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Back of the Yards College Preparatory High School 2111 W. 47th St. Chicago, IL 60609

Volume 3 - Issue 8

March 2018

Casa Romero’s Servant Spirit News

BOYCP students team up with other high schools to form Youth Urban Progressives group.

Culture & Lifestyle By Juan Alonso asa Romero is an afterschool program in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, located at 4600 S. Honore. According to Mary Gomez, “Casa Romero is considered a safe haven in the neighborhood, somewhere the youth can come and receive help with their work and learn new skills , a place where they have the opportunity to have a voice and plan program and community activities.” Students in grades first to twelfth can go there to receive help for their homework, but that is not all they offer there. The dedicated students are also rewarded with field trips, which they go on during



Sandra Diaz

the summertime to places such as downtown attractions like Millenium Park and the Chicago beaches. Another great thing about Casa Romero is that teenagers can get service learning hours there to fulfill the graduation requirement or use for National Honor Society service hours. The high school students tutor the younger kids, mentor them, and help keep the building in working order. Casa Romero is also a part of the Holy Cross Church near Seward, and because of its association, many participants sometimes attend church rallies. Casa Romero also organizes a peace march in the warmer weathers during spring,

which alerts people in the neighborhood about violence, and helps better the community. In the past seventeen years, “definitely several hundreds of students” have been active members at Casa Romero. Some youth see it as another place to call home, as well as a place to make friends, have fun, and eat food that is also provided. It is a place where teens can go to feel supported and to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. Whether you might like some help with a particular subject or need to complete service learning hours, come visit Casa Romero and see all it has to offer!

Check out the Ready Player One book before it hits the big screen! pg.6


Softball gets ready for an action-packed season.


DP Art Students Got Talent! By Michelle Gongora


ith spring around the corner, the annual DP Art Exhibition makes its way to BOYCP. The DP Art Exhibition will take place on March 16th, making DP artists both excited and antsy about revealing their art to the community and school. When Mrs. Strentz was asked what DP Art was she stated, “The Diploma Programme Visual Arts course is a two-year class that sophomores can apply into. Students basically become working artists. They think, read and write about art while creating their own body of work in a final exhibition.” DP Art at BOYCP consists of two categories, the history behind the art and the making of the art. The art-making category is when the students learn how to become the artist as well as learn how to display their artworks, making BOYCP turn into a living art museum with 56 different art shows on March 16th. A DP artist has to choose a medium to focus on,

then the main idea that Ms. Strentz calls “aesthetic and more stylistic ”, for each individual creating an artwork. The 56 artworks will be displayed in different sections of the school depending on

Bianca Jones

Bianca Jones

the style of the artwork, placing students with the similar moods or themes next to each other. This group of artists is said to

have thought-provoking topics: from their cultural roots and rape culture to their feelings and identities. When Mrs. Strentz was asked for advice to future DP artists, she excitedly stated, “You need to make art about your experience as a human being, and in that way, it is authentic art-making.” With that said, we encourage the entire student body to come out and see what this year’s annual art exhibition brings to BOYCP.

“We’re on the Air!” By Manuel Gonzalez


obcat TV is a club where students can be a part of to discover what it takes to create and edit videos regarding school events and activities. Currently, they serve as a news outlet for events that occur throughout BOYCP. They meet every Wednesday and Thursday in room 323, for those who wish to become a part of the crew. Now that the club is in its second year, Mr. Srentz and his crew wish to venture out from recording news to eventually being capable of recording skits, creating music videos, and anything else that the club members may want to do. They have scripts and early works in progress with the determination and commitment of the students for creating new things. Mr. Strentz started this club because he participated in a similar club during his years in high school and decided to bring 2 News

this experience to the students at BOYCP. All the students in the club are working towards trying to release a new episode for Bobcat TV every month with the future goal of eventually being able to run the show themselves and go throughout the entire video making process without the assistance of their supervisor. Episode 4 will hopefully be released before spring break where students can watch footage of swim meets, the winter concert, The Secret Sisters performance, and the Dream Pursuers club. However, complications arose as the lengthy process

to edit the videos led to a delay in the release of the next episode. Each new episode is sent to teachers so that they can be viewed during advisory if time permits, but students can visit Bobcat TV’s Vimeo page to all of their videos:

Staff Photographer

Programme Options Abound By Liliana Leon


ere at BOYCP, there is an assortment of classes offered to students interested in obtaining college credit while still in high school. For those wishing to take advantage of an international education, the Diploma Programme (DP) and the Career Programme (CP) are available for students apply during their sophomore year. Both of these programs are two-year commitments that include various assessments for each course; however, there are distinct differences between these certifications. Within the DP curriculum, students take seven courses, one of which is the renowned Theory of Knowledge class. On the other hand, the CP curriculum includes a minimum of two DP courses, a unique CP core, and career-related studies. After months of maneuvering through college life, BOYCP alumni are well into their second semester at various Illinois universities. The Maroon interviewed four students who participated in these programs to see how they impacted the students’ transitions into rigorous and fast-paced atmospheres.

Diploma Programme P

ursuing a major in Community Health, Maria Macias said her participation in DP made her accustomed to completing both homework and assessments at the same time; however, it taught Maria and her peers how to be responsible young adults. A piece of advice she offered for the incoming DP cohort, as well as current students, is Mrs. Cox, DP Coordinator to “make schedules, that way you can keep track of your work and progress.” Shamarah Johnson is majoring in English with a minor in Secondary Education. Being an IB student helped her get into the habit of balancing rigorous coursework and gaining the mentality of a college student. When Danny Gonzalez, DP Senior you are struggling to manage the workload, remember that “a struggle comes with the territory of being successful,” Shamarah mentioned was an important lesson she learned through her two years in DP. One last piece of advice she wanted to give students entering the same journey she did was: “Just breathe. You’re doing just fine, and all the effort you’re putting in is enough.” In addition to receiving the Diploma certificate, Maria and Shamarah, as well as several other DP Mary Chen students, have a “freshmore”. This status means that they have the same amount of credits sophomores in college do. The Diploma Programme focuses on teaching students how to question what they know and to develop an understanding of the importance of multiple perspectives. It is not just knowledge that DP student acquire, but the lessons they learn through the sophisticated discussions they have.

Career Programme

Mr. Strentz, Broadcast Technology


Mr. Anderson, Digital Media

fter completing CP, Leonardo Garcia chose to major in Nursing; however he still believes the lessons he learned here have benefitted him long-term, despite not going into the digital media field. During CP, there were times that he spent days on a project just to trash it and start over because he thought of a new idea, but that mindset to keep trying reminded him that “it’s okay to feel frustrated at times.” With any responsibilities you might have, Leonardo chooses to take work and life day by day or week by week, and he suggests others not to “overwhelm yourself looking too far into the future.” Joshua Preciado is currently majoring in Spanish but intends to change it to Teaching in Spanish. There is a lot of work as Joshua mentioned, but teachers are understanding if it becomes stressful, he emphasized that “all you have to do is reach out for help.” Through CP, Joshua learned “you have to be open to mistakes and self-doubt” and remember what you are getting out of the program: a huge support system and an excellent education. Going to college near the Back of the Yards neighborhood, former BOYCP students at UIC come back to visit those who helped them achieve their goals. The Career Programme is all about self-growth, and through participation in class activities, students have transitioned into college with a passionate mindset and drive to challenge themselves once more. News 3

Paving a Path Toward Success By Josephine Sulls


raditionally, National Signing Day occurs the first Wednesday of February. During this event, recruited high school senior athletes commit to a college for a particular sport. These athletes sign the National Letter of Intent, indicating their commitment to participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Many young athletes are recruited to colleges with the promise of being awarded an athletic scholarship. Each college’s football team has a level. Based on these levels they are awarded a certain amount of scholarships to give out. These scholarships are often divided up so that coaches are able to get as many quality players possible. BOYCP had its first signing day on February 7, 2018 for two football players,

Jeremiah Harris and Jakhari Johnson. Jeremiah has committed to McKendree University which is a Division II football team and Jakhari has committed to Quincy University which is also a Division II football team. They have both been accepted to these colleges on partial athletic scholarships. When Jakhari was asked how he felt about receiving the scholarship he replied, “It’s very nice, especially because it’s a private institution. They gave me a very generous scholarship.” Jeremiah and Jakhari are looking forward to growing not only mentally but physically as they take on new challenges.

