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
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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board President - LaTonya Wilkens Director Talent Management, Univ. of Illinois Business School Michelle Cohen
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.
Director Innovation & Acceleration Lab CME Group Giuseppe Commodaro - Director Strategy & Execution - CME Group David Douglas – Founder & CEO – Yolobe, Inc.
• 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.
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
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 email@example.com or call 312.588.0100
6-7: #ENDGUNVIOLENCE, BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL 8: NTA STAND UP! BY KAYLA WALKER, NATIONAL TEACHERS ACADEMY, CHICAGO IL 9: IS SOCIAL MEDIA CREATING DRAMA?, BY NAIMA HARVEY, JOHN J. PERSHING MAGNET SCHOOL, CHICAGO IL 10: WHO’S TOO YOUNG FOR SOCIAL MEDIA? BY ASHLY POZOS, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, ROBBINS, IL 11: PROS AND CONS OF TWO HOUSEHOLDS, BY KAMARI CRANSHAW, CAMPBELL MIDDLE SCHOOL, SMYRNA, GA
28: BRING IT ON! KAOS BULLDOGS CHEER & DANCE TEAM, BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY, CHICAGO, IL 29: LEBRON IS BETTER THAN JORDAN (AND KOBE), BY DAVIDA BARNEY, W.E.B. DUBOIS ELEMENTARY, CHICAGO, IL 30: GIRLS CAN PLAY BASEBALL TOO, BY ASHLY POZOS, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, ROBBINS, IL 31: SET, SPIKE, SPENCER!, BY LAJOY THURMAN, SPENCER ELEMENTARY, CHICAGO, IL
TALKIN’ NERDY 12: NERDYGIRLZ BOOK CLUB, BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY, CHICAGO, IL 13: INSIDE 2018’S HOTTEST GAME: FORTNITE, BY ASHLY POZOS, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, ROBBINS, IL 14: FAM TV TIME!, BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL 15: ACE YOUR NEXT TEST!, BY MARIAH STEVENS, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, ROBBINS, IL
HOT OFF THE PRESS 16: GETTING TO KNOW KYAN ZIELINSKI, BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY, CHICAGO, IL 17: GABRIEL SILVA TAKING ACTION IN HIS COMMUNITY, BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL 18-19: NEXT UP, BROOKLYN QUEEN!, BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL 20: NETFLIX BINGE-WATCHING, BY NAIMA HARVEY, JOHN J. PERSHING MAGNET SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL SPRING MUST-SEE MOVIES, BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY, CHICAGO, IL
FASHION 22: GREATS OF THE FASHION WORLD, BY LAJOY THURMON, SPENCER ELEMENTARY, CHICAGO, IL 23: ONES TO WATCH: THE RICH BOYS, BY AARON GUY, TRICITIES HIGH SCHOOL, EAST POINT, GA & KHALIS LONG, CEDAR GROVE HIGH SCHOOL, ELLENWOOD, GA 24-27: CULTURE CREW, THE RICH BOYS
DEEPER THAN SKIN 32: YOUR PHONE = MIND CONTROL, BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL 33: FAST FOOD’S GOOD BUT NOT SO GOOD, BY DAKOTA REEDFIELDS, SPENCER ELEMENTARY, CHICAGO, IL
CREATIVE & CULTURE CORNER 34: EVERYONE HAS A MEANING IN LIFE, BY XAVIER AGUILAR, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL 35: THE MISCONCEPTION OF KINDNESS, BY JAMARI SHELTON, JENNER ELEMENTARY, STUDENTXPRESS, CHICAGO IL PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON TRUE STAR JR. MAGAZINE CONTACT US: LETTERS TO TRUE STAR JR. 1130 SOUTH WABASH, SUITE 302 CHICAGO, IL 60605-2717 EMAIL: TRUESTARJR@TRUESTARMAGAZINE.COM
EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS DEANNA SHERMAN & J. NA-TAE’ THOMPSON MANAGING EDITOR MARTI PARHAM EDITORIAL INSTRUCTOR NYKEYA WOODS JAMILAH SHADEED (ATLANTA) WEB CONTENT & MARKETING MANAGER JOI MITCHELL WEB CONTENT ASSISTANT HENRY COLLINS ART DIRECTION DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION ANGEL D’AMICO-BAUER PROMOTIONS MANAGER DESHAUN ADAMS
TRUESTARIS.COM TO DONATE TO TRUE STAR FOUNDATION, VISIT TRUESTARFOUNDATION.ORG
W.E.B. DuBois Elementary Chicago, IL
The Main Street Academy College Park, GA
Tricities High School East Point, GA
Kellar Middle School Chicago, IL
Campbell Middle School, Smyrna,GA
Kellar Middle School Robbins, IL
Cedar Grove High School Ellenwood, GA
W.E.B. DuBois Elementary, Chicago, IL
Lindblom Math & Science Academy Chicago, IL
Morgan Park HS Chicago, IL
National Teachers' Academy Chicago IL Mariah Stevens,
Kellar Middle School, Robbins, IL
Kellar Middle School Robbins, IL
