Detroit Dialogue May 2019

Page 1


Dialogue//May 16, 2019




PAGE 9 » Cristo Rey students paint mural with empowering messages for girls


PAGE 19 » Southeastern reinvigorates group



TO PRIDE PAGE 2 » Renaissance ‘Coming Out Wall’ project

goes on display in Ferndale ahead of Pride month SPORTS



PAGE 14 » King students learn jobs skills DETROIT


PAGE 5 » U.S. rep. visits Cass Tech students A PUBLICATION OF


PAGE 12 » East English Village student makes waves as only male swimmer on team


CELEBRATING CULTURES PAGE 23 » at Western International



2 May 16, 2019 DETROIT


Vol. IV, No. 4 | May 16, 2019

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



Forty visitors attended the April 11 opening event, including several Renaissance allied students and parents.

RHS ‘Coming Out Wall’ expands to community By Imani Jackson RHS Stentor In the days leading up to National Coming Out Day last October, the student body at Renaissance High School submitted 225 anonymous posts to a box dealing with mental health, sexuality, and other teen angsts. It filled a hallway that became known as the “Coming Out Wall.” This project is now an exhibit at Affirmations, one of the country’s largest LGTBQ community centers, open free to the public from 11a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in downtown Ferndale, and the exhibit is will launch Ferndale Pride. The rainbow of experiences became a school-wide conversation about how to reach strug-



A selection of anonymous posts. Students shared anonymous posts ranging from general insecurities to claiming gender identity.

VIEW MORE ONLINE Scan this QR code with your smartphone to read some of the anonymous messages posted on the Renaissance High School Coming Out Wall.

See WALL on page 21 »

2018-2019 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 Charlene Mallory Henry Ford High School Michael Mokdad

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 Andrea F. Ayler

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.

May 16, 2019 3

THE DIAGNOSTIC Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine |



Students enjoy ‘Hamilton’

Jordan Bowers said. “I really liked the HOSA event.” Every year, the students in the CMA program go compete at an annual event hosted by HOSA, (Health Occupations Students of America). In the latest event, students from different schools from

By Jordan Bowers The Diagnostic Freshmen and sophomores from Benjamin Carson High School were selected to go view performance of the production of the Broadway hit “Hamilton.” Funded by the Gilder Berman Foundation, the students had the opportunity to learn a little history taught by foundation and then buy tickets to the show at the Fisher Theater for $10 -- a symbolic gesture because Alexander Hamilton is featured on the $10 bill. A requirement of attending the Hamilton production students learned about the time period when the founding fathers lived. They also had to read a primary source like a letter or a speech, then create a performance piece such as a poem, rap song or skit. They were asked to practice then perform their performance piece. “Two of our sophomores were chosen to perform and they did an amazing job,” said drama teacher Grace Walter. “They got to go backstage and meet the cast and perform on the stage. So our students got to spend the whole

See MEDICAL on page 24 »

See HAMILTON on page 6 »


Seniors Blanch Suddeth, Janiya Coleman and Tayia Mitchell practice patient care. “I enjoy the program a lot,” senior Tylesha Clark said.

Program gives students head start in health care By A’rissa Cotton The Diagnostic Benjamin Carson High School offers several programs seniors may participate in. One of the programs is the CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) Program and it is very popular. The goal of the program is to prepare students for a future in

health care. Students learn and practice basic patient care. “I enjoy the program a lot,” senior Tylesha Clark said. “I Thomas think that this will prepare me for my future and



Program helps build skills for students

By Ja’Lynn Jones The Diagnostic Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine is home to a Clinic for Success. The clinic’s mission is simply to help students become successful. The Clinic for Success is home to academic interventionist Tommie Walker, college adviser Sean Henry, two counselors Rhika Mitchell and Miilicynt Horton, and an attendance officer. The clinic works closely with the senior class helping with such things as academics, college applications and time management. “Time management is one of the things they struggle with the most,” Henry said. Time is winding down and staff

even if I don’t pursue a career in healthcare, the skills that I’ve learned will still be useful later in life.” “One of the best parts of the programs is the hands on labs we are able to do,” senior Ja’lynn Jones said. “Being interested in nursing, I truly enjoy the program,” senior

members of the clinic are trying to do anything necessary to help the seniors. They all agreed that effort has improved but more work is needed to be done. “Senioritis hit them hard early this year,” Walker said. The Class of 2019 has had its struggles, but the real world will soon teach them how to use the skills provided while in high school. “The clinic helped me learn to deal with life’s challenges,” senior Jamal Thomas said. “I felt the clinic inspired me to be my best,” senior Demon Wright said. Rhika Mitchell added: “In a matter of months students are going to realize that there is no one there to help you navigate through college.”




Sharrod Reed and Farouk Al-Tahesh perform in the Benjamin Carson High School production of “10 Ways to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.”

Editors-in-Chief: Arissa Cotton & Ja’Lynn Jones Adviser: Frank Odeh Crain Mentor: Chad Livengood

4 May 16, 2019


TECHNICALLY SPEAKING A public forum for the community of Cass Technical High School | SPORTS



Brianna Smith aka Smitty performing at LTAB, a two-day high school poetry festival.

Poetry club slams at festival


Sophomore Amir Allen helped bring lacrosse to Cass Tech – the first DPSCD school to offer the sport.

LACROSSE COMES TO CASS TECH By Ellissa Freed CT Visionary Cass Tech sophomore Amir Allen helped bring the first-ever lacrosse team to the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Allen, who had played lacrosse before, approached vice principal Todd Henderson and principal Lisa Phillips about starting a team. He wanted to start a program at Cass Tech, making it the only public school in the city of Detroit with a lacrosse program. Henderson coached lacrosse before, at Avondale High School in Rochester Hills, so he knew the value of the sport and how fun it is. Allen brought representatives from Detroit Youth Lacrosse, an organization created

by the Chandler Park Conservancy to introduce elementary and middle school students to the game. They met with Henderson to create a proposal, help the school start up the program, and help find people who could help coach our team, which was one of the most important things he needed. Henderson joked that he faced three challenges on the quest to bring lacrosse to Cass Tech: “Money, money, and money.” “We didn’t have any funds to start the program so we had to find a way to get equipment for our players,” he said. “We did used equipment drives, and other local programs had kids donate their used equipment. “We needed sticks, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves. In



addition, goals. Then we also applied for a grant from U.S. Lacrosse, and they gave us a grant, which helped go towards buying helmets for the team. We also had another donor who helped us buy our remaining equipment and uniforms.” Another big challenge was drawing in athletes to a sport nobody played before. “One of the biggest challenges is when athletes are really good at one sport, they can be hesitant to try another sport where they’re not going to be as skilled at first,” he said. “But we have a lot of guys who have jumped in, joined and were willing to take a risk, and they’re having a blast playing lacrosse.” The lacrosse team started the recruitment process with Learn to Play Lacrosse Clinics, putting

Adviser: Jill Thomas Crain Mentor: Don Loepp

“... We have a lot of guys who have jumped in, joined and were willing to take a risk, and they’re having a blast playing lacrosse”

By Guadalupe Avalos CT Visionary Young poets from all over the state of Michigan have come together in a poetry slam competition to be “Louder Than A Bomb,” and it is not your typical Shakespeare poetry. Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) is a yearly, two-day high school poetry festival in which youth poets from across Michigan are invited to compete, participate in workshops, and experience slam poetry from authors their own age. The event is produced by InsideOut Literary Arts Project in See POETRY on page 6 »


Cass Tech hosts robotics competition

up fliers and making announcements for students to come and try. The lacrosse coach is Liam McEllroy, who coaches for Detroit Youth Lacrosse. McEllroy, known to the players as Coach Mac, is a former high school lacrosse player.

By Suhmer Grant CT Visionary Robotics is one of the most competitive student events in the U.S. The robotics event known as “Destination: Deep Space” was held at Cass Technical High School on March 14-16, marking the third time that Cass Tech has hosted a competition. Forty teams of intelligent young students participated in the competition after weeks of preparing their robot for competition. The event included 40 teams, including the Tenacious Technicians

See LACROSSE on page 6 »

See ROBOTICS on page 5 »

Todd Henderson, vice principal

Staff: Aja Abney, Guadalupe Avalos, Brittney Bolden, Jayla Bracy, Carlyn Brown, Nyla Carter, Alayah Davis, Talia Farley, Ellissa Freed, Aja Gaines, Micah Gibbons, Ar-Torrah Gillum, Ghassan Gobah, Keanna Godley, Suhmer Grant, Jose Lucero, Courtney Mack, Myiah McClendon, Amari’a McKinney, Arianna McKinstry, Montana Moore, Ritta Olugbile, Crystal Onwenu, Nubian Peoples, Taylor Porter, Kentyra Powell, Kierstyn Powell, Brooke Prater, Jourdin Robinson, Ama Russell, Destinee Shelly, Courtney Whitaker, Briauna Willis

May 16, 2019 5 DETROIT


Survey: Diversity benefits students By Ghassan Gobah CT Visionary Cass Technical High School is one of the most diverse schools in the Detroit Metropolitan area. The student demographic consists of a variety of races, genders, and sexualities. Students come from all around Detroit and its neighboring cities. CT offers many language, religion, and sexual identity clubs. These clubs help promote diversity and build confidence. According to a survey of 30 ninth and 10th-grade students, 87% of them say that they have learned something new about different cultures and/or sexual identities since being a CT student. With all the diversity they are exposed to at Cass Tech, 83% believe it’s important to attend a diverse high school. Despite all the student diversity at Cass Tech, 43% believe that the staff is not as diverse as the students. Cass Tech is a diverse school and sometimes this can be an adjustment for students who are not used to cultures other than their own. According to the survey, 73% of them say that, so far, CT’s diversity has helped them step out of their comfort zone in meet-

Cass Tech ing new people. In fact, 77% of the students from the survey feel like Cass’s diversity is what makes it unique. However, despite CT’s diversity, 90% of the students from the conducted survey believe that the school can have even more diverse. For example, many students believe that the staff does not accurately represent the student body. Cass Tech exposes students to people who they are not used to seeing around their neighborhood. The survey found 40% of students say they don’t interact with others different than themselves and 87% believe that being exposed to diversity at a young age impacts their outlook on life and is also important for them to attend a diverse college. Students believe being in a diverse environment keeps them open-minded and more healthily social. Cass Tech is special for a variety of reasons. CT students enjoy the diversity represented within the school. Many students have also learned more about themselves and others because of its diverse student population.


U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib speaks at Cass Tech. “She emphasized the significance of social justice and empowered the youth with her words of wisdom,” sophomore Muhammad Ali said. TOP: Tlaib takes a selfie with members of the Muslim Student Association. RIGHT: Students pose for a photograph with Tlaib.


U.S. Rep. Tlaib speaks at Cass Tech By Briauna Willis CT Visionary Reform, Justice and Equality. Cass Tech sophomore Muhammad Ali has developed the school’s very first Muslim Student Association. The association intends to inform the students about challenges affecting Muslim youth. Recently the Muslim Student Association invited U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress, to speak at Cass Tech. “She emphasized the significance of social justice and empow-

ered the youth with her words of wisdom,” Ali said, referring to Tlaib’s message. “The purpose of her visit was to empower the Ali students and educate us on social justice issues.” Tlaib is a Wayne State University graduate and mother of two sons. She first made history in 2008 by becoming the first Muslim woman to ever serve in Michigan Legislature.

Tlaib is highly respected for making many positive changes within the community. An example of this, according to Tlaib’s website, was when “large piles of black dust started showing up on the Detroit riverfront and blowing into homes and parks, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality told residents everything was fine, Rashida collected samples and got the substance tested herself — exposing the cancer-causing ‘petroleum coke’ as a threat, and getting it removed.”

“Destination: Deep Space” was held at Cass Tech in March. Cass Tech’s robotics team finished ninth.


Team was 9th, invited to world championship FROM PAGE 4

from Cass Tech, other Detroit schools, and surrounding areas. The winning team was Detroit’s Cesar Chavez High School. Cass Tech’s robotics team finished in ninth place and was invited to the FIRST World Championship competition, which this year took place in Detroit, at Cobo Hall in April. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology. Robotics competitions come with a lot of beforehand preparation. They come with a lot of trial and error as well. “All teams are provided a com-

mon kit of materials and six weeks only to construct their robots. Then the games begin,” assistant principal Velma Snow said. Each team has to program its robot to be sure that it will be able to go forward, backward, turn around, pick things up and set things down. “They afford opportunities for students to enjoy the excitement of an athletic-like sports, football or basketball, and the rigors of science and technology while learning valuable STEM and life skills,” Snow said. “The vision of FIRST Robotics is to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”

6 May 16, 2019 STUDENT LIFE

Carson takes civics lesson to Capitol


Coach Liam McEllroy and the Cass Tech lacrosse team started the season 2-4. Vice principal Todd Henderson said that was a huge accomplishment. Only two CT players had previous lacrosse experience.