Erik Romero

Challenges that include maintaining a GPA above a 3.0, resisting negative influences that may come along the way, and remaining a responsible young adult.

YUP! Youth Voices Matter UPCOMING EVENTS

By Dhamar Diaz and Saira Gonzalez oting is a privilege, and it is organized a city-wide voter what reminds government rally, titled “Vote Or”, officials of who allows them to being held on March 10th be in power. The first step is at McKinley Park. Up until registering to vote. On February March 20th, registered voters 16, Youth Vote held their first are able to vote at any location; voter registration event here at therefore, McKinley Park was BOYCP. Student participation selected with the intention of was a huge success with 189 attracting as many Southside eligible juniors and seniors youths as possible. The fourregistering to vote, surpassing hour event will be divided into the number of students who two sections: a pre-rally and registered at Whitney Young voting period. The pre-rally and Juarez. will include guest speakers The second step is casting from 12-1 pm at McKinley their ballot, something that not Park, followed by a three-hour all registered voters do. In Back voting period at the McKinley of the Yards neighborhood, only Park fieldhouse. 23% of eligible voters voted In times where our in the previous presidential country is continuously election, and nationwide only divided, we must unite and 59.7% did, according to The search for solutions instead of Daily Dot. With the mission to succumbing to the idea that our promote youth participation, vote does not matter. students, from different For more information, backgrounds all across the city, you can find YUP on united to form the Youth Urban Instagram and Twitter @ Progressives (YUP) team. chicago_yup, on Facebook To empower youth and @youngurbanprogressives, underrepresented communities or through email at regarding upcoming elections, youngurbanprogressives@ the members of YUP have





MARCH March to the Polls hosted by YUP - McKinley Park

Student 13 CP/CTE Showcase - 3rd Floor of Senior Prom 15 Half payment due


DP Visual Arts Senior Exhibition 4:00-6:30pm CP Applications Due


Know Your Rights workshop in Room 334 3:30PM


March Madness Door Decorating & Attendance Contest

13 14 19


Bobcat Concert Band competes at Curie High School in CPS Music Festival Contest Report Card Pick Up


College & Career Day Dream Pursuers “coming out day” with march and rally


Bobcat Concert Band competes at Whitney Young High School in IHSA Music Festival Contest


Full payment for Senior Prom due

26 - 30 Spring Break

End of 3rd Quarter No school for students

Looking ahead...



Senior Prom at Palmer House Hilton


Girl’s Soccer Senior Night


Senior Luncheon at Navy Pier Cruise


SAT - Only juniors come to school


Senior Graduation

Spring Break: Book Go Explore Review: Ready Player One A By Amy Wu

By Vivian Sanchez


ocation: The United States. Year: 2045. The world has been consumed by overpopulation, pollution, corruption, and climate change. Lucky, OASIS is an option. The world is for the gamers in Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. The novel follows Wade Owen Watts, a gamer who, like everyone and anyone who has ever been in OASIS, seeks to find the ultimate price in this new technologically ruled era. The creator of OASIS, the most successful virtual reality game, has died and left all his fortune to whoever finds the easter egg he has hidden deep within the game. Participating in a race against everyone, Owen must search OASIS to gain more than just the price. Full of pop culture references, the movie is set to premiere on March 29. The film adaptation for Ready Player One promises to do justice to the virtual world of OASIS. Using live action for the scenes in the real world and visual effects like CGI for the scenes taking place within the virtual world, the movie is described by its Director, Steven Spielberg, to be “[his] most difficult movie since Saving Private Ryan.” If you enjoy catching easter eggs in movies, be sure to check out Ready Player One, where you can catch the references to past decades, reminding you of your childhood.


s winter is coming to an end and spring is rapidly approaching, there will be lots of time to enjoy the city once more. All of you have put in a lot of your hard work this year and believe it or not, spring break is approaching sooner than you think! Have you started to plan what you are going to do with your break? If you are ready for an adventure in the city, The Maroon is here to provide some amazing places for you to explore! Bring friends along and be sure to take lots of pictures!