Spencer Elementary Tech Academy Chicago, IL
Left to right: Cynthia M. Peterson, Dakota Field-Reed, Antonio Green, Pierre Atkinson, Deshuwn Brown, Damarion Williams, Jaylen Griffith, Kaniya Boyd, Jeffrey Colemen, Jamon Dixon, Bryanna Davis, Ricara Davis, Markel Taylor
GUN VIOLENCE IN AMERICA
BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO IL
he Second Amendment in the Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. This means people who live in the United States have the right to own a gun for self-defense. The NRA (National Rifle Association) uses this constitutional power to support gun usage in the United States. To fight against gun violence, #MarchForOurLives went viral and sparked national attention. The National School Walkout Day took place on March 14th this year at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes. This day commemorated the 17 lives that were taken during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. In March 2018, the NRA sued Florida after they passed a gun control law from the Parkland school shooting in February. BBC.com said that the new law allowed for training and arming for schools and their staff. The new law also raised the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, 6 TRUE STAR JR.
and it also allows police officers to confiscate weapons from people who possibly pose a threat. Americans are 25 times more likely to die from gun homicide than people in other wealthy countries, according to a study by the American Journal of Medicine. From this, Congress is and has been reluctant to pass gun control laws. Not only from the NRA, but from Trump supporters and the fear of being a tyranny. On the other hand, Chicago is known for its gun violence. At True Star Jr. press time, 746 people have been shot in 2018, according to Chicago crime statistics. More than 150 people have been killed this year, with an average of seven people being shot every day in April. Although the state of Illinois has strict gun laws, bordering states like Wisconsin or Indiana have more lenient laws. This allows people to buy guns and sneak them into the city. According to npr.org, “Between 2015 and 2016, gun homicides rose in the city by 61 percent.”
MORE THAN 150 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED THIS YEAR, WITH AN AVERAGE OF SEVEN PEOPLE BEING SHOT EVERY DAY IN APRIL.
TRUE STAR JR. 7
KAYLA WALKER, NATIONAL TEACHERS ACADEMY, CHICAGO IL
have been attending National Teachers Academy (NTA) since I entered kindergarten. Now I’m in seventh grade and an honor student as well as a member of our student congress. Since learning that Chicago Public Schools was proposing and approved turning my level 1+ school (the highest ranking that CPS gives) into a high school, my fellow classmates and I have had many sleepless nights, anger and frustration about our future at NTA. For many of us NTA is the only school we have ever attended, and it has become our second home and safe haven. Our amazing staff, teachers and principals encourage and teach us daily to always stand up for what we believe and to have integrity. I am learning so much about the importance of being a leader. In doing so, I have voiced my concerns at many of the CPS town hall and school board meetings regarding their political and racist decision in turning my school into a high school. I now understand why it is very important to never ever be afraid to speak up for what is right. The decision is racist because CPS, along with Mayor Emmanuel and Alderman Pat Dowell, decided to sell out NTA and families for “wealthier white voters” who want a high school in the South loop. According to the ChicagoTribune.com, 75 percent of the current students come from low-income families. In addition, there has been no real reason the school is transitioning. “State law requires the district to set criteria for phasing out a school. CPS failed to set out any rational criteria for phasing out NTA (e.g., low academic level, low utilization rate, condition of facilities, etc.) 8 TRUE STAR JR.
presumably because any rational criteria for phasing out NTA could not be met,” the Tribune reported. The changes to turn NTA into a high school will be a phase out starting in the fall of 2019 and every year consecutive until it is completed phased into a high school in 2023.