Team wants to improve, recruit more members FROM PAGE 4

Cass Tech has two players with previous lacrosse experience. To teach novice players, you have to first put a stick in their hands and start teaching how to catch and throw, to learn how to move with the ball, and to


Event showcases high school poets in Michigan FROM PAGE 4

Detroit with help of many sponsors. LTAB 2019 was the event’s fifth year, which took place on the weekend of April 27-28. To register to compete, students must be ages 13 to 19 and have a team of 4-8 people (A group poem is required to compete). Cass Tech’s senior Deena Allen attended for the first time this year. The Cass Tech poetry club performer expressed the joy and fun she had at the event. “It was amazing. … I really like that there (LTAB) you can just feel safe and be who you are without judgment and it’s so freeing,” she said. “I’ve been a poet all my life… I finally acknowledged it around 2012 and it’s when I realized it was the best way I can try to express myself,” Allen said. She said she enjoys being able to share her work with other poets, especially those in the poetry club, because “you can express yourself and make people happy.” She said performing is “a rush of anxiety and happiness to say the least. It’s like the perfect rollercoaster.” Brianna Smith is a poet by the name of “Smitty,” and is a senior at Cass Tech. This is her third

dodge and shoot. Thus far the team has won two games out of six played, which Henderson said is a huge accomplishment. The team’s goals for this year are to get out, to compete and to get better, and to recruit more members for the team. One of their home games was at Chandler Park High School in Harper Woods, but most were on the road at other schools. year performing at LTAB, and she said she loves the event. “I love the positive energy that never ceases to exist … it’s never about the competition, it’s always about sharing and opening up and welcoming others,” Smith said. She has identified as a poet since the sixth grade, after a creative writing class taught her the importance of her words. “I realized what I could do with words then, and not long after that writing was all I had to express my own feelings and process the things I was going through,” she said. “It’s been with me ever since.” Smith is part of Cass Tech’s poetry club and likes to share her writing with others. She said performing poetry has “always been a nervous experience,” and explained how performing can feel intense. “I have never been completely calm performing, but that’s a good thing,” she said. “It means I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone. “I enjoy writing because through writing I heal, honor, and grow myself. I am constantly finding out more and more about myself through my writing. I perform my poetry because there may be someone out there that needs to hear what I have to say. I also perform to honor myself, and to build confidence in explaining myself to the rest of the world.” Allen, Smith and all the other

Cass Tech The lacrosse team’s goal for the 2019-2020 school year is to keep growing and increase its competitiveness. Recently, the school implemented a girls’ lacrosse club. Several girls have shown interest and are coming to the lacrosse clinics, learning how to play and hoping to be on a competitive team.

By Sarah Kabala The Diagnostic On Feb. 28, four students were accompanied by Edwin Unaegbu, a civics teacher at Ben Carson High School on a trip to the Michigan YMCA Youth in Government (MYIG) Conference in Lansing. The MYIG is meant to help students fully put in practice all that they learn in civics class. “The Michigan YMCA Youth in Government program is meant to teach students about parliamentary procedures and democratic procedures,” Unaegbu said. The program is designed to help students gain as much experience as possible, including a trip to the Lansing Capitol building. Students were able to participate in numerous activi-


Students also had a Q&A with the cast FROM PAGE 3

day at the Fisher Theater in the morning, they saw student performances, and then a Q&A with the cast. Then in the after-

Benjamin Carson ties at the building. “Just being inside the Capitol building was a great experience. I love how we got a chance to sit in the chamber “ BCHS student Anissa Duynslager said. The program included writing and discussing legislation, mock courts and debating national issues. Students were able to meet new people and try things for the first time. To participate in the program students should be interested in government, be a team player and have communication skills. “I wish every student will experience this program,” Unaegbu said. noon, they got to see Hamilton the musical which is one of the most expensive and well known musicals in the world.” “The experience was great and I had a lot of fun,” sophomore Tasnim Dina said. I enjoyed going backstage, being able to perform and meeting new people.”


Tyjuana Bell performing at Louder Than A Bomb poetry slam competition.

poets who attended both days of LTAB started with breakfast at 8 a.m., a time were youth got to meet and talk. After this, they had the opportunity to attend writing workshops to focus on things like improvisation, identity, and activism in poetry. On Saturday, the first two rounds of slam bouts took place in Wayne State’s Student Center. Here, individual poets performed their pieces and were scored by judges selected from the audience. Then each team concluded with a group poem. Poems varied from topics like a loved one to protesting against gun violence, depending on what moves the poet. Cass Tech finished in second place both slams, although everyone was encouraged to “cheer for the poet, not the score.” The day ended in Manoogian Hall, where participants had


Members of Cass Tech poetry club left to right Putice, Cardien, Christian and Deena Allen.

dinner and then took part in the MC Olympics. In this part of the event, performers went on head-to-head battles and were “challenged” to perform freestyle poems based on keywords from the judges. Although this is not taken into consideration for the final slam, many youth stayed to enjoy seeing poets exhibit their skills. On Sunday, the final slam with all the first-place teams took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design. In this last part of the competition, poets brought out their strongest emotions and their loudest voices to express themselves. Cass Tech won “The

Spirit of the Slam” award for their outspoken support and praise to all performances. Even after a Youth Poetry Slam team was declared the winner, the celebration and congratulations continued. Allen said she’ll continue to write poetry, since “it’s the only get away I have and it’s the best way I can be me.” “I definitely am going to keep writing and performing because it definitely helps me stay sane and creative,” she said. The poetry club meets every Thursday after school in room 408. If you have any questions you can email Mrs. Rogers at


May 16, 2019 7

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


Students enter art, poetry contest


Seniors sit and listen to speakers at Journalism Day. Left to right, Marwan Wynn, Christian Stroud, Alonzo Macon.

Students take class to ballpark ‘Class Outside’ series inspires journalism students at Comerica By Amaris Hampton The Communicator On April 18, the Detroit Tigers held their annual Journalism Day at Comerica Park. Speakers included Amy Andrews, news anchor of Fox 2 News, Brian Manzullo from the Detroit Free Press, Tori

Petty of the Detroit Lions, Gary Gilbert from Oakland University, Matt Shepard also a Fox News reporter, and Jon Paul Morosi from MLB Network The series “Classroom Outside,” utilized the park space by having a workshop and


Fox 2 News anchor Amy Andrews speaks to students at Comerica Park’s Journalism Day.

questionnaire. Journalism students were to use the #classroomoutside to receive prizes. One question was, “Why did you choose social media of all platforms to work with?” “Journalism Day was fun and I really liked hearing the

speakers’ feedback,” senior Marwan Wynn said. For the game portion of Journalism Day, the Tigers played The Chicago White Sox. The Tigers won, 9-7. “I would like to attend again,” senior Alonzo Macon said.

By Toni Golston The Communicator Entering at different ages, many CMA student applied and competed in an art and poetry contest to win a mystery prize from the Jackie Robinson foundation. A notification call was sent out to all winners and they were called out to Comerica Warren Park on April 16. Upon their arrival, they went to guest services and then off to the field. The students were presented a plaque of recogBrown nition and a bag of wonders for their success. “I had a great and fun experience. It will be a solid forever memory,” said senior Arthur Warren. Some students entered the contest because of the encouragement of their teachers, while others entered because they felt they were a good candidate. “When I saw that I could enter the Jackie Robinson contest for art, I was very proud. I’m not the best at art, but I felt my style would stand out from others,” said senior Desriel Brown. The Jackie Robinson foundation has been around for 45 years supporting students. According to its website, the foundation provides four-year grants, success strategies, internships, and helps with community services.


Alum speaks to seniors By Jeremiah Flowers The Communicator Giving back to the community is important whether it be monetization or words of wisdom. The latter was given, as class of 2004 alumnus Jamal Spencer provided that through mentoring senior students April 25.



Alumnus Jamal Spencer comes and gives advice to the senior class on higher education. Left to right, Jeremiah Flowers, Desriel Brown, Jamal Spencer, Trisha Sellers.

“Not too long ago, I was in your position. I wanted to be a professional basketball player, but things didn’t go as planned,” Spencer said, jokingly. Spencer was born and raised in Detroit See SPENCER on page 8 »

Editor-in-Chief: Tammie Clark Adviser: Robbyn Williams Mentor: Joe Grimm, Michigan State University School of Journalism

Staff: Oumie Camara, Dylan Daniels, Mark Hardy, Terrel Hicks, Jordan Wiley Assistant Editors: Amaris Hampton, Christian Johnson

8 May 16, 2019 OPINION


Teachers should be paid their worth By Austin McFarlane The Communicator Backlash in the city of Detroit from thousands of DPS teachers has been very present for much of our high-school careers, and while teachers are one the most valuable assets we have it is still one the most underpaid professions, recently the National Education Association released its annual report of teachers salaries, state-by-state.

Communication & Media Arts With teachers in New York topping the list making an incredible $85,299 a year, while Detroit teachers are barely making half of that. “Teachers here in Detroit are underappreciated and unvalued,” said Communication & Media Arts assistant principal and former mathematics teacher Jackie Muhammad. We can see tone felt by teachers here in Detroit. Many remember not too long ago when teacher started their sick-outs where thousands of teachers called in sick resulting in school closings, to protest the treatment of Detroit teachers. With this school year closing out and many teachers contracts ending this year, the pressure is now on the district to come to a deal with the teachers and to make sure that the people who make the major changes in the district are paid properly.


Members of the Robotics team at a competition in Southfield: Bailey Ernst and Desriel Brown.

CMA wins rookie award at robotics competition By Terrel Hicks The Communicator For the first time CMA’s robotics team participated in a state competition. The theme was First Power Up, which was video game inspired. CMA, also known as Team 7232, won the Rookie All-Star Award and also had the chance to compete in the World Competition in Saginaw. “Learning how to use dif-

ferent tools, teamwork with our group, and the competition is what I enjoyed most from FIRST Robotics,” said sophomore Bailey Ernst. FIRST Robotics is an event and competition played all over the world. According to its website it was started in 1992 by Dean Kamen, who is an engineer and inventor was made for the younger generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology.


Students pitch ideas to GM to promote safe driving By Tammie Clark The Communicator James Dean said, “Take it easy driving-the life you save may be mine.” Chevrolet is helping parents and teens promote safe driving with the Teen Driver app. Teen Driver is in 12 Chevrolet models. Recently, students from Communication & Media Arts and Martin Luther King were selected by public relation firm Weber Shandwick to create a campaign for General Motors to promote more safe driving. Students from both schools

were broken up into four groups to make pitches to GM on the ways parents and teens will be willing to Massey use it. “I feel like safe driving is keeping yourself and others safe on the road, and if that can happen with Teen Driver, then teens and parents should use it,” senior Kaila Davis said. On May 14, groups will pitch

Communication & Media Arts their ideas to staff from General Motors and Weber Shandwick. GM will then pick the idea it feels will have the most impact on parents and teens. The idea will then be turned into a short story or commercial. “I have worked really hard with my group to bring our idea to life, and even though we may not win, it was fun creating a pitch and learning about the PR world,” senior Don’Tae Massey said.

Communication & Media Arts It has brought many opportunities for schools and students to participate, work on robots together, and compete against schools and certain clubs around Michigan. Every year the theme for the event changes so the ideas for the competition are fresh and


CMA alum inspires students, gives back FROM PAGE 7

on the city’s northwest side. After attending Communication & Media Arts High School, he moved on to Michigan State, where his admiration of sports took a different route. He became a sports journalist after college while working at Fox Sports Detroit as a sideline reporter for collegiate hockey and high school events. He was laid off, but a new beginning was soon to start in Fargo, North Dakota, where he became the first black anchor in that town. “When you get to work in a subject or profession you love,

exciting. “I’ve been in STEM since fifth grade so those skills have been around for a long time, coding is a skill that’s I keep learning because there are so many usages,” sophomore Jordan Boyd said. “The best thing I take from robotics is the team skill I’ve always built small ended bots on my own. Allowing others to step in for help to move the job fast is my take away.” you won’t want to do anything else,” Spencer said. Currently, he is working as a sports anchor on Grand Rapids’ ABC 13 station WZZM and is happy to be back home in Michigan. “I felt that Spencer really hit the nail on the head about the importance of giving back to your community and about how to relay the importance of education,” said senior student Trisha Sellers. “I thought it was inspiring and considerate of him to comeback so many years later and share his story with the youth,” senior Isaiah Holman said. “His message was very thought provoking and could have potentially been lifechanging to someone who is in similar conditions he was in or is interested in that field.”


May 16, 2019 9

Detroit Cristo Rey High School | STUDENT LIFE

STUDENTS, STAFF TAKE ON CLIMATE CHANGE By Britanny Gomez The Howler Over the last couple of years, climate change has been occurring at a fast pace, too fast for many species to adapt. Detroit Cristo Rey is taking action by making a change to help the Earth. The Environmental Justice League was started in March 2019

with Catherine Lundstrom leading Detroit Cristo Rey students to spread awareness about the environment. Lundstrom works with Cristo Rey Campus Ministry and the dean’s office as part of the Mercy Volunteer Corps. “The Environmental Justice League is a student and staff team which investigates, communi-

cates, and acts on key environmental concerns relevant to our school and community,” Lundstrom said. “Overall, our goal is empowerment of students and staff to make Detroit Cristo Rey more sustainable by understanding how our actions impact the health and social well-being of the community, communicating

our findings, and making measurable change. Each year we hope to do this by focusing on a different theme.” Itiel Castro, a sophomore and member of the Environmental Justice League said: “I think the EJL has me helped because at first I wasn’t really aware of what my actions were doing to the

earth. Through the club I learned that throwing your trash is like a chain: it starts by you throwing your trash into your garbage, then it is taken to an incinerator to get burned, then the special toxins that the incinerator releases are discharged into the air which See CLIMATE on page 11 »




Robot “Valentina” in play at the FIRST Robotics Michigan State Championship.

