. During the program/course, students were given the opportunity to go inside a studio


and begin building their portfolio. Working hands-on with the equipment truly inspired students to set high expectations and criteria and capture great quality photos. After completing the course, See LENS on page 14 »

From Staff Reports The DSA Midtown Tea Arise Rock, a sophomore at DSA is a talented actor, avid reader and also a published author of two books. Her first book, “The Trail to Home,” is a story about a girl who travels to Oregon with her family during the 1800s. Written in free verse, Arise concisely captures the treacherous journey from Illinois to Oregon. Her second book is “The Hero of Avendor” and is very different from “The Trail to Home.” This fantasy novel is a coming of age story that follows the journey of Celeste. Celeste is an only child who lives with her mom, who always told her she is special. Celeste is emotional, inquisitive, determined, and impulsive and all of these traits portray a part in Celeste’s growth and development. When her village is at-

Adviser: Karen Lemmons Crain Mentor: Amy Bragg, Crain’s Detroit Business

tacked, Celeste must leave with the help of a strange boy name Victor, who comes to save her. They join Victor’s friend, a wolf named Gael, and thus begins the start of an epic adventure that will take Celeste, Victor, and Gael through the land of Avendor to fight against an evil power that threatens to take over their beloved country. Rock said she was inspired to write the book based on her own personal experience. She would tell stories to a group of children about a girl who has magical powers. Soon the children wanted to be part of the story, so she included them into her story. Rock said, “Since they like this story so much, I should write it down, and make it into a book so they would always have it.” See ROCK on page 14 »

Staff: Ruth Connor, Braijene Fletcher, Chloe Robinson

12 Feb. 27, 2020

VOICE OF THE VILLE East English Village Preparatory Academy | STUDENT LIFE

DPSCD strives to keep schools safe By Sheldon Harvey Voice of the Ville Time after time, people ask, “How safe are DPSCD schools?” This question often is addressed in homes and communities where children attend school. So, what’s the answer? According to 17-year-old junior Ahijah Gorman, “Some DPSCD schools are safe, because they have metal detectors, security officers and cameras.” East English’s security officer Maurice Jones said, “In any

community, there are flaws and things that can be improved, but for the most part, here at the Ville, there haven’t been many gang fights, and no massive shootings.” Jones recently joined EEVPA’s security and already he is well-liked by students and staff for his sensitivity to students and his team player spirit. The issue of schools being safe seems to crop up a lot, especially when there is a lot of media attention on a school shoot-

ing anywhere in this country. Kids have lost their lives or were seriously wounded in many school shootings over the past several years. Most notedly, in 2012, there was the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 26, and then there was the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead; 14 students and three adults. So yes, schools need to make

safety a top priority, and DPSCD is striving to keep Detroit students safe in schools. DPSCD is the only school district in Michigan with its own police force of 78 officers, who patrol in and around schools. The district also has in-school security officers, surveillance cameras and metal detectors. School officials will continue to keep students’ safety first. They will implement new school security initiatives beginning next school year.



Program helps young men stay focused By Eric Major Voice of the Ville The school’s Brotherhood organization, spearheaded by assistant principals Evege James and James Mallett, is all about teaching male students how to approach their career goals with integrity and tenacity. Under the direction of these positive and successful leaders, young brothers learn to stay focused on their studies and aspirations. “We are a mentoring outreach program that works in conjunction with the Detroit Police Department, the Detroit Lions, and a host of other community organizations designed to help our challenged male students stay focused and be productive,” James said. “Some of the things we do in the Brotherhood program is participate in discussions on different topics, attend field trips, and encourage students to do the right things. “Also, we teach students to separate themselves from troublemakers, and we help our boys make good decisions regarding their education and career interests.” Field trips for brothers include college tours, visits to various recreation centers, cultural sites, and dinner at restaurants. Senior Anthony Smith, a member of the Brotherhood, said: “Boys go through a lot of stuff and this program helps young men avoid conflicts. The advisers even teach us how to resolve problems before they get out of hand.” “I have become a better man and better person by learning to be more disciplined, and I now make good decisions about my education and personal life, and this is in part because of my connection with the Brotherhood program,” junior Nathan Minter said. Many male students find the Brotherhood organization to be an important program and East See BROTHERS on page 14 »


James Mallett offers some advice to Anthony Hall as part of the school’s Brotherhood organization.


Co-Editors in Chief: Asianna Franklin, Carolyn Townsel Adviser: Cynthia D. Roddie Staff Support: Gail Elam Mentor: Joy Visconti, Michigan State University School of Journalism


Security Officer Denisia Turner posted in front of one of the school metal detectors.


Should seniors take an exit exam? By Carolyn Monet-Townsel Voice of the Ville Many high seniors worked hard for four years. Most of them maintained above average grades; some have exquisite GPAs and SAT scores, while others barely make it to graduation. But something all graduates have in common: Time. They have had more than 11 years of schooling. So, why should they be required to take an examination at the end of their high school career? Seniors deserve to participate in commencement; they should be able to throw their caps in the air and declare themselves graduates. After years of stress and hard work, why should an exit exam determine if a student will receive a high school diploma? Failing such an exam may threaten graduation and stop seniors from receiving an endorsed diploma. Is that fair to the student? Some staff and students at the Ville are baffled and skeptical about the thought of a mandatory exit exam. While it is not likely to happen this school year, it is something many U.S. school districts are requiring and considering for high school graduating seniors. Senior Mya Odom said, “An exit exam is a good idea; some students just skate through See EXAM on page 13 »

Staff: Devon Bolton, Desmond Calvin, Asianna Franlin, Elese Gaston, Sheldon Harvey, Nikhah Hudson, Shai’an Lakey, Eric Major, Nathan Minter, Andrenae Rambus, Kirsten Slater, Carolyn Townsel, Keilyn Trawick, Sierra Turner-Williams, Yaliyah Wilson

Feb. 27, 2020 13 STUDENT LIFE


Inclusion Club welcomes all


Mentors Arvis Williams and Norma Jean Evan show their mentees the proper steps of career planning.

Mentorship program builds female leaders By Asianna Franklin Voice of the Ville Women of Tomorrow is a mentorship and scholarship program that was launched in 1997 by Detroit TV journalist Jennifer Valoppi. The organization sprang from Valoppi’s aspiration to encourage successful women to motivate and mentor other young women to success. According to WOT’s website, the program began with six Florida high schools and 23 mentors. Now, it is in more than 50 public high schools in Michigan, 120 public schools in Florida, and 20 public high schools in Philadelphia with total memberships exceeding 16,000 young ladies. At the Ville, Women of Tomorrow mentors Arvis Williams and Norma Jean Evans meet monthly with 20 female members. Meetings may include guest speakers, career seminars, college recruitment initiatives, and field trips. “Arvis and Norma are so much fun to be around; they’re selfless women who see the better in us,” said student India Hollis. WOT not only focuses on school and scholarships, but


Should seniors have to past a test to graduate? FROM PAGE 12

school, not working, cheating off of others, skipping classesnot learning anything; an exit exam will prove if students learned what they need to know before leaving high school.” Class salutatorian Asianna Franklin said, “ It’s a bad idea to test seniors at the end of the year; I know, I tend to complicate things for myself when I have to take big tests; I completely clam up, which could cause me to fail.” Currently, Florida, Louisi-

By Ahijah Gorman Voice of the Ville East English has its first Inclusion Club that welcomes a wide variety of students. Its founders are administrator Dora Hudson, a new staff member, and ELA teacher Jennifer Pierin. “School should embrace students with disabilities and differences and help them gain acceptance at the school,” Pierin said. Once a week, members meet in Pierin’s classroom, where they engage in discussions on various topics and support one another with school projects and concerns. “Yes, the Inclusion Club is a great program here. It’s open to anyone, not just kids with disabili-

East English Village ties,” said Hudson. “If someone who is having LGBT issues, they are definitely welcome.” Sometimes I feel my school is a safe place for me; other times, I feel I will be targeted for being gay,” said sophomore Demaurie Foster. “School is supposed to be safe for everybody, and I know other students who have their own stories about being discriminated against; so, the Inclusion Club is a place where we can talk through those issues and differences,” said Foster. Other kids who find the Inclusion Club resourceful are students

who have health issues or having problems at home or in school. Some members battle with low selfesteem, depression and loneliness. This club is about helping students who struggle to gain acceptance. It’s about supporting everyone regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic status. Pierin is working with club members to sponsor events, fundraisers, and school-wide activities. She is hoping EEVPA’s Inclusion Club will work collaboratively with other schools’ Inclusion Clubs. “The Inclusion Club is a safe place for students who don’t feel they belong at the Ville. It embraces all those students who are unique,” said Hudson.


