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Bright ideas We’re proud to provide the tools and technology that support programs that help create limitless possibilities for young minds. Learning is better when everything works together. That is why we salute True Star Media for providing a creative outlet through literary, media arts, and professional development programs for Chicago’s youth.

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TRUE STAR Foundation A media company run entirely by youth

Our Purpose TO INSPIRE DREAMS SO THAT YOUNG PEOPLE CAN FIND THEIR VOICE, CHOOSE THEIR PATH, AND PREPARE FOR LIFE.

TRUE STAR FOUNDATION

Our Mission

The True Star Foundation’s mission is to demonstrate healthy transitions for youth coming into early adulthood by exposing them to real world experiences in the workforce through the development of their own media and being an intricate part of the strategic direction and overall business operations of the organization.

Our Work

True Star is a youth work collaborative that amplifies youth voice through producing content for True Star Magazine, True Star Jr. Magazine. True Star Online, True Star Media TV, and True Star Radio.

Our Impact

• True Star has provided on-the-job training for over 5,000 youth since its inception. • The vast majority of True Star students (70 percent) reported that their team-working, oral communication, researching, problem-solving, writing skills, as well as their confidence and ability to do other schoolwork, improved as a result of True Star’s programs. • In 2016, True Star provided 600 work opportunities that paid out $200,000 in stipends and youth pay.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Board President - LaTonya Wilkens Director Talent Management, Univ. of Illinois Business School Michelle Cohen Director Innovation & Acceleration Lab CME Group Giuseppe Commodaro - Director Strategy & Execution - CME Group David Douglas – Founder & CEO – Yolobe, Inc. Leslie A. Hairston - Alderman, Fifth Ward Thomas McLeary - CEO & President, Endow Inc. Sean Harden - Non-Profit Consultant Mia Nelson - Sr. Analyst, Baxter David Nichols - Americas Leader - EY Sharming Scott-Nathan - Human Resources Director, Fox Television Stations

Thank You To Our Major Partners

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YOUTUBE.COM/TRUESTARMEDIATV

To donate visit truestarfoundation.org or send check payable to True Star Foundation - 1130 South Wabash - Suite 302 - Chicago, IL 60605 For Advertising Inquires email info@truestarmagazine.com or call 312.588.0100


TABLE OF CONTENTS

FALL 2017

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34

ON THE COVER: DeAnna: All wardrobe & jewelry by Curve Culture Boutique / Shoes: AKIRA Chicago Na’Tae: All wardrobe, accessories & shoes by AKIRA Chicago Stylist: BeBe Jones of Row A Seat 1 Makeup: Shekayah "Sparkle" Wallace Hair: Brandy J. Irons Photography: Christopher "ThoughtPoetOpinion" Brown

26

18

COLLEGE & CAREERS

FASHION

TEEN BIZ

8 ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE?

26 FUN VINTAGE FASHION

40 TIPS FOR TACKLING STUDENT LOANS /

9 WHY YOUR GPA MATTERS                                                       

32 DRESSING FOR SUCCESS

STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS

10 SCHOLARSHIPS TO STRIVE FOR

33 STRUT FOR SCHOLARSHIPS

41 MAKING YOUR DORM HOMEY / FINANCIAL AID RESOURCES FOR DREAMERS

11 DON’T BE A DROP OUT        12 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE STUDY HABITS   

COVER STORY

13 JONATHAN BANKS SCORES BIG ON ACT

34 TRUE STAR FOUNDERS LAUNCH NEW

UNDER THE RADAR

14 ARE YOU CHOOSING YOUR FUTURE CAREER

DIGITAL PLATFORM

42 MOTHER NATURE / LIL WOO 43 NARADA EL SOL

FOR THE RIGHT REASONS? 16 CAREERS IN TECH YOU SHOULD CHECK

35 RYAN HENRY: FROM THE STREETS

YOUNG LUV

18 TOMI ADEYEMI TAPS INTO A DIFFERENT SIDE OF FANTASY FICTION

SOUND OFF

19 AUTHOR MYA KAY HAS THE WRITE STUFF

37 STOP THE SEXUALIZATION OF GIRLS

44 THE DATING GAME IS NOT A GAME

INSIDE & OUT

20 CHICAGO SO LIT 21 WOMEN LIKE STEM TOO!

GIVING BACK

46 BE HEALTHY, BE HAPPY

38 LADIES OF VIRTUE

47 ANXIETY AND ITS DISORDERS

REAL TALK

39 BLACK IS GOLD ORGANIZATION / IESHA

22 FOCUS ON BEING FOCUS

KEATING #OK2BEEU

ON THE COURT

23 IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE

48 CHICAGO ELITE

24-25 GET PROOF BECAUSE THE FACTS MATTER

49 ICE CUBE

TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

1130 SOUTH WABASH SUITE 302

CHICAGO, IL 60605

312.588.0100 OFFICE

312.588.0175 FAX


True Star Magazine is produced by Chicago area youth through apprenticeship programs to celebrate the voice of today’s young people.

EDITOR’S LETTER DORIAN ROBINSON

SENIOR, CHICAGO HOPE ACADEMY TWITTER: @DORIANROBINSON_

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Managing Editor Marti Parham Art Direction Design and Illustration Angel D’Amico-Bauer Copy Editor Shirley Henderson Promotions Manager DeShaun Adams Special Projects Manager Philistine Thompson Marketing Manager Joi Mitchell Web Content Assistant Henry Collins

his issue of True Star deals with the importance of focusing on education and your future. On the following pages are articles that provide tips on how to accomplish academic excellence, inspiring career profiles from established professionals and stories to get you thinking about what you want to do with your life. Your GPA is the main thing that colleges look at when considering applicants for their school. In the article “Why Your GPA Matters,” learn why good grades are important and get tips to keeping your GPA high. Do you already know what you want to be when you become an adult? Before you say yes, read “Are You Choosing Your Future Career for the Right Reasons?” to learn some things about yourself and the job of your dreams. Also in our careers section, read about the professional journeys of author Tomi Adeyemi, Facebook employee Willie Henry and others to inspire you about your own future. One of Chicago’s star high school basketball players, Kezo Brown, has recently undergone some struggles. Check out the story “The Kezo Brown Challenge” to find out how the community came together to help support Brown in his time of need. This issue is packed with some great information and filled with stories you all relate to. We hope you enjoy it!

PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON TRUE STAR MAGAZINE Letters to True Star • 1130 South Wabash • Suite 302 • Chicago, Il 60605-2717 Letters become the property of True Star and may be edited for publication. EMAIL soundoff@truestarmagazine.com

Founders J. Na-Tae’ Thompson & DeAnna McLeary-Sherman

FOLLOW US:

@TRUESTARDOTLIFE VISIT OUR BLOG FOR DAILY NEWS, INFO & ENTERTAINMENT

WWW.TRUESTAR.LIFE 6 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Administrative Assistant Cozene Williams

Freelance Editorial Instructor: Cameron Smith Destini Lindsey Triniti Maye Dorian Robinson Deja Taylor Briana Wilson Radio Broadcasting Instructor: Teefa Harland Assistant: Sharmon Jarmon Erin Barker Destiny Clark Kendall Gaines Nicholas Grissett Ny’ale Hoskins Ashari Hughes Zerahkyah Israel Tadj Jones Cianna Lee Juwan Lovaloy Tatyana Morris Marcus O’Daniel Amari Stephens Nicholas Stroud Kayla Sullers Ansel Williams Graphic Design Instructor: Polina Zionts Student Art Director: Kamari Robertson Omar Adams Jessica Allen Sarah Bacon Kwinn Berry Alex Childress Haleemah Choyce Darrell Gould Robert Harvey Dominique McDade Na'im Muhammad L'Oreal Pace Emile Reese Kyier Reynolds

Stacie Taylor Dantae Thomas Alicia Wormley Marketing Instructor: Joi Mitchell Jessica Bond Samuel Carter Kayla Crittle Carl Gipson DeMarcus Hollins Cayci Jeter Kaiqwan Johnson Kaitlyn Nealon Johanna Perry Genesis Roberts Aniya Robinson Casimere Street Brint White Matayo Harland Young South Side Editorial Morgan Park High School Alisha Armstrong Arteja Benson-Carson Coriana Brown Jade Clay Aaliyah Franklin Ny'ale Hoskins Unique Johnson Janell Mason Malik Pugh Ali Scott Lexi Shadlow Kayla Stewart Daniel White Kayla White Kristal White TF North Instructor: Nikitta Foston Niya Ashley Angela Chatman Shantell Shivers


CONTRIBUTORS 1. If you could have any job in the world what would it be? 2. What's your favorite motivational quote? 3. How do you keep yourself inspired? 4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 5. Would you rather be able to fly or read minds?

IKEAL JELKS JR.

SOPHOMORE URBAN PREP BRONZEVILLE MARKETING TEAM 1. If I could have any job in the world, I would want to be the president of the United States because I think that I can make a change in the world. 2. "Don't watch the clock. Do what it does—keep going." 3. I reflect on the small gestures of kindness that I try to give every day. 4. In 10 years, I see myself as an entrepreneur owning a multimillion-dollar franchise. 5. I would rather fly, simply because I could visit any place in the world whenever I want.

JELANI PINKSTON

SOPHOMORE LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY RADIO BROADCASTING TEAM 1. If I could have any job in the world, it would be as a famous producer. I love making music and making it sound good. I've been making and producing my own music for a year now, and I'm really starting to see how the big music artists today are able to do what they do. 2. "Play hard, practice hard, and you'll be hard to beat." 3. I have a goal in life to be the best at whatever I do. I love to keep in mind that whatever I want to achieve is most definitely possible. Never do I ever have thoughts that I can't do whatever I put my mind to. 4. In 10 years, I see myself working for a big radio broadcasting company as a board operator/engineer making more than enough money to take care of my girlfriend and myself. 5. I would rather be able to fly because if I were able to read minds, I would hear a lot of things I would never want to hear. … I would fly because I could beat traffic and never be late to places I need to be.

PATIENCE HURSTON

ARTEJA BENSONCONNER

SOPHOMORE GWENDOLYN BROOKS COLLEGE PREP GRAPHIC DESIGN TEAM

1. I would be a singer. Music has helped me so much in my life, and I would like to do that for someone else. Music also makes a big impact in the world, and I want to be a part of that. 2. “Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get, you’ve got to make yourself.” —Alice Walker 3. I just think of the people who matter to me most, and where I want to end up in life. Failure is never an option.  4. I see myself being a successful psychologist in a nice apartment with a dog or bunny. Maybe a boyfriend, but I'd rather have a dog.  5. I would rather read minds. I've always wondered about what some people are thinking, whether it’s about me or something else. Getting into peoples heads would be fun. 

1. If I could have any job it would be a world traveler. As a world traveler, I could freelance and do all the things I really want to do, like DJ, be a photographer, professional food taster, graphic designer and musical connoisseur. 2. "Success doesn't come to you. Go get it." 3. I am heavily inspired by my peers and those around me. …Also, I love all different kinds of music so it really pushes me to do the things I desire because it gets me pumped. 4. In 10 years I see myself being published and on my third book, a billionaire and married. I'll have a degree in writing and psychology. I want my family to be set for life, and I want to be free of debt.  5. Reading minds would be my choice. A black person flying would probably lead to me being shot out of the sky. But seriously, I could know [someone’s] true intentions and verify the real versus the fake in my life.

SENIOR MORGAN PARK SOUTH SIDE EDITORIAL TEAM

JAYLEN GILMORE

SENIOR UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO WOODLAWN CHARTE (UCW) STREET TEAM 1. If I could have any job, it would be in civil engineering. I say this because this is what I am interested in so far. 2. My favorite motivational quote is “It always seems impossible until it is done.” 3. The way I keep motivated is by telling myself everything is possible; but if you give up, it becomes impossible because you’re not fighting for what you want. 4. I honestly see myself doing big things music wise in 10 years. 5. I would rather be able to read minds, because I would be able to prevent some bad things from happening.

VICTORIA MILES

JUNIOR MORGAN PARK WEST SIDE EDITORIAL TEAM 1. A child psychologist because I like working with kids and understanding how the mind works at an early age. 2. My favorite quote is "You aren't entitled to anything, but you deserve everything." 3. I keep myself motivated by thinking about the outcome of whatever I'm doing.  4. In 10 years, I see myself with a successful job working with kids.  5. I would read minds because I would be able to see people's perspective of me. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 7


E G E L L CO D N

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S R E E R CA BY ARTEJA BENSON-CONNER, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK TWITTER: @ARTXJA

ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE?