IS SOCIAL MEDIA Creating Drama?
BY NAIMA HARVEY, PERSHING J. MAGNET SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL
ocial media platforms like Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube have officially become 99.99 percent of a pre-teen/teenager’s life. Some of us may have become so attached to our phone or tablet that we’re refreshing our Instagram feed every five minutes, at least. Why are we so obsessed with having the latest gossip? Is it possible that teens are using social media to begin drama? Researchers have noticed how teens are dependent on social media as well and how trouble can happen. “Digital media plays a role in these less happy elements of teens’ friendships, both as a source of and platform for drama and conflict, and as a conduit through which the connection can be severed and walls erected when a friendship ends,” according to Pew Research Center. In the Pew report, “68 percent of teens who use social media have witnessed people stirring up drama on these platforms. … Girls are more
likely than boys to say they witness the creation of drama on social media, with 72 percent of social media-using girls and 64 percent of boys encountering drama on the platforms.” Too many times we have heard about cyberbullying, suicide or deaths due to a photo or post somewhere. Or you might even know someone who has been the victim of an account created to torment. In an incident last year, three North Carolina teens were charged with cyberbullying after a “play fight” went viral. In Colorado, a 10-year-old girl, hanged herself after a video about her was posted. As a preteen/teen, it may seem as if drama follows you. Drama is like a road that will always take place in middle school, you don’t even have to be the one to begin the drama. Before sharing, liking or posting a video or photo ask yourself, “How would I feel if this was posted about me?” TRUE STAR JR. 9
Who’s TOO YOUNG
For Social Media?
BY ASHLY POZOS, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, ROBBINS, IL
oday, everyone seems to be using social media, but should everyone be allowed to actually have a social media account? Kids younger than 12 who don’t know the risks, dangers, and how to handle social media should not be allowed to use it. Kids this age should still be able to live free and have fun and should not be worrying about getting thousands of likes or views on Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter. You may always seem to be checking your feed, looking at your favorite artists’ new picture, or looking at what your friend is up to. In fact, prolonged time on social media can create a disconnect from family, friends, and society. According to PsychologyToday.com, “Social media replaces learning the hard social ‘work’ of dealing face-to-face with peers, a skill that they will need to practice to be successful in real life.” “There are lots of dangers in social media that kids younger than 12 or before their teen 10 TRUE STAR JR.
years don’t know how to handle,” said Latiyfa Bruessard, 13. Karina Vazquez, also 13, agreed, saying that by using social media “Kids risk seeing things that are not appropriate.” Educating kids about social media risks is important. Cyberbullying through social media sites is unfortunately prevalent in today’s world. According to bullyingstatistics.org, cyberbullying affects teens daily and experience can lead to depression, anxiety and suicide. In 2017, an 11-year-old boy hanged himself after his mother believes he read prank posts claiming that his girlfriend allegedly used to spread rumors that she had died. The boy died three weeks later. If you have younger siblings or family members who are eager to get a social media account, don’t allow it. Make them wait a little while longer until they are mentally prepared for the responsibility.
The Pros and Cons OF
LIVING IN TWO Households BY KAMARI CRANSHAW, CAMPBELL MIDDLE, SMYRNA, GA
ost people don’t know, but my parents are divorced. It's been a few years since they got divorced. I've obviously gotten over it, and living in two households has become normal to me. Although it has become a little easier, there are still some pros and cons.
One of the pros is that on Christmas I get two times more presents than I would usually get, and there's nothing like more gifts! Another good thing about living in two households is that now I have twice as many friends. Plus, at my mom's house I have an iPad and at my father's house I have an iPhone. Finally, which I think is the best out of all the pro's, is the fact that I get to have two birthday parties; one with my dad and one with my mom. I think that is the most awesome thing ever!