East English Village also health wellness programs for students. In early 2019, Evans was a special guest at one of EEVPA’s WOT meetings. Williams, who at the time was the organization’s mentor introduced the girls to her. Evans stressed the importance of self-confidence, dedication and determination. These are the keys to success. “When Norma came to the Ville, her energy illuminated; she was so confident in her own skin,” said senior Rosa Goss. “We actually did a catwalk when Ms. Evans came; that was a lot fun and she showed us the true meaning of confidence,” said senior Remy Mitchell. WOT are young ladies who are eager to do great things. They are talented, focused and motivated to become successful adults and they are starting their journey here at the Ville. Female students who are interested in joining Women of Tomorrow should contact Assistant Principal Nadonya Muslim or inquire about the program from a current WOT member. ana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia are states that administer mandatory exit exams. Will Michigan join them? Why should our state consider an end of the year major examination for its graduates? How will students benefit from taking this exam? Or, a better question, how would such a test hinder students’ future? Many students and staff don’t seem to be on the same page about exit exams. Graduating seniors are expecting to leave their respective high schools with a high school diploma, not a certificate of completion.


Students were able to get information from professionals at a health fair. The fair provided information and resources on various topics including CPR training, stress relief art doodling, cyberbullying, meditation, mental health issues and nutrition.

Students bring health fair to EEV By Andrenae Rambus Voice of the Ville One of East English’s Project Base Learning (PBL) initiatives was a student driven health fair this month. Cooperative Education teacher Germaine Clinkscale along with other teachers, including Junita Moton, Robin Barker, Lauaren West-Morton, and Katrina Rimmer worked feverishly with students in organizing and facilitating the all-morning health fair. Invited students visited booths where professionals provided valuable information and resources on various topics including CPR training, stress relief art doodling,

East English Village cyberbullying, meditation, mental health issues and nutrition. Assistant Principal Evege James and Clinkscale met with the team of teachers who brought their expertise of creating business plans and managing programs to their students. Moton taught her students how to market their business ideas, which was helpful when soliciting the services of health professionals. “It is important to know about good health, because we all need to know how to stay healthy,”

Clinkscale said. Student organizers designed flyers, posters, banners, and business cards. They transformed the Commons area, which is used primarily during lunch hours, into a health arena with stations. Students visited each station for approximately 20 minutes, where health professionals conducted mini training sessions, taught students to take their vitals, including their blood pressure, demonstrated CPR training, and discussed health careers. “I learned how cyberbullying can really affect someone’s life,” said senior Osheonia Robinson. “It was a good idea for students to lead the health fair.”

14 Feb. 27, 2020 OPINION

Will the 3rd grade reading law work? By Ruth Connor The DSA Midtown Tea In 2016, Michigan passed a Read by Grade Three Law that “requires that students who are more than one year behind gradelevel in reading are subject to retention and additional support to improve their reading level. This component of the law takes effect for the 2020-2021 school year, using assessment data from the spring 2020 assessments. According to the Michigan Department of Education, “Using the data from the spring 2020 assessments, and other scores, students whose scores are deficient will be flagged for retention.” Deficient is defined in the law “as scoring below grade level or being determined to be at-risk of reading failure based on a screening assessment, diagnostic assessment, standardized summative assess-

ment, or progress monitoring.” Once the student has been flagged for retention, an Individualized Reading Improvement Plan (IRIP) will be developed within 30 calendar days. The IRIP will be created by teachers, principals, and parents. The IRIP will describe the reading intervention services a student needs to become proficient in reading. A reading program, evidenced-based literacy instruction and other reading plans will be included in the IRIP. Students must adhere to the IRIP until they become proficient. Parents are included in this plan and can help their children by using a formalized read-at-home plan, or enroll their students in after school tutorials or other literacy programs. Some feel that this could harm third graders, because many students aren’t reading at the state’s standard. In 2019, 55% of

Detroit School of the Arts third graders did not meet state standards for reading. Many educators believe retention is not the answer, so they are trying to limit the number of students being retained. In an article in the Detroit Free Press, DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said: “The law places too much emphasis on the state reading test. It’s punitive on the student side. It contradicts what we know best as practice and really what’s best for children. We should never use a standardized test as a way to punish children.” There are some who are for this law. Former state Rep. Amanda Price, who sponsored the bill that was signed in 2016, told the Free Press: “Educators are digging down and understanding



DSA sophomore has published two books FROM PAGE 11

Thus, The Hero of Avendor was written. Rock’s writing process for “The Hero of Avendor” was long and tedious. She wrote a first draft and included everything she wanted in the story. Then she revised many times. Two and half years and 12


Mentorship program inspires young men FROM PAGE 12

English Village. Student Anthony Hall said he looks forward to meeting with the brothers. “They are important in my life

What happens if/when parents cannot or do not help their child become proficient in reading? What happens then? In October, 2019, The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) published a Read by Grade Three Guide. This guide addresses some of the basic questions and concerns districts, educators, and parents may have about the Read by Grade Three Law. MDE will update and revise this document as new information becomes available. In addition, Detroit Public Schools recently sent home a Third Grade Reading Law Update and fact sheet to help parents understand the law and address any concerns they may have. Parents are advised to call their child’s school principal if they have additional concerns and questions.


Animal testing often unnecessary By Elese Gaston The Voice of the Ville Companies including Estee Lauder, Clinique, L’oreal and Maybelline use various methods of tests and studies on animals to learn the flaws and benefits of their products before they market them to the general public, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. There are also pharmaceutical companies that use domestic animals in their research. Some companies buy “purpose bred” dogs and silence them during testing by administering “devocalization services.” PETA monitors laboratories to stop inhumane treatment of animals in the name of research. While its

now, not only the law, but how to improve literacy on a system-wide basis. There’s some really cool stuff going on around the state and the places that are doing cool stuff on literacy, I'm really seeing improvement.” Although Former Representative Price sees improvement in some areas, many districts may be struggling to make improvements. Highly effective teachers, literacy coaches, reading specialists, and resources are needed to fulfill the IRIP services for each student. Title I funds and Targeted Assistant Grants can be used to provide the necessary resources in the IRIP. But will there be enough resources and staff for each student flagged for retention? What reading resources will be used and are they really effective in helping children become proficient in reading? Parents are included in the development of the IRIP.

efforts have a major impact on how animals must be treated in experiments, it seems the problem is bigger than PETA can handle. Justin Rohrlich, a reporter for Quartz, wrote in 2016 that more than “800,000 animals a year are used in scientific testing.” Examples of animal testing include forcing mice and rats to inhale toxic fumes, force feeding dogs pesticides, and dropping corrosive chemicals into rabbits’ eyes, according to PETA. According to PETA, a lot of animal tests are unnecessary and

expensive. Many tests aren’t even required by the government. But the truth is our government uses taxpayers’ money to back some companies’ animal testing efforts. This also means, our government is partially responsible for countless animals being killed during and after testing. The federal government, private companies, investors and others are financing animal experiments at universities and private laboratories. While some research and animal testing may be needed to advance our understanding and use of products; it is safe to say, at the rate we are going, hundreds of thousands of animals will continue to be abused and killed in experiments.

drafts later, “The Hero of Avendor” was ready for publication. The book was published in late 2019. As with most fantasy stories, the themes of good vs. evil, friendship, family, and love are also included in this story. But there are messages too. Rock incorporates empowerment, risk-taking, and failures as part of Celeste’s growth and development. Rock wants young people to know that it’s OK to take risks, it’s OK to fail, and it’s OK if you don’t always know what you want to do.