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RE YOU READY FOR COLLEGE? ACCORDING TO U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, ONLY 37

PERCENT OF STUDENTS ARE. THROUGHOUT THIS ISSUE, YOU’LL RECEIVE PLENTY OF USEFUL INFORMATION TO PREPARE YOU FOR A NEW CAMPUS, NEW CLASSES AND NEW CHALLENGES. NOT ONLY WILL YOU LEARN USEFUL TIPS FOR WHILE YOU’RE IN COLLEGE, BUT THERE ARE ALSO THINGS YOU CAN DO WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL TO HELP YOU WITH COLLEGE. IN THIS SECTION, YOU WILL ALSO MEET PROFESSIONALS IN THE WRITING AND STEM FIELDS WHO SHARE THEIR SUCCESS STORIES. IT’S NEVER TOO SOON TO START THINKING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE. LUCKY FOR YOU, TRUE STAR IS HERE TO HELP. 8 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE


COLLEGE & CAREERS

WHY Your GPA MATTERS      BY LISA PALMER, SOPHOMORE, CHI ARTS INSTAGRAM: @JC_LISAFOREVER21 LETTER GRADE

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GRADE

YOUR GRADE POINT AVERAGE... IS USUALLY THE FIRST THING CONSIDERED WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO GET SCHOLARSHIPS.

GPA

A+ A AB+ B

97-100 93-96 90-92 87-89 83-86

4.00 4.00 3.70 3.30 3.00

B-

80-82

2.70

ne of the most common reasons people use to justify not going to college is that they can’t afford it. Most realize that college is very expensive, and some immediately write it off as an unavailable option. In fact, some teens do not realize that they can go to college for free, especially in Chicago. The City Colleges of Chicago STAR Scholarship is a great—and seemingly hidden— scholarship that could help a lot of hardworking students get into a college in Chicago for free. The Chicago STAR Scholarship, and many others, have a similar requirement for students who want to earn it—good grades. This is the main reason why your GPA in high school matters. Your grade point average, although not the only aspect of your application that is reviewed, is usually the first thing considered when you are trying to get scholarships. Many teens think that the senior year grades are the only ones that colleges and universities pay attention to, but that is not the case. “Colleges look at your grades throughout high school,” explains Shannae Jackson, principal of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy. “It is important to enter high school with the mindset of striving to do well in your classes. If you get a low GPA your freshman year, often it is difficult to bring it up, so it is best to start strong. Colleges will also look closely at your junior year grades. They will also look at your senior year, so it is important to finish strong as well.” Let’s say that you have your dream college or university you want to attend, and you’re hoping to get a scholarship to help cover the expenses. If you have any chance of getting in, there are some steps you can take now. “Each scholarship has different criteria. Scholarships that are primarily focused on GPA will look for students who have high GPAs to award recipients,” says Jackson. “It is best for students to research the schools of their choice and look at what GPAs they look for students to have.” Finding the required GPA for acceptance into the college or university of your choice is as easy as visiting the school’s website. If you’re a student who would like to go to college, but you don’t have the ideal GPA to get an acceptance letter, Jackson offers some suggestions to make college an attainable goal.

TIPS TO IMPROVING YOUR GPA • Go to tutoring so you can get help on the content or standards you are having trouble with. • Speak with your counselor about strategies you can use to be more successful. This may include study strategies, organizational skills/strategies and note taking strategies. • Devote a couple hours a night to studying material so that you are not waiting until the time of the test to cram. • Always do your practice work, so you know your problem areas and can go to your teacher with specific questions. • Review assessments and go in for help on the concepts you did not master. • If you are participating in multiple extracurricular activities, it may be necessary to scale back on participation until you can bring up you grade(s).

TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 9


Scholarships TO STRIVE FOR BY NIA HOWARD, FRESHMAN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY SNAPCHAT: HTTP.NIA.NET_

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eniors, this is your last year in high school; your big hurrah. By applying to scholarships, you can alleviate student loans. Although a scholarship might not cover the entire cost of tuition, it’ll still help out a lot to get you through school. Here are some scholarships worth applying to.

The Gates Scholarship

Starting in 2018, 300 top students will receive this scholarship. Applicants must be African-American, American-Indian/Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander and/or Hispanic-American, a citizen or permanent U.S. resident, enrolled in a four-year degree program at an accredited, non-profit private or public college/ university. Visit thegatesscholarship.org for details.

Microsoft Scholarship Program

Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time bachelor’s program at a four-year college/university in the United States, Canada or Mexico at the time of submission. The award is open to students pursuing computer science, computer engineering or STEM-related degrees. Student must maintain a 3.0 unweighted GPA or 4.0 weighted GPA. Visit careers.microsoft.com/students/scholarships for details.

Worldstudio AIGA Scholarship

This scholarship intends to “benefit minority and economically disadvantaged students who are studying art and design discipline in colleges and universities in the U.S,” according to the AIGA website. The award aims to increase diversity in the creative professions. “Scholars are selected not only for their talent and their need, but also for their demonstrated commitment to giving back to the larger community through their work.” Visit aiga.org/worldstudio-scholarship for details.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund David J. Stern Sports Scholarship

Purposed to give “talented and enthusiastic” students the opportunity to “enhance his or her studies at a college or university of their choice.” The scholarship will be awarded based on merit and need. The yearly amount is $10,000 for three years, and applicants must take interest in sports. Visit tmcf.org/our-scholarships/currentscholarships/tmcf-david-j-stern-sports-scholarship-program for details. 10 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Jim McKay & Mike Wallace Memorial Scholarship

This $10,000 scholarship is awarded annually to high school seniors who intend to major in communications at a four-year college/university. Students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher. Search this for details about this scholarship on unigo.com.

Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to students who “are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities.” Each year, 150 scholars are chosen to receive $20,000. Visit coca-colascholarsfoundation.org for details.

Footlocker Scholar Athletes Scholarship

Twenty scholar athletes will receive $20,000 in college scholarship money, which will be received in $5,000 intervals every year for the four-year college they are enrolled in. In addition to this, one of the 20 winners will receive the Ken C. Hicks scholarship, adding $5,000 to the reward. Students must be a member that’s in good standing on a sports team at their high school or after school and have kept a GPA of 3.0 or higher on an unweighted scale from ninth grade to 12th grade first semester. Visit footlockerscholarathletes.com for details.

Harvey Fellow Program

This is a $12,000 scholarship that is awarded annually and is renewable for an extra year if pursuing a master’s, or two years if pursuing a law or doctor’s program. Students should be of Christian faith. Visit unigo.com/scholarships/all/ harvey-fellowship/4442 for details.

Dr. Abdus Saleem Family Scholarship

This is a $10,000 annual scholarship for Muslims majoring in medical technology, oil and energy, computer science, journalism, or business administration. Must have a 3.5 GPA or higher and be a permanent U.S. resident or have American citizenship. Visit collegexpress.com for details.


How to AVOID BEING

A COLLEGE Dropout BY ARTEJA BENSON-CONNER, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK TWITTER: @ARTXJA

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e’ve all heard stories from our parents or teachers about someone going off to college, losing track of their studies and coming back home without a degree. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 30.3 percent of students unenroll after their first year and only 59 percent of students go on to graduate. The high cost of tuition can of course be a big reason a freshman does not complete their four years of college, but there are a few others reason you should be aware of. According to publicagenda.org, the number one reason students do not go on to their second year of college is because they have a hard time striking balance between work and school. Many college freshmen also have to work a part-time job and still find time to go to class, study and attempt to have a social life. In most cases, it proves to be too difficult. A way to remedy this is to start slowly, don’t take on too many hours without being sure that you can handle the classes. When things become easier, you can take on more hours. Avoid time conflicts by planning your classes and work schedule ahead of time. Another major cause of the increasing freshman dropout rate is the stress from school itself. According to the New York Times, 34.6 percent of freshman felt overwhelmed by schoolwork and other activities. This can lead to depression and anxiety, which is a huge rising health problem in college students. This can be avoided by having a good circle of friends and a carefully planned schedule to keep you on track.

A daily planner can be a good tool to use to mark events and schedule your classes. The website campusmindworks.com reports that the best way to reduce stress is to avoid procrastination. “Putting off assignments or responsibilities until the last minute can create more mental and physical stress than staying on top of them. Procrastination can affect many aspects of daily life, such as the quality of your work, the quality of your sleep and your mood,” according to the website. The last major cause for the freshman dropout rate is attributed to young people who aren't emotionally ready for college. This can lead to students completely abandoning their schoolwork and focusing on parties and the social aspect of college instead of school. Some students don’t feel ready to grow up, so they go to college for the wrong reasons, such as to be around friends instead of going to further their education. On the website collegeconfidential.com, an anonymous student gave his reason for dropping out: “I lost my sense of identity; sometimes I feel like I'm just like everyone else in the program. People say that college is better than high school because you're free, but with freedom comes responsibility; responsibility that I'm not ready for yet.” If you feel like this student does, it may be wise to take a gap year. Taking a year off from school can give you the time you need to grow up, save more money and prepare yourself for college. If college is in your near future keep this story in mind before you head off to school. Don’t let any of these reasons make you another college dropout.   TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 11


5 Ways to Improve YOUR STUDY HABITS BY LEXI SHADLOW, JUNIOR, MORGAN PARK SNAPCHAT: @LEXI3MUCH

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uilding good study habits before college can really help you in the years to come. It’s good to have these skills now in order to lessen the pressure when it is time to go to college. Considering the fact that you are putting yourself in a new environment and taking on a large workload, college life may take some getting used to. Since you already know your study habits and can stand some improvement, here are five tips you can use to enhance your test prepping skills:

1. STOP PROCRASTINATING

It is very easy to put off studying because you simply are not fascinated by the subject, or you feel you have all the time in the world. Students who want better for themselves do not procrastinate; they plan time wisely. If your teacher says you have a test on Friday, and it’s Monday, plan to take out time now to start studying. Procrastination leads to rushing, and rushing ultimately leads to mistakes.

2. ELIMINATE ALL DISTRACTIONS

If you’re honest with yourself, you can admit to getting distracted. Maybe, it’s the television, family, cellphone, or even the place you choose to study. If you are studying while distracted, chances are you lose your train of thought, which leads to ineffective studying. So, go to some quiet place—like a library—where you can focus and eliminate unwanted distractions.

3. ORGANIZE YOURSELF When you create a routine for yourself, such as looking over notes during certain

hours of the day, studying will become an everyday thing because you are used to it. Planning your study times will only help you in the long run. Another tip: Get a day planner so you can write down test dates and deadlines.

4. STUDY WITH CLASSMATES

Studying as a group with classmates or having a study buddy can be effective, especially if you are studying the same thing. Each person in the group is a resource. Your peers might understand the lesson better and can explain it to you in simpler ways, versus asking a teacher and possibly getting even more confused. The only way study groups are ineffective is if one of the members is unprepared and if topics of conversation go in a different direction.

5. REVIEW NOTES AND SCHOOLWORK OVER THE WEEKEND

Reviewing and studying over the weekend are important, so you can retain the information and remember the high points of the lesson. If you don’t, you are more likely to forget the new material you just learned. Plus, reviewing over the weekend keeps the information in your head. All of these tips may not work for everyone, but some of them might. If you develop these study habits, there should be some improvement in your academics. But you will need to stay consistent to reach success.

12 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE


Jonathan BANKS

SCORES BIG ON ACT—& YOU CAN, TOO BY AHLANA ANDREWS, SOPHOMORE, LINDBLOM TWITTER: @EXCLUSIVEAHLANA

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hile in your junior year of high school, you get the pleasure of taking the ACT test. To some, that test could be really stressful because those scores are used by colleges to select future students. Jonathan Banks II, a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School, did lots of prepping for the test and ended up getting the highest possible score of 36. Banks, son of Jonathan and Jacinta Banks, doesn't take all the credit for achieving such a feat. According to him, his parents really contributed to his success. Banks says they signed him up for ACT prep courses for several years, and those courses made him feel comfortable when taking the actual test. One thing Banks would do before taking the test is pray. His family and friends prayed for him as well, which gave him the confidence he needed. In addition to praying, Banks took time out to study. “In the weeks before test day, [I studied] as much as an hour to 90 minutes on a daily basis, even if it was just reviewing test prep sites and materials.” Although this test is very important, studying isn't the easiest thing to do. As the day would progress, Banks says he would lose his motivation. He likes to study at the beginning of the day because that’s when his mind is the sharpest. Banks points out that he also tries to turn his stress into positive energy. The way he sees it, stress could either push you forward or hold you back. His stress helps him focus, and it basically tells him that he’s not going to do well unless he “puts in this work.” To get the best score you can, Banks says there are simple, but important steps to take. “[The test] measures how prepared you are for it. Not just really how much you know; so being prepared really is key. Making sure you’re ready physically, emotionally and mentally for test day is really important. ... People stress over this test, but that doesn't always help. So go in prepared, stay calm and try your best.” Banks adds that advice from his dad also helped get him to where he needed to be. For that reason, he suggests testers pick up a copy of his father’s book, Raise Your GPA: God's Way to Win @ School & Life, to help prep for the big day. According to Banks senior, this book gives young people tools, insight and inspiration to achieve their best and to go high as possible. The author said that the title of the book has special meaning. “Raise Your GPA is a subject that speaks to every young person. They know that their grade point

average helps prepare them for college and for life,” says Banks senior. “But I also know that having a great relationship and connection with God is critical for young people to achieve true success. I intentionally put the title Raise Your GPA with a dual meaning: with your grade point average and your God point average, so that young people could relate and be interested in achieving more.” By following the advice of the Banks men, that high ACT score could be yours if you’re willing to put in the work.

TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 13


ARE YOU CHOOSING

YOUR FUTURE CAREER FOR THE Right Reasons? BY ARTEJA BENSON-CONNER & CORIANA BROWN, SENIORS, MORGAN PARK TWITTER: @ARTXJA

“ASK YOURSELF, ‘WHAT IS IT THAT I WOULD DO EVEN IF I WEREN’T GETTING PAID?’” – CAREER STRATEGIST JAMESIA JOHNAI

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n June 2014, Forbes magazine reported that 52.3 percent of Americans are unhappy with their current job. Thirty years ago, more than 61 percent of workers said they were happy in their profession, but the number got smaller over time, reaching a record low in 2010, the year after the Great Recession. A recent Gallup study on the American workplace showed that of America’s approximately 100 million full-time employees, 51 percent aren't engaged in their work. This results in workers doing the bare minimum and not moving ahead in their careers. When it comes to having a successful career, it would seem ideal for you to find some joy in what you do. But how do you know you’ll enjoy a particular career? Here are a few questions to ask yourself when considering how you want to make a living:

Would you do this job for free? “Ask yourself, ‘What is it that I would do even if I weren’t getting paid?’” says Jamesia Johnai, career strategist and president/CEO of Epiphany Essentials Management Inc. “That’s your passion!” Johnai adds that your answer should be not what your parents, friends or family want for you; it should be what you truly want to do.

What motivates you to want to do this job? It is important to have passion for what you do because the love for the job is the greatest motivator. “So many dislike their jobs, their company culture and their co-workers,” explains Johnai. “Actually having a passion for your chosen career helps one to deal better if there are issues within the company culture or with coworkers.” She suggests that you store this advice in your memory: “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

Are you willing to work hard to get into your field? You may have to do some grunt work before getting your dream position. Are you good with that? Starting at the bottom and working your way up is a good way to learn all that there is to know about your future profession. According 14 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

to representatives of California State University, Los Angeles, participating in an internship for your dream job is a great way to network and make connections with people who could assist you in your career in the future. Johnai adds that the experienced gained from working an internship “allows individuals to truly determine if they’ve chosen the best career path.”

Could you do this work for most of your life? There is a difference between a job and a career. A job is often short-term and usually done strictly as a way to earn money. According to Forbes’website, the average person stays in the same job for about four years. A career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. If you don’t see yourself in the line of work you have chosen for years to come, maybe you should consider doing something else. Hopefully, by answering these questions as honestly as you possibly can, you will have a better idea about the career of your choice. Lucky for you, you still have plenty of time to think things though.


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Careers in Tech YOU SHOULD CHECK BY TRINITI MAYE, SENIOR, DEVRY UNIVERSITY ADVANTAGE ACADEMY INSTAGRAM: @T.RINIT.I

I

N TODAY’S WORLD, TECHNOLOGY HAS MADE ITS MARK AND SHOWS NO SIGNS OF STOPPING. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN

TECHNOLOGY BUT UNSURE OF HOW TO GET STARTED, READING SUCCESS STORIES CAN BE EXTREMELY RESOURCEFUL. WILLIE HENRY AND JOEY WOMACK ARE TWO SUCCESS STORIES MORE THAN WORTHY OF LEARNING ABOUT.

WILLIE Henry DIVERSITY PROGRAM MANAGER FOR ENGAGEMENT / FACEBOOK

What inspired you to choose this career? I was initially inspired by my parents to be a successful professional in general, because they provided great structure and were successful themselves. When I was enrolled at Florida A&M University School of Business five-year undergraduate/graduate MBA program I was influenced by numerous great examples of success, from upper classmen to alumni, who were able to share their success stories in the business field with me. I was able to see success in front of me—who looked like me. I was motivated by people making big money off corporate internships and getting paid big salaries with Fortune 500 companies. I wanted to have that success, too. I always wanted to be in marketing—but my first business internship was a job in Human Resources (HR), and I enjoyed it. I used my marketing skills to gain niche competencies in HR and leveraged that into a career for over a decade. What do you love about your career? As a program manager for diversity in the HR department, I get to create and design programs to drive a positive employee experience for minorities and under-represented people, which often include African-Americans and Hispanics. I look at key moments of their employee new hire experience and support them throughout their employee life cycle at Facebook to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible and positioned as best as possible to have a successful career. I love that I’m able to help, influence and really inspire people to be successful in their jobs. I get a lot of satisfaction building programs that motivate others and drive them to successful careers. I’m like a coach—an influencer—helping to drive careers within the company, and it’s a fulfilling experience. What do you find most challenging about your career? Having the impact I would like to have on a grand scale to further validate all the great things done to enrich the culture. Tech Industry The speed of business within today’s tech companies is incredibly rapid! Survival is based on your ability to innovate and provide new emerging services to your customer. Within the HR profession at a leading tech company, I have to match that speed and innovation with every deliverable within this dynamic and rapidly changing culture. 16 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

How long have you been in this profession? 12 years. What is your educational background? Business management/marketing concentration. What kind of training did you have for this career? Corporate internships in college, including one in Johannesburg, South Africa School of Business HR and Management Courses Rotational program at Citigroup, where I learned the trade full scale continuous self-education. What can teens interested in this line of work do now to get a head start? Get involved in STEM curriculums to build up their skill sets. Know how to make the most of new opportunities emerging within the tech field. It’s the way of life; everything is mobile and tech savvy. How much money can someone in your line of work make? $80 to $120K.


JOEY Womack FOUNDER-CEO & PROJECT MANAGER / AMPLIFY FOR GOOD

What inspired you to choose this career? In college at Florida A&M University School of Business, I started the company Digital Guestlist, sending email newsletters about entertainment and party events in major markets to thousands of people, for which they could join “guestlists” for access to these events. I began to lose business in 2006 due to social media. I then pivoted my company to an incubator for digital tech development start-ups and began to distribute tech development info to peers that I was able to find online for free. That email list grew to several hundred African-Americans in the tech field. I began hearing a calling to transition out of the entertainment guest list business to teaching tech entrepreneurship, and completely shifted 100 percent to a new business model for servicing Black entrepreneur tech start-ups. What do you love about your career? We’re all hearing the calling to do something. It could be something to impact 1 billion people, or even just your family. Ninety percent of the world ignores that calling. So for me it feels really good to take that risk and know you have a purpose that you’re fulfilling. What makes me emotional is when I help new tech entrepreneurs reach their potential. It really feels good to have a vision of positively impacting others, especially in our community, and seeing it play out the way you ultimately envisioned it. I believe the next Black billionaire will be from the hood! What do you find most challenging about your career? It’s difficult to find people qualified enough to get things done. By coming up with ideas and turning them into entrepreneurs, my business requires being able to connect them with the right people to execute and get things done. Some people you can drop anywhere in the world and they can make things happen. It’s also finding people you can trust to not do anything unethical... that can get things done. How long have you been in this profession? 15 years. What is your educational background? MBA business management/accounting concentration. What kind of training did you have for this career? I figured everything out on my own through self-training on a continuous basis. What can teens interested in this line of work do now to get a head start? Discover your purpose [with] these three steps: • Look back at the things that you liked to do when you were in elementary school and create hashtags for them (i.e. #Drawing #Music #Reading #VideoGames) • Look at what makes you upset in the world, and create hashtags for them (i.e. #Inequality #Racism #Poverty) • Look back to what your parents and family members were good at, and create hashtags for them

The combination of all those hashtags will help you discover your life purpose. Once you find it, set a large goal that seems impossible. This forces you to use technology to pursue accomplishing it. Why should teens consider the STEM/STEAM field as a career path? Because software is eating the world! Automation, AI, and robots are taking away jobs. You’re going to create software, or software is going to take away the job you do. You always want to be in a position as a creator, to empower yourself with opportunities. STEM/STEAM allows you to be a creator. How much money can someone in your line of work make? $150K+ TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 17


Tomi Adeyemi

TAPS INTO A DIFFERENT SIDE OF FANTASY FICTION BY CIERRA LEMOTT, SOPHOMORE, BROOKS COLLEGE PREP INSTAGRAM: @CECE.KODAK

E

ven before Tomi Adeyemi's debut novel Children of Blood and Bone was released, she was already making headlines. According to deadline. com, she has made history by receiving a near seven-figure book and movie deal. EBONY magazine even called her “the next big thing in literature and film.” Children Of Blood And Bone will be the first book of a three-book trilogy. Being one of the only Nigerian-American young authors to write in the fantasy genre is a big deal. She is becoming a role model for many young writers, especially those of color. Check out what she had to say to True Star. True Star: Why fantasy? Tomi Adeyemi: It's J.K. Rowling's fault! She made me fall in love with magic, and I have never fallen out of love with it. … I just love fantasy and love being in new worlds. And right now, the most exciting opportunity for me as a writer is to create a magical fantasy world to bring everybody else into! TS: How long did it take you to write this book? TA: I had the idea for this book in May of 2016, and I needed a good draft of the book to enter a contest in August of 2016, so I outlined the book for three weeks, wrote the first draft in a month, and wrote a second draft in the next month. Since that competition, I've edited the book for 11 months. It's almost done, so I think it'll be 15 months from idea to the final "The End." TS: What is your writing process like? TA: My process usually goes: Get story inspiration, create a Pinterest board full of other things that inspire me, outline full story, write!

TS: What advice do you have for aspiring authors? TA: My biggest advice for you is to believe that you can do it. The year I decided that this was what I wanted, and I believed in myself, and I was going to pour my blood, sweat, and tears into this dream is the year everything happened for me. I’m not ignorant of the other blessings in my life that allowed me to focus everything on writing, but I still think it's significant that just going for it with everything I had allowed me to succeed. When you look at anyone in entertainment, be it writing or music or art or drawing, a lot of the people we look up to work their butts off! So believe that if you work your butt off, you can do it! Children of Blood and Bone is now available where books are sold. 18 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

The Pitch With magic, Zélie’s family could stand against the royal guard. Her people wouldn’t live in fear. Her mom wouldn’t have hanged from that tree. Years after the king wiped magic out of Orïsha, Zélie has one chance to bring it back. To do so, she’ll have to outwit/ outrun the crown prince, who’s hell-bent on erasing magic for good. -Original pitch for Children of Blood And Bone/www.brenda-drake.com

Fast Fun Facts: Favorite social media outlet: Pinterest: Lots of beautiful art but not a lot of trolls! Describe your life in three words: Learn To Listen To Blessings (I know I cheated.) Who are you listening to? Chance the Rapper and Little Mix What’s your guilty pleasure? Naruto Fanfiction


Author Mya Kay

HAS THE Write STUFF LEXI SHADLOW, JUNIOR, MORGAN PARK

PHOTO CREDIT ARDELL MCDUFFIE

SNAPCHAT: @LEXI3MUCH

O

n April 4, 2017, author Mya Kay achieved an industry first by releasing three books on the same day: Before Empire (written with Andria Mayberry), S.E.A.L. and The Clover Chronicles: Battling Brelyn. It’s her young adult book Battling Brelyn that will tug at the emotions of her teen audience the most. In this story, Kay felt it was important to shed light on lupus, an inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Kay spoke with True Star about her inspiration, her writing process and life as an author. True Star: What motivated you to write a book about a teenage girl with lupus? Mya Kay: I know quite a few people who suffer from lupus, and I’ve heard of a few young people (under 25) dying from it. I thought it was important to shed light on a disease many people don’t know about or have questions about and help them understand the disease more. TS: How do the actions in Battling Brelyn relate to personal or family relations? MK: I think the key thing I wanted to incorporate in the book was the power of prayer. I think it’s important that our children see more positivity in today’s culture. My character Brelyn always prayed, even through her pain.

Fast Fun Facts:

TS: How do you come up with your story ideas for a book? MK: Honestly, I usually just observe life. The first two pages of my book, I actually knew someone in that situation—exactly the way I wrote it. I decide which ideas are best to write by writing a one-page synopsis for the ones I feel the strongest about. It was definitely time for a book like this.

Describe your life in three words: Full of surprises

TS: What was the hardest thing to write in this book and why? MK: It was very difficult for me to see Brelyn on the brink of death. She’s only 15, so I teared up so many times writing the parts where she had an attack from lupus. TS: How long did it take to complete this book? MK: It took me six weeks to write the first draft. Since the book is a series, and this is the first one, it was difficult keeping the siblings’ ages together, tightening up the details of their parent’s marriage and their birthdays. I had to go back several times to make sure things were consistent. TS: How much money can an author earn? MK: Instead of trying to find out “How much can I earn if I become an author?” find out why you want to do it and how you can make a difference. Follow purpose and profit will follow you.