Kinematic Wolves qualify for state robotics tourney Mural design strives ISABELLA SERVIN/THE HOWLER

LEFT: Junior Catherine Jones utilizes her artistic talent to spread an empowering message to girls at Cristo Rey. RIGHT: Junior Noemi Miramontes, who took the initiative to create more art at Cristo Rey, adds detail to the mural.

to empower girls By Isabella Servin The Howler Detroit Cristo Rey is located in Southwest Detroit, a community known for its outstanding artists and their vibrant murals and works of art that embrace Hispanic culture. Cristo Rey, however is known more for its impressive professional atmosphere and rigorous courses than its art. That did not stop Noemi Miramontes, a junior at Detroit Cristo Rey, from taking the initiative to realize her dream to have artwork displayed on the school’s empty walls. Miramontes got the approval from principal Kevin Cumming and art teacher Patrice Evans,

who has helped throughout the entire process. This was followed by the help from numerous students willing to share their creativity with the school. Miramontes wanted a mural that would inspire the students whenever they looked at it. Junior Jazmin Salcido came up with the perfect design. Salcido said wanted a design that would empower girls whenever they looked at the mural on the first floor girls’ bathroom. She was inspired while listening to Ariana Grande’s song “NASA,” which is about women’s ability to be independent and capable without the help of men. From there, Salcido came up with a space-themed idea for the mural,


which includes the quote “One small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind.” Salcido said that she hopes that the mural will “make girls feel good about themselves and remind them that they could do anything.” This is especially needed for the girls at DCR who often have so much work piled up in front of them, with few reminders that they’re doing great and will do amazing things in the future. Sophomore Tiyani Trosi said that to her the mural shows how women can now do bigger things than they had the opportunity to do in the past; it is a reminder See MURAL on page 21 »

Adviser: Sydney Redigan-Barman Crain Mentors: Hannah Lutz & Jackie Charniga

By Jorge Reyna The Howler It seemed almost impossible in the minds of the Kinematic Wolves, Detroit Cristo Rey's robotics team, that they would even make it to the FIRST Robotics Michigan State Championship. In the beginning of the season the team was focused on their two district events, which took place at Cass Tech High School in Detroit and Winston Churchill High School in Livonia. Senior member, captain and mechanical lead Alexis Plascencia said that the long process of preparing just for districts involved staying late on school nights, long hours of strategy, and improving any mechanical issues with their robot “Valentina.” The Wolves competed against 50 teams in their district alone, but the whole tournament consisted of 400-500 teams. To

qualify for states, teams need a certain number of ranking points. These are based on how teams fare in the competition, but points can also be added for individual team awards. The Wolves’ business team, led by junior Luis Gutierrez, played a big factor in being able to qualify for states, as the Entrepreneurship Award they received gave the Wolves an additional 10 points. Impressively, the members of the business team transitioned this year from having a mentor to guide them to being an all student-run team. Out of all the schools in Michigan, there were only 150 teams that would be able to qualify for states. The Wolves landed in 150th place, squeezing through the competition and qualifying for states for the first time ever.

See WOLVES on page 11 »

Staff Writers: Estephany Banda, Sierra Dawson, Britanny Gomez, Olga Luna, Jackelyn Gildo, Jessica Gutierrez, Giovanna Gomez, Esmeralda Hermosillo, Yumeri Jimenez, Yoceline Magdaleno, Paula Morales, Daisy Ovalle, Nicolas Perales, Jorge Reyna, Cecilia Rodriguez, Rhiannon Slotnick, Juan Willis

10 May 16, 2019 E N T E R TA I N M E N T

‘Endgame’ proves we owe our childhood to Marvel By Giovanna Gomez The Howler In the fourth and final installment of the Avengers Franchise, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the survivors from the last film come together in this iconic action/ sci-fi movie. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson. The few of the Avengers that survived “The Snap”

come together to try to find any solution to undo what Thanos did. They do “whatever it takes” to get their friends and family back while restoring the universe to how it was before. In this film, we finally see Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) join the Avengers in this last battle. Hawkeye has lost his whole family and goes through a rough

Detroit Cristo Rey patch, which turns him into Ronin. We only see Captain Marvel a few times throughout the movie, as she’s helping other planets throughout the universe recover from “The Snap.” She does help the Avengers kill Thanos at the beginning of the movie and helps them at the battle against past Thanos and his team.

After the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp, we see Ant-Man come back in this film and provides the main solution to defeating Thanos and getting everyone back. The Avengers and Ant-Man try to devise a solution to fix what Thanos did. The world isn’t recovering from “The Snap” and no one knows what to do with their life anymore. Ant-Man comes up with a possible solution, they all go back into the

past and get all the Infinity Stones to stop Thanos from getting them in the future. Somewhere along the way of them getting the stones, past Thanos finds out they’re doing this and sends past Nebula to trick them and to get him there to stop them. Thanos later arrives and battles Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, while the others find a way See ENDGAME on page 21 »


Cristo Rey to offer advanced courses in literature and calculus By Olga Luna The Howler Many high school students are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that they are as prepared as possible for their fast-approaching college careers. Taking more difficult courses and managing to do well in those courses is no easy feat, but at the end of the day, students know that a challenge will be worth it in the long run. At Detroit Cristo Rey High School, there are two Advanced Placement Classes available: AP U.S. history and AP environmental science. An Advanced Placement class, as defined by the College Board, gives students the opportunity to “tackle college-level work while they're still in high school and earn college credit and placement.” Next year, seniors will be offered the opportunity to take two additional challenging courses: AP literature and calculus. AP U.S. History, Environmental Science challenge juniors, seniors Juniors are required one social studies credit, which can be acquired by taking the U.S. history class or the AP U.S. history class. Toward the end of their sophomore year, students can apply for the AP U.S. history course. The course allows students to develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians. The most significant difference between the AP course and the regular course, according to history teacher Colbert Lucey, who teaches the AP course, is that it requires a more in-depth examination of history in a shorter period of time, as the AP exam is sometime in May while the final exam of the regular course is in June. Lucey said the AP U.S. history course is for students who “want to challenge themselves by taking a class that is more advanced than the regular U.S. history course.” The first AP U.S. history course at Cristo Rey began in fall 2017. “At first, it was kinda difficult for me because history can get very


Students from the AP environmental science course, such as Christian Perales, a 2018 graduate of Detroit Cristo Rey, hatched salmon and released them into the Huron River.

confusing, depending on what you are learning,” said junior Omar Angeles, who is currently taking AP U.S. history. “As time progressed, I was able to grow and become a better writer and a better student overall.” Seniors currently have the opportunity to take the AP environmental science course as their science credit or they can choose to take the regular anatomy and physiology class. The AP environmental science course is an interdisciplinary class that embraces topics from geology, geography, biology, chemistry, environmental studies, and environmental science. It is focused on the structure and function of the environment and how human interactions lead to positive and

Detroit Cristo Rey negative cause and effect relationships within the environment. Science teacher Ann McGowan started teaching the AP environmental science class in the fall 2014. The first thing that McGowan would ask students who show interest in the class would be whether they are interested in their surroundings. If they are not, the first thing she would tell them is that “the goal for you in my class is to be able to open up your vision from beyond yourself to your surroundings.” One of McGowan’s main goals for her AP students is that they mature in their approach to the scientific process. McGowan said stu-


Junior Luis Gutierrez gives a final presentation to his AP U.S. history class, comparing popular song lyrics to an event from the mid-20th century.

dents who have taken the class have “expressed that they had felt more prepared for taking college-level science classes,” even if they had not necessarily achieved the score they

wanted on their AP Exam. “AP environmental is influential to every aspect of our lives,” said See COURSES on page 21 »

May 16, 2019 11



Cristo Rey prepares for many paths

EJL shows human, climate connection FROM PAGE 9

affects not only us but the things that are surrounding us, plants and animals. “With us spreading awareness that recycling is the better alternative we help provide a better home for our future children so they don’t have to suffer our consequences.” The EJL is showing Detroit Cristo Rey that making green choices will not only benefit humans, but the planet they live on. The EJL’s goal for DCR is, “to decrease food waste and trash by beginning a composting program and creating a green school culture that values the 3 Rs,” Lundstrom said. “We are having the first annual DCR Sustainability Week from May 13-17 to focus on sustainable choices, which will include a speaker, a school-wide sustainability competition, and the unveiling of a composting system for lunch trays.” One goal of the EJL is to show the connection between human actions, such as pollution, and climate change. Climate change is a long-term change in the Earth’s climate which can have deadly effects. According to NASA, the temperature of the Earth has increased by two degrees Celsius during


Cristo Rey competed in 12 matches at event FROM PAGE 9

The team didn’t find out if they qualified, right away, but had to wait until almost two hours after day two of districts was over. When they finally heard the good news, every member said they felt a sense of astonishment and excitement. “I was just proud and excited for my team,” said Plascencia. “I’ve been part of the team since sophomore year and that’s been one of my goals. As a senior I am proud that we accomplished that before I graduated.” “For our team, since we had never been to a state championship, our goal was to learn and understand what it took to be in this competition,” said Gutierrez. “Also, it was super fun being there with my second family. When you spend over nine weeks out of the school year with others, you really learn how to be friends with them.” The Michigan State Championship-Ford Division competition took place at Saginaw Valley State University, the team was only able to take 14 out of 30 members on a four-day, overnight trip to Saginaw. “Since we were informed prior to departure that we would only be able to accom-


(From left to right) Catherine Lundstrom, Itiel Castro, Estrella Escutia, and Crystal Ramirez-Garcia, members of the Environmental Justice League, are helping Detroit Cristo Rey and the community become more aware of actions that can negatively impact the Earth.

the 20th century as opposed to in 1980, this increase can seem like a little but is causing major problems. Through seemingly minor actions, humans are the primary cause of climate change. The food you buy, the car you drive, the radio station you listen to, all of these require energy that releases carbon dioxide into the air. Some major effects of climate change include severe ice shrinkage, heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall with flooding, heavy snowfall, and species extinctions. modate a certain number of members we had to plan accordingly,” said Ann McGowan, longtime coach/mentor of the Kinematic Wolves and science teacher at Detroit Cristo Rey. “If anything, the difficulty came in regards to people not being able to take a break. We had to constantly be working on what was happening at that moment. When all members are able to be present it allows for each of us to support the team and decreases the 'stress level' of the competition.” The team competed in 12 matches with some of the top high schools in the state. The Kinematic Wolves were 2-10 and ranked 40th in the competition. Although they could not compete in the playoffs, the small team made history. Being one of the smallest schools to compete in States demonstrated just how hard they’ve worked. For the seniors on the team — Plascencia, Yaisiri Zuniga, Rigoberto Morales, and Jose Velazquez-Alberto — the state championship helped them end their high school robotics careers on a high note. However, they are not done with robotics yet; they will all continue to pursue engineering in college. “I truly was inspired by the never-ending resilience of our team,” said McGowan. “Even in defeat they always saw the positives and were an

Climate change can sometimes be a controversial topic. Many Americans, including President Donald Trump, often deny the existence of climate change. Meanwhile, U.S. representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken action to better the Earth by introducing the “Green New Deal.” Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey have created this deal to decarbonize the economy while still providing high paying jobs in clean energy industries. The main goal of the

Green New Deal is to have 100% clean energy by 2030. The EJL hopes to similarly spread the word that climate change is very real crisis and must be addressed. “There is so much proof that climate change is a real thing, and for people to say that it's a lie, they do not only show that they are ignorant, but also that they are cowards as they are not assuming the responsibility of what all the humans have done to the earth,” said Castro.


The Kinematic Wolves with “Valentine” at the FIRST Robotics Michigan State Championship.


Seniors Alexis Plascencia, Jose Velasquez, and freshman Jose Marquez, with medals at the FIRST Robotics Michigan State Championship.

exemplary representation of our community. We always say that the team is so much more than the robot. The robot is the thing that we do, but the team is so much more. Qualifying for the championship has been a

goal since the end of our first season. To know that we did that in our 5th season, considering everything that we have learned and experienced over the years, is an accomplishment beyond measure.”