The main thing is to try. Rock has many stories in her head and on paper. She been writing since she was 2 years old. She wrote “The Trail to Home” when she was in sixth grade. Four years later, she wrote “The Hero of Avendor.” A few years from now, she said she hopes to be writing and publishing more. “The Trail to Home” and “The Hero of Avendor” are available for purchase at the store page of

for many reasons,” Hall said. “We have student officers who chair our weekly meetings. They help members like me to freely open up in group sessions to discuss problems that affect us in any way.” Program advisers want to include more college prep initiatives next year. “Brotherhood is an excel-

lent opportunity for us to reach students,” Mallett said. “It inspires students to reach new heights, learn new greatness, as well as teach them to respect the law. I have seen students in this program take steps toward becoming productive members of our society, and I appreciate the program coming to our school.”

East English Village

EEV CHOIR SINGS ITS WAY TO THE TOP By Keilyn Trawick Voice of the Ville The Ville is known for its academic games teams, the robotics club, advanced modern dance troupes, and highly skilled athletes, but what many people don’t know about East English is it has an award-winning choir. Under the direction of Choir Director Robin Barker, the Ville has won numerous top awards at district and state festivals. It hosts a winter and spring concert. “There is chemistry with choir members; we literally are one big family,” sophomore Will Lynn said. “I like this class, because I like to sing, and it will help me with my music career,” Daquan Mack said. Barker has worked with many talented students during her seven years at the Ville. She said, “We just participated in District Competition on Feb. 8, where my students performed very well, and Isaiah Williams, a junior, received a 1. He will represent EEVPA at State competitions


Student exhibit highlights work from program FROM PAGE 11

each student received a photo book of their artwork, and a canvas of their best photo. The result was an “Inside My Lens” inaugural student photo art exhibit highlighting

East English Village in this spring.” Students at the Ville have enjoyed many events where the Voices of East English wowed them with outstanding performances, often audiences have given performers standing ovations. “Our school’s choir is phenomenal,” teacher Gail Elam said. “They make me feel enlightened, and I am proud to personally know many of the choir members.” Many people are surprised to learn that some choir members are in other school programs, such as sports teams. Some of the school’s top athletes are in the choir. “The choir is busy preparing for upcoming competitions and concerts; Ms. Barker works very closely with her students, and her hard work shows every time they perform,” said CTE teacher Lauaren West-Morton. 21 students’ best photo artwork and displayed in DSA’s art gallery. Featuring clothing brands, artists, and models, students were ecstatic to show the public, alumni, staff, and their peers their accomplishments. The art exhibit was so successful that other students wanted to know how they can be part of the program.

Feb. 27, 2020 15

CRUSADERS’ CHRONICLE A public forum for the students and community of Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School | STUDENT LIFE


Tragedy doesn’t stop senior from helping By Destiny Jenkins-Jones Crusaders’ Chronicle Senior Ridgeley Hudson has worked in his community since the age of 10 by participating in several outreach initiatives within his community and school district. He is a member of the executive board of the Detroit Public Schools Community District Council. Also, he is a youth minister at church, Perfecting Triumphant Overcomers

Church located in Detroit. “I like people and I like to help people along the way,” Hudson said. “I Hudson always reach back, and I think that's one of the reasons why I'm dedicated. I realize there are a lot of people who

are unheard in our society.” Hudson lost both of his parents early. His mother died when he was 11 months old, and his father died during his ninth-grade year. His strong leadership skills are inherited from his father because he showed Hudson what hard work looks like. “My drive has been my father,” Hudson said. “He raised me based on old-school funda-

mentals that he was raised on which was ‘it takes a village to raise a child.” Hudson is a co-founder of the Kings & Queens of Martin Luther King Mentoring Program. This peer-mentor program is used to support students. Last year, he received the Youth Spirit of Community Award for his active involve-

See ACTIVIST on page 17 »

Legacy Lives


Preparation turns into days of celebration of King’s legacy By Destiny Jenkins-Jones Crusaders’ Chronicle n Jan. 19 and 20, King held the 11th Annual MLK Legacy March: “The Dream & the Dean, The Legacy Lives.” This showcased civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “dream” and Congressman John Conyers Jr.’s activism to maintain the “dream.” Staff and students spent many days and hours to prepare for this year’s two-day celebration. “Some nights I was here until at least 1 a.m. The student volunteers needed supervision,” college transition adviser Tracy Jones said. “They also needed assistance



Former Senator Coleman Young II speaks about the importance to the civil rights movement of Dr. King, Congressman Conyers and former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young Sr. Social studies teacher John Mayberry, as Dr. King; and dean of culture Benny White, as Congressman John Conyers are photographed as well. TOP: Sunday’s awards program ends with an annual march.

with putting up the displays and making sure that what we put up in the building was accurate. I also assisted the students with prepar-

ing for their live exhibits.” The community came to King’s auditorium for Sunday’s program MLK Legacy Awards to honor


Adviser: Veronica Hollis Crain Mentor: Amy Steinhauser, Plastics News

those committed to the integrity and fight of King and Conyers by See KING DAY on page 16 »

Student wins at DECA, advances to state contest By Tianna Davis Crusaders’ Chronicle Junior Adreanne Wheeler won two awards at the district DECA conference in December at Wayne County Community College District in Taylor. The win advanced her to state competition in March. “I won the competition and I get to go to States,” Wheeler said. “I received two medals in the competition.” Wheeler is self-motivated Wheeler and pushes herself to do well. DECA teacher Barbara Swann said Wheeler will move up in ranks as she progresses to new competitions during this year. “One of Adreanne's strongest traits is that she is self-motivated and self-directed,” Swann said. “In preparing for competitions for the DECA district conference, she was given little guidance. She studied and practiced on her own.” The competition consists of different categories and participants are placed in their particular skill. “I was in Principles of Marketing. They do something called Role Play,” Wheeler said. “They give a scenario like you're a business owner and you had a misprint on one of your prices. You have to figure out how to fix it.” The judges allowed them to get a few moments to get their presentations in order, so they could get all possible points required to have a chance at winning a medal and possibly advancing to states. “They give you like ten minutes to prep and you have to state these four personal indicators in your presentation,” Wheeler said. “That's what really gets your points.” Wheeler had confidence in her presentation and believed that she had more of an advantage in the competition being previously involved in DECA. “I kind of knew I was going to win this one, but I didn't want to seem cocky,” Wheeler said. “I had a marketing class last year, so I knew a few key elements for the competition.”