Although, I do enjoy some things about living in two households, there are some things I dislike. Like when I leave my father's house, I don't get a chance to see my older sister, who lives with my dad, for two whole weeks. I also don’t get a chance to do fun things on the weekends with my friends from school because he lives far away. Another thing I don’t like is that, although I get to have two parties, I only get to spend my actual birthday with one of my parents. This changes each
year. Sometimes I'm with my mom and sometimes I'm with my dad, which sucks, but it really depends on the calendar schedule. Finally, I hate the fact that I don’t get to spend the holidays with both of my parents. But like I said before, I have gotten used to it. I'm just grateful that I get a chance to spend time with them almost equally. Some kids only get to spend time with one parent or very little time with the other. I have both my parents and two of everything. Although my parents are not together, I love them both the same! TRUE STAR JR. 11
NerdyGirlz Book Club MAKES READING COOL! BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY, CHICAGO, IL
wo years ago, Kennedy R. Thompson had the idea to start a book club with her friends. Two hundred members later, NerdyGirlz Book Club recently celebrated it’s anniversary. “I didn’t expect my book club to become as big as it did. I just expected it to be me and a few friends,” said 10-year-old Thompson, “but I’m really happy about it.” Thompson has also won multiple awards, including the John D. Buckner Citizen of the Year award, and was featured on various media platforms such as the St. Louis American newspaper and Channel 4 News. Because of her acknowledgements and recognition, she is planning to expand her book club to Atlanta and Kenya! For Thompson, founding NerdyGirlz (along with her mother Akiba Thompson) was about having fun and connecting with other kids just like her. “I wanted to start a book club because I really love reading and I am a very shy person. Starting the book club would help me improve socially,” said Thompson. “I have a lot of friends now because of the book club; more than I can count!” The book club goes on a lot of educational field trips along with reading books to help the members better understand the variety of society. They have gone to places like the zoo and the art museum. These different experiences help the girls in the academic and social fields and it helps them identify their style in reading. For example, 12 TRUE STAR JR.
“I like history books. My favorite one is Who is Helen Keller,” said Thompson. She also mentions how the book club has helped in school. “The book club really helps me improve my reading scores.” Let’s not forget that Thompson has a big role in her community and in Kenya. She works with the children in Nairobi, Kenya and sponsors several children to attend schools with the help of funding by the members of her book club. She also gives multiple donations to the Annie Malone Children’s Home and participates in their parades every year. The NerdyGirlz Book Club is always looking for new members. You can learn more about them through: www.nerdygirlzbookclub.com, IG: @nerdygirlz book club & @nerdyboyz book club (Kennedy’s little brother’s book club) and Facebook : NerdyGirlz & NerdyBoyz.
INSIDE THE Hottest Game IN 2018 (SO FAR)
BY ASHLY POZOS, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, ROBBINS, IL
o far, 2018 has been filled with tons of new video games, but battle royal genre games are having a moment right now. One of the biggest battle royal titles is Fortnite from Epic Games. Nearly 100 players at a time, either alone or in four-member teams, can play Fortnite Battle Royale for free on PS4, PC or Xbox One. Here is how the game starts: You’re on an island, scavenging with no weapons, but you have to fight to be the last player standing. Despite fighting to best the last player, Fornite forces you to work together during missions on maps to collect resources. What do the people have to say about Fortnite? “This game is pretty cool. I play it all the time,” said Bryan Osuna, 14. Brian Guerrero, also 14, is a Fortnite fan as well. “I like how you can express yourself on the battlefield,” Guerrero said.
Epic Games actively works on Fortnite Battle Royale, making changes through patches and updates. This is one of the reasons seventh grader Gavin Jeronimo continues to play the game. “It’s a very creative game that the developers have done very well,” Jeronimo said. “They are really consistent on their updates which makes players, like me, like it more.” The cool part is that Fortnite is also on mobile. Well kind of. Epic is sending out invites to play to iOS device owners who have signed up on the official Fortnite site. People can also crossplay on Fortnite. Although, Xbox One and PS4 owners can't play the game together, these consoles can play with PC and mobile devices. So that means if you have some friends who prefer to play on PC, some with a console, and you prefer to be on a mobile device, you can still play together. Just as long as there's not one friend that dared to buy a different console from everyone else. TRUE STAR JR. 13
Top TV Shows
With The Fam! BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL
henever you are chillin’ with your family or just need something good on TV to watch by yourself, this list is just for you!
“We Bare Bears” “Black-ish”
This show circles around the Johnson’s, a successful Black family living in a predominantly White neighborhood. Starring Anthony Anderson as Andre “Dre” Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson, they are loving parents who try to give all of their five kids everything, but struggle to find their family's cultural identity.