This is considered a park for kids, but I always believe there is no harm for teenagers to enjoy it too. This location is right near the lake! You can have fun in the park and then stroll along the lakeside and go to the beaches!

Chicago Cultural Center: 78 E. Washington St. The architecture of the building is incredibly intricate and you are free to explore this wonderful piece of Chicago architecture. This is a great place to learn and admire beauty of the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome.

The Art Institute of Chicago: 111 S. Michigan Ave.

The Bricks in the wall of the Tribune Tower: 435 N Michigan Ave

Well-known for the iconic lions that guard its front doors, this place hosts several beautiful masterpieces for the greatest artists ever. This location is highly recommended if you need inspiration for your art or simply have an appreciation for the creative minds.

This place brings pieces of history to you from all over the world! Have you ever wonder how it would feel to visit the Pyramids of Giza? The Great Wall of China? There are bricks from these locations and much more in the tower.

Maggie Daley Park: 337 E. Randolph St.

Music as Therapy

By Vic Mercado id you know that music can affect your mind differently than traditional pharmaceutical medicine? Music can have a positive effect on your brain and can have benefits that outweigh side effects of particular medications. The Maroon asked Mr.


Aaliyah Stottlemyer

Ponce, “How can music be therapeutic to anyone?” He replied, “In terms of what has been happening in the [music] field itself, they have been working a lot with students with autism or a mental deficiency which music, for some reason, triggers brain waves differently to where it can help them calm down, especially if they hear something they like. They can feel a type of way where they can calm down and get any task done where they won’t be upset.” Through these scientific studies, it can be inferred that music is a natural remedy that has positive effects on the brain and when listened to, can improve a person’s mood.

In the field of music therapy, therapists and professionals use music to figure out the ways that different genres can help combat the symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders without the use of medicine. This options can give a healthier alternative to prescription drugs such as antidepressants and anxiety medication, which can affect your brain by forcibly balancing neurotransmitters in the brain to give the perception of happiness. However, with prescription drugs, you could potentially become addicted to the medication or dependent on it. With further research, there can be a possibility that we can use music rather than pharmaceutical medicine to improve mental health. Culture & Lifestyle 5

What Undocumented Looks Like By Citlali Perez


ith a focus on the Latin American community when discussing immigration, it is easy to misconceive the cause as only a Latinx issue and overlook other minorities. In fact, data collected by the Chicago Tribune states that 9% of Asians are undocumented, coming in as the second largest population of undocumented immigrants in the state of Illinois after the Latin American community with an 84%. This is a statistical relevant number that is often overlooked for a flashier storyline by many in the media and the political arena. It is one thing to claim schools are a sanctuary to undocumented students, but when it comes to making an effort to provide those students with resources and making sure to reach out to each demographic, one must consider how they go about it. As part

of a marginalized community that is talked about on the news and often mentioned during political debates, it is necessary to have a space that provides academic, legal, and emotional support in schools. Students can seek these necessities from BOYCP school counselors or turn to a support group: the Dream Pursuers club. For the past two years, Dream Pursuers has provided a space for all students affected by immigration. Although the club is inclusive to both undocumented students and allies, there is currently a lack of representation of races other than Latinx, possibly because Hispanic students make up 89.4% of the student body. Even then, it is important to consider our school’s other demographics like the 5.6% Asian population who also make up our student body.

Organizations like Asian-International Club sponsored by Ms. Wu and the K-pop Club held by Ms. Singh offer spaces for students who share similar interests and represent a particular culture. However, they do not necessarily offer the resources undocumented students should be exposed to. “We are from different places and we are from different phases of immigration,” explains Ms. Wu. Although teachers create safe spaces for their students to discuss sensitive topics, there should be an effort to meet the needs of all students from different backgrounds. To achieve this overarching goal, we must stay curious and be inclusive. Our effort comes in taking actions like replacing “Dreamer” with “Dream Pursuer”. Ask someone why.