“I’ve never worked so hard in my life. Detroit Cristo Rey has been like the alarm every day that I just want to instinctively Jackelyn want to smash.” Gildo — Jackelyn Gildo, The 2019 Howler High school, at first, can seem like the big awakening. It’s when some begin to contemplate their life and start asking all these confusing questions. It can seem hard, really hard. And Detroit Cristo Rey High School only seems to push your buttons even more. With finals coming up and projects every week, seniors are more stressed than ever. College decisions were one of the main stressors for seniors. Some students are even uncertain about their choices. Everything Detroit feels like it’s Cristo Rey going so fast as we come to the end of our high school years. How was class of 2019 ever able to make it through four years of sleep deprivation, constant studying, loaded schedules and attempts to meet hard deadlines? Well, the answer is the school itself. If we had not been pushed by Cristo Rey’s standards, I don’t think we would have ever realized what we are capable of. Because of the difficulty, we set new records; because of mistakes, we learned our lessons; and because of the rigorous environment, we are prepared. The years consisted of consecutive ups and downs; however, we’ve made it this far and we are certain to make it through whatever is next. I’ve interviewed a few students from my class about their experiences at Detroit Cristo Rey and their aspirations for the future. Each of them has unique talents that make them a special part of our class. Senior Marcus Morris, who is president of the National Honors Society at Cristo Rey, is looking for a career in the medical field. He says college is where he can pursue being a doctor and his other aspirations. Thanks to Cristo Rey’s work study program, Morris is able to work at Ascension Saint John Hospital’s emergency room. “That’s basically where I want to be,” he said. He said his science classes have also prepared him: “the teachers are excellent, I learned a lot from them.” I’m sure he’ll go far and save many lives because, in return, this school saved his. See REFLECT on page 17 »

12 May 16, 2019

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



Principal Mallory tries to be ‘firm but fair’ leader By Jalicia Smith Voice of the Ville East English Village principal Charlene Mallory has always been surrounded by astounding leaders. “I have always worked under the direction of good leaders; they were supportive, kind, but firm,” she said. “They afforded me an opportunity to grow into leadership while I was a classroom teacher via training, additional accountability, building my confidence, and leadership skills at the same time. “At times, leadership can be challenging, and overwhelming, but it is a labor of love.” Before coming to EEVPA, Mallory was the director of Breithaupt Career & Technical Center, principal of Cody Upper High and an assistant principal at Denby, Finney, Cooley and Pershing. Her experiences in administration are vast and helped shaped her leadership style. Mallory’s describes her administrative style as “firm but fair, team oriented, compassionate and supportive.” At the Ville, staff and students witness this every day. She empowers teachers

by allowing them opportunities to lead, have a voice, make mistakes, learn, and grow as professionals. “You promote unity by being the example and leading the way; make sure that no one is excluded from the process,” she said. “I build relationships and VOICE OF THE VILLE

cultivate those relationships.” She also pushes students and gives them advice. One important point she often emphasizes is, “Your life has a purpose, don’t allow your current circumstances to distract you from your destiny; be a good listener and make wise decisions, if not the consequences of your actions will stifle your progress.” In June, Mallory will address more than 300 graduating seniors at this year’s commencement. It is expected to be a little different than past years. The Class of 2019 is her first four-year graduating class here at the Ville. “We all are all learning and growing,” she said.

Administration issues tardy slips


Ex-inmate speaks to students

Principal Charlene Mallory’s leadership style focusses on professionalism and guidance for students and staff.


By Tashaylah Homesly Voice of the Ville Being on time to class is important for not only the students, but the teachers. At EEVPA, students have five minutes to get to their class after the bell rings. If they don’t make it to class within that time period, some teachers will either deny students entrance into their classroom or require them to go to one of the Dean of Students for a “Student Tardy Pass.” “At East English, good attendance is an important part of


Darryl Woods sparked students’ attention with his story about his past 29 years behind prison bars. He was released on Feb. 12.

students’ success,” said Ms. Gail Elam, ESE teacher. “Being ontime to each class is a required pre-requisite, as it is our sincere desire for our students to be successful. In mid-February, the school administration implemented an alternative to issuing countless passes to late students. Now blue tardy slips are given to students who do not arrive to class before the last bell rings. Late students must report to the counseling office See TARDY on page 13 »


Juan Rascoe, 18, is the Ville’s only male member of its swim team.

RASCOE MAKES SWIM TEAM OF 1 By Klo’e Graham Voice of the Ville Many schools have their own superstars, and the Ville has senior Juan Rascoe, who stands out because he is the only male on the swim team. Rascoe continues to master his craft while managing to keep his mind focused on graduation. He maintains great grades and is often recognized for his outstanding Lexile scores on Achieve 3000. Every day you can find Rascoe working hard in the pool. When he was a sophomore, Rascoe decided he wanted to swim on the Ville’s team; so, he pursued it, and now he believes

Editor-in-Chief: Jalicia Smith Adviser: Cynthia D. Roddie Staff Support: Gail Elam Mentor: Joy Visconti, Michigan State University School of Journalism

the hard work paid off. “When I train, the coach is very aggressive and somewhat challenging, but I am grateful to Coach Jenkins; he pushes me to do my best,” he said. Rascoe understands hard work and training will in fact make him a finer swimmer; however, he is quick to point to out that he does not intend to swim at the collegiate level. “I am happy where I am as a swimmer, but I don’t plan to make it career,” he said. “After graduation, I want to become a chef. I am considering attending Schoolcraft Community College to study culinary arts,” Rascoe said.

By Tashayla Homesly Voice of the Ville On May 3, basic law instructor Ninochk Griffin and her students hosted a conversation with Darryl Woods, who was incarcerated for 29 years before his sentence was commuted. Woods was released Feb. 12. Woods told his life story to an audience of attentive students. He described his life in the streets and in the world of drugs. “I was crippled and mangled in the free world, because I was ignorant of my purpose in life,” Woods said. “I was exploited by drug organizations-they were my puppet masters.” Woods encouraged students. He said, “Take advantage of your educational opportunity, so you won’t experience what I did.” Griffin’s students leaders, seniors Davonte Johnson, Monteris Woods, Jessica Crippen, Larry Matthews, Rochelle Ambrose and Demaria Reddick, recently completed an investigative project on the topic, “School to Prison Pipeline.” Woods’ visit to the Ville came right on time as it directly relates to ending this movement that destroys so many young people’s lives by imprisoning them rather than motivating them to do well in school and society. On May 5, Woods was the recipient of the “Great Expectation Award” at the 64th Annual NAACP Fight for Freedom Dinner. This year’s theme was “Only One Direction … Forward.”

Staff Writers: Jordan’ Burkes, Cheyanne Cargle, Klo’e Graham, Tashaylah Homesly, Mac Swift, Sema’J Williams, Zy’keius Williams

May 16, 2019 13 ACADEMICS



EEVPA academic team won five trophies in its tournament. From left to right: sophomore Demarien Jordan, sophomore Sky Williams, sophomore Joseph Ijason, junior Gino Robinson, junior Jalysa Stillwell, sophomore Anthony Hall, senior Maria Malone, junior Elijah Singleton and junior Semaj Williams.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN By Faith Hall Voice of the Ville In academic games, teams of students learn and compete in math, current events, and history through games. Under the directions of their coach Rose Nagy, a math and science teacher at the Ville, teams fiercely compete and usually place at most tournaments. Every month, there are game tournaments, and in March, East English went to Grand Rapids for state tournaments, where

students won first place in equations,” Nagy said. “Academic games are great, because they help students to learn and have fun at the same time,” she said. Nagy said her students won many games: five medals and five trophies so far this school year. “I learned to like it; the tournaments are fun, and they teach me a lot in such a fun environment,” said sophomore Sky Williams, an academic games participant.


Dean of Students Bryant Tipton supports issuing blue tardy passes.


Too many slips could result in suspension FROM PAGE 12

where either Tipton or the attendance agent at the Ville will electronically record their attendance and give them a blue or green pass. Then, students must present their teacher with the tardy pass, which allows them entrance into the classroom. Receiving a tardy pass comes with a catch. When students receive three of them in a week, they are notified by their teacher that they will receive a one-day suspension. If a student receives three more tardy slips, he or she will get a two-day suspension. After two suspensions, administration

will request a parent conference. “The passes are unnecessary and simply a way to put more students out of school than before, when they were just late, but at least they were in school, and not a home,” senior Micah Ashford said. “The tardy slips make students accountable for their actions,” said teacher Crystal DonehueEaster. Some students feel as though the passes are unfair and the school administration should have implemented this procedure in the beginning of the school year, not halfway towards the end. “All in all, students are now used to the policy; so, it will be easy to enforce it next year beginning in September,” said senior class president Davonte Johnson.


Seniors Malik Dann and Mika Jackson review student conduct about not leaving campus.

Should students be able to leave school at lunch? By Faith Hall Voice of the Ville Many high school students possess a driver’s license, and some even have their own vehicles. So, why shouldn’t they be allowed to leave the school campus during their lunch period? Well, this issue pops up every year, and the school’s administration’s response is always the same: No. At East English Village, lunch periods are one hour, however, students aren’t allowed to leave the school. While there are many restaurants and stores nearby, students are constantly reminded by staff never to leave the building. Like the staff, students believe they can drive to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Captain Jay’s, Coney Island and other restaurants and return

East English Village within an hour. In fact, some students argue they can sit down and eat at these establishments, and still make it to their next hour class. “Most of students who drive are either juniors or seniors who are responsible enough to go and come back — soon we will be adults; we are getting ready for the real world,” senior Mika Jackson said. Senior Malik Dann said, “Some students, who don’t like school lunches sit for an hour munching on junk food, like hot Cheetos, Doritos, Chester hot fries, cookies, and candy.” At the Ville, lunch is served in the commons, a large area on the first floor near the main office. There, some students use their lunch period as a social hour, a time when students

gather with classmates to eat, rap, sing and even talk about class assignments. “A long lunch gets boring especially, if you’re just sitting; they could at least make it 35-45 minutes lunch or give us the option to leave,” said junior Jayla Stillwell. Stillwell said she believes if the policy does change, parents should be aware of the new rules, and consequences should be enforced if rules aren’t followed. “Students’ safety is a big issue when talking about permitting them to leave the school’s campus, unsupervised,” teacher Cynthia Roddie said. “Parents send their children to school not McDonald’s, Subway or anywhere else. Anything can happen when allowing young people to go and come as they please, especially when they are driving and or riding in other teens’ vehicles.”


Students visit Comerica Park By Klo’e Graham Voice of the Ville On April 18 student journalists from various high schools attended Journalism Day at Comerica Park. Students were greeted by professional journalists and media personnel, some of whom had worked at Comerica Park. These

professionals discussed how they made it and how they shaped their crafts into successful careers. Student journalists got the chance to attend the Tigers vs. the White Sox baseball game and rallied and chanted to support the Tigers all while eating pizza, popcorn and candy. Voice of the Ville writers were

among the excited students who attended Journalism Day. We enjoyed hours of food stations hoping, taking pictures, and meeting students from other schools. Also, the carnival rides were added fun attractions. Everyone enjoyed themselves at this event were very grateful for the experience.

14 May 16, 2019

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

Teacher receives $7.5k grant Project to build outdoor space for class, relaxing By Ashenna Williams Crusaders’ Chronicle King’s English teacher Andrew Kemp is in the process of building an Outdoor Reading Theater on the school’s grounds. Kemp applied for an Innovative Educators Grant given by Community Connections Foundation in partnership with United Way and was awarded a $7,500 grant. Earlier this school year, staff

from Community Connections extended an opportunity for King’s teachers to apply for the grant and Kemp took advantage of it. “The point of the reading theater is to get more students outside and in touch with nature more often. Research shows that even the presence of a tree outside a window can boost wellbeing and has cognitive benefits,” Kemp said. “Because so many of our classrooms do not have windows, I think it is important to have a way to get students in touch with nature.”

Attention restoration theory is the belief that people have a greater ability to concentrate after spending time in nature. “Students need periods of attention restoration,” Kemp said. “We need to offer periods of involuntary attention along with the directed attention we give so much of. Without getting too into the research I’ll just say that creating more beautiful natural space on campus for students to relax and have class will offer great benefits.” See GRANT on page 18 »


English teacher Andrew Kemp and his team of students are on boulders that will be used in the Outdoor Reading Theater as landscape features to add visual interest. These 3-4 foot masses of granite will lend a strong earth science appeal along with the biology appeal of the trees.



Crusaders advocate for inclusion

Many students believe trade school is a better fit for them as opposed to college. The Legacy Development Foundation helps students get in the door. “I’m actually happy this

By Me’Lasia Dickerson Crusaders’ Chronicle King High School general education and exceptional education students are teaming up on projects and sporting events to promote inclusion of students with special needs. The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program at King — part of a Special Olympics of Michigan initiative involving many Michigan schools — is led by King environmental science teacher Jennifer Boyle and student education teacher Sonya Ray. “The Unified Special Olympics (USO) is very beneficial to both students with and without disabilities. It allows students to engage in social activities and in competitive sports,” Ray said. “It also allow students in general education to become aware of individuals with disabilities, to become comfortable around them, and to become socially involved.” Sports are used to bring students together and encourage working together as a team. Program creators believe inclusion will develop confidence for all students involved. This school year, King participated in DPSCD’s USO Bowling Tournament. King students were placed in three competing divisions and won medals in all three divisions. “Special Olympics believes that

See TRADES on page 14 »

See INCLUSION on page 18 »


Electricians from IBEW Local 58 come to King after school to train students in a possible field. Seniors Angelo Money and Ramill Reed get hands on training from volunteer electricians. Larry Todd looks on.