Favorite social media outlet: Instagram

Who are you listening to? Tasha Cobbs-Leonard's album (Heart. Passion. Pursuit.) and Tori Kelly (whole collection) What’s your guilty pleasure? Reality TV

TS: What advice do you have for young aspiring authors? MK: Don’t focus on the money because nobody who is a writer did it for the money. It can take years to build a brand as a writer, so start where you are, write down your ideas and utilize all your resources. Don’t waste time on social media. Instead, follow some of your favorite authors and pick their brains. Don’t write what’s popular. Write what you want to write. Don’t follow trends; create them.

TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 19


Chicago SO Lit

THESE WINDY CITY AUTHORS MAY BE YOUNG PLAYERS IN THE LITERARY GAME, BUT THEY ARE USING THEIR CREATIVE SKILLS TO TELL STORIES ON THEIR OWN TERMS.

PHOTO CREDIT: ANGELS PHOTOGRAPHY

TYEIKIA RICHARDSON BY TRUE STAR STAFF

O

ne of the things that inspired Tyeikia Richardson to become an author was seeing the struggles throughout her community and realizing she could write about the different obstacles Black people face. “Chicago inspired my work when I realized I could paint a vivid picture of the good, the bad and the ugly of the city,” says Richardson. “My books are catered to both teens and adults. No matter the age, you will learn life lessons from my stories.” When a good idea pops into Richardson’s mind, she will write it down on paper before going to the computer to type. She estimates that on average it takes her three or four months to complete a

manuscript. At the age of 22, Richardson has now published four books. Her fifth book, Stay Outta Harm's Way 2, is expected to be released this spring. She selfpublishes under her company Golden Penn Publications and sells her books on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble. com and Createspace.com. “I’m trying to build my own brand and have full creative control,” she says. “The [future] plans for my publishing company are to continue to publish urban fiction with a message and eventually turn my stories into plays and films.” Richardson advises other young people interested in becoming authors to “learn your craft, take your time, and know your audience.” For more information on Richardson and her publications, follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @AuthorTyeikia.

KAMARION MILLER BY CIERRA LEMOTT, SOPHOMORE, BROOKS COLLEGE PREP

A

t the young age of 8, Kamarion Miller knew he wanted to be a writer. By the time he was 14 he published his first fantasy fiction book, Scars of Karindas, which, according to Miller, takes place in the future in a “dystopian Chicago around 10 or 20 years ahead.” Miller feels that writing is something he “was born to do” and it gives him life every day. He says that the TV shows, books, and movies that he passes his time with, have all inspired him to want to pursue a writing career in the sci-fi genre. Director Steven Spielberg as well as author Rick Riordan have had the biggest impact on him as a writer. This summer Miller will self-publish his second book, Muse: A World Without Chains. “It’s about two artists named Jack and Terry,” says Miller. “Terry is a writer in high school from the high-class end of town who feels unmotivated and aimless in life. Jack is a 17-year-old high school dropout who sells drugs in the poor end of the city, but uses painting as an escape from all his problems. This story is about how these two artists meet and inspire each other in profound ways as they embark on an unexpected journey.” 20 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

When asked what advice he would give want-to-be authors, Millers says, “Write as much as possible. That’s the only way to get better. There’s no secret or anything like that. It’s just practice.” You can find out more about Miller’s books on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and Goodreads.com.


Women LIKE STEM, Too! BY JASMINE HOLLOWAY, FRESHMEN, CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY

B

e a model and make money off your appearance. Be a fashion designer and make money of the appearance of others. These are just a couple of occupations that women are often praised for pursuing. If people knew the annual income of some of the more popular fields, they might think twice about what career they should pursue. Many women, however, are going a different route. Market research analyst, software developer and web designers are just a few jobs that women are integrating into. Unfortunately, they are still male-dominated. Many things play a role in the fact that fewer women pursue STEM careers, such as: lack of female encouragement, shortage of mentors for women in the STEM field, lack of acceptance from co-workers or supervisors and coping with gender differences in the workplace. Like all challenges in life, there is always a solution to overcome them. U.S. News & World Report says that women make up only 47 percent of people in STEM jobs, but that all can change. With more women educated and empowered to make a change, we are one step closer to making an impact. Eventually, we can change society's outlook that women are less useful than men in such fields. Ariyana Maddox, a senior at Homewood Flossmoor High School, is already an entrepreneur and plans to enter the STEM field after college. “I was attracted to major in a STEM field because I felt as though it would benefit my business. I own a vegan-and-organic beauty product line where I research and mix different oils and ingredients to improve the skin. “I think women should look into majoring in a STEM field because it's such a diverse degree to have,” Maddox adds. “They can branch off into different fields of biochemistry and even create their own type of research that strikes their interest.” Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep senior Najia Griffin plans to become a general surgeon someday. She believes STEM careers are a natural fit for women. “Women are inquisitive and nurturers. We perform well as leaders and have the skill set to manage multiple things at one time. We are excellent in our details and

compassionate to others. All of these characteristics combined make star STEM leaders. We have a shortage in this area, and with more of us present, I think we will make a greater contribution to the field.” A program that is taking a stand to close the gender gap in technology and ensure that young women know their worth early is Girls Who Code. Reshma Saujani, the founder of the program, states on her website that “Girls Who Code has gone from 20 girls in New York to 40,000 girls in 50 states. … When girls learn to code, they become change agents in their communities.” That change is coming. Thanks to a new generation of women, careers in the STEM field are becoming a part of our futures more and more, because women like STEM, too!

Popular STEM Careers The following careers are considered some of the best positions and median salaries in the STEM field for 2017.

1.Statisician / $80,110 2.Computer Systems Analyst / $85,800 3.Software Developer / $98,260 4.Mathematician / $111,110 5.Financial Advisor / $86,160 6.Actuary / $96,070 7.IT Manager / $131,600 8.Psychologist / $94,590 9.Web Developer / $64,970 10.Operations Research Analyst / $78,630 Source: U.S. News & World Report TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 21


REAL TALK

FOCUS

ON BEING

Take advantage of opportunities. When even the

tiniest opportunity presents itself to you to somehow better your future, you need to jump at it. You should be present and accounted for; otherwise, you will miss out. Whether it’s a scholarship or an internship, don’t let an opportunity pass you by. Remember, there are no losses in taking advantage of an offer that is positive.

Focused

BY SULLIVAN ANDERSON, SOPHOMORE, JONES COLLEGE PREP SNAPCHAT: JUSTCALLMESULLY

T

hat feeling of going through the motions with school, having no real goals and living a carefree life is pretty much the norm for many students. Believe it or not, even the smallest decisions you make today can affect your tomorrow. Time is precious, and it's now or never to start caring about where you will be in 10 years. Below are some tips to help you focus on being focused.

Set goals. Focused people are always striving to achieve their next goal. Start small. Create a to-do list of everyday tasks that include steps to getting your homework done. A large goal may be to figure out the college you would like to attend, or what you will major in. To prevent frustration from kicking in, break the goal down into smaller steps. The satisfaction of meeting any goal can motivate you to continue to achieve.

Find a mentor. According to the website mentoring.org, students

who have a mentor are “130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions and 55 percent more likely to enroll in college.” So whether it’s a school counselor or an older sibling, having someone you admire and look up to for guidance is important.

Define your priorities. From social media to relationships,

it is easy to get caught up in the things that bring us pleasure. But remember not to lose sight of what’s important! “If it doesn’t increase your network or your net worth, don’t worry about it,” says Whitaker. Prioritizing is key. Start by listing tasks by their level of importance. Even with extracurricular activities, know the difference between what you have to do and what you want to do. If something is insignificant to your future, don’t spend much time on it.

Allocate your time.

Once you know what must be done to accomplish your goals, dedicate a specific amount of time to completing each task. You can even set the timer on your phone to 30 minutes or an hour for each thing you need to do so that you know when it’s time to move on to something else on your list.

Find your tribe. “People around you should make you better,” says

Whitaker. “Your friends should elevate you.” The people you choose to surround yourself with should have similar goals as you. This results in positive peer pressure to chase your dreams. Joining a club at school, church, community center or even online can help you find other goal setters similar to you.

Look at the bigger picture. “You should have a purpose

for everything you do,” says Subria Whitaker, a Morgan Park High School alum and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate, who has learned the value in being focused. To begin to have more of a grip on your life, start questioning your actions. Ask yourself, “How will what I am doing right now affect me in 10 years?” If the answer is insignificant, this means that this action is not important. Your actions should always lead you to the bigger goal. 22 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Hopefully, these tips will get you off to a good start for the school year and the rest of your life.


IT’S GETTING

HOT in Here,

AND THAT’S

“TO REDUCE EMISSIONS OF CO2 (CARBON DIOXIDE) AND OTHER GREENHOUSE GASES, A TEEN CAN PRACTICE ENERGY CONSERVATION AT HOME, CARPOOL RATHER THAN DRIVE ALONE, RECYCLE AND REUSE MATERIALS OR DRIVE AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT CAR.” –DR. VIRGINIA BURKETT

NOT

A GOOD Thing

BY ARTEJA BENSON-CONNER, JUNIOR, MORGAN PARK TWITTER: @ARTXJA

O

ur temperatures are on the rise. This might sound great, but for the next generation, and the one after that, it is not good. Right now, urban areas such as Chicago are usually warmer than rural areas, and the death rates from heatwaves have increased. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, communities of color, low-income families and immigrants, have a higher risk of being affected due to a wide variety of factors, including higher risk of exposure. For people who suffer from spring allergies and asthma, some of the symptoms happen earlier due to the early summer, and the consequence of that means more days of suffering from itchy eyes and a stuffed up nose. According to the National Weather Service, last winter (2015-2016), it snowed eight times, and more than half of those were minor snowfalls, measuring less than three inches. All of these things happen because of global warming, the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans. Some don’t believe that global warming exists, but scientists agree that the Earth and its oceans are warming, and having a drastic effect; one being the break up of Antarctica’s ice shelf and melting ice, which raises the sea level. Scientists say that climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that in 2015, there were 10 weather and climate disaster events in the United States—including severe storms, floods, drought and wildfires—that caused at least $1 billion in losses. The increasing number of droughts and dry spells can lead to a lack of clean drinking water, which has become a problem in places such as California in recent few years.

Dr. Virginia Burkett, Chief Scientist for Climate and Land Use Change, U.S. Geological Survey, said this about the recent droughts: “Areas of the United States that are already drought stressed are projected to become even drier. This is due to the combination of changes in rainfall patterns and increased temperature and evaporation.” Corey Alderson, a senior at Morgan Park High School, has taken notice of the Earth’s changes but isn’t sure what can be done about it. “I do think global warming is real because it seems like the Earth has been heating up over the years. I don't necessarily see it as a threat to humans, but more to endangered animals who live in colder places. I don't think there’s anything we can do to reverse it.” Burkett believes teens can do their part to improve global warming. “I’d recommend as a first step, that teens become educated about climate change. The Earth's atmosphere and oceans are warming as a result of human activity and the impacts of climate change are already being observed on all continents and across the world ocean. There are two basic ways to slow the rate of human-induced warming: reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use or increase the amount of carbon stored in the land surface. To reduce emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and other greenhouse gases, a teen can practice energy conservation at home, carpool rather than drive alone, recycle and reuse materials or drive an energy-efficient car. Schools can join the Green Schools Alliance, which helps schools reduce their carbon footprint.” We may not be able to completely reverse global warming, but we can start rebuilding our planet and make it a better place. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 23


GET PROOF

BECAUSE THE FACTS MATTER BY CORIANA BROWN, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK TWITTER: @ARTXJR

I

’m sure everyone has heard the saying, “Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet.” So how do you know what the truth is and isn’t? A study that took place at Stanford University revealed that many young people, ranging from middle school to college, have difficulty in deciphering if an online resource is trustworthy. The following guidelines can help you decide if an article or website contains reliable and accurate information.

3

Who is the author?

guarantee that they are reliable. This is because websites can be purchased and ran by any individual, whether they're an expert on a specific topic or not. Domains such as .edu and .gov are much more reliable and credible. The domain .edu is designated for universities and colleges to use for their own website. The domain .gov is reserved for government-run websites.

3

How well is this article written? If an article or website has grammar and spelling errors, there's a huge chance that

The name of the person who wrote the article can usually be found at the top or on the side of an article, along with his or her credentials. Sometimes a byline can even be found at the end of an article, also known as a tagline. If the author is not listed in the article, you can search for the author in the “About” section of the website or use the “Contact Us” section to ask who wrote the piece. If you are unable to find the author through any of these techniques, that could be a red flag that this article is not trustworthy. A valid author should want credit for his or her work.

this is not a reliable place to receive information. Numerous grammatical errors are most common when mixing up homophones such as, your and you're. If you notice an error in the writer’s grammar, this could be a red flag that the site is not credible. Credible websites have editors and copy editors who are able to catch such errors.

3

3

When was it published? Searching for an original date for when the article was published is also key. This information can usually be found at the top of the article. The date of when the material was published is also a sure sign of accuracy because new developments in the story may have occurred since it was written.