Staff Writers: Peny Boone, Tianna Davis, Arielle Drayton, Danielle Fisher, Joseph Frazier, Deja Jenkins-Jones, Destiny Jenkins-Jones, Ka’nya Logan, Jeremiah Miller, Aleia Shelton, Javon Thomas, Makyia Whitaker

16 Feb. 27, 2020


Juniors Tavion Knight, Deonte Morris and Demoriyae Thomas prepare a background for a live exhibit. FAR RIGHT: On Sunday, during the 2020 MLK Legacy Awards, King’s Dance Workshop performs to “Glory.” BELOW: English teacher Matthew Johnston with juniors Marcus Trusel and Henry Earle reenact a scene from the Jim Crow South.


Annual event always engages, entertains FROM PAGE 15

keeping the “dream” alive: Congressman John Lewis, Luther Keith of Arise Detroit, Barbara Busby of Detroit Repertory Theater, Lillie Skinner of Core City Neighborhood, Peaches Anderson of UAW, Ty Mopkins an International Designer and Brand Ambassador, and the late Congressman John Dingell. Roop Raj, news anchor, for FOX 2 was the master of ceremony. “Thanks to the publicity King from the media and the King Day reputation, many people came to elevate and commemorate Dr. King, John Conyers, and all those involved Conyers in the civil rights movement,” Principal Deborah Jenkins said. “The quality of the event and the educational experience it provides has caused it to become an annual community and family event where participants experience camaraderie as they engage in community service.” Students, parents, and staff were actors in the civil rights exhibits which taught important lessons in black history. Spectators brought their children so they could learn about their history from the events. “I brought him because it’s absolutely important to make sure we are passing bits of history and life lessons down to our young people because how else are they going to know who they are and where they came from if they don’t get to experience it,” parent and alumna Jalani Jackson said.

MORE PHOTOS More images from King Day preparation and celebration.


U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell accepts an award for her late husband, U.S. Rep. John Dingell. RIGHT: Staff and students prepare for a 1970s scene involving Detroit Police’s Stop the Robberies and Enjoy Safe Streets team.

LEFT: Freshmen demonstrate African village life. BELOW: Principal Deborah Jenkins rehearses with student volunteers on Saturday, Jan. 18.


Feb. 27, 2020 17


King staff members explain why they love their significant others By Danielle Fisher Crusaders’ Chronicle One popular day in February is Valentine’s Day. This day is known for showing love to that special someone. While students have boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, the adults have their own relationships too. Some staff members answer the question: “Why do you love your spouse?”

“It was like seeing an unassuming flower in an unexpected place. I saw her and wanted to know her. She is downto-earth and nature-loving, and we understand the gifts and joys of this world the same way. I had never met anybody who would be interested in others so sincerely.”

“I love my husband because he is a God-fearing and family man. He is my rock and my best friend!” GEORGNESE G I L L E N WAT E R

“Mimi showed me agape love before we were dating, which was also during a period in my life when I was going through discouraging times. In short, her unconditional love toward me helped me become a better person.” BENJAMIN HARRIS

“I am so fortunate to have fallen in love with my best friend. We have always enjoyed doing things together whether it is traveling, skiing, training, or doing renovations.”


“Leah, my wife, I appreciate her for not only her physical appearance but for who she was and still is – a highly attractive and intelligent person. I still admire those qualities today and appreciate our marriage very much. I am extremely grateful for the family we have created over the course of our relationship.”


“She loves our children and takes pride in maintaining a clean and loving home. She supports my dreams and believes in my vision for our family.””



“I didn’t fall in love with her … I went into love with her willingly! When God sends you so much that you need in one person, you know that’s the one you have to have in your life for the rest of your life! I’m just glad she loves me the way she does, and I honor and cherish that, and her! I love me some her!”

“My wife makes me a better person. She is of course beautiful, loving and kind but she also loves Jesus more than anything else. So, falling in love with her was easy and marrying her was a lay-up.”




Hudson recieves award for his work in the city FROM PAGE 15

ment in the city. “He showed exemplary spirit in and out of school and in leadership,'' assistant principal Lawrence Fitz said. “He worked tirelessly with Dr. Vitti

and board members for King High issues and is responsible for student internal communications within the school.” On Jan. 19, Hudson received the John Conyers Peace and Justice Award during the MLK Legacy program. This award is specifically for a young person in the community who upholds the legacy of Congressman John Conyers.

One of Hudson’s mentors Michael Joseph, UAW representative, surprised him with this award. “This is for his ongoing commitment and dedicated services, upholding the legacy of Congressman John Conyers and excellence in peace and justice,” Joseph said. “He’s one of my mentees and he’s a great man. He is going to be greater

and greater.” Administrative assistant Dawn Binyard is one of Hudson’s mentors at King. Binyard said she thinks Hudson’s compassion makes him dedicated to his community. “He wants everybody to do well,” Binyard said. “He does important things for the betterment of Martin Luther King High School.”


Life is precious, fragile so value each day King By Aleia Shelton Crusaders’ Chronicle The helicopter crash that killed nine, including basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, on Jan. 26 should convince people that life and people should be always appreciated. It is a natural occurrence for us to expect someone or something to forever be available. We tend to forget how precious life and family are and how much they mean to us. People take for granted the things in life they have become so accustomed to. We need to regain gratitude about how blessed we are and understand life is too short and nothing lasts forever. Life and family are irreplaceable and can be snatched away in a heartbeat. Value and love the people God allowed you to borrow because He’s going to want them back eventually, no matter who it is and how significant that individual is to you. Life is fragile. Consider, Bryant the legendary basketball phenomenon who unexpectedly passed away in a helicopter crash along with eight additional passengers, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The sudden death shocked almost everyone, especially the families. No one expects the people closest to them to leave so suddenly. Once someone dear to you is gone, you will never regain the opportunity to feel their spirit and love again. One of the greatest comforts when someone passes is knowing you made the most of the time you had with that person. We do not understand how blessed and lucky we are to have family and experience love, because not everyone is as fortunate. Family is precious. The things that truly render our happiness are usually right in front of us, so cherish and value them every single day, because you never know how good you have it until it is gone. In the blink of an eye, everything can change, so love with all your heart. We must learn to be grateful for everything we receive and constantly remind ourselves where we’d be without them. Appreciate what you have while you can. If you do, there will be less regret when a love one transitions from this earth.

18 Feb. 27, 2020

MUSTANG VOICE Mumford High School | SPORTS


GM gives $1M for literacy program By Raven Hutchinson and Ayrionna Robinson Mustang Voice Too many students in Detroit Public Schools Community District are unable to read at grade level. Beyond Basics is an organization with a mission to get students back on track. On Feb. 3, reporters from local media came to Mumford High School to see General Motors make a $1 million donation to Beyond Basics’ Be the Solution literacy campaign. “Beyond Basics delivers outstanding results that are real, measurable and impactful,” GM See LITERACY on page 19 » DAIJA THOMAS/MUSTANG VOICE

BACK IN THE SWIM Mumford senior Mercedes Boulding swims laps during practice at Mumford on Feb. 4.