Seniors learn skilled trades By Damyah Bowers Crusaders’ Chronicle John D. Perkins Jr., the founder of Legacy Development Foundation, brings forth preapprenticeship opportunities for male and female seniors at King. The foundation is a non-


profit organization that focuses on developing local communities in the metro Detroit area by offering apprenticeship opportunities to the youth in the skilled trades industry while providing exposure and professional training. Adviser: Veronica Hollis Crain Mentors: Mike Wayland & Melissa Burden

“I graduated from King in 2010,” Perkins said. “I chose King because this is where it all started. King made me the man I am today. Me using my life as a template to give back to the school that made me just made sense.”

Staff Writers: Shakyra Blackburn, Damyah Bowers, Taylin Ford, Apryl Long, Elizabeth Trice, Ashenna Williams

May 16, 2019 15 ACADEMICS

DPSCD mandates reading program By Elizabeth Trice Crusaders’ Chronicle Achieve3000 is a new reading program mandated by the district at the beginning of this school year to improve DPSCD high school students’ Lexile levels by reading and analyzing informational text. “Detroit Public Schools heard about our program and found out what it can do to help students improve their literacy skills specifically around the text. We also see from standardized test what kids struggle with the most,” Crystal Maclin, Professional Learning Services Consultant for Achieve3000 said. According to Achieve3000, “In order to be college and career ready, students must read all texts, especially nonfiction, at a proficiency level previously expected of students two or three grade levels higher.” The program differentiates lessons meeting students at their individual level with hopes of seeing improvements as the academic school year progresses. “It’s an adjustment process for the children because it's something new, but I think they like to see their success,” said Sherrhonda Denice, Master Teacher of English Language Arts. “We want to have a district where people want to put their children.”

King With this reading program, diversity is not a problem. Achieve3000 is used across the world helping Lexile scores ascend rather than descend. “Our data, when we work with districts across the world, we see 2-3 times the growth of Lexile scores over the course of the school year when they use the program as it is designed,” Maclin said. Achieve3000 starts off based on a Lexile reading score that is earned after taking a LevelSet assessment. After the LevelSet is complete, students are assigned informational text to read and assignments to complete. Over time, it is expected students will have Lexile gains. The key to success is using the program with fidelity. “The only time we see students Lexile scores go down, or they don't get better, is when the program is not used as designed,” Maclin said. The goal of the program is to let students know what Lexile level they need for a chosen career, and each article given could increase that score. “We want to have a district where people want to put their children,” Denice said.


Juniors use technology to complete Achieve3000 readings and activities assigned by their teacher. Achieve3000 is a new reading program mandated by the district for high school students at the beginning of this school year to improve Lexile levels.

After attending mandatory professional development sessions during last summer and earlier this school year, teachers were hopeful. “I was optimistic about It. The program would be beneficial to students, because it gives students


beneficial can assist with the achievements of higher reading scores and higher SAT scores. “I have a lot of kids with a ton of points, sometimes they brag about it. I had one student do 10 Achieve3000’s over break which is inspirational,” Johnston said.


K-pop has positive message for Americans

Social media snags teens into pitfalls By Elizabeth Trice Crusaders’ Chronicle Social media apps have different impacts on people, including high school students. Some teens admit they are addicted to apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. King social worker Brittney Lawrence said high school students are key users of social media and there are some cases where social media causes depression. “I’ve had many cases where social media was something that was really impacting the student causing that person a lot of distress, and a lot of uncomfortable feelings,” Lawrence said. Often, teen users compare themselves to others which creates envy and self-body shaming. According to a recent national survey by Common Sense Media, “the percentage of teens who engage with social media multiple times a day has gone from 34 percent in 2012 to 70 percent in 2018.” “They were spending their time comparing themselves to people or their situations to other people’s aspects of life,” said Lawrence. Inappropriate images are another pitfall for users because there are

articles at the level they are at, slowly challenging them and pushing them to go up and up in their reading levels, “Matthew Johnston ninth grade English teacher said. Giving students the opportunity to look forward to a routine for something educational and


Teens spend a lot of their time on social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat and sometimes it can become an addiction.

King laws that prohibit certain pictures. However, with students owning their own phones, it’s difficult for parents and teachers to block or censor the images. “I worked for an agency that works with at-risk youth that were in trouble with the law because they were sending inappropriate content,” Lawrence said. Instagram and Snapchat being among the most popular are also known as a place for cyber bullies with fictitious names. “With Instagram, people would create a fake profile, and bully someone. Because anyone can use the app, it is definitely the platform

of cyber bullying,” Lawrence said. According to a 2018 article by psychologist Mark Griffiths in Psychology Today: “From a mental health perspective, concerns have been raised about the negative impact of excessive use of social networking sites on the health and wellbeing of users, especially that of young people, who are enthusiastic users of this technology.” Senior Krystopher Frazier spends a lot of his time on social media and has a fan base of 10,000 followers on Instagram. “When I first got in high school, all the social media came along. It’s not a priority, it’s a must and I check Instagram at least one time every hour,” Frazier said. “I’m on Instagram and Snapchat for hours daily.”

Me’Lasia Dickerson Crusaders’ Chronicle

K-pop, also known as Korean pop music, is superior to American pop music in my eyes. And as its popularity grows in the U.S., more people are agreeing with

me. Pop music is a great genre of music, but the meanings behind a majority of songs, if there are any at all, don’t have positive messages. As of right now, the most popular K-pop group is BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, a seven-member South Korean boy band under Big Hit Entertainment. In the last two years, BTS has released three albums as part of a love yourself series. This series encourages self love regardless of what other people believe. The first album of the series is called “Love Yourself: Her.” The 2017 album is about being in a relationship where there

King is one-sided love and trying to escape the clutches of being in love with someone who doesn't love you. In early-2018, the second album, “Love Yourself: Tear,” was about finally getting out of that relationship but going through depression and trying to find a way to love yourself again after not being good enough for your past partner to love you back. Then, to complete the story, the “Love Yourself: Answer” is released middle 2018. As the series suggests, it was about finally loving yourself. That album specifically meant a lot to me, because it showed me to love myself more and showed me how to spread that message to others. Many people don’t care to learn more about K-pop or listen to it simply because it’s in another language, and I think music taste shouldn’t be defined by a language barrier. I myself have witnessed people See K-POP on page 18 »

16 May 16, 2019


Decision Day highlights seniors’ futures NISHALA-SIMONE DIXON/ MUSTANG VOICE

JaMya CurrieWilliams and Ma’Kayla Jackson show off their certificates at Mumford’s Decision Day on May 3. Williams is going to Northern Michigan University in the fall and Jackson will be headed to Central State University.

By Remi League Mustang Voice Mumford High School senior Joya McGee knew since she was 12 years old that she wanted to be a neonatal surgeon. “I knew after I saw “Gifted Hands” with Ben Carson. I wanted to help kids have better lives just like him. Plus I love kids so why not?” said McGee, who will be attending Central Michigan University this fall. While McGee knows what she wants to do after high school, other seniors do not and Decision Day, an event that took place on May 3 event

at Mumford, was partly aimed at helping them making up their minds. For those still not sure about their plans, during Decision Day representatives from colleges, trade schools, and the military set up displays and talked to students about their options. Many students’ families push them to attend college after high school if they want to become successful. But there are plenty of other post-secondary options students can pursue. Mumford college adviser Darren Craddeith said, “It all depends on the student, their grades and their mindset. It depends on what the student



By Shanea Dinwiddie and JayVen Franklin Mustang Voice In the middle of his sophomore year, Jason Singleton Jr. decided to transfer from Northwestern High School to the school just down the street from his house. By the next fall, he was a star player on the Mumford Mustangs varsity football team and well known around school. Football captains Dayohn Bostick, Miquan Terry and Tahj Stewart saw Singleton as a teammate they could always rely on. “Jason worked hard, he was about business, he was a leader,” Bostick said. “We won one of the toughest games of

Student heads for U.S. Navy

By Yoder Faulkner Mustang Voice On Sept. 4, Ji’Air Levingston will be shipping out to boot camp for the U.S. Navy. Levingston is the only Mumford senior with plans to enter the military right after high school.


Jason Singleton, Jr. gets ready for a home game last fall at Mumford. Singleton died March 22.

Suicide prevention: Teens can help teens By Raechel Davis and Daija Thomas Mustang Voice May is Mental Health Awareness Month and with the recent passing of Jason Singleton, students have been talking about suicide. According to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, it’s the second leading cause of death for ages 15-34 in Michigan. “Suicide rarely happens without warning,” according to an ar-


See DECISION on page 18 »


Mumford remembers student

See SINGLETON on page 17 »

feels is best.” Senior Ji’Air Levingston enlisted in the U.S. Navy for the different benefits and opportunities. “I chose to go into the military because I get to travel and learn new things I wouldn’t learn in the civilian world,” Levingston said. Trade schools offer targeted instruction and a certificate usually in less time than it takes to get a bachelor’s degree. The programs often offer job placement and a chance to make good starting salaries.

NEED HELP? If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time, or chat online at Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support to people in crisis when they text HOME to 741-741. ticle about teens helping teens on, the website of the National Association for School Psychologists. “As a peer, Adviser: Sara Hennes Mentor: Krishnan Anantharaman

you may be in the best position to recognize when a friend might See PREVENTION on page 17 »

Mustang Voice: Why did you choose to join the military? Levingston: As a young child I was always amazed by the military vehicles I saw on TV. I used to watch a show called Armored Warfare and they showed how the tanks worked and how they drove over other stuff. I just liked watching the brute force the tanks were capable of. MV: So, why the Navy? They don’t have tanks. Levingston: They might have some tanks, but they have aircraft carriers, and that’s better than tanks. And in the Navy I get to explore the world. MV: You’re taking JROTC this year. Did that have anything to do with your decision? Levingston: I didn’t plan to take JROTC. They just gave it to me because I needed an elective. But it’s how I chose the Navy. At a JROTC event I met a Navy recruiter who was really persuasive


Ja’Air Levingston poses in the Navy swag he got from his recruiter. “Major Butler made us retake it because it’s improper for me to have both flags on my left in a photo,” Levingston said.

and she followed up with me. MV: When will you officially start your career in the military? Levingston: When I graduate from boot camp and school I will start my official job as a Operations Specialist. MV: What will your tasks be? Levingston: My job as an O.S. will be to plot a ship’s position, heading, and speed; operate common marine electronic navigation instruments; and provide target plotting data to the combat information center. MV: What are some advantages of joining the Navy right after high school? Levingston: I wasn’t sure if See NAVY on page 24 »

Staff Writers: Raechel Davis, Yoder Faulkner, Tiana Law, Remi League, Ji’Air Levngston, Ayrionna Robinson, Daija Thomas

May 16, 2019 17



Knowing warning signs could help save a life FROM PAGE 16

need help and help them get it. By listening, talking, and acting you could save a life.” No one wants to believe that a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, but we still have to be aware of what to look for. The following suggestions are from “Preventing suicide: Warning signs and getting help” at Listen for conversations about: ◗◗ being a burden to someone or about being in unbearable pain ◗◗ feeling hopeless ◗◗ having no reason to live ◗◗ feeling trapped


Watch for behaviors such as: ◗◗ withdrawing from friends, family, and activities ◗◗ showing signs of anxiety or mood changes, such as anger, sadness, or helplessness ◗◗ visiting or calling people to say goodbye ◗◗ giving away prized possessions Offer to help by: ◗◗ asking the tough question: Are you thinking about hurting yourself? ◗◗ listening and showing concern ◗◗ talking with them and reassuring them that they’re not alone ◗◗ connecting them with a crisis line, counselor ◗◗ telling a trusted adult If you need help, text HOME to 741-741 for free 24/7 crisis support or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

SINGLETON Student’s mom visited school May 2 FROM PAGE 16

the season this year because of him.” Stewart agrees. “Even though Jason was playful at times, anytime we needed him in tight games, he came through,” Stewart said. Varsity football coach Donshell English called Singleton very competitive in the classroom and on the football field. “He was outgoing and he always strived to be the best he could be,” English said. Singleton died by suicide March 22. In the days following, classmates created a memorial, plastering the area around his locker with photos and sticky notes. They also held a candlelight vigil March 27 on the Mumford football field. Singleton’s mother

The girls’ restroom in the lower C-wing at Mumford got a new look for Random Act of Kindness Day.