Preparing for Collegiate Success

By Nanci Lopez he fear of not being accepted into competitive universities in the country has led some parents and students to opt for an independent education counselor (IEC). Alarmingly, these sessions with counselors can cost around $150 an hour, while “a complete package from initial consultation in junior year to submitting the application in senior year will run $4,035,” as stated in a CNBC article. This is a growing business, considering employment of IECs is expected to grow “12 percent from 2012 to 2022” as the college application process becomes more competitive. These prices are not usually affordable for many lowincome, college-bound students. So, what is a solution to college’s growing selectivity and considerable prices of services provided by IECs? In response to this issue, college prep programs have



Culture & Lifestyle

sprung out around the country in the last century. They aim to provide underrepresented students with SAT/ACT prep, college counseling, and skill building seminars for free! The data is clear that these programs do offer students a statistical advantage, and this has lead to the growth of programs like Khan Academy. So what is the catch? Many of these programs look for students excelling in their high school classes and involved in extracurriculars who are willing to commit their time to prepare for post-secondary education. The application process can be grueling, but as BOYCP counselor Ms. Zamora says, “... as students put forth that effort, it really pays off these programs they are able to get more of that one-on-one attention that could potentially help them be more successful with their college applications and their financial aid and

scholarships processes too.” Students are not alone if they choose to apply to these programs. Counselors Ms. Solger and Ms. Zamora hold workshops where students fill out applications and ask questions. These programs are an

extra step you could take to help yourself better prepare for higher education. RememberIECs are not advantages everyone has access to, but that has not deterred many students from getting into highly selective universities around the country.

The Maroon Staff Editor-in-Chief: Liliana Leon Co-Editor-in-Chief: Citlali Perez Art Director: Jazmin Espana MultiMedia Directors: Dhamar Diaz and Juan Lopez Photography Editor: Bianca Jones Editor: Jaqueline Almaraz and Eleazar Martinez Writers: Juan Alonso, Briana Bautista, Marlen Gongora, Michelle Gongora, Manuel Gonzalez, Saira Gonzalez, Nanci Lopez, Vic Mercado, Mahogany Miles, Vivian Sanchez, Josephine Sulls, Alvaro Pulido, and Amy Wu Photographers: Mary Chen, Sandra Diaz, Bianca Jones, Aimee Lopez, Gabriela Olivares and Aaliyah Stottlemyer Graphic Designers: Jessica Corona, Diana Duarte, Arianna Luna, Vanessa Rogers, Selene Vital Faculty Sponsors: Mr. Matthew D’Agostino and Mrs. Madilyn Strentz

The Importance of a Black Student Union By Mahogany Miles


he main goal of a Black Student Union (BSU) is to promote education, culture, and success within black and brown communities. Historically, the first BSU was created by the University of Kansas in 1968. According to its organization page, Rock Chalk Central, it states, “Our vision for BSU is to serve the KU Campus with cultural, educational, and social initiatives as we aim to build leaders, promote unity and contribute to student success.” Although that is the description of the vision for KU students and faculty, it could soon become a part of our BOYCP community. BOYCP is a unique place because of the students and faculty who attend.

The safe environment makes it very easy for people to be themselves and use their voices. But, as true as this is, there may be times when people feel a lack of representation regarding who they are. Senior Shante Arnold stated, “Having a Black Student Union would give us a place in school to voice our opinions and concerns. It will give us a chance to grow together as a community.” To help the needs of black and brown students, there should be an organization for them to discuss questions, thoughts, and concerns with others who have similar backgrounds. As stated in the vision statement by KU, having a Black Student Union would allow students to promote the spread of cultural

and educational initiatives for black and brown students. This is important because there is a very significant percentage of black and brown students who attend BOYCP. Since the school has a diverse group of people representing it, establishing a BSU would help these students feel more confident about advocating for their community as well as themselves. Although a Black Student Union focuses on working through black and brown community issues to find solutions, there is also an emphasis on building unity, aiming for success, and creating leadership. With a common goal and support for our peers, this platform could potentially lead to a more unified student body.