Mumford returns to the pool with new coach

“I think it gives kids something to do after school and teaches them how to become more disciplined and get in good shape. And at the very least, they learn how to swim, which is a skill everyone should have.” A N T H O N Y S C H U LT Z , MUMFORD SWI M COACH

By Raechel Davis and Daija Thomas Mustang Voice ith their first swim team in three years, the Mustang boys finished the season in fourth place out of five teams. “I feel good about fourth place considering that we had a relatively small team,” said coach Anthony Schultz. Not just small, this year’s team lacked experience. As the team was forming, most of the boys who signed up didn’t know how to swim and none had ever been on a swim team. Schultz, who is new to Mum-



ford, was happy to get the swim program started again. “I’ve been a swim coach since I was 21, so almost 20 years, and I like coaching,” Schultz said. “I think it gives kids something to do after school and teaches them how to become more disciplined and get in good shape. And at the very least, they learn how to swim, which is a skill everyone should have.” Senior Mercedes Boulding was one of the first to sign up. “I joined the team because I’ve been swimming for seven years and I’m good at it,” Boulding said. Now that it’s back on track, the swim program will continue, and

Adviser: Sara Hennes Mentor: Krishnan Anantharaman

next year there will be a girls team, also. The approvals came too late this year for the girls because their season starts in late August. “I have a sophomore and a couple of freshmen who I’m hoping will return for the boys team,” Shultz said. The team is also hoping Mumford’s pool will be repaired so it can be used for meets. Right now the facilities are not up to code. The backstroke flags, the lane lines, some of the touch pads, and some of the starting equipment need to be repaired. Also, some of the deck pieces need to be repaired before Mumford can host a meet.


UN youth observer meets with students By Jackson Capela and Logen Merritt Mustang Voice On Feb. 7, the 2020 UNA/ USA Youth Observer to the United Nations, Jay’Len Boone, came to Mumford High School to meet with the top students leaders from all of the DPSCD high schools. For his one-year term as youth observer, Boone travels around the U.S. to connect young Americans to the work of the U.N. and to find out what issues youth are interested in. He has traveled to eight countries for his work on poverty and climate change. Boone is a 21 year-old senior at The University of Texas at San Antonio majoring in global affairs and sociology. He won the Gates Millennium Scholarship in 2016. He answered students’ questions about their own plans for college majors, scholarships and careers. “If you’re really good at what See UN on page 19 »

Staff Writers: Jackson Capela, Anthony Coopwood, Raechel Davis, Jalen Emerson-Neal, Daveion Huby, Raven Hutchinson, Aaliyah Johnson, Ka’Maria Jones, Logen Merritt, Ayrionna Robinson, Darcell Smith, Daija Thomas, Aniyjah Uddin, Daysha Wilkins

Feb. 27, 2020 19 STUDENT LIFE


Senior Jataya Benson and DPSCD Board of Education member Misha Stallworth pose for a photo at a press conference at Mumford on Feb. 3. General Motors made a $1 million donation to Beyond Basics, a literacy program serving students at Mumford and other schools.


Mumford but will soon be leaving to become the program Beyond Basics helps coordinator for Beyond Basics at Pershing. She said they students at every level have strategies to work with FROM PAGE 18 students at different levels and president Mark Reuss said at with different needs. the press “We know conference. it works “Big books used to Reuss said because it’s scare me. I really felt the grant been tested,” from GM will like they were trying Lyons said. give Beyond It worked to tell me I couldn’t Basics the for senior Jaread at first, but it got ability to taya Benson to the point where reach 500 who volunstudents. teered to be I started to read Beyond in the promore.”.” Basics tutors gram when students one- Makayla Link, she was in Mumford senior on-one with ninth grade. the goal of She said the having them testing when reach grade level within 6-12 she started showed that she weeks. wasn’t very far below grade Senior Makayla Link spoke level, but she was struggling at the press conference about with vocabulary and fluency. her experience working with “It was fun,” Benson said. “I Beyond Basics during her ninth went for an hour every day for and 10th grade years. six weeks, and at the end the “Big books used to scare test showed I went up three me,” Link said. “I really felt like or four grade levels. I was a lot they were trying to tell me I more confident reading aloud couldn't read at first, but it got in front of my peers, and it to the point where I started to made it easier to write papers read more.” that didn’t sound like an eighth Kimberly Lyons tutors at grader wrote it.”


United Nations Youth Observer Jay’len Boone talks about his job and his background at Mumford on Feb. 7. Boone met with the leadership of the student councils from all of the Detroit high schools and stayed on to meet with Mumford’s student council.


American Ballet Theatre dancers Lauren Bonfiglio and Melvin Lawovi demonstrate a position in response to a student question at Mumford on Jan. 14. Michigan Opera Theater and DPSCD Fine Arts Department brought the dancers to Mumford to teach a master class.

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE DANCERS TEACH MASTER CLASS By Daveion Huby Mustang Voice The rumor going around was that American Ballet Theater principal ballerina Misty Copeland was coming to Mumford and everyone was excited about meeting the first African American to hold that position. In truth, Copeland was never supposed to come, but on Jan. 14, two other dancers from ABT came to Mumford to give a master class for about 40 students. “Even though Misty didn’t come, students were so excited to interact with professional dancers from such a prestigious company,” dance teacher Marsae Mitchell said. Mitchell invited her entire

Mumford seventh hour intermediate dance class to the master class along with the best students from her beginning classes. Sophomore India Hudson is interested in becoming a professional dancer, and was recently added to the DPSCD All City Dance Company, which picks the best dancers from DPSCD schools to participate in one collaborative company. Hudson said she got a lot out of the class. “They told me things about what life is like for a dancer, and it was fun to be learning new things related to what I like to do,” Hudson said.


Mumford grad offers students advice for college FROM PAGE 18

you’re passionate about, the money will follow you,” Boone said about choosing a career. He also told everyone to apply for scholarships because they basically free money, but he added there are too many applicants for scholarships that don’t require any work, so students shouldn’t count on those. “I had to write eight essays for the Gates scholarship, but it was worth it,” Boone said. Boone mainly talked to the

She also said she was surprised they came to Mumford. Michigan Opera Theatre dance coordinator Kim Smith arranged the visit. She said MOT travels around the metropolitan area helping students and aspiring dancers by introducing them to professionals. She said they have a partnership with DPSCD. Anthony Smith, the deputy executive director of the DPSCD’s Fine and Performing Arts Department, came to watch the master class. “We chose Mumford for the master class because the dance program is new and we wanted to support it by exposing the students to professional dancers,” Smith said. youth about the importance of student government and about making a difference early despite your upbringing. After the meeting with the leaders from all the high schools, Boone met with Mumford’s student council. He gave them advice on things like planning, getting approval for events, and taking action. Student council members said he was a tremendous speaker who really listened to them and their problems. “Because he was closer to our age, it was better than if an older person came in to talk to us. He was very relatable,” said junior Maya Bullock, student council secretary.

20 Feb. 27, 2020


A public forum for the students and community of Renaissance High School | E N T E R TA I N M E N T


Review: Choir pays homage to black history By Anasia Staley RHS Stentor On Feb. 12, Renaissance High School’s concert choir hosted its annual concert under the direction of their teacher, Patrice DuBose. The concert consisted of singers from all grade levels and there were more than 10 songs performed by the choirs including South African Zulu spirituals and classical songs such as “Bye Bye Black Bird.” The program was intended to bring a beautiful concert to RHS while paying tribute to black history month. The choir illustrated this by singing spirituals that both Africans and African Americans sing. RHS juniors In’Dia Harris and Christopher Williams performed solos in ​”Precious Lord,” ​junior Alexis Harris performed a solo in ​”Seek the Lord,” ​and senior DeVontae Madison and junior

Damon DuBose each had solos in ​ ”Go Down Moses.” The concert was well put together and organized. It also felt like a professional because all the choir members were dressed in white shirts and black skirts or pants. On the other hand, the concert was long and the audience could see students swaying back and forth, tugging at the sides of their bodies and being completely antsy. Although the show was lengthy, we recommend that you attend an RHS choir concert in the future. Each group offers so many different sounds from various genres, so you are sure to find one that grabs you and makes you want to dance or smile. The concert usually starts in the evening, so be sure to handle anything important beforehand because you are in for a lengthy treat.