3

What's the domain? The domain of a site can play a huge role in deciding if the site is reliable or not. Domains such as .com, .org and .net do not have a one hundred percent

24 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Who was this article written for? Who was the intended audience for the article? Was the article written to inform or to entertain? These are some questions you should ask yourself when reading an article. If the article was written to entertain its audience then chances are the information in the article isn't factual. The Onion is a good example of a publication meant for entertainment purposes only.

3

Does it make sense? One of the final things you should think about is “Does this article make sense?” If the article does not add up with your previous knowledge of the subject matter, there is a good chance that the information is not accurate. Check respected news sites—The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune—to compare information as a follow-up to your research.


• WHO WROTE THIS STORY?

• IS THIS A CREDIBLE SOURCE?

The Truest Star S AT U R DAY NIGHT LIVE CANCELED for Skits about Trump

I

ts finally happened; Satrday Night Live, the

television show that’s been around for twenty years has been taken off air.   After the anouncemnt that Trump was running for president, the popular show known for its

his health insurance anymore, so he got rid of

those alreaady? This show was a threat to our

all-star cast and weekly hosts, performed skits

it. There was lead in the water, but that was

way of way of life. They wanna take wives out

that showed President Trump in a negative light.

deemed okay.

of the home, and put the men in the them, take

Portrayed by Alec Baldwin, they often made him

what’s left of religion and throw it in the trash. It’s

out to be an ignorant, sexist bully with no control

This show is blatant attack on not only our

people like the producers and cast of the show

over the country or an idea of how to run. One

President, but our country as well. I,m glad the

that want to turn this world inside out. But have

of the earlier sketches features ‘Trump” visiting a

show is off the air. It was never funny. The hosts

hope ladies and gentlemen. If we keep making

town where almost everyone voted for him and

were dry celebraties who only got on because

our voices heard, we can acomplish anything.

the entire time. he ignores their problems and

of their name. I never liked it and i say good

simply gets rid of whatever they’re complaining

ridance to it and its liberal agenda. Saturday

about rathar then fixing the issues. For example,

Night Live wanted nothing more than to turn

A woman has trouble paying her mortgage, so

us hard working conservatives into democracts

Trump will take her house. A man couldn’t afford

and liberals. Doesn’t the world have enough of

Watch out Starbucks. Your next.

• ARE THERE SEVERAL GRAMMATICAL MISTAKES?

*Copy by Brianna Thomas

ASK YOURSELF these questions the next time you read an article:

3 Who wrote the article? 3 When was it published?

3 What is the domain? 3 How well is the article written?

3 Who is the target audience? 3 Does the info make sense? TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 25


When In Doubt Denim it Out Concerned about what to wear? You will NEVER go wrong with doubling your denim. Denim is versatile and can be dressed up or down!

Photographer: Christopher "ThoughtPoetOpinion" Brown Stylist: Brittanie Sturdivant "House Of Brittanie" Makeup: Deanna Beach of Beauty Blvd Creative Director: Joi Mitchell


Lyric Minty Green Faux Fur- VTG By. B Denim Baby Doll Top- VTG By. B Shredded Boyfriend Jeans- Rue 21 Goldmember Cross Body Bag- VTG By.B

Torey Corduroy Lined Denim Coat- VTG By. B Elongated Thermal- Rue 21 Sun Grazed Flannel- The Salvation Army Cuffed Jeans- Plato's Closet Lo Boots- Plato's Closet


Bullin' Vintage Sportswear Vintage Sports gear will win the crowds heart! The wonderful thing about vintage pieces is that they are unique and no one else will have them!


Lyric Bulls Swishy Jacket- VTG By.B Leather Leggings- The Salvation Army Black Suede Creepers- Rue 21

Torey Greyed out Bulls Thermal- The Salvation Army Bulls Button Up Jersey- VTG By. B Fila Swishy Pants- The Salvation Army


Vintage Fashion Daze Prep for fall by combining some of your fave pieces to stay warm and create and amazing ensemble.


Lyric Chic Cheetah Fur Coat- The Salvation Army The Firecracker Red Dress- VTG By.B Puffy Sleeved Turtle Neck- The Salvation Army Stripy Tights- Forever 21 Leather Fur Trimmed Back Pack- Forever 21

Torey London Fog Black Trench- VTG By. B Super Plaid Flannel- Plato's Closet Classic Tan Pant- Plato's Closet Black Slide Ins- Plato's Closet

TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 31


Dressing FOR Success BY SHAKIRAH MUHAMMAD, FRESHMAN, THORNTON TOWNSHIP

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n this generation, we are superfocused on keeping up with every trend. Could it be that we’re trying to keep up so much that we’ve forgotten what business attire should look like? As teenagers we constantly get our daily attire and work attire mixed up. Some may even think that what they wear outside and inside of work shouldn’t differ. What many don’t realize is that during a job interview, your clothes say a lot about who you are. Don’t walk into an interview with jeans and gym shoes on. The employer won’t take you seriously, and they’ll think that you won’t take the job seriously. In a SFGATE article called “Interview Attire: Yes, It Does Matter,” Lizandra Vega, an executive recruiter and image consultant, says, “A professional image can easily be projected by the choice of clothes, accessories and appearance. Visual cues are very important and play a role in developing chemistry.” Ladies, simple things such as the perfume you wear, your accessories, amount of makeup and even your hairstyle could either make you or break you. If you love to wear perfume, skip it on interview day because the smell could be irritating to your future boss. The only smell-good product that you should have on is deodorant. Anything else is unnecessary. Too many accessories can be cheesy. All you really need is a pair of small earrings, such as a small hoop or stud. Do not wear heavy makeup. It’s just not professional. Lastly, the best hairstyle for an interview is clean hair; updos such as ponytails and buns are considered professional. Guys, your attire for an interview is not as complicated. If you wear a suit make sure that it’s a solid color, preferably neutral colors such as black, grey or navy. Your jacket and pants should match. While standing, your suit should be buttoned and while sitting, your suit should be unbuttoned. Make sure that your shoes are polished and your shirt has a collar. Most important: DO NOT SAG! According to the style site, Liveabout.com, the type of shoes you wear to an interview are very important. The website states, “To make your best first impression, don't wear sneakers to an interview for an office job.” For many teenagers, our sneakers are our go-to shoes. But, for an interview, just leave your sneakers behind. Ladies, to play it safe, don’t wear sandals or open-toed shoes. And extremely high heels are not an option. Keep your heel size at a minimum. At 16, you’ll start applying for jobs. For the most part, being more business casual than business professional is acceptable for teens. If you’re a teenage girl and you love to dress up, a knee-length dress that’s not form fitting is the perfect thing to wear. If you’re more of the casual girl, do not wear jeans. You can still wear pants and look casual. A pair of slacks and a cardigan should be your go-to. But, make sure that you’re wearing neutral colors (black, grey, brown or navy). Guys, your casual look can be as simple as a pair of neutral colored khakis, a crisp shirt and polished shoes. 32 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Clothes play a major role in our lives and are a major part of the hiring process. So, the next time you have a scheduled interview, pay close attention to what you’re wearing. That job you want could be yours.


Strut for Scholarships

SOUTH SHORE STUDENTS STRIKE A POSE FOR FUNDRAISER BY NIA HOWARD, FRESHMAN, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY INSTAGRAM: @NIA.NET

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PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT SIMEON FRIERSON

outh Shore International College Prep High School recently hosted its first “Charity Back to School” fashion show, featuring students from the school’s Fashion/Modeling Program. According to the school’s Program Manager Stanley Coleman, the show’s main purpose was to raise funds to “build college scholarship nest eggs for each student model.” The program’s primary goal is to bring positivity and hope into the South Shore community by instilling in the participants the importance of uplifting the area by bringing businesses to the neighborhood to help inspire the next generation. The fashion show was co-emceed by Leon Rogers of WGCI radio and Felicia Lawrence of “The Morning Jam” TV show. It took place at Dearborn Denim & Apparel in Hyde Park. Family and friends turned out in loving support of the students and their mission. During each segment of the show, raffles offered a book bag giveaway for the kids. During the event, three scholarships were awarded to the student models. Oladumola Ajayi was the recipient of the Dunkin Donuts Scholarship, Daija Alexander received the Zakat Foundation Scholarship, and Allyssia Grayson was the recipient of the Audi Corporation Scholarship. Student De’Ja Lewis also received a scholarship to Clark Atlanta University to attend the school for her first year. If you weren’t able to attend this fashion show, don’t worry! You can still be on the lookout for the next one in 2018!

*South Shore Models: Amber/Daija/De'Ja/Oludamola/Brian/Allyse/Shanisa/Francia/ Leah/Zipporah/Alexis *Dee-Jays Basia & Asia from LAB3L *Kaleb Sullivan Store Manager of Dearborn Denim Apparel TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 33


COVER STORY

True Star Founders

LAUNCH NEW DIGITAL PLATFORM FOR MAGAZINE BY SULLIVAN ANDERSON, JONES COLLEGE PREP, SOPHOMORE SNAPCHAT: JUSTCALLMESULLY

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ince June of 2005, True Star Magazine has been a major outlet for Chicago students to have a voice about issues they are passionate about. In other words, True Star gives teens a platform to be heard. But what happens when the world no longer takes interest in flipping through a magazine? The answer is simple—you evolve with the times. With the introduction of a new website, the magazine is both taking a risk and an advanced role in youth media. True Star co-founders DeAnna McLeary Sherman and Na-Tae’ Thompson talk about what teens can expect with this new and improved digital platform and why change is good.   True Star: How do you plan to take a digital approach towards the expansion of True Star? Deanna McLeary Sherman: We are launching a new digital platform which will be a website called TrueStar.Life. True Star is all about youth life. We want to be that platform you can go to to find out what the youth are thinking and what their point of view is. We are changing our program to be digitally focused. Journalism was writing for the magazine in the past, now young people are writing for the website. Our digital media program will be producing short videos in addition to specific programming being created on our YouTube channel. If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll see that we’ve been testing things, but were working to develop a consistent way to distribute content that communicates who we are and what our purpose is. We’re also working to bring students from behind the scenes to in front of the scenes on a digital platform. TS: Will True Star go completely digital or would you still hold on to the magazine? DMS: Where are the young people? On their phones. You either want to change with the times or become irrelevant. We don't want to become irrelevant. There are still young people who are like, “I can’t believe you all are shutting down the magazine!” And we feel that same way too, but we don’t want to be so in love with our baby—the magazine that we created—that we won’t let it grow. As hard as it is to expand, we want to make sure we have a platform that young people feel connected to. We don’t want to be dinosaurs. We want to be new and innovative. That’s what this is all about. TS: What made you decide to take a digital approach? Na-Tae’ Thompson: When we first started True Star, it was all about young people; we followed the lead of young people. We wanted to make sure we were still doing that in 2018. Right now, kids are no longer necessarily flipping through the pages of a magazine anymore for information and entertainment; it's right at your fingertips [with your phones]. Change was inevitable. We’ve been going back and forth between phasing out the magazine, and as we grow the platform, we were not sure if we should do that or if we should jump right in and say, “let's just do it.” We decided we should be risk-takers and that’s where we’re at now. We needed to stay true to being where teens are. 34 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

TS: Would you ever let True Star students take over social media platforms? NT: Right now, teens create the content. We have adult instructors who work with the students to teach the skills necessary to create content. It would still have that same format, but adult industry professionals, or mentors, will be there to help push it along. It is important to have guidance. DMS: The actual afterschool program would be a pipeline to more advanced programs. The advanced students will work all year round for us, participating in projects and having them run Instagram for a few days. Digital is all about a voice and personality. Because we’re still a small organization, we want young people driving, but the adults are the GPS to keep everything synced and in line. TS: Where do you see True Star in four years? NT: I see us worldwide. With the digital switch, we no longer have to rely on students in Chicago 100 percent. We’ve had students from New York and Atlanta who are interested in writing reach out to us. Now, we have a platform for them to be able to write. Now, we can take writers from India, you know, whoever is interested in having a voice. DMS: It’s so hard to be current with a quarterly magazine. Especially with news being so fast; you forget about things in two days! We live in a 24-hour news cycle and we want to be a part of the conversation. As a quarterly magazine, that would be hard. Also, young people lose interest. It’s always exciting to see your words published. We also want to be a platform where young people can come to us. Say there’s something you’re going through at school, like the young lady who had alopecia and was getting bullied. She could hit True Star like “I need a platform to tell my story.” Or if you just started a business, it’s poppin’ and you need a platform. We want to build our audience so that young people have somewhere to go to get out there even further. We will start sharing stories on Instagram and formatting it for Instagram. Hopefully, we will grow and move to Snapchat. There is a much broader net when you’re online rather than print. Look for TrueStar.Life to debut in the coming weeks.