Grizzly, Ice Bear, and Panda are three bears that form a bear stack as a form of transportation through the San Francisco Bay area. They frequently travel there, always seeking to do human-like things such as making viral videos, or making friends to try and fit into their society. They always come up with a plan then soon realize that their brotherhood is more important than trying to fit in with society.
K.C. Cooper is 16 years old with straight A’s and a black belt in karate. One day, she experiences a life-changing moment when she finds out her parents, Craig and Kira, are spies for The Organization. The Organization wants to recruit K.C. as a junior spy. With her siblings Ernie and Judy also by her side, they all go on missions, fight the enemy and solve crimes as a family. 14 TRUE STAR JR.
Right before Andi Mack’s 13th birthday, her sister, Bex, comes home. What happens during this visit affects Andi’s life forever, as she goes through a journey of self-discovery and accepting change with her friends and family. Bex is really Andi’s mother.
5 MUST-TRY STUDY TIPS
BY MARIAH STEVENS, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL
f your current way of studying still has you getting bad grades, then it’s time to try something new. These five tips are guarenteed to help you see some improvements in your schoolwork.
Tip 1 – Take Notes By Hand It has been scientifically proven that if you write your notes down by hand, you should be able to remember the notes faster than you would typing the notes. If that still doesn't help as much, try writing the notes down a couple of times. According to npr.org, “When a person is taking notes, the processing that occurs will improve learning and retention. ...You learn by being able to look back at your notes, or even the notes of other people.”
Tip 2 – Record Yourself Repeating Your Notes If you’re out on the go and you don't have your notebook or text book, you can listen to yourself saying your notes and still be able to study.
Tip 3 – Use Abbreviations Or Acronyms To create your own studing system, take the first letter of each word or phrase you’re trying to remember to form your own “word.” According to Essay Zone, using abbreviations or acronyms saves time when taking notes. “It’s a good idea therefore for students to use them when writing short-hand notes quickly during lectures and from books and other resources.”
Tip 4 – Study With A Group One of the best ways to retain information is by working in a group setting. “Students in study groups can generally learn faster than students working alone,” according to speedyprep.com.
Tip 5 – Switch Up Your System Don't always read your notes. To keep from getting bored, put some variety into your study habits. Try using flash cards or turning all that information into a game. Who said studying couldn't be fun! TRUE STAR JR. 15
HOT OFF THE PRESS
GETTING TO KNOW BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY, CHICAGO, IL
s binge watching on your list of things to do this weekend? If so, check out the Amazon Original Series “The Dangerous Book for Boys” based on the 2005 book starring actor Kyan Zielinski. Zielinski plays Liam McKenna in the dramedy about brothers who deal with life and death. “It was a great experience shooting the show,” he said. “Everyone was so nice, and I was able to play off all of them. From the first day we instantly formed a very close relationship/family. We were able to connect so easily which made it easier for us to jump into this alternate reality.” Zielinski was destined to be an actor, and it was when he was 3 years old that he developed a gift. Zielinski said he was able to repeat the lines of characters by watching a movie only one time. “I would be emotionless the first time I watched the movie and my parents were actually worried, but it turns out that I was recording it in my brain. When I watched the movie a second time, I was able to say the lines with the characters. I had memorized the movie the first time I watched it,” Zielinski said. This superpower of Zielinski’s is what sparked his acting career and fueled his passion for the craft. Despite spending a lot of time preparing for television roles, musicals or auditioning, Zielinski is a typical 13-year-old. He likes to play video games, vlogging and is really into social media. 16 TRUE STAR JR.
Zielinski strives to excel in the field of acting so that he can continue to tell more stories. “There’s all these different things happening in the world and there’s never enough time to tell all those stories, but we can tell some of them and I want to be a part of that,” he said. Zielinski is very active on his YouTube channel (KyanZielinskiVlogs) where he posts videos about his daily life. You can also keep up with him on Instagam @kyanzielinski, so make sure to check him out.