Restroom stalls become canvas for kind words By Ayrionna Robinson Mustang Voice If you need to feel inspired, visit the restrooms in the C wing. On March 1, Random Act of Kindness Day, teacher Tiyanna Peterson started putting up sticky notes with inspirational quotes on stalls in the girls’ restroom in the 9th grade C wing. “Act of Kindness Day is a national holiday so I was think-

Samantha King told stories about Jason during a visit to Mumford on May 2, describing a kind, funny, generous and very protective young man. “Jason was funny and joking all the time from the beginning,” King said. “When he as a baby, all he did was smile and laugh, smile and laugh.” King wants students to be aware that help is available. “When you’re going through something, think about it and then talk to someone about it. Give God a chance,” King said. Singleton attended Detroit Public Schools all of his life and had earned a spot in the graduating class of 2019. He was awarded an academic scholarship to attend Ferris State University in the fall where he had hopes of playing football. Singleton’s mother will be accepting his diploma at Mumford’s commencement ceremony on June 6.

ing of a random act of kindness I could do, and I thought this would be cute and the girl needs some inspiration,” Peterson said. “Because of the type of environment the girls are in, there seems to be a lot of drama, anger, and fighting and something needs to change.” Because Peterson only teaches half of the 9th grade population, she figured she would reach more girls by put-


Students can take many paths after graduation FROM PAGE 11

I asked Eliyah Johnson where she sees herself in five years. “I see myself as probably a music producer, not for someone famous, but like bands that are just starting out,” she said. “I’d rather be behind the scenes making all the money, ‘cause that’s where it is.” Senior Aron Lecea said he is nervous about what his future holds, but he feels 100 percent ready for it. “I’ll take whatever life throws at me,” he said. Luckily, the school showed him how college will benefit his future. Lecea wishes to have a career in mechanical engineering. He sounds thankful for what this experience has given him: “It gave me a view that I hadn’t had before.” College is not for everyone, and if you have another plan, then go for it. Oscar Jimenez plans to pursue an apprenticeship as an electrician. Four years at a university doesn’t sound appealing to him, he said. He also

ting her display in the restroom instead of in her classroom. Teacher Nicole Massey saw what Peterson was doing and decided to help. “I try to do positive things in my classroom because it starts here with the teachers,” Massey said. “If you create that positive culture in your classroom it’ll flow out into the hallways, the gym, and the cafeteria.” Massey had seen something

said if he could say anything to the whole senior class or to anyone who is moving forward, it would be: “Just do what you feel is right, who cares what everyone else says. … Do what you want to do and whatever you feel is the best path for yourself.” This is the mindset that will take you places. I was never the studious type either, nor athletic. Taking advantage of this education was not that important to me before high school. I didn’t think it really mattered, but once I entered Detroit Cristo Rey, I was challenged. I never before had to stay up past 3 a.m. finishing up a paper or a project. Straight A’s were foreign to me, and my attention span for any lecture was about 17 seconds. The first day of high school, I remember I was assigned some questions from my Algebra 1 class. I asked what kind of system would allow this nonsense. Homework on the first day? Who does that!? Homework every day eventually became a routine I perfected. Soon I learned about “individual presentations.” They were so scary and new to me all at the same time. Questions like What’s a planner? and Deadlines are a thing? constantly

similar to Peterson’s project on Facebook. The two teachers checked it out and expanded the project. Massey replaced Peterson’s sticky with painted messages and Peterson did a similar display in the boys’ restroom. Freshman Meosha Sykes said the writing boosts her confidence. “I think it helps everyone get through the day knowing people care about them,” Sykes said. roamed in my mind. High school was a stimulating reality that slapped me in the face the first week. I took everything dramatically, but I adapted. I was told that being involved looked good on resumes. So, I joined a few teams and clubs for the recognition. It turns out, each one of them became a family to me. From cross country to journalism, I’ve found my place in them. I may not be a doctor one day, or a music producer, or someone who works with machines and utilities. No, my vision is a little blurry and that’s OK. Am I terrified? Absolutely. But the only reason I’m prepared for the next big challenge in life is because of Cristo Rey. It broke me my freshman year, introducing me to the world of reality. Now I stand newly built, ready for whatever storm is to come. So, don’t come to Detroit Cristo Rey if you don’t want to see your path of success be paved. Do not contribute to the hardworking collection of bright young people if you’re not interested in being one. And you should most certainly not attend Detroit Cristo Rey if you don’t believe this school can transform you, because it will.

18 May 16, 2019


Mumford staff honors seniors on special day FROM PAGE 16

Senior Tresur’ Young said she was looking at colleges at first, but liked the fact that trade schools focus on job-related classes without requiring a bunch of extra classes. Young decided to attend Dorsey Culinary Academy in the fall. Decision Day ended with the Mumford staff recognizing seniors who were already accepted to a college or university with certificates, applause and a raffle for items they’ll need in their dorm rooms.


Kemp wants students to take ownership of project FROM PAGE 14

The theater will be an outside location for teachers to take their class instead of being in the building. The theater will add structure for teaching. There will be trees as a backdrop behind the seating. “It’s like a small amphitheater three quarters round. It will be benches to seat a class and a spot in the middle for a teacher or whoever is presenting,” Kemp said. “Trees will filter out distractions and sound.” Kemp and current juniors are responsible for construction of the reading theater. Construction will go through this May, and there will be an inauguration before the end of the school year. “As much as possible I want the students to take ownership of the project and the work,” Kemp said. “It can be thought of as a service project in which students think not just of the benefit to themselves but to future Crusaders.”


The Unified Champion Schools program brings general education and exceptional education students together. In March on Respect Day, students collected signatures from students who signed a “Respect Me, Respect You, Respect We” pledge. Students received T-shirts to show their respect for themselves and others.


Program helps students improve communication FROM PAGE 14

through sports, young people can make a difference in friendships, schools and communities,” Ray said. “It allows exceptional

students in a self-contained classroom, with no or very little exposure to general education students, to learn how to interact with their general education peers.” Boyle said general education students volunteer to be part of the team. “All students have a 2.0 or higher, and no behavior is-

sues,” Boyle said. “The students who signed up have leadership qualities, patience, empathy and awesomeness.” The program has helped many students such as King junior Demiris Brown improve communication skills. “Working with learning disabled children has helped, and

even though some of them have a hard time using their words, it teaches me other ways to communicate,” he said. King senior Javien Stallion said he got a gold medal with Brown. “(It) seems fun because I get to see old friends from the past,” Stallion said.


Program gives students an advantage on career FROM PAGE 14


Messages make music better than American pop FROM PAGE 15

act so ignorant to K-pop, I always hear, “Ew, you like those Chinese boys, why you don’t even know what they're saying,” or “They look like girls, why are they wearing makeup,” and people let those silly things block the bigger picture. American pop idols like Taylor Swift are known for making petty break-up songs about their ex partners, just to throw shade or out of spite. It’s never to talk about a positive message like loving yourself, or to let people know they are not alone like Kpop music does. I have nothing against American pop idols because I still listen to their songs too. But, I just believe K-pop is superior because it spreads more positivity into people’s lives.

program came about because I was going to trade school after I graduated and now, I get a head start,” said King senior D’Juan Gill-Porter. This program is six weeks long for Crusaders ages 15-18 and gives students an advantage on a career that they want to succeed in. There are 10 seniors who meet after school to receive training from electricians, plumbers, carpenters, business professionals and financial advisers. “We’re not just teaching them construction,” Perkins said. “We’re teaching them things that will make them successful such as resume writing, interviewing skills, financial literacy, business and networking etiquette.” There are days when the young men work with electricians to teach them new skills and that trade’s terminology. “Our goal is to get people interested in skill trades in


(left to right) Counselor Denise Barnes, Assistant Principal Lawrence Fitz, D’Juan Gill-Porter, Tyrone Hill, Larry Todd, Daizon Glenn, Ramill Reed, Jalen Tobias, Angelo Money, Douglas Martin, Dwayne Williams, DaMarkkus Washington, John D. Perkins Jr. (founder), and Sherie Shaik (assistant to founder).

general. I think an electrician is the best because it’s an evergrowing field,” said Terrance Lewis, volunteer electrician from IBEW Local 58. Giving teens an opportunity to work in the field beforehand can help them get a better feel and understanding of the career they have chosen. “I was always the youngest on site and there were not a lot

of minorities. I saw that as a problem,” Perkins said. Once the six weeks are over, the young men will enter a summer apprenticeship program that will continue to develop their skills and allow them to work on city development projects. “It’s not that our youth isn’t interested in these opportunities, they just lack the knowledge that it exists, so exposure

is the key for me to turn a child’s passion into a career,” Perkins said. “If it worked for me, it can work for them because all they need is exposure and opportunity. At the end of the program, we have an annual black tide match that acts as a graduation ceremony for them and some of our supporting partners come in and actually employ the students.”

May 16, 2019 19


A public forum for the students and community of Renaissance High School | STUDENT LIFE


MORE ONLINE Scan this QR code with your smartphone to read more profiles about the poeple who work and go to school at Renaissance.

RENAISSANCE The staff of the RHS Stentor is introducing you to a few of the nearly 1,300 students and staff who fill the halls of Detroit’s Renaissance High School every day.



By Madison Bryant-Carter RHS Stentor Walking through the Renaissance hallways and observing the demographics of students, you will see a mosaic of brown faces conversing, rushing to their next classes, trying to beat the bell. If you look closely enough, you will see Renaissance sophomore Nabila Chowdhary — a girl who is unapologetically Muslim. Being a racial and religious minority in a predominately black and Christian high school, she is fearless in the face of difference. “I can’t really be afraid, like, first: my parents are immigrants, I’m a Bangladeshi, so that makes me a minority,” she said. “On top of that, I’m a Muslim. And, on top of that, I’m a female.” Her story is often assumed by others, but Nabila wants to help those who are curious about the Islamic faith. “Everybody asks me questions,” she said. “It's not their faults that they’ll assume that I know everything about the religion or Middle Eastern politics.” To provide others with knowledge, Nabila tries to stay updated with information within her culture and religion. She says this is necessary because of negative media that causes misperceptions and judgment. “It’s like my job to always know things,” she said. “What (students at Renaissance) do know is what media

By Isaiah Thomas RHS Stentor Cancer is called many things throughout the world: Cancer. Kancer. Krebs. PaK. Nowotwór. And it takes many forms. But ovarian cancer is one of the rarest of them, with 200,000 new cases in the U.S. each year. Renaissance junior Nia Paige was one of these unlikely statistics. Diagnosed as a 1-year-old in 2003, Nia said she was told she was one of the youngest people in the world to have ovarian cancer. “I was the youngest person at that time to have it,” Nia said. “It’s funny, because when people think of somebody who beat a world record, it’s usually something good.” Paige was born on Aug. 18, 2002. “She was always a happy baby,” her mother, Crystal Harper, said. But around Nia’s first birthday, her mother began to worry. “My mother told me that when I was a baby, I couldn’t touch my stomach without crying hysterically,” Nia said. That’s when her mother took her to the doctor. “I went to about two doctors before finally getting her cancer diagnosis,” Harper said. “It was very hard not knowing what was wrong with her.” Nia had a Granulosa cell tumor growing in one of her ovaries. This type of cancer tends to occur in younger women.

See NABILA on page 20 »

See NIA on page 20 »


Adviser: Kyle Goodall Crain Mentor: Omari Gardner




By Destiny Hines RHS Stentor From the age of 6, a young girl knew she wasn’t like the others. She liked playing football, hanging with the boys, and talking about the girls. “I realized my sexuality at the age 7, when I met a girl and thought she was very cute ... but in the ‘girlfriend-boyfriend’ way,” said a Renaissance student who asked not to be identified by name. She recalls the first crush she ever had “felt the same as liking a boy, but better.” “I realized this because one day, in the summertime when I was 9, I attended a summer program and we took a trip to go to the petting zoo. While there me and the girl kissed, and I liked it very much.” She knew she was attracted to girls, and that it was different from societal expectations. Even in society rapidly becoming more accepting of queer people, she took homophobic bullying as a sign not to come out. “I came out in sixth grade, but before I came out, I would see others bully kids and say it was sin,” she said. “I became more confident when my sister came out, and it helped became more common to be gay, and it was more accepted.” When she started to feel

By Renee Mitchell RHS Stentor There is a shortage of teachers across America. Only 4.6% of college freshmen plan to major in education, according to a study from the University of California at Los Angeles. Out of that low percentage is Ranya Tinnon. Tinnon is an aspiring teacher who wants to help educate the next generation. She believes that becoming a teacher is one of the biggest ways to impact a community. “I feel like it’s a good thing when people want to go into the educational field,” she said. “Especially in Detroit, we need teachers, and I would love to help.” Along with her passion to help the community, she also has a liking to children. “I like children because they're so funny to me, they ask me personal information and don’t even realize it,” Tinnon said. “Also, they are intelligent. It's crazy that people are ignorant of the fact that children are just there listening to what you say.” Tinnon has been spending time at daycare centers to help get a better experience with children. “I have been doing a sum-

By Francois Benson RHS Stentor Can we take a moment to pay homage to those who have an introverted personality trait? Many people don’t acknowledge the ways being introverted can make their lives better. It’s common misperception that introverts are friendless weirdos who hate being social. There could be some truth to this, but all introverts don’t fall under this stereotype. Meet Grey Brooks. She’s a sophomore who attends Renaissance High School, and is one of the quietest kids in the school. Grey defines her school status as “self-sufficient and introverted,” and she identifies herself with these personality traits not because she is friendless, but because she "thrives in her alone time." “I like to stay to myself at school, I really don't know why,” she said. “I guess I just enjoy being alone.” Grey said she believes that introverts get their energy from being alone, but not always. “I usually listen to music or read my books in my alone time,” said Grey. She finds herself reading most of the time, and she loves it. But Grey wasn’t always fond