Ryan Henry: FROM THE STRUGGLE OF THE STREETS TO

Reality TV Star BY SULLIVAN ANDERSON, JONES COLLEGE PREP, SOPHOMORE SNAPCHAT: JUSTCALLMESULLY

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f you’re a drama junkie and hooked on reality TV, chances are you’re a fan of “Black Ink Crew: Chicago.” The VH1 show about the ins and outs of the 9Mag tattoo shop, located in the Pilsen neighborhood, first aired in 2015 and is now in its third season. The owner of 9Mag and star of the show, Ryan Henry, is the perfect example of a local talent beating the Chicago streets and making a name for himself through hard work and determination. Prior to his on-screen success, Henry was just like the rest of us teenagers: struggling and growing up in Chicago. “The city of Chicago will eat you alive if you let it,” he says. “You have so many different kids dealing with different things, from having no parents to having both parents on drugs. … The streets will take a hold of you when you’re searching for something.” When Henry’s parents divorced, he got “lost in the lane of emotion” and was provided with a reason to resort to the streets searching for his own version of “something.” When Henry’s sister, Nova, and 10-month-old niece, Ava, were killed by her abusive boyfriend about eight years ago, more emotional trauma developed in Henry’s life. However, their deaths gave Henry a reason to escape the streets and a reason to turn his tattooing hobby into a profession. “I immediately put my pain, my sorrow and my mourning into something productive. I started tattooing [seriously] two weeks after she died,” Henry explains. “It’s so easy to break down, and people will be waiting to see you break down and see you fall from that. As soon as you do, they’ll be waiting to say, ‘See, I told you so.’ Realistically, it’s people waiting on you to fold. I refused to give them the satisfaction.” Although prosperous in his profession, Henry had not always been the highly respected tattoo artist he is today. “I’ve done pretty much every job in the world before starting my own company. … I was a janitor before I was tattooing. I was a conductor, forklift driver, factory worker—I’ve done all these things,” he says. The art of tattooing is well-respected, whether you perform the tattooing or receive one. Tattooing, however, is not an easy job and takes a lot of dedication. Henry offers some advice to anyone interested in becoming an artist. “Work on your portfolio and try to acquire an apprenticeship,” he says. “You have to learn the histories, the rules of this game, and what this profession is. Then go after it for your passion. Don’t go after it because you see someone like me on TV, thinking it will get you famous. Don’t do it because you see someone being famous from it, because there are a lot of sleepless nights—thousands of them— between getting to that.”

FUN FAST FACTS: True Star: When you’re at Harold’s Chicken, what do you order? Ryan Henry: I order the same thing: half white, salt and pepper, extra mild. And a large catfish, fried hard. And, sometimes I get fried okra, fried hard. And my homey that owns the Harold’s on Madison—it’s the best one downtown—they have broccoli bites. And I order jalapeno peppers on the side! TS: Most used emoji? RH: Between the praying hands emoji and the raising hands emoji. That’s just in talking to my people every day. When you wish something better on somebody or somebody gives you some good news, you give them that back along with something you say. It’s put at the end of a lot of the things I say. TS: Name three songs on your playlist. RH: My first song would be Womack and Womack, “Baby I’m Scared of You.” Second song would be by Quincy Jones—“Secret Garden.” My last song would be “High End” by Chris Brown and Future. TS: The last show you binge-watched? RH: “Stranger Things.” TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 35


SOUND OFF

STOP THE

SEXUALIZATION! BY TRINITI MAYE, SENIOR, DEVRY UNIVERSITY ADVANTAGE ACADEMY INSTAGRAM: @T.RINIT.I

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he sexualization of young girls in media is sickening, and it has a huge impact on the self-esteem of the younger generation. The marketing of sexualized advertising to young people impacts kids before they are able to fully comprehend the images they are viewing. The importance of discussing and protesting sexualized ads is to enlighten the insecurities young girls will experience later on in life. The definition of sexualization is to make something sexual in character or quality or to become aware of sexuality. When it comes to the media, they don’t have a problem with dressing a 12-year-old girl in makeup and high heels and have her model seductively. In the Huffington Post article “Sexualized Culture is Creating Mental Health Issues in Our Youth,” writer Darryl Roberts mentioned how the media have contributed to the increased numbers of depression and low self-esteem in young girls. Some important statistics mentioned include information on how eating disorders are now starting in girls as young as 12, and that 91 percent of women are unhappy with how their bodies look. Girls find it difficult to be happy with how their developing bodies look when they sit at home and compare themselves to perfectly airbrushed models in magazines. The constant implication that looking sexy is necessary to be accepted by society continues to put a strain on pre-teen and teen girls. There are several videos online debating the nature of sexualization. You can also easily find footage of older girls making videos for younger girls trying to help them get through the awkward stage and be more comfortable with their bodies. This is a nice way of solving the problem short-term. In order to really help the self-esteem of young girls, society has to realize advertisements and the media (film, television, music video and magazines) are the reason for low self-esteem. Instead of trying to fix the problem after it has taken a toll on the victim, it should be dealt with head-on. Companies that promote sexualization should be punished and they shouldn’t be supported. In an ideal world, in order to end this problem, it will take some extra initiative; but there should be further investigation done on the companies that use sex as a marketing ploy. At the end of the day, the sexualization of young girls will never end until society comes together as a whole and acknowledges the problem. The images young girls view shouldn’t hurt them. Instead, the images should be self-esteem builders.

36 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

IN ORDER TO REALLY HELP THE SELF-ESTEEM OF YOUNG GIRLS, SOCIETY HAS TO REALIZE ADVERTISEMENTS AND THE MEDIA (FILM, TELEVISION, MUSIC VIDEO, AND MAGAZINES) ARE THE REASON FOR LOW SELF-ESTEEM.


GIVING BACK

LADIES OF VIRTUE

CELEBRATES THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS BY TRUE STAR STAFF, (INTERVIEW BY DEJA TAYLOR, SENIOR, NOBLE STREET COLLEGE PREP)

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adies of Virtue (LOV) is a program that empowers girls from ages 9 to 18 to become confident and purpose-driven leaders. LOV believes that mentoring, unique opportunities, career explorations and youth-led service learning projects are the keys to building future leaders of young women who will then reach back and help another girl. Launched in 2011, LOV has served over 1,000 girls, teaching them to be strong and fearless leaders. Throughout the 9-month leadership development program, participants tackle pressing issues that affect them. In partnership with the Project Management Institute—Chicago-land Chapter—girls learn how to research an issue, develop a plan and implement their service project. They also were instructed on how to incorporate technology and also add some of their personality to the final presentation. In 2017, there were six groups with topics that included: homelessness, sexual assault, domestic violence, cultural awareness, global awareness and gun violence. Each group had to present to over 100 audience members at the annual Ladies of Virtue recognition ceremony, held on May 19, 2017. The ceremony was held at Crane Medical Prep High School. The winning group, Do It for Haiti, focused on global awareness and partnered with Feed My Starving Children and a community organization in Haiti to achieve a purpose: benefit children from across the globe. Team Do It For Haiti included Shalisa Amos, Zakiyah Martin, Sarai Funches, Joi Funches, Demia Thomas, Antoinette Raggs and Keturah Funches. Not only did they raise over $300 for children in Haiti, but they also purchased much-needed supplies. The group presented a poem to encourage others to join in. They truly put their passion into action. “My main goal was to raise as much money as possible to help the families who faced many tragedies in Haiti,” says Martin. “I am so proud of the girls for remaining focused over the last two months. Their efforts made a huge difference,” says LOV founder, Jamila Trimuel.

Many of the girls agreed that their passion for helping others and making them smile helped them choose to focus on global awareness. They plan to continue helping others even, after high school. Raggs, one of the group members, is now attending Kenwood Academy. She stated that she is an advocate for health equity and wants to spread the idea of intersectional feminism.

The winning team won a makeover at MJ2 Hair and Nail Boutique, which consisted of a free hair wash and style, manicure and pedicure. In addition, they received an overnight stay at the Hyatt and attended the United State of Women Summit, which featured Former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

38 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Team Do It For Haiti started with a group of girls who wanted to make a difference and ended up impacting girls around the world. For more information about Ladies of Virtue, please visit their website at LOVChicago.org.


IESHA LEE

WANTS TO PUT AN END TO BULLYING WITH ITSOK2BEEU BY CIERRA LEMOTT, SOPHOMORE, BROOKS COLLEGE PREP INSTAGRAM: @CECE.KODAK BY TRINITY BISHOP, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK INSTAGRAM: @XOXOTRIN_

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ome people allow the bad things that have happened in their life to have

power over them forever. Other people let the things that hurt them turn them into something great. Iesha Lee is choosing the latter, and she is doing positive things to help others. Growing up, Lee experienced being bullied, not only in school but also in her own household. In school, she was always picked on for the way she looked and for not always following the crowd. She chose to be herself instead of giving in to her bullies. Back then, she never spoke out on being bullied or how she was feeling to anyone. Dealing with this caused her to have low self-esteem.

BLACK IS GOLD:

MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN GIRLS BY SULLIVAN ANDERSON, SOPHOMORE, JONES COLLEGE PREP SNAPCHAT: JUSTCALLMESULLY

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hicago is jammed packed with girls full of ambition and with a passion to change the world. However, some girls may lack an outlet to pursue their dreams, while others simply may not know where to start. Black is Gold (B.I.G.) is an organization that gives back to the community by providing a sisterhood for Black girls to network through each other, confide in one another, and to simply find themselves. Amber Anderson, Lailah Webster and Jillian Shongule, founders of Black Is Gold, all possess a similar passion—to empower Black young women. “In the beginning, it was never supposed to be an organization,” says Anderson, 16, a junior at Kenwood Academy. “My friends and I first had an idea to direct a photo shoot that showcases Black girls and their natural beauty, but as we published the piece, people loved the concept and the visuals.”

Today, Lee is a graduate of Kennedy King College, a station brand ambassador and board operator at Power 92 radio, as well as a model. Because of her personal issues, she began the ItsOK2BeeU campaign. This campaign communicates a message to youth of how important it is to never give up. She also wants people to know that it’s OK to be different from others, to love yourself no matter what and to speak out against bullying. “All my life I was bullied for the way I looked, the way I dressed and they talked about my skin. I wanted to give the people a voice and platform to speak out,” says Lee. “It was time for a change and time to take a stand and make a difference, so I did.” Lee has taken her campaign to various Chicago-area public schools, including Calumet High School, Hyde Park Academy High School and Beasley Academic Center. She plans to continue spreading her message of self-love during the 2017-2018 school year. If you’re interested in having Lee visit your school or organization, she can be reached by email at ieshakeating@yahoo.com or on Facebook at Iesha Lee.

Because of the numerous girls in the city who love to model and take part in photo shoots, B.I.G., founded in January 2017, took this concept and ran with it. Through the pictures, a positive message is communicated: The unique and undeniable beauty of Black girls deserves to be seen. “It’s hard to be a Black woman in society because we have so many forces against us,” says Anderson. “Black women are often forgotten about in society. We are forgotten in the educational system and the job forces. Because no one cares about us, the main goal of this organization is to ensure that Black girls know their worth.” As news of B.I.G spreads, more girls are attracted to the organization and what it represents. According to Anderson, more than 80 girls recently applied to be a part of B.I.G. “To have had so many girls trying to be a part of our organization demonstrated to my team and I that people are really rocking with what we do,” says Anderson. “We started a new wave of positivity—not just fashion, but giving back to the community.” For more information about B.I.G., visit blackisgoldchi.org. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 39


TEEN BIZ

Tips TO TACKLING Student Loans BY KAYLA LUCAS, FRESHMAN, CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY

A Friends – With another school year already in the works, I wanted to bring to your attention some professions that are not highly publicized in our communities. I encourage you to look at career paths for these roles and investigate your interest in them. Hedge Fund Jobs: Hedge funds are private investment funds whose managers can buy or sell a wide array of assets and financial products. Private Equity Jobs: These professionals help businesses find capital for both expansion and current operations. They also provide financing for a number of corporate business transactions. Venture Capital Professionals (VCs): They work with small businesses and start-ups and make investments in these early stage companies if they think they will eventually be successful. Some basic and helpful information on finance careers can be found here: https://www.bls. gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm I hope that my description of these has sparked your interest; I encourage you to consider them. Kurt Summers Chicago City Treasurer

re you thinking about entering in the world of higher education? Have you also mapped out a plan dedicated toward financing that education? According to the Student Loan Hero website, the average 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, which is 6 percent more than last year’s class. If you want to steer away from this financial wormhole, keep researching how to keep your student loan costs low. One option available to control student loan debt is to consolidate federal student loans. This means combining several smaller loans into one larger loan. The U.S. Department of Education offers a Direct Consolidation loan, which combines your federal loans into one new loan. The new interest rate is a weighted average of the interest rates of your old loans. The benefits of this type of loan include easy qualification, only one monthly payment and you can qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The disadvantages are that only federal student loans are eligible, interest rates are averaged and income-driven repayment plans may result in more interest, accoring to Finaid.org. Also, in order to qualify for student loan

To learn more about reducing your overall student loan costs before, during and after college, visit the websites for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC.org) and Federal Student Aid (Studentaid.ed.gov/sa/). Don’t forget to complete the FAFSA early, and start gathering your tax and other required documents in advance.