Fast Facts: -His favorite genre of movie is all of them (‘cause why not) -He loves science (i.e. the idea of time) -He loves reading books about time travel -He also loves filmmaking
PHOTOGRAPHER: PATRICK CHAI
IS TAKING ACTION IN HIS COMMUNITY BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL
ive By Night actor Gabriel Silva makes sure to spread his positive energy by giving back to his community. He was only 12 when he and his friend, Brooklyn Oakes, bought and gave Black Panther tickets to children who attended Blackshear Elementary in Houston, TX. Premiering on February 16, 2018, Black Panther broke records by making over $500 million its first week and being the world’s 10th highest grossing films of all time. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, and many others. “It really affected me a lot because I know that I can really help other kids and I can make a difference myself.” He continued, “I thought Black Panther, in general, was a movie that every kid should get to see and I wanted to give kids that opportunity to see the movie.” His brand, Take Action Apparel & Gear is the brand Silva owns. He started the brand when he was in California where he started to see his friends being bullied. Silva said, “I felt angry and I couldn't do anything about it [at the time], so my mom and I decided to make a clothing line to help kids that have been bullied.”
Gabriel Silva Is Taking Action In His Community
Through the brand, he spreads a non-bullying message and wants to let kids know that they are not alone. “I think it is important because people have committed suicide over this which is why I really wanted to help them and tell them that they are not alone. I have been bullied myself,” the actor said. You can catch some cool designs on his brand’s website, takeactiongear.com, and check out some cool updates on his Instagram, @gabelsilva. TRUE STAR JR. 17
Brooklyn Queen Queen Brooklyn BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL
welve-year-old Brooklyn Queen has taken the Internet by storm with songs like “Pretty Girl Stuff” and “Emoji.” She started her music career when she was about 8 years old, but wrote her first song, “Keke Taught Me,” when she was 11 years old. The dance video to her song has over 16 million views (and counting) on YouTube. “When the video hit one million, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know that anything of mine would get that big, but now I see that it is growing and getting bigger,” Queen said. She said that she came up with the song while being in the studio with her producers saying the phrase “Keke Taught Me.” “While we were creating the song, I was actually doing the dance moves to the beat. That’s how we knew to put in the Nae Nae, Whip, and Hit Dem Folks,” said the Detroit resident. Her songs are written for all ages, and there is a significance in each song. “In different songs, there are different meanings to them,” she said. “Like my song ‘Pretty Girl Stuff,’ [the message] is you are pretty the way that you are and don’t let anybody get in your head about changing yourself, so just be yourself.”
“I'm just a regular kid,” Queen explained. When she’s not on the road, she likes to do her nails and go on the jumbo trampoline. When she is on the road, she does her schoolwork by going on the computer or reading books. In the future, she hopes to continue doing music, but she wants to go into different avenues of the entertainment industry, like modeling and acting. Make sure to follow Queen on Instagram, @ brooklynqueen03, to get the details on her new music.
FAST FACTS •What's your favorite social media outlet: Instagram •Describe your life in three words: Busy, fun, exciting •What’s the last song you downloaded? “Talk Is Cheap” by me •What is your guilty pleasure? Pranks on people •What's the last show you binge watched? Everything Sucks
To warm up before getting on stage, she spends her time praying and talking to her mom. This way, she has energy in order to start performing. 18 TRUE STAR JR.
•Favorite song/singer?: Beyoncé and Chris Brown
TRUE STAR JR. 19
SHOWS ON Netflix Worth Binge-watching BY NAIMA HARVEY, PERSHING J. MAGNET SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL
place in New Orleans. This shows only includes some of the characters from “Vampire Diaries” and will really have you hooked! The start-off of season one is MINDBLOWING! This show is still on the air, but seasons one through four are available on Netflix.
“The Vampire Diaries”
“On My Block”
If you love to be hooked into a show for about two months or more, this is definitely for you. There are more than 170 episodes to watch! Here’s a brief explanation – Vampires are being scattered around Mystic Falls, Va., where werewolves, witches and hybrids live. The main character, Elena, parents die in a car accident. She falls in love with a 162-year-old vampire and the show chronicles her life.
“On my Block” was just released in March. This coming of age series about four LA friends is full of drama, romance and laughs and has struck a chord with teens everywhere. On its release date it was ranked as “Trending Now.” This show is also a short “Netflix Original” with only 10 episodes to watch.
ne of the biggest platforms full of shows has to be Netflix. It’s also the best place to check out old and new movies. For just over $10 a month, subscriptions on Netflix are definitely affordable whether you’re a preteen, teen or adult. Here are some shows to binge when you are feeling lazy.