By Marlen Gongora ale chauvinism, virility, manliness, bravado, and masculinity; in the Hispanic and Latino culture, it is best known as machismo. Machismo is described as having extreme masculinity and pride, specific to cultures in Latin America. This form of male masculinity has crept its way into the lives of many Latinos who continue to dismiss it as a part of their tradition. Machismo is known for widely glorifying or praising men in the culture, but it also sets a specific set of standards and expectations for both men and women. With machismo being a dominant belief in many Latin American cultures, males are expected to live up to an image associated with masculinity. This belief expects men to fulfill certain duties similar to gender roles seen in the United States. Men are also expected to stay away from any emotional labor that is widely perceived as a “woman’s job”, which also affects the cultural expectations of Latinas. Ms. Dignani, a BOYCP Spanish teacher with Argentinian roots, states “Growing up, there were chores that I was supposed to do that my brother didn’t have

to do. Even if I was busy doing something else, my father would not expect my brother to do it. He would tell me, ‘When you’re done doing that, do the next chore.’” Machismo has set expectations and gender roles for Latinas with the belief that it is not something the culture expects a man to do. Women are usually expected to raise the children and to be stay-at-home mothers. Despite being centered around the behavior of men in the Latino community, machismo is not only committed by men. “Women can be very machistas. A lot of males are machistas because they are raised by machista mothers,” states Ms. Dignani. This extreme form of masculinity has an overall effect on both men and women and is equally practiced by both genders. The idea has become so embedded into the Hispanic and Latino culture that it has become a lifestyle, and most even consider it a tradition. Machismo has been

a natural way of living for centuries, thus making it difficult to step away from it.

Machismo: Ideology Vs. Tradition M

Artwork by Marlen Gongora

Opinion 7

Girls’ Soccer Has Regional Goals By Alvaro Pulido


irls soccer is just around the corner as the team gets closer to their first game on March 14th! When asked about the team’s goals, Coach Herrington and Rooks agreed it is to “win CPS-1 South conference and earn their 1st regional championship title.” The team has had such a great attitude in the field and share a determination to reach their goals. When deciding who made the team, Coach Herrington and Rook first looked

Aimee Lopez

to see who mastered the “skills of basic soccer.” Then, “we consider their physical attributes like strength, speed, agility, and endurance. Lastly and most importantly, they have to have good character: we want

responsible students, team players, and hard workers,” said Coach Rook. During soccer conditioning over the past three months, the team focused on strength, endurance, and ability. Players completed circuit training and bodyweight exercises to build strength, speed ladders

to improve agility, and sustained running to train endurance.When asked what they admire about the girls, the coaches said their spirit as, “they compete in every game and continue to fight even if the score is not in our favor and stay longer in practice.” Coach Herrington is confident about the team with its “huge senior class” who are strong leaders. Heading into the new season, Cook Rook said, “I am very confident that the Varsity team will have a successful season. We are returning many Juniors and Seniors with two or more years of Varsity experience. We are playing a very competitive schedule because the girls have proved over the past 2 seasons that they deserve to play the best teams in the city” Each player on the soccer team has proven herself to be a student-athlete by being a student first and athlete second.With the teams now formed, they are ready for the start of their season to show everyone the effort they have put into becoming a better player and stronger team.

Gaining Experience Through Challenge By Briana Bautista


ith the softball team preparing for their upcoming season and eager for victory, the girls are hard at work! Now that the teams have been finalized, Ms. Schneider, the head coach for the varsity softball team, shared her reasoning behind why she became a coach. Coach Schneider explains that she enjoys sharing her passion for the sport with others and enjoys being

Sandra Diaz

8 Sports

on the field. The combined passions have driven her to become a coach. Coach Schneider also mentioned that softball is a good way to learn more about her students and others she may not teach. For this season of softball there were more girls who attended tryouts than ever before. The enthusiasm of the girls during tryouts made it difficult for the coaches to finalize varsity and junior varsity teams. All of the coaches appreciated everyone who tried out for the team and the effort they put in, but there were only a limited amount of spots available for each team. Having gone through a similar experience

Sandra Diaz

in high school, coach Schneider knows that it is a painful experience, but one that can be learned from. Everything on this team is a learning experience. With an ever-growing passion for softball, coach Schneider motivates the players to learn more about the sport and the importance of teamwork. Go support the softball team at their first game on March 14 at Curie!

Volume 3 issue 8  
Volume 3 issue 8