According to one teammate, junior Shannon Wheeler, is “a huge main component to our team and getting wins would be tough to do without her.”


JV girls take control in bball vs. King By Jordan Queen RHS Stentor Renaissance's junior varsity girls basketball team played against Martin Luther King's junior varsity girls basketball team on Feb. 5. Jordan McCowin, center for RHS, started the game by scoring the first 3 points from foul shots. MLK responded by hitting two three-point shots back to back. King went on a scoring run for

about four minutes in the third quarter, however RHS countered in the fourth quarter with a 6-point run. RHS won 55-30. Azaria Huggins scored 28 points for RHS. Layla Bullock and Makayla Coleman each scored 8. RHS junior varsity coach Juanita Cochran said she was thrilled that the girls were able to come away with the win.

#OscarsSoWhite started trending when Cynthia Erivo was the only black nominee. The hashtag began in 2016 because of the lack of African American nominees and winners. Why is it black people are considered for awards less often than their white counterparts? Black people in the early and mid 1900s were not considered for certain roles or awards. If they

By Deon Young and Brandon Bell RHS Stentor Standing at 6 feet, 2 inches tall, Renaissance High School junior Shannon Wheeler has been dominant this year playing for the varsity basketball team. Wheeler impacts the game whenever she is on the court. "Shannon is a strong beat to our drum," said center Nia Heaston. "She helps us protect the rim, and is an excellent finisher on the opposite end. She's a huge main component to our team and getting wins would be tough to do without her." Wheeler can be described as an athletic lockdown defender but is not limited to that as she makes plays on both sides of the ball. This season Wheeler is averaging 9.1 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, and 3.4 blocks per game. She has played a huge role in her team's success and cohesiveness. "She's a big factor on our team," said point guard Kailee Davis. “She cleans up all the bad things we do and she is a huge factor for us winning big games." In addition to being a key player on her team, she also is a good friend with a strong personality.

See OSCARS on page 24 »

See WHEELER on page 24 »

See JV on page 24 »


Are black actors celebrated enough by The Academy? From Staff Reports RHS Stentor “This is so deeply not about me. This is about the children who are gonna sit down, and they’re gonna watch (The Oscars) and they’re not going to see themselves represented.” — Will Smith, actor In recent years, a tremendous amount of black celebrities have spoken out against The Oscars for their lack of diversity. On Feb. 9, the reoccurring hashtag

Wheeler wows on the basketball court


Adviser: Joielle Speed Crain Mentor: Omari Gardner, Automotive News

Review Writers: Leah Beal, Nataiya Boyd, Joi Malone, Jadynn Marshall, Anasia Staley, A’niyna Williams, Jayla Coker Sports Writers: Ausar Inaede, Raven Jones, Nyla Masai, Jordan Queen, NyJaia Smith, Shannon Wheeler Column Writers: Tyra Boyer, Semiyah Lundy, Amiya Pillow, Naiyah Stinson Raheem Glynn, Eric Godbot, Diamond Holloway, Morgan Jones, LaMonica Reeves, Aunica Williams News Writers: Selena Moore, Angel Noaks, Layla Omar, Isaiah Thomas, Dujuan Waller Feature Writers: Brandon Bell, Trinity Gammage, Samantha Gates, Kimora-Lee Harris, Kailah Hawkins, Deon Young

Feb. 27, 2020 21 ACADEMICS

STUDENTS ‘INSPIRED’ BY BUSINESS SEMINAR By Isaiah Thomas RHS Stentor On Feb. 4, Renaissance High School’s marketing and business management students attended a business seminar at Cass Technical High School in Detroit. The seminar featured sessions from three young entrepreneurs and major business figures from Michigan. Their goal was to show that what students are learning in business classes have real-world applications and can lead to a career. When the seminar began, stu-

dents were broken into three groups based on wristband colors. Each group listened to presentations from Michigan business figures including Freddy Orlando, a graphic designer for tech companies ORGANIC and KotexU stationed in Michigan; Ken Walker, an entrepreneur and fashion connoisseur; and Dana Jones, a Nestle associate brand manager. Each presentation lasted about 15 minutes and helped students find their desired careers. Toward the end of the seminar, students went back into the auditorium for a

question-and-answer panel. The event allowed students to become inspired in pursuing a career that fits them best. “My goal was to inspire every student as I told my story,” said Walker, founder of K. Walker Collective, an up-and-coming local Detroit clothing brand. “As a Detroit Public Schools student who embarked on a journey in marketing that led me to the courageous path of entrepreneurship, I wanted every


Renaissance students attend a business seminar at Cass Tech.

See BUSINESS on page 24 »



Is organized football worth the injury risk? Teens should not be allowed to play organized football in light of new discoveries concerning head concussions. Naiyah There are risks Stinson in everything RHS you do but in Stentor football, you are bound to get a head injury. Teens should not subject themselves to the long-term consequences that are associated with concussions. Scientists and doctors are making new discoveries in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and are relating those discoveries to the game of football. CTE is caused by repeated head injuries and the symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood swings, and issues with decision-making. The damage is irreversible and the symptoms for CTE don’t start showing up until years later. The condition can only be determined after a thorough examination of

the brain. Some doctors believe that organized football players are especially susceptible to CTE because of how rough the game is. Though the NFL wouldn’t exist if players didn't start learning the game at a young age, it's really not worth the risk of developing CTE as an adult. The NFL only exists to serve as a form of entertainment and once a player retires, they are left to deal with the consequences of their injuries on their own. Aaron Hernandez played for the New England Patriots in 2010. During his first season he was arrested and charged with the murder of his friend Odin Lloyd. He was found guilty in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. While serving his sentence, he went on trial for another murder. He was found not guilty on those charges but committed suicide in his jail cell soon after the verdict. His brain was examined by Boston University's CTE Center after his death. According to reports, doctors discovered that Hernandez had

You don’t have to go to college right after high school


The risk of organized football is too great, argues Nalyah Stinson.

stage three CTE which they had never seen in a person who was under the age of 46. It is believed that the multiple concussions Hernandez endured while playing football in high school, college and the NFL contributed to his actions the day he killed Odin Lloyd. Had Hernandez not played football maybe his future would have been

a lot brighter. If we as a society continue to allow teens to play organized football then we are failing them. Knowing the risks and still allowing them to play speaks volumes on what America is about. Teens who play organized football are essentially cutting years away from their lives.


There are Do’s and Don’ts for promposals By LaMonica Reeves RHS Stentor Prom season is the time of year when many high school students get prepared for what they consider to be the biggest day of their teenage lives, besides graduation. Teens plan for weeks for this special day. They buy the best attire and book appointments weeks in advance. However, one of the most popular ways teens commemorate the prom season is by planning promposals. According to most high school

students, it’s not enough to just ask someone to be their date for prom. A lot of teens are going the extra mile by creating elaborate promposals to confirm their date for this special night. There are definitely some key components to making such a gesture and here are some great suggestions for what you should and should not do. The most important aspect to a promposal is knowing your date. This will reduce the chances of rejection and make the promposal

more meaningful. If you know your date, you’ll have an idea of how much work you need to put into your promposal. For example, if your potential date likes a lot of attention, then you should go all out with balloons and a big poster board in front of everyone. There are some girls who prefer a more simple gesture. In this case, you can take her out to a nice restaurant or do it at her house. A lot of times, guys will shoot their shots with random girls they don't know and then get

upset when they're rejected. This is why you need to prepare for the worst before going in. If the idea of doing a promposals is intimidating, we suggest going with a friend or a group of friends. This way, you can have fun and not have to worry about the rejection. If you are already with someone, have a talk with them about prom before jumping straight to the promposal. Remember to have fun and be creative. Prom is the time to dine and shine.