Honey: Rise Up and Dance “The Originals” This show is a spin-off of the “Vampire Diaries” series. Vampires, witches, werewolves and hybrids still exist, but this time all the drama takes 20 TRUE STAR JR.
This movie is the fourth installment in the Honey dance series starring Teyana Taylor, Lauryn McClain and Bryshere Gray. Taylor portrays a street dancer that wants to compete for a dance scholarship.
OF SPRING 2018
BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY, CHICAGO, IL
o far 2018 has some had of the best movies, such as A Wrinkle in Time, Black Panther and Pacific Rim: Uprising. It’s great to go and see stuff blow up on a large screen with dimmed lights while eating popcorn. The great news is that we’re only half way through the year and more blockbusters are headed to theaters this summer like Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. In the meantime, let’s see what movies are hyped this season.
Avengers: Infinity War All the Avengers finally unite in this epic battle against the great and powerful Thanos, pushing forward to collect all six Infinity Stones. (9/10 IMDb) (84% Rotten Tomatoes)
Rampage Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Naomie Harris, Rampage tells the story of primatologist Davis Okoye (The Rock) and his un-breakable bond with an albino gorilla, George, and his determination to save George from a rogue experiment. Along the way he meets Kate Caldwell (Harris) who helps him on his mission. (6.4/10 IMDb) (51% Rotten Tomatoes)
Breaking In A mother and her two kids spend a weekend at her deceased father’s high-tech home in which she later finds herself desperately fighting to save the lives of her kids when four men intrude. (Release Date: May 11th / No rating at press time)
A Quiet Place A family of five tries to live their life in silence in fear of alien monsters who can only hear. Even with their careful planning, they struggle constantly to survive their conditions. (8/10 IMDb) (95% Rotten Tomatoes)
Ready Player One In 2045, people are living in a world that’s on the brink of ending. With this in mind, people have found pleasure in the virtual reality universe, OASIS. When the creator of OASIS dies, he leaves all his fortune to the person who finds his hidden Easter egg which starts a major contest between all players. This contest is the start of a dangerous journey with many secrets that the unlikely contestant, Wade Watts, is set to uncover. (7.8/10 IMDb) (74% Rotten Tomatoes) TRUE STAR JR. 21
Greats OF THE Fashion World BY LAJOY THURMAN, SPENCER ELEMENTARY, CHICAGO, IL
here’s a difference between “good” and “great” in fashion. Greatness comes from hard work, skill, consistency and timing. Each season brings new designers and companies that are determined to make their mark on the industry. Whether it’s a fresh look that’s never been created or a contrast of styles that become the new trend, designers are always thinking outside the box. Only a few designers have been able to hold their place amongst the greats of fashion for extended periods of time. No matter what order people place them, here are the five fashion designers that have been gifted with the ability to stay relevant and iconic over time. •Coco Chanel – Born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on August 19, 1883 in France, Coco Chanel influenced the fashion world with her modernist and practical designs that catapulted her Chanel brand into elite status during the 20th century. Chanel was honored as the only woman named in Time Magazine’s “100 Most Important People of the Century” list. •Gianni Versace – Italy’s Gianni Versace has long been a force in the fashion world with his unique and detailed international fashion house that produces accessories, clothes, 22 TRUE STAR JR.
makeup and other items that are must-haves in the fashion industry. The name Versace carries heavy significance and prestige. •Giorgio Armani – Igniting men’s fashion with his clean and tailored suit designs, Giorgio Armani is respected as the greatest Italian fashion designer to ever live. His company, Armani, began in 1975 and benefited from Italy’s forward thinking creator in men’s fashion. •Yves Saint Laurent – French designer Yves Saint Laurent started his company in 1961 and quickly ascended through the fashion ranks as an essential piece to the industry. The birthing of “power suits” for women changed the game for Saint Laurent and fashion. Constantly developing new and intriguing fashion designs for men and women, Saint-Laurent has been a mainstay in the world of fashion. •Tom Ford – Texas born designer Tom Ford is regarded as one of the best in the industry. Ford worked as creative director for Yves Saint-Laurent and