See SELF on page 20 »

See TINNON on page 20 »

See GREY on page 20 »

Staff Writers: Kevon Askew, Rhyane Banks, Francois Benson, Brooke Morgan, Amare Bradley, Madison Bryant-Carter, Kynnedee Cowles, Tommie Dickey, Tasia Eggleston, Jayla Ford, Kyndall Franklin, Paul Gardner, Bianca Gibson, Destiny Gilbert, DuRon Grant, Antonio Green, Tianna Hamilton, Destiny Hines, John Hopkins, Victoria Huguley, Imani Jackson, Jadyn Jackson, Nijah Jackson. Monique Martin, Erin Maxwell, Joshua McDonald, Zafairanni McQueen, Renee Mitchell, Ma’Laan Moses, Jameelah Muhsin, Michelle Oliver, Samuel Shack, Chelsea Smith, Isaiah Thomas, Keyanna Whitted

20 May 16, 2019


Coming out again helps student live authentically FROM PAGE 19

this way, she also began to realize, it was not just her sexuality that made her different: she also didn’t feel connected with her body. “I realized I wanted to transition when I was 14 years old,” she said. This followed an experience of sexual abuse and resulted in depression. She was, in fact, he. As he fell further into depression, he began to search for the cause of his feelings until stumbling upon YouTuber Jammidodger, someone he identified with. Jammidodger is where he learned about transitioning and the terms, process, and what to expect during a transition. It came time to come out again, this time as a trans male. “My mother’s reaction was not


Despite harassment, student wants to educate FROM PAGE 19

will tell them or how certain outlets will portray Muslims, and it’s always in a negative light.” As a Muslim, Nabila says it is her duty to clarify people’s understanding of the Islamic faith. She does this first with her hijab, one of the first things many people notice. “When I explain the purpose of my hijab many people don’t know that I wear it for similar reasons like Christianity,” she said. “People are shocked by how similar the two religions are.” Nabila didn’t think anything of skin color or appearance when she came to Renaissance, and didn’t think much would change for her. “But I guess for other people it wasn’t the same, and it was like

surprised, but curious, because she didn’t understand why I wanted to change,” he wrote in a text. It’s still difficult for him to talk out loud, at school, about this transition. “My dad's reaction was also curious, but supportive and understanding too.” Not all trans youth have this kind of experience when coming out. According to National Center for Transgender Equality, family rejection, discrimination and violence have contributed to disproportionate homelessness among transgender and other LGBTQ-identified youth in the United States. An estimated 20-40% of the more than 1.6 million homeless youth are LGBTQ, while only about 10% of the population identifies as such. In 2016 statewide survey of almost 81,000 Minnesota teens, nearly 2,200 identified as transgender or gender nonconforming. The study found that these kids reported worse mental and physical health than other kids, echoing

previous findings. The study revealed that the risk of developing a mental health condition was 3 to 13 times higher for transgender and gender non-conforming youth than youth whose gender identity corresponded with their assigned gender at birth. In Detroit, the Ruth Ellis Center has established a national reputation for quality and innovation in providing trauma-informed services for homeless, runaway and at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and young adults of color. For now, he doesn’t need these services. Fortunately, in welcoming the person he is becoming, he hasn’t become a statistic. “(Learning about transitioning) has affected me positively, because I’ve now realized who I feel I am meant to be, and I have learned to accept myself for who I am, not for what everyone wants me to be,” he said.

the first time they were really interacting with somebody with my type of background,” she said. Due stereotypes of the Islamic faith, judgment is passed. “Muslims in the United States experience the impact of these stereotypes in myriad Nabila forms,” she said. Chowdhary “Individuals have experienced discrimination in housing and employment, or even harassment and attacks from strangers on the street; mosques and Islamic centers across the country frequently report vandalism.” Never did Nabila expect to experience discrimination in her academic career, but she has experienced the prejudices of fellow classmates at Renaissance. “At Renaissance, it was kind

of like people would be racist or, like, kind of have an undertone of Islamophobia … sometimes they don’t even know that they’re doing it,” she said. “When I’m walking down the hallway, some people would just like look at me weird.” Some students have even verbally criticized Nabila verbally about about her religion. “Last year in my geometry class, one of my classmates had questions of my faith, which isn’t unusual,” she said. “But his intentions weren’t the same as other people. He would criticize my hijab and the culture of my religion based on bad news and media.” Nabila said harassment continued throughout her freshman year, though she is grateful for the experience. “I’m happy for the exposure that this situation has given me,” she said. “It made me practice the basic principals of my faith and values.”





Student was diagnosed with cancer at 1 year old According to the National Institutes of Health, “It’s very rare and it accounts for approximately 2% of cancer.” Harper said the tumor was malignant on the outside and benign on the inside. It was the size of a grapefruit. The cancer was life-threatening. Being a baby, doctors had to immediately remove one of Paige’s ovaries to avoid the tumor bursting and spreading rapidly. “They had to cut my stomach open from side to side, so I have a scar on my stomach,” Nia said. She recovered quickly from the surgery, however. After the surgery, chemo wasn’t required, because the tumor was removed, and the tumor had not leaked. Nia says she is fine now, but

It’s OK to be an introvert when you have books


Junior Nia Piage today and at 3 months old. She was diagnosed with cancer at a 1-year-old.

there are some things that the cancer has affected. “I had ovarian cancer, so they had to remove one of my ovaries,” she said. “As a female, that affects some stuff in my life. “Since I have been playing volleyball, I have had a little problem with my other ovary, and I had to have a robotic surgery performed on it.” At one point, Nia had to sit out of a game. “My scars reminds me that life is not guaranteed. It reminds me that life is only what you make of it,” she said.

of the idea of actively reading a book; she formerly she hated it. “In elementary and half of middle school, I hated reading — until, like, the seventh grade, it was when I read ‘The Lost Hero’ by Rick Riordan,” Grey said. “I read this book, and I felt that the depiction of the characters were great, which made me want to get into reading more pieces of Literature, like the ‘Percy Jackson’ series later on.” From this moment on in Brooks's life, she has found herself reading more and more. One of the most interesting books, Brooks said, is the novel “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo. “It’s a heist novel, but it’s


Ranya Tinnon enjoys being a student, and thinks her love of learning will last as a teacher.


mer job where I work with kids ages 5 to 12. I also work at a daycare center with 4 to 6 year olds,” she said. Even though she has a soft spot for younger kids, being a high school English teacher is more of her preference. “Attending school helps by observing how my teachers teach,” Tinnon said. “I got to see the ranges from middle school to elementary and high school, where I want to teach, to see how the classroom works.” Friend Angel Fisher said she believes Tinnon has traits that make a good teacher. “I feel like she would be a great teacher because she is very well spoken and has great leadership skills,” Fisher said.

“She is also very thorough in how she wants things done, and she makes sure it gets done.” Along with wanting to teach students, Tinnon wants to give inspiration and advice. “I try to advise my family members and people younger than me so that they don’t have to make the same mistakes I have made,” she said. When others feel discouraged, Tinnon wants them to understand that there are bigger and better things in the future. “To younger children, I try to give advice on what high school is like, and what life is going to be,” she said. “They think that they may not go far or they can't do anything. I try to get them to understand that it’s just middle school – wait till high school and adulthood. “There will be bigger and better things there for you, so don’t get stressed out and enjoy your youth.”

more so focused on the characters. I really like them,” she said. “They talk about human sex trafficking and different problems. It's always good to see a diverse cast.” Grey also liked “Lady Midnight” by Cassandra Clare. “It’s just a good story and it’s interesting.” Clare is one Grey’s favorite authors to read because she simply enjoys her stories. “They're usually urban fantasy stories about ‘shadowhunters,’ who are half-angel, half-human people, who fight demons — and they talk about relationships,” she said. Grey said she is drawn to the diversity in Clare’s books, including members of the LGBT community, Black and white, Latino, etc. “I just think she knows how to make a good story,” Brooks said. Grey had recently finished

the Charlotte Holmes book series and has a distinct taste for character development. As much as Grey loves to read, she does not have any aspirations to create a piece of original work to call her own. “I’d like to write a book, in theory, but I don't think I could. I think it takes a lot of time ... a lot of patience to have a story idea outlines and everything,” Grey said “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you like to do, it's OK to be different at the end of the day do what makes you happy. I used to overthink things, but now I finally understand where my calling is. “People can think that introversion means that you are afraid of interaction but it’s more to it than that. I enjoy my time alone and reading books and not caring of having to be like everyone else I enjoy being an introvert.”

Teaching is a perfect career fit for student FROM PAGE 19

May 16, 2019 21


Cristo Rey students have challenging new options FROM PAGE 10

AP environmental science student Esmeralda Hermosillo. “Environmental science and sustainability is something we should be teaching everyone from a younger age.” Calculus, AP literature and composition added to Cristo Rey’s offerings Previously, all seniors were required to take the same British literature-focused course for their English credit. This fall, seniors will now be able to take an AP literature and composition class. English teacher Sydney RediganBarman will be the instructor for the new AP literature course. “If someone is interested in literature, exploring how writers make meaning, and is willing to work hard, then they will do well in the class,” she said. Students who take the course can expect plenty of reading and writing, as they develop the skills think and write critically about literature. “There is definitely a need for students who enjoy literature and enjoy English and would like the opportunity, to have a more advanced study of it,” Redigan-Barman said. Junior Nicolas Perales is one of those students who has expressed interest. “Personally, I would like to take this class because I love literature,”


Stan Lee’s final movie was the perfect ending FROM PAGE 10

out of the ruins of the Avengers building. They bring back the vanished and try to get the Infinity Stones back to the past to return them before Thanos gets them and destroys the universe for a more “grateful” one. They battle it out with Thanos’ team to stop them from getting the stones. In the end, there is only one true winner of this battle. The producers, directors and everyone that made this movie possible did an excellent job in ending the series in such an emotional way. We had to say goodbye to characters that we’ve loved for ten years. The producers and directors gave these characters a beautiful and sentimental goodbye. They gave them a good closing. They left with love and dignity. The audience was in shock and tears at how they left. Although these characters aren’t real many of us can still relate to them. We’ve seen these characters develop and the actors grow old and us along with it. Many of us remember watching Iron Man in theatres with our families and now 11 years later, we watch “Endgame” in theatres knowing it’s the last time we’ll see some of these characters. Marvel Studios has found a way of bringing families together while

he said. “From a very young age, I have had a very high reading level. I really enjoy reading in my free time. I think it is really nice to get credit for doing something I love.” This course will also help him better prepare for what he wants to do in college: major in literature and become a teacher. In the month of April, juniors were informed of the opportunity to take a summer pre-calculus class, in order to prepare them to take a new calculus course as their required math credit during their senior year. In previous years, pre-calculus was only offered to seniors during the regular school year. Math teacher Patrick Schmidt will be the instructor for the course. “I want my students to feel like they can take classes that they want to take,” Schmidt said. “I want them to receive as many opportunities as they can to push themselves as much as possible.” Calculus is a class that many people struggle with in college, and Schmidt said that he doesn’t want calculus to be “what stops certain students from pursuing some majors because they can’t do it or are scared to take it.” “I am definitely willing to sacrifice a part of my summer in order to take calculus next year,” said junior Esmeralda Orozco. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity that our school is opening the doors for. Getting ahead in math is crucial for all students, and as college approaches, learning and getting the most credits we can get will help greatly for the future.” watching their movies. Whether it be for just 90 minutes or three hours, those few hours we’re watching them everything is OK. We look for any possible “Easter eggs” to past or future movies. We stay to watch all the credits just to watch those post-credit scenes to get a little spoiler for the next movie. We grew up watching these characters and for many of us it’s hard to say goodbye. Watching the old movies won’t be the same anymore. Now the movies mean so much more than before. Knowing the fate of all these characters adds an emotional touch to the old movies. It makes them more enjoyable and more watchable. Stan Lee dedicated his life to creating these characters and helped bring them to life. Every year we saw him at the premieres and looked forward to seeing his cameo in the movies. Unfortunately, in this movie it was his last one. He would’ve been proud of what the producers and directors created in “Endgame.” He didn’t live long enough to see it here with the rest of us. But we all know he’s very pleased with how it all ended. We owe our childhood to Marvel. Now it’s time to say goodbye. Thank you, Marvel. Thank you for bringing families together. Thank you for giving us something to look forward to each year. Thank you for creating these characters and bringing them to the big screen. Thank you, Stan. This is the endgame.


The exhibit took over 10 hours to set up and officially opened to the public on April 11.