An honest truth after graduation is that one does not want to go straight to school for another four years. So, who Selena says you have Moore to? There are RHS various alternaStentor tives to attending a four-year university right after graduation. These include taking a gap year, traveling abroad, attending a community college,or learning a trade. A gap year between high school and college can be a helpful thing for people who would like to pursue higher education, but are not quite ready to head back to school. It can be a refreshing time in one’s life. It allows you to figure out what you want to do in life or if you even want to go back to school. During this time, you can better get to know your skill set, or you can discover new things about yourself, perhaps a new passion. Learning these things can ultimately help you decide what direction you would like your life to go. You can also travel abroad. Doing so can be a very insightful experience, as you are able to learn about different cultures and expand your knowledge of the world. On, pastor, author and educator Dr. Herron Keyon Gaston described his experience in traveling to El Salvador with a group of Yale University students. “It helped me to realize that the world is a complex mixture See COLLEGE on page 24 »

22 Feb. 27, 2020

HEAR THE ROAR Southeastern High School | ACADEMICS



Leadership for SE’s We All Vote Campaign: Principal Maurice El-Amin, Student Leader Konnah Jones, DPSCD Representative Joshua Moore and Ellie Klein, national regional organizer, My School Votes.


Journalism students interview Southeastern counselor Bettye Foster.


Voter registration comes to school From Staff Reports The Western Express Jungaleers who are 18 or will turn 18 by the November election participated in the My School Votes campaign by registering to vote. This campaign targets high schools but is part of a greater campaign that Former First Lady

Michelle Obama co-organized called When We All Vote. It is an effort to get eligible voters registered to vote so they can participate in one of the many rights we have living in a democracy. Students could verify on-line if they were already registered to vote. SE had 100% participation.

HALA helps journalism students create podcasts DETROIT By Treyvon Simpson Hear the Roar For 12 weeks, through an inschool workshop, the Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy (HALA) joined with Southeastern High School’s journalism class to transform print journalists into podcasters. Anya Dennis, HALA’s director of school program and professional development, and Charmin Archer, HALA’s director of curriculum and content, led and facilitated Podcast 101, which met weekly on Wednesdays. Students received training in speaking about community ideas and problems. The journalism class decided to explore two topics: depression/stress and police brutality. Dennis and Archer taught students about public speaking and how to create podcasts. “This was a great opportunity for the SE journalism students,” said Jacqueline Robinson, SE’s journalism instructor. “HALA expanded their media skills. Podcasting is a popular medium to communicate information. They learned more about the benefits of the technology and how to create a podcast. And they had fun learning.”


Students training to become IRS certified tax preparers. COURTESY PHOTO

Caleb Murphy, Christopher Robinson, KrisTia Maxwell, Ramon Craig-Kirksey and Victoria Cooper prepare for podcast training.

The entire class centered around student voice -- students made all of the decisions and assignments. The students led with the topics and used the software to produce the podcast. With guidance from HALA, they developed scripts, identified hosts, trained students to engineer the podcast and formed a creative team to support the production, like creating logos, cover art and flyers. “I’ve learned that there are many roles to play, such as host, audio techs, producers, writers and creative designers,” said


journalism student Christopher Robinson. “Most important is that there are no small roles.” The first episode dealt with the topic of stress and depression. The class interviewed a counselor who gave insights into how students cope with these mental health concerns The second episode talked about police brutality; three community activists shared how to stop police brutality that may occur around you. It all ended with a podcast listening party for the entire school.

Adviser: Jacqueline Mitchell Robinson Crain Mentor: David Muller, Automotive News

SE students become certified tax preparers By Treyvon Simpson and Reneta Jones Hear the Roar Southeastern High School students are starting careers as IRS certified tax preparers while still working on their high school diplomas. For four weeks, students at Southeastern High School received training through a tax preparation pilot program through the Detroit Public School Community District, Flagstar Bank in Troy and the

Accounting Aid Society. They also successfully completed a test for certification. King High School is also part of the pilot program. Now the students will spend the tax season through April 3 preparing and filing taxes for qualified families. Students can do basic tax returns and the service is free to the community. The tax preparation season runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays See TAX on page 24 »

Staff: Ramon Craig-Kirksey, Nikia Gunter, KrisTia Maxwell-Gray, Malaya Reed, Treyvon Simpson, Amyre Spears, Ashley Williams

Feb. 27, 2020 23

THE WESTERN EXPRESS Western International High School | STUDENT LIFE


Western hosts DSO piccolo performance By Liset Diaz and Sheyla Paredones Medina The Western Express When Detroit Symphony Orchestra musician Jeffery Zook plays the piccolo it’s like “The spirit of life coming through me when I play the music,” he said. Western students heard the music come to life as Zook played piccolo with the DSO at Western last month in a performance that included “The William Tell Overture” by Gioachino Rossini and “Symphony No. 9” by Dmitri Shostakovich.

“It was very good, and I enjoyed the clear sound of the flutes,” said senior Nancy Jiménez, giving a nod to Zook, Zook who also plays flute. Zook, a University of Michigan graduate, embraced the world of music at age 5. “I wanted to be better than See DSO on page 24 »




Junior Robyn Armstrong wants to encourage others to “not be afraid of diversity” and show that being different and not going by certain ideals is completely OK.

Armstrong’s style encourages others By Kelly Garcia The Western Express You’ve probably seen Western junior Robyn Armstrong walking to class while telling a story with her unique clothing choices. Armstrong likes to think of herself as a walking expression of art. Every

morning Armstrong steps out of bed directly into creativity. “Creativity is a very powerful tool that can change any person in any environment,” she said. “And it goes far too overlooked.” Armstrong describes her fashion sense as “ghetto, goth, oriental

and hippie.” Armstrong typically shops for her clothes in thrift stores and vintage boutiques. Among Armstrong’s inspirations are singer-songwriters Prince and Bjork, both with intriguing perSee STYLE on page 24 »

The Mexican pueblo of Congregación Juráez at dusk.

Time away from phone improves people skills By Priscilla Madrigal The Western Express Every year I travel with my family to Mexico, where both of my parents grew up, to visit my grandparents and spend time with them during Christmas. My grandparents live on a small ranch, called Congregación Juárez, in the state of Nuevo León, near the Texas border. It’s not well known like Monterrey and Cerralvo, but

it’s just as beautiful and filled with calmness. Con. Juárez shines with color, as its people create beautiful murals and plant vibrant flowers. The air is thick with the distinctive aroma of authentic Mexican food, such as gorditas, sopes, tortas, menudo, and so much more. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The beauty of living See MEXICO on page 24 »


Class president works to connect students


By Analisa Gomez The Western Express Western senior class president Abbie Allen has a passion to lead and help seniors have the best year possible. But as Allen strives to make a real change in the school, she found that “Trying to juggle being president, captain of the softball team, academ-

ics, and homelife is almost impossible.” Allen said she has learned how to manage her life by prioritizing and never procrastinating. Her main struggle as president, she said, is that she cannot give everyone what they want. “Trying to find a common ground


that will please the whole class is almost always impossible,” she said. Allen said seniors feel free to share with her because she’s friendly to everyone. For example, if a student wants to discuss the senior quote or senior clothing choices, they can easily talk to her. Seniors can also connect with Allen on social media

Editor-in-Chief: Liset Diaz Advisers: William Bowles Crain Mentor: Mary Kramer, Crain’s Detroit Business

accounts she has created for the senior class: Twitter (@wihs2020) and Snapchat (@western_2020). Allen is also known for her power hit in softball. Playing softball is important to Allen, and she plans to play in college. She uses softball to See ALLEN on page 24 »

Staff Writers: Sheyla Paredones, Alalisa Gomez, Priscilla Madrigal, Kelly Garcia

24 Feb. 27, 2020



Senior class president leads on, off the field

RHS junior dominates on the basketball court



reduce stress by placing her full attention on everything that is happening on the field. Allen has been described as an excellent team coordinator. “Abbie is very good when it comes to stepping up and being a leader,” teammate Jimena Gutierrez said. “During our summer softball season, before every game she was always very encouraging and believed in us. “When she notices that we are not feeling the game, she always reminds us of how hard we have trained for this and it gives us a boost of motivation.”