Students HELPING Students BY KAILYN BATES, BRADLEY UNIVERSITY, FOUNDER OF SCHOLARSHIP PATH

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uring my junior year of high school, I started applying for scholarships. At first it was disheartening to not receive any letters of congratulations, but I continued to apply to over 80 scholarships, and soon my letters started pouring in.

Learn more about direct deposit and find banks near you at Plan2Achieve.org.

By the time I won my third scholarship, people were asking, “What are you doing and can you help me?” It was clear I was doing something other students were not. I graduated from Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School with a cumulative 2.98 GPA and 11 individual scholarships (the most scholarships in my class of 279 women).

The financial education information in the Teen Biz section is provided in partnership with the Economic Awareness Council, On the Money Magazine and the City Treasurer of Chicago and is supported by State Farm Insurance Companies and the Coleman Foundation.

As I entered college at Bradley University, I have continued to win scholarships, and because of my passion for helping others, I wanted to teach people the information I learned. Three years ago, my mother and I created our organization Scholars Path. Presenting together we are able to reach both the students and their parents in a two-hour Scholarship Workshop.

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consolidation, you need to have a good credit score and a steady income. Another option is to increase your income. There’s nothing worse than taking out more loans than you have to. If you’re able to pick up another job and/or get a pay raise, then you’re on your way to getting rid of more student loan debt. Cutting down on costs and expenses can also help you to pay off more of your student loans.

Our workshop helps students and parents understand the steps and key components of preparing, applying and winning scholarships. Our very first topic is the importance of your GPA. We talk about letters of recommendation (who the writers should be), résumés, interview tips, how scholarships may impact financial aid, what financial aid offices won't voluntarily disclose, essay writing—and much more. We also provide websites and a list of significant scholarships. We also have a College Transition Workshop and an Essay Writing Workshop. We have provided this information for students from a variety of high schools (McAuley, Brother Rice, St. Rita, Hill Crest, TF North, Kenwood, Lindblom, De LaSalle, Air Force Academy, Marist—and others.) In fact, some of our students are winners of big name scholarships such as the Ben Carson Scholarship and the Jackie Robinson Scholarship—just to name a few. If these workshops interest you or someone you know, please email us at kbcollege@comcast.net.


Making Your FRESHMAN DORM HOMEY BY COLETTE, GORDON, FRESHMAN, FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

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fter choosing a college, one of the first things that many students consider is their freshman dorm room. According to a 2016 consumer report from National Retail Foundation, college students planned to spend $6.23 billion on dorm furnishings. Retailers have noticed this and they’ve created entire departments dedicated to dorm shopping. The U.S. dorm industry spending accounts for $50 billion a year. As the costs of college continue to rise, students are looking for ways to cut down on spending. Abby Jakus, a freshman at McGill University, says she was surprised by the costs associated with creating a functional dorm space. Jakus is living in a single dorm space, so she is solely responsible for costs that roommates traditionally would share. Regarding decorations, Jakus purchased a tapestry to hang on one wall of her room and took some throw pillows she often uses from home. It’s important to note that not everything needs to be new, especially if you like the things you currently have. Jakus also created photo collages that only cost $10 because she made them herself. Making your dorm room feel like the perfect home away from home can be intimidating, especially when you consider the costs involved. However, this process doesn’t have to be expensive and there are many ways that you can create the perfect space within your budget. By investing a bit more time and creativity into your dorm process, you can have the dorm you can call your home away from home.

7 easy ways to reduce costs: • Split costs with your roommate(s). • Ask friends and family if they already have the things you need. • Check the web for cheap or free furniture and decor on your campus. • Do your research: Find bargains and/or use coupons. • Comparison shop to get the best deals. • Only buy what you’ll definitely need. • DIY! Create your own decorations to save major bucks.

Financial Aid RESOURCES for DREAMERS BY KARMEN ROSILES, FRESHMAN, MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY

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ccording to research by the University of California, Riverside, more than 40 percent of undocumented immigrants live in poverty. While college may seem out of reach, that is not true at all. Contrary to popular belief, some undocumented immigrants can have bank accounts. Banking is safe and convenient for students to keep track and store their money while in college. In addition, it is a great way to save for college, especially with a savings account that accumulates interest. The following finacial institutions allow you to open a bank account with an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) and a valid identification. • Bank of America • JPMorgan Chase • Wells Fargo • Capital One Taking out loans may seem like the only way for undocumented students or Dreamers to pay for college, but that is not true! There are some private and public universities that treat Dreamers and U.S. citizen students the same academically and financially. Kelly Rosiles, former data specialist at the Boston Board of Education, says, “There are many opportunities available, and my biggest advice is to become friendly and personally reach out to your school’s financial aid office.”

Luis Ortiz, an undocumented student who will be attending the University of Pennsylvania on a full ride, thanks to QuestBridge, offers this advice to Dreamers: “Be your own advocate. This means to seek out opportunities that are outside your usual radar. I had to consider the reality that even if I got into college, I would most likely not be able to afford it.” Paying for college is a tough situation for many, so it is vital to apply for scholarships and open a savings account as early as your sophomore year. Below are some useful websites to direct students—both documented and undocumented—to qualifying merit and nonmerit private scholarships. • Cappex.com • Collegegreenlight.com • Collegeboard.org • Scholarshipmonkey.com TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 41


UNDER THE RADAR

Mother NATURE Shasta “Klevah” Knox & Tierney “T.R.U.T.H.”

MUSICAL STYLE

Our style is deliberate and unapologetic. It’s a fusion of energetic vibes and thought-provoking lyricism. This style allows listeners to be entertained while being engaged intellectually.

Lil Woo AKA ANDRE ALLEN JR.

MUSICAL STYLE

My music style is described as sappy rap. It's sentimental, and I write all of my songs from real-life experiences. Another thing I can say is that my music style is universal. I want everyone to be able to listen to the sound I bring, and with that being said, I try to hit every vibe I can on different songs. I want a person to feel a certain way, then play me as an artist because I have every mood in a song.

UNIQUENESS

UNIQUENESS

GOALS

GOALS

The rawness of our message is what makes our sound so unique. We speak from a place that is familiar to the collective conscience. This is what has drawn so many to our MVMNT of spreading peace and love.

One of our goals is to tour the world spreading our MVMNT, engaging with the youth, showing them that they can accomplish any goal they set. Other creative endeavors outside of music are also in the plans. Most importantly, we want to continue to grow spiritually and build with like-minds.

INFLUENCES

Our influences range from legends like Lauryn Hill, Nas, Andre 3K, Jay Z, Erykah Badu, Missy Elliot, to the contemporaries Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole and Rapsody.

PROJECT: "MVMNT " MUSIC: soundcloud.com/mothernaturebarz INSTA: @MotherNatureBarz TWITTER: @MO_Nature

One thing that makes my music sound unique is not only my vocal chords, but my ability to not use profanity in songs. I am able to release hip-hop albums without profanity, and I spread positivity through my lyrics!

My life goal is to become an entrepreneur. I’d love to move toward acting and videography after I’m established as a professional artist.

INFLUENCES

My musical influences are my father, my cousin Sonrise, Justin Bieber, Matt Healy, J Cole and Playboi Carti. My father is the person behind my music. My father does my beats, mixing and editing, and I record and edit my own videos.

PROJECTS: My latest project, the Sappy Rap, album and older albums are, New Era, Da Freshmen and Jenndre, a Valentine’s Day album. My single "Ambitions as a Poet” was selected by Rodney HotRod Washington of Power 92.3 under his top 15 of hottest songs by local artist in the Chi.

MUSIC: My music can be heard on Apple Music, I Heart Radio, Spotify, Google Play and SoundCloud.

FACEBOOK: Mother Nature Music

FACEBOOK: Lilwoomusicpage

WEBSITE: mothernaturebarz.com

TWITTER/INSTAGRAM: @Thereallilwoo

42 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE


NARADA El Sol

REVOLUTIONIZING THE MIDWEST RAP GAME

BY TRUE STAFF

M

ondays in 2017 were full of excitement as Narada El Sol (N.E.S.) dropped a new hit once a week. Yes, every week! Each song by the artist was written, produced, engineered and distributed with the goal of “revolutionizing hip-hop in its purist form.” With a steady list of hot tracks streaming from his pen, N.E.S. flexed his skills on the mic, demonstrating the power of his pen and the rhythm behind his rhymes.

and even thinking clearer. It's hard to stop someone in that kind of space; just let them be.” The library of songs represents a varied array of mid to up-tempo smooth beats, dripped in the melodic flavor that has made N.E.S. a lyrical force in Chicago. In Week #32, in “Jus Show Me” N.E.S. boasts:

“Bars are major league, you little sh*ts they are minor.”

Respected in the industry for his work with artists like Twista and KRS-One, N.E.S., in one of his prolific New Music Mondays tracks, drops a melodic tribute to East Coast rapper, Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) who passed away.

In Week #22, N.E.S. dropped “Call Me,” a fast-paced track that weaves the rhyme with the beat:

“The infamous, murder-music lyricist didn’t raise his voice, but you hearing it. Survival of fittest, free base to the eardrum, raw uncut. Gone too soon, but he gave us enough." --Rapper, N.E.S., “Infamous,” Week #26

                         In Week #18, in “Flight Risk,” N.E.S. raps: 

New Music Mondays was launched by N.E.S. to separate himself from the slew of rappers out there and to put his stamp on Chicago. N.E.S. says that he felt the need to do something different in order to create a buzz. “I have at least eight solo projects under my belt, so it was time to switch it up and see how far I could push myself. If I did this challenge, you can’t leave me out of the history books,” he says. “I have the essence of what hip-hop used to be and should be. I can adapt to what’s going on [in the industry] and still keep the purity of what used to be.” That purity of thought is evident in the 52 tracks dropped in the year-long challenge. Most of the music created is three to four minutes in length with the exception of a couple of tracks that may feature another artist. To come up with a song a week could be a challenging task for any creative, but N.E.S. says that he adapted well. “Once I got past January, I was in a zone. I felt myself getting better

“Spit that truth, so they call me a preacher. You don’t have a soul if I can’t reach ya.”   “Not a fair shot. Ego, I spare not. With a touch like Midas, you are now rocking with Chicago’s finest.”                                                N.E.S. lives by his personal anthem—Practice Self. “My thing has always been to love yourself and communicate,” he says. Audio Art and ADIDAS (All Day I Dream About Songs) are his full albums, available on SoundCloud with a new seven-song EP dropping this summer. One thing is for certain, and that’s that the New Music Mondays challenge gave the artist plenty of hits to choose from for his upcoming project. Selecting the final seven may be a challenge within itself. “I want to only come with high impacting songs,” N.E.S. explains. “Some may call them ‘radio hits’ that can get my audience to the next level. Building a fan base is the deciding factor for song selection. I'm still contemplating the title, so if you are reading this shoot me some ideas via my Facebook page (Facebook.com/naradaelsol) or on Instagram (@fu_pig).” Check out the N.E.S. full library at NARADA EL SOL, PRO BLK MUSIC. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 43


YOUNG LUV

The Dating Game

IS NOT A GAME BY TRINITY BISHOP, SENIOR, MORGAN PARK INSTAGRAM: @XOXOTRIN_ //

T

he seriousness of a romantic relationship is determined by whether individuals are either casually dating or in a committed relationship. Casual dating is often called “friends with benefits,” which means that the relationship is not serious, although, you all might do things that are usually done in a relationship. Casual dating also means that both parties can go out with other people. A committed relationship, on the other hand, usually involves two people seeing each other exclusively and working toward builing a life together. If you are a teen who has not experienced the dating world yet, don’t worry about it. You have plenty of time. During your teen years, building a life with someone else may be a heavy thing to think about. Instead of rushing to call someone your boyfriend or girlfriend, consider dating people first. Demi White, 17, a senior, who attends Kenwood Academy, has already started dating. “Dating to me means spending quality time with someone by going to different places and simply just chilling,” says White. “The benefits to dating are being able to hang out with someone without a title being attached to it.” According to the article “The Benefits of Casual Dating,” posted on editorialtoday. com, “The key to successful casual dating is honesty.” Be up-front about your intentions and expectations, including the desire to see other people. The 44 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

“THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL CASUAL DATING IS HONESTY.”

more honest you are in the beginning, the less likely you are to have dramatic misunderstandings and hurt feelings. “Casual daters often want to have fun and date around. They are not interested in being tied down to one person indefinitely,” says Dr. R.Y. Langham of the Relationship Counseling Center. “This type of dating situation provides you with an opportunity to hang out, go places and have fun with other couples, without the restrictions and obligations associated with a committed relationship.” When you are entering the dating world, it’s important to remember that you are not in an official relationship with the person you are going out with. Dating someone does not obligate you or the person you are dating to make a commitment, unless that is strictly established between both of you. Always remember to be true to who you are while dating. If the person you are dating is your ideal mate, they will accept you for yourself. If that person does not accept you, that’s fine, too. The beauty of dating is that you can move on and date someone else if something about a person isn’t to your liking since you are not committed to anyone. If you are considering dating someone, always be mindful of who you date, be smart and enjoy your years of being a teenager and having fun!


INSIDE & OUT

Be Healthy, BY TRINITI MAYE, SENIOR, DEVRY UNIVERSITY ADVANTAGE ACADEMY

BE HAPPY

INSTAGRAM: @T.RINIT.I

A

nger, envy, disgust and sadness are emotions that every person has experienced at least once in life. Although everyone has his or her own way of dealing with emotions, some methods aren’t always the healthiest, and it isn’t always apparent that these methods may in fact be harmful. There are several ways to deal with emotions that allow you to keep your sanity and maintain a normal stress level. Here are a couple of them:

HERE ARE SOME LESS PRODUCTIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH STRESS:

Unhealthy Coping Strategies: Eating your feelings away Eating when you’re under pressure may seem like a easy thing to do, but it has its long-term effects. This method leads to overeating, which can lead to obesity; heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure. It can also increase the possibility of mental illness. In addition to the physical effect this method will have on your body, it can also change how you view your favorite foods. Eating while upset will add a negative connotation to food, so whenever you’re eating you experience negative emotions.

Pushing your feelings to the side

Healthy Coping Strategies: Talk About It The easiest of the methods can be the hardest. That includes finding someone to talk to. Talking through your problems can be extremely effective because it allows you to release at least one of your many problems: opening up. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable may seem scary, but this strategy can bring relief. In order for this approach to work, you have to find someone trustworthy who is willing to listen. Trying to express how you feel to someone who is ignoring you will make you even more frustrated.

Act Like a Child Throwing a tantrum may seem childish, but it is effective. Stomping or screaming helps to move negative energy outside of your body. This approach physically changes how you feel by releasing anger into the atmosphere. Crying is also a part of this approach because it allows grief to pass through your tears. Letting emotions build will eventually cause you to explode emotionally, so releasing them as soon as possible is ideal. Emotions are natural and everyone has to experience them, but you shouldn’t allow them to control you. Allowing your emotions to control you will result in you staying stressed, as opposed to finding relief. These methods will allow you to gain control over feelings. 46 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Ignoring your feelings or the problem that is causing you to be emotional will only heighten the problem, and this will cause you to become more stressed. Too much stress can lead to acne, muscular pain, and stress suppresses your immune system. Your emotions will not disappear because you try to ignore them. They will continue to appear at the oddest moments, and trying to hide them will add an extra unnecessary task in your daily life. To live a healthy life means taking the proper steps to get the results you want. So the next time you are presented with a choice on how to cope with your feelings, choose the healthy route.


Anxiety AND ITS Disorders: THE NATURE AND TREATMENT OF ANXIETY

BY UNIQUE JOHNSON, SOPHOMORE, MORGAN PARK INSTAGRAM: @ONEPRINCESS.NIQUE

Your anxiety is becoming a problem when: •It is more intense or lasts longer than typically expected •It causes impairment or disability at school, at work or in social environments •Daily activities are avoided in an attempt to lessen the anxiety Source: teenmentalhealth.org

Individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder will have anxiety that: •Is more intense than usually felt •Is hard to control using methods such as exercise, relaxation and help from a friend •Interferes with many parts of usual life, which can significantly reduce his or her quality of life.

I

t’s normal to experience some sort of feeling of anxiety before an important event, such as a big exam or a first date. When this anxiety starts to be an overwhelming thought in a person's mind and causes nightmares, fears and panic attacks, it becomes an illness, called anxiety disorder. According to Dr. Robin Fleming, a licensed professional counselor in Chicago, anxiety is “a state of worry or nervousness generally about future outcomes.” You may be surprised to learn that there are different types of anxiety. Fleming says they include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The two disorders that connect the most with teen anxiety are Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder. Fleming states, “Generalized Anxiety Disorder is when those individuals tend to experience frequent, pervasive, persistent worrying thoughts and anxiety responses that may be irrational or out of proportion to the situation.” According to teenmentalhealth.org, up to 9 percent of people will develop General Anxiety Disorder, with women being twice as likely to suffer from the illness.

Source: teenmentalhealth.org

Social Anxiety Disorder connects with teens because teens who don’t communicate often tend to get nervous when communicating or not prepared for a specific situation. “For people who suffer social anxiety, their concerns and symptoms are most noticeable when they are in situations, such as during test taking, job interviews and presenting in front of others,” Fleming explains. There are a wide range of physical, emotional and mental symptoms that may indicate that someone has an anxiety disorder. Physically, people have an increase in their heart rate, experience sweating or sweaty palms, feel shaky, have racing thoughts or have their mind go blank. Emotional signs of anxiety include anticipating the worst, distress, nervousness, feeling overwhelmed and fear. There are multiple options available when it comes to treating anxiety disorder says Fleming. Therapy is needed when dealing with anxiety. Just being able to talk about what’s going on in your life and the different ways to overcome that fear is helpful. This can also assist individuals in developing healthier coping strategies for emotional and physical aspects. Specific physical methods such as yoga and exercise are also good for the mind. If therapy isn’t working, you may have to go to a psychiatrist who might prescribe medication. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 47


Chicago ELITE Classic

Showcases TOP HOOPERS BY JADA DANIEL, JUNIOR, GWENDOLYN BROOKS COLLEGE PREP TWITTER: @TGIJADAAA

I

n December, some of the nation’s best basketball was showcased in the Chicago Elite Classic (CEC). Two of Chicago’s top-ranked high school boys’ basketball teams, Simeon Wolverines and the Whitney Young Dolphins, displayed their skills against several out-of-state teams. Five nationally ranked teams—La Lumiere, Chaminade, Vashon, Sunrise Christian and Gray Collegiate—definitely proved that Chicago isn’t the only city with next-level talent. The CEC lineup was as follows: Kenwood versus Gray Collegiate; Morgan Park versus Champaign Central; La Lumiere Lakers versus Sunrise Christian; Whitney Young versus Vashon; and Simeon versus Chaminade. The Morgan Park Mustangs faced the Champaign Central Maroons. Chicago’s, Ayo Dosunmu dropped several three pointers. The third quarter kicked off as Adam Miller, a sophomore from Morgan Park (MP), scored two consecutive deep threes. The Mustang’s season opener was a victory. MP won 82-64, and the strong defense and offense showcased the explosive, elite talent that the Mustangs have in store for this season. “Being considered elite is when your hard work pays off,” said Mustang point guard Kevin Miller. The next game featured the La Lumiere Lakers from Indiana and the Sunrise Christian Buffaloes from Kansas. La Lu fell short to Sunrise Christian with a final score of 47-56. The matchup of the 4A State Champions, Whitney Young Dolphins and the nationally ranked Vashon Wolverines included Chicago’s Xavier Castaneda and Vashon’s Mario McKinney. Both teams in a double bonus, another dunk and two consecutive steals, are made by McKinney from Vashon. In the final period, the Dolphins shot at 4.5 seconds to spare, but missed. McKinney dropped 32 points against the undefeated 4A State Champs—Whitney Young—leading the underdogs, Vashon Wolverines, to an upset over the Dolphins. The Vashon Wolverines is a team that you will definitely want to keep an eye out for! The most anticipated game was Simeon’s 18th season opener versus Chaminade. Security guard, Jackie, was so geeked to see the school she graduated from take a huge W. “Wolverines for life!” she said. Near the end of the first quarter, Simeon small forward Talen Horton-Tucker, split defenders and finished at the basket, along with shooting several deep three pointers and scoring. Zion Young stole the ball from Chaminade and finished with a dunk, then finished a feed from Simeon Wolverine point guard Xavier Pinson with another dunk, putting the South Side team in the lead at the end of the first half, 30-23. Chaminade with 13 turnovers, Horton-Tucker with 14 points, KeJuan Clements and Zion Young with six points, put the Wolverines in the lead. Both teams were in a bonus with less than one minute left in the game. The Simeon Wolverines win their season opener, 54-50. 48 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

When asked about the allure of Chicago, Simeon’s Horton-Tucker weighed and said, “It’s great. I have to represent. I play out here every day with a chip on my shoulder to show everybody that Chicago basketball is the best.” When La Lumiere’s point guard, Tyger Campbell, was asked what did “elite” mean to him, he said, “I feel like elite is a mentality. Like you have a dog, killer mentality.” Don’t miss out on the b-ball action in 2018. Stay up-to-date on the CEC details by visiting chicagoeliteclassic.com.


Ice Cube

CONTINUES LEGENDARY Status with 3-on-3 League BY DORIAN ROBINSON, SENIOR, CHICAGO HOPE ACADEMY TWITTER: @DORIANROBINSON_

E

veryone knows hip-hop music and basketball are intertwined. Countless rappers have used lyrics that refer to basketball and that give a shout-out to basketball players themselves. The legendary hip-hop artist Ice Cube is a great example of this relationship. Ice Cube, who got his start in music with the group N.W.A., has a love for basketball that he incorporates into his songs. “When Will They Shoot” and “It Was A Good Day” are two songs that show Cube’s passion for the sport, and he’s brought his love for the game to the court. The Big3 basketball league traveled to Brooklyn, New York; Charlotte, North Carolina; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Philadelphia; Chicago; Dallas; Lexington, Kentucky; Los Angeles; Seattle; and Las Vegas, throughout the summer to showcase a different brand of the game—3-on-3 basketball. The tournament features former NBA players and legends such as George Gervin, Gary Payton and Julius “Dr. J” Erving, who coach their teams in an attempt to make the championships in Las Vegas. On July 23rd, Cube brought the new league to the U.I.C. Pavilion in Chicago for a Sunday afternoon of hoops. The building was packed with fans from all around the city, including entertainment stars Chance the Rapper, Taraji P. Henson, DMX and Twista. Everyone in the building was there for the excitement of 3-on-3 basketball. Clyde Drexler, the coach of Power and a NBA legend, believes that the Big3 is a great event and is bringing a new level to basketball. “Ice Cube’s vision of the Big3 is one of the greatest things that has ever happened.” Drexler said. “It’s like an extension of the NBA.” The schedule of games promised a high level of competitiveness: Power (4-2) vs. Ball Hogs (1-5); Trilogy (6-0) vs. Tri State (1-5); 3 Headed Monsters (5-1) vs. 3’s Company (2-4); and Ghost Ballers (3-3) vs. Killer 3’s (2-4). These games lived up to their expectations. Power showed their dominance over Ball Hogs, winning 51-34. Cuttino Mobley scored an outstanding 21 points. Team captain of the 3 Headed Monsters, Rashard Lewis, led his team to victory over 3’s Company 51-32. He scored 16 points and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored 19 points for the 3 Headed Monsters as well. Trilogy, the only remaining undefeated team at the time, had an easy night defeating Tri-State. Rashad McCants scored 27 points. The final game between Ghost Ballers and Killer 3’s was arguably the best game of the day. Ghost Ballers pulled out the come from behind victory behind Ivan Johnson’s 20-point effort.

Ice Cube’s tournament was a huge success in Chicago. It was a great outing for the players as well as those watching. The inaugural Big3 Championship game was won by the team Trilogy, made up of Kenyon Martin, Rashad McCants and Al Harrington. McCants got major bragging rights, earning the first Big3 Championship MVP honors. The Big3 games may have taken place in the summer, but you can expect to see this version of B-ball gain popularity. It has been announced that 3-on-3 basketball will debut as an event in the 2020 Summer Olympics. If you missed out on Big3 this year, don’t worry. A second season of Big3 is scheduled to tip off next summer. TRUE STAR MAGAZINE 49


A Special Thank YouFROM FROM

2017 Fundraiser

THANK YOU TO OUR 2017

A Night AMONG THE Stars FUNDRAISER SPONSORS

A Special Thank You to Our Sponsors True Star would like to thank its Board of Directors. Thank you for bringing your passion, intellect, insight, experience and resources to the table.

True Star would like to acknowledge its VIP donors whose generosity will help provide outstanding programs, jobs, and experience for Chicago youth.

Presenting Sponsor

LaTonya Wilkens, Board President Michelle Cohen Giuseppe Commodaro David Douglas Alderman Leslie Hairston Sean Harden Thomas McLeary Mia Nelson David Nichols Sharming Scott-Nathan 50 TRUE STAR MAGAZINE

Edward Bourelly Alan Brothers Cage Memorial Chapel Grant Branch III Grant’s Financial Services Herb Stokes Inner City Underwriting Joyce Johnson Sam Coady Sheila Hill Morgan Stanely Stallworth Telit Associates Tom & Elizabeth McLeary Steven Guberman

Advocate Sponsors

Anne Zagotta Clifton Goins James Patrician Angela Welch-Rice Brinton Flowers Charles Williams Davita Britton Jaylin McClinton Karilyn Palmer-Paschal Karla Davis Luster Lena Barkley Lydia Nantwi MLZ Consulting Syreeta Jackson


Soaring to new heights. FedEx celebrates those who always strive to rise higher, push through every boundary, and overcome every obstacle. We’re proud to show our support for True Star and all those whose achievements put them in rarefied air. Congratulations. Š2017 FedEx. All rights reserved.


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