Exhibit will run through June at Affirmations FROM PAGE 2

gling students. Thereafter, RHS school leadership established a weekly support group for LGBTQ students, to meet during seminar period. The wall’s buzz prompted students to collect solidarity letters, in addition to more anonymous posts, posted opposite the Coming Out Wall, which lasted through October. Affirmations officially opened the exhibit to the public on April 11, showing people out-

side of the RHS community the spectrum of experiences that students faced. Visitors toured the gallery for the first hour and heard from a student panel, where six members of the RHS LGBTQ+ Alliance were asked about their feelings about the wall and school climate. The crowd listened empathetically. RHS junior Callie Reese joined the panel, because she “wanted to have a voice.” RHS senior Imaniyah Drain said it took her classmates much “bravery” to post. After the panel discussed school climate and outcomes of

the wall, the audience interacted with the students. Peter Brockhammer, a visitor, found the Coming Out Wall to be “a form of art,” he said as he viewed the posts. “Hopefully when the Gay Pride comes in May, a lot of people will see this,” he said. Guests are also able to come out and respond to anonymous posts after the visit. Affirmations hosts the Coming Out Wall exhibit through June, and the exhibit is included as part of the Ferndale Pride launch event at 6:30 p.m. May 30. Affirmations is located at 290 West 9 Mile Road in Ferndale.


(From left to right) Juniors Catherine Jones, Christina Patten, Jazmin Salcido, and Noemi Miramontes stand with the girls’ bathroom mural, which they hope will inspire all who see it.


Space-themed wall art aims to empower girls FROM PAGE 9

that she can do whatever she wants. She said she is proud that the bathroom wall radiates supportive energy from women to women, unlike the stereotypical

high school bathrooms, where the walls are filled with hurtful and negative messages. Other students said that they are glad that the walls are starting to be filled with more color and that the creativity of Cristo Rey students can finally be shared with the rest of the school. For Miramontes and Salcido,

the woman astronaut mural is only a start. Both said they hope to create more murals around the school in the near future, continuing to spread the theme of motivation to the hardworking students of Cristo Rey. Their next project is a mural in the boys’ bathroom, spreading the message of empowerment to all students.

22 May 16, 2019

HEAR THE ROAR Southeastern High School | STUDENT LIFE



Program supervisor, Brett Jordan, left, and Lawrence Robinson, far right, stand with Dennis Veal and male mentoring participants.


ABOVE: Wayne County Executive Warren Evans talks with Southeastern DECA members.


FINDS SUCCESS By KrisTia Maxwell Hear the Roar This year’s Southeastern High School DECA Club won the Gold Award at the Michigan DECA State Conference. As a result they were given the opportunity to travel to Florida to attend the International DECA competition. The Florida competition includes about 10,000 students from the U.S., Canada, Guam, Germany and Puerto Rico, including SE students Ariel Myers, MiYonia Nicholson, Harmony Smith and Janiya Williams. Smith and Myers participated in the chapter awards competition, and Williams and Nicholson participated in the Initiations Academy, which represents new chapters. All of these accomplishments were made in the club’s first active year at SE. It’s been more than five years since SE has had an active DECA club. DECA, which is the Association of Marketing, offers career opportunities in marketing, management and entrepreneurship for students. Blair Sawyers, SE business teacher and DECA Club adviser, said she is proud of the many accomplishments of this year’s DECA Club. They completed various community service projects, competed on the district, state and international levels.



Juniors Ariel Myers, MiYonia Nicholson, Harmony Smith and Janiya Williams at the DECA Florida competition.

Students said they are glad they joined because they are learning more about the world of business. “ I joined because my business teacher introduced it to me,” said Harmony Smith, a junior. “ It sounded interesting and I thought it would be a great experience. So far it has been.” Janiya Williams, a junior who is also active in SE’s robotics club, said she likes what DECA offers. “I enjoy the thought of the club and the work you have to put into it,” she said. “It was something I never thought of doing before so I decided to try it.” Editor-in-chief: Malaya Reed Adviser: Jacqueline Mitchell Robinson Crain Mentor: David Muller

Students said Sawyers personally recruited each of them. “DECA is not a club most students have heard of but one that many students quickly discover the value of belonging to,” Sawyers said. Attending the competition in Florida was an eye-opening experience. “It was educational and I learned that there are more opportunities out there,” Smith said. “To learn and meet new people, you have to step out.” DECA is a co-curricular proSee STORY on DECA 24 »

Mentor program creates bonds By Treyvon Simpson Hear the Roar The 5000 Role Models of Excellence male mentoring program is transforming lives at Southeastern High School through male bonding and positive role modeling. “I love all my brothers who are in the program with me,” freshman Isaiah Pearl said. “It’s a thing where you can go from a boy to becoming a man. The program is helping us to not want to be in the streets but to do something bigger and better. It has made me wanting to work hard and get my grades better.” The site director of the SE program is Dennis Veal, U.S. history and African American studies teacher. “I am very proud of my boys and the progress that they have made this year,” Veal said. “Collectively we have all developed impactful relationships on an individual basis and as a group.

The boys trust that I have their back and that the information and wisdom given to them is only there to help them.” The project is designed to develop a leadership pipeline for young men utilizing school-based and community mentors and role models through various methods of support. Weekly meetings are themed, and have addressed areas such as character, academic and emotional development. More than half of the 25 participants on are on the honor roll, Veal said. One student made the all-city basketball team. “Over this school year we have grown from a collection of teenage boys to a close knit family with a bond that can never be broken,” Veal said. Veal’s vision is to build on the relationships post graduation. “I hope to develop life-long relationships that will grow into a conglomerate of like-minded professionals,” he said.


French class participates in national contest By Lazavier Cole Hear the Roar Année super. If you know what that means, you must know some French. If you don’t, it means “great year.” That’s how French teacher William Leone sums up the French class’s accomplishments this year. The highlight: Southeastern’s French class participated in the National French Contest. The American Association

of Teachers of French (AATFDetroit Chapter) sponsors an annual contest to promote the study of the French language and culture. It is called “Le Grand Concours” and is comprised of a one-hour multiple choice exam that measures language proficiency at all levels, Novice to Native. Over 70,000 students participated in 2018; those with the highest percentiles of correct See FRENCH on page 24 »

Staff: Lazavier Cole, DeAnna Dawson, DeAsia Freeman, Diamond Gray, KrisTia Maxwell, Dominique Martin, Malaya Reed, Christopher Robinson

May 16, 2019 23

THE WESTERN EXPRESS Western International High School | STUDENT LIFE


Detroit schools to observe Ramadan


Western International families celebrate Cinco de Mayo parade in Mexicantown.

WESTERN CELEBRATES ITS MANY CULTURES By Milka Aristeo and Jessica Moreno The Western Express s one of the most culturally diverse public high schools in the city of Detroit, the Western community has enjoyed numerous cultural celebrations since February. During the month of February, the school honored the many contributions of African Americans through poetry and art contests. Sponsored by the Office of


Culture and Climate, students were able to express themselves through the Black History Month Art Contest. Contest winners were sophomore Mekhia Chapman and juniors Alaisia Mays and Mercedes Jimenez. In March, the Office of Culture and Climate gave students another opportunity to showcase their talents. This time celebrating diversity and honoring women through an oratorical contest.


Black History month art contest winner Mekhia Chapman shows off her award with principal Angel Garcia.

See CULTURE on page 24 »

By Fatima Ahmed The Western Express Detroit Public Schools Community District will observe Eid al-Fitr on May 25, 2020 as a Muslim holiday for the first time. Teacher aide Suaad Aljunaidi said this has been an issue for a while in DPSCD and is glad the current administration and school board approved it as a holiday. “This is important,” Aljunadi said. “Students will know be able to share this time with their families without missing school, and more importantly, the rest of the community will be able to share this special day as we share other holidays. Sophomore Naja Muthana said she is excited about this recognition. Having observed Ramadan in both Yemen and the U.S. she recalls the “calls to prayer five times a day being really nice because they help you focus on becoming better.” Beesan Yaish, a bilingual academic interventionist who practiced Islam in Palestine, said: “The general atmosphere in a predominantly Muslim setting is definitely more peaceful. The sense of unification and community reminds us of the purpose and the true essence of Ramadan, which is to come together as one with no differences. “This is a time to come together as followers of Islam and an opportunity to please our maker.”


Western students visit Senegal By Stephania Ramirez The Western Express Every year, a nonprofit organization called buildOn sends a select group of Detroit students to an underdeveloped country to help build the foundation for a school alongside a village community. This year’s trek team was sent to Dafeme, a village in Senegal, West Africa. Our group was welcomed with an opening ceremony to celebrate our arrival and the beginning of the school’s construction. The villagers were full

of gratitude as were we, for their hospitality. During our trip, we learned about Senegalese culture, tried new foods and met so many new friends. Our days consisted of laboring on the work site, participating in cultural activities and bonding with our host families. Our work site duties were to tie rebar, dig foundation, mix cement, make bricks, move supplies and more. Cultural activities included soccer, wrestling and learning how to cook a traditional Senegalese dish called couscous.


We visited another finished buildOn school, and had talks about gender roles with the community. Bonding with our host families was challenging due to language barriers, but we managed to work it out. The people of Dafeme were very welcoming and taught us to be grateful for what we have. This experience helped me to step out of my comfort zone and brought me close to new friends I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t gone on trek.

Advisers: William Bowles and Dorian Evans


Students visiting a completed buildOn school.

Staff Writers: Jose Miranda & Karen Sanchez

24 May 16, 2019 SPORTS

FRESHMAN EARNS ALL-DETROIT HONOR By Christopher Robinson Hear the Roar It’s rare for a Southeastern High School freshman to earn a spot on the Detroit Free Press 2018-19 All-Detroit boy basketball teams but Karon Allen secured a spot with his power dunks. “It’s a big deal,” said Anthony Paciero, SE’s athletic director. “ It hasn’t been a freshman named all city from Southeastern in at least 10 years. I fully expect him to be


13 students from SE participated in contest




I wanted to go to college. But in the Navy I’ll learn job skills, and if I want to go to college later, the Navy will pay for tuition.

all over Michigan competed for a spot in the national competition. One competition at HOSA was an interview skills competition. Senior Jamal Thomas entered and finished in second place out of the hundreds of students who participated. “HOSA was a very fun experience for me but I was nervous. For the people going next year, I recommend you to pay attention,” Thomas said.

Advantages of service outweigh the risks

Southeastern a leader of the program moving forward.” Allen, who is on SE’s honor roll, said “it feels good to be named all-city; it’s a big accomplishment.” Fellow freshmen and teammate Devin Waugh said he is happy for Allen. “He deserves it,” Waugh said.



Freshman Karon Allen made the Detroit Free Press AllDetroit basketball team.

MV: Is there anything you worry about? Levingston: The thing that I truly worry about is if my family is going to be OK while I’m gone, but overall the advantages in my eyes triumph over the risks, and it will be an amazing life experience.

Ben Carson student finishes in second place




answers receive prizes and national recognition. In March, 13 students from Southeastern High School entered the contest. Leone said he hopes the class inspires students to continue learning the French language and culture. “I hope they can begin, sustain,and end a conversation politely in French,” Leone said. Camille Downer-Reynolds said she plans to “pursue French because the class is fun and informational.” “I like the teacher and the sound of the language,” she said.


SE students travel to Florida with club FROM PAGE 22

gram that gives students the opportunity to explore skills in different careers in technology, marketing, management and entrepreneurship,” Sawyers said. “Any student with the career interest can join. The recommended GPA is a 2.8 and the lowest grade level to start is ninth but I personally prefer if students are in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade so I can know their seriousness of the club.¨ Looking ahead, Sawyers plans to expand and involve more students in the next school year.


Western community celebrates diversity FROM PAGE 23

Emmanuel Ogua, school culture facilitator, said sophomores Tatiana Marsh and Daetionna Jackson created original pieces that embodied the spirit of


Students visited Glyfada Beach in Greece on the final day of their tour.

Western International Staff Report The Western Express Social Studies teacher Brad Dewar, wanted interested students at Western to have some out of text experiences so March 27 to April 6, six students and three parents, toured Rome, Florence, Acona and Greece. As a social studies teacher, it was an awesome opportunity to bring the text to life, so we will do the same trip, same time next year,” Dewar said Interested students should contact Dewar for details on trip cost and requirements.

Western students (left to right) Dalia Maldonado, Bryan Toscono, Stephanie Villa, Karen Sanchez, Jackelyn Toral, Angela Arriaga visit the Coliseum in Rome.

women’s empowerment. “I was inspired by her mother and grandmother,” Jackson said. “Growing up they always encouraged me to put my own twist on things. Moreover, they instilled in me the importance of standing up for yourself, understand who you are as a woman, in particularly as a women of color.” So far this month, Western

continues to celebrate the culturally diverse and rich history as many from the Cowboy Family took part in the annual Cinco de Mayo Parade on May 5 in Mexicantown. What has grown to be a festivity enjoyed by many around the country and Mexico, contrary to people’s understanding, it is not Mexico’s Independence Day.


Cinco de Mayo is the day approximately 6,500 French soldiers unable to collect the debt owed to the French, proceeded to march from the Gulf of Mexico to seize Mexico City. Along the way to Mexico City, the French Army encountered a strong resistance by the Mexican army, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Sequin. The Mexi-

can army of 4,500 defeated the French. Today, the Cinco de Mayo celebration is of Mexican culture, food, music and its unique customs. People enjoy seeing the entertainment such as the Mariachis and the Folkloric Dancers. Cinco De Mayo represents freedom and victory of los Mexicanos.