"I've known Shannon since sixth grade, and she's always been an amazing friend to me," said NyJaia Smith, who is the team's manager. "Laughs are always shared when we are together." On Feb. 1, the team played Edison Academy, the No. 1 girls basketball team in Detroit. RHS lost, 54-52, but Wheeler was tough and finished with 16 blocks. "I was shocked, but I expected it out of her one of these games," said Davis. "She's capable of doing it every game." Her performance uplifted some of her teammates and brought light to an otherwise dismal loss. "I felt inspired that day because every time Shannon got a block, I thought to myself that I want to be


Piccolo performance makes strong impression FROM PAGE 23

my sister” said Zook, who competed with two other siblings while receiving the support of his parents after showing an early interest in piano. Zook spent his summers studying and practicing music at


No WiFi on trip improves communication skills FROM PAGE 23

on a small ranch is that everyone knows each other and is comfortable with one another. Every time I visit, there is always a get together where we all hangout and play games. These tend to have a variety


were considered for roles, Hollywood executives were strategic about the ways they portrayed black people. The first African American woman to receive an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress was Hattie McDaniel for her role as Mammy in “Gone with the Wind” in 1940. In the history of The Oscars, less than 200 black people have been nominated across all categories. Only 40 have won. There is no reason why more


RHS students inspired after attending seminar FROM PAGE 21

student to know how important it is to be steadfast as they live out their dreams with intention.” Walker’s goal was met as students mentioned how impressed they were with the presenters. “I felt very inspired after going to the seminar,” said RHS senior


Abbie Allen is Western’s senior class president.

Interlochen Center for the Arts, a premier Michigan school for the performing arts. The performance presented by Zook and the DSO made a powerful impression upon Western music teacher Gueorg Hranov. “In concert the sound is so much better,” said Hranov, comparing this live performance to a recording. The performance also provoked questions among some

students. Senior Daniela Castro asked Zook about the purpose of the orchestra conductor. "The conductor allows the musicians to keep track of the pitch they play," said Zook, who later mentioned that he and fellow DSO musicians have a favorable opinion of incoming DSO conductor, Jader Bignamini. Zook said that being a part of the orchestra has always been a fulfilling job for him.

of delicious food where we’re able to take time to build on the bonds of trust we hold with each other. Not many city dwellers can relate to this type of closeness within their community. Another benefit of life on the ranch is the absence of a WiFi signal to stay on your phone. Less media exposure means less distraction, which allows us to improve our people skills and learn how to

become more patient with others and ourselves. We can then think independently and express ourselves in unique ways that do not depend on the opinions of strangers. Our communication with each other improves because of less media exposure. By spending time here, I have discovered that it’s hard to hold a conversation when the other person is staring at their phone.

black people aren’t nominated. Award shows like to keep black artists in categories like hip-hop and R&B, rather than putting them in categories that reflect their diversity. Even though these black actors give us riveting performances, they don't receive the accolades they deserve. African Americans deserve better and they deserve a fair chance. The Oscars need to work on their overall nominee selections and change up the members of the Academy so we can begin to see diverse nominations.


“Overall I think we made small mental mistakes that we definitely corrected in the second half as far as slowing down, taking care of the ball a little more and finishing around the rim,” Cochran said. When it comes to basketball and taking control, Cochran is all about getting her girls ready to win. “We talked it over and tried to get them out of the locker room so they can shoot some layups,” she said. We just wanted to get them settled and slow down the pace of the game so that we can control the game.”

Sa’mya Williams. “It exposed me to a lot of business people I can look up to and it motivated me to try my best in college so that I can find a career that I will love, be successful in, and still be passionate about.” The event also offered students a different perspective on business. “I didn't have too many professionals speak to me when I was in DPS,” Walker said. “So, I was very compelled to be a resource to the students. It's so important to be a beacon of hope to young talent as

they're in search of ways to choose a career path that aligns with their interests and talents.” Many students felt the event helped them gain insight into their future careers in business. “I learned a lot about brand management and other businessoriented topics,” said Mya Graves, a senior at RHS. “I feel like it will provide me with a better understanding of what I want to do in my career and how to follow the proper paths to get there.”


Traveling abroad is an option after high school FROM PAGE 21

of cultures, beliefs, traditions, experiences and perspectives,” he wrote. Traveling abroad can be a great way to educate yourself without actually going to school. An enriching experience may be just what you need to open your eyes and broaden your horizons. There is an option that still involves going to school right after graduation, but for a shorter period of time. Community colleges don’t carry the same prestige as four-year universities and the degree type is different, yet they still offer numerous benefits. Some of these include less tuition money, and smaller class sizes. Perhaps you want to go to school, but four years seems too much


Pilot program could lead to career opportunity FROM PAGE 22

at Southeastern. On-site supervisor Garylle Thomas, chief operations officer for the Accounting Aid Society, said she wants students who are “willing to put aside their time


Western’s Armstrong encourages others FROM PAGE 23

sonalities and fashion senses. She wants to encourage others to “not be afraid of diversity” and show that being different and not going by certain ideals is OK. She feels this way especially when taking into consideration that she’s a young black woman.

able to have my game on the same level as her," said Heaston. "Even though we took a hard loss from (Edison), we still won. We played together and played hard and in this game of basketball, that's what you have to do. And at the end of the day, someone has to lose. It just hurts that it was us. But that only sets us up to grow and come back next year harder." Wheeler work ethic shows how much effort she puts into becoming the best version of herself. "When Shannon steps on the court, she usually gives it all she's got,” Smith said. "As the team manager, I can honestly say Shannon works hard to improve. Whenever Shannon gets the chance to practice on her mid ranges or floaters, she definitely takes it. Shannon never complains during practices, and she follows through on all drills even if that day is not her day. Shannon's efforts will pay off within the next season if not this season.” and too soon. By going to a community college, you’re still able to learn at a higher level. Starting small is a great way to build your momentum and later could lead to a four-year university. It’s a valid opportunity to continue your education. In addition, instead of attending a four-year university, you could learn a trade. Sometimes, it’s not what you know, but what you can do. So, it wouldn’t hurt to be able to perform certain tasks. Being able to do so can better your chances at jobs and future careers. If learning a trade is not your main focus, it’s still good to have a certain set of skills as a back up plan. You never know when they may come in handy. Going to a four-year university after graduating is something many people dream of. Yet, there are alternatives to doing so. All of which impact you as a person and your future. doing other things to learn this skill for their own benefit.” “This is a great opportunity for our students,” said Blair Sawyers, Southeastern’s business teacher. “They have acquired a skill in a field that needs qualified and competent preparers. It may be a career or something they do on the side but it is a skill that they can build on and make money on in years to come.” “I want to show that being a tall, black woman I can broadcast whatever I want with no limits” she said. Armstrong said she is a firm believer in art being expressed at any given moment and likes showcasing her creativity while getting an education. Armstrong draws inspiration from a quote by Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge, but knowledge empowers imagination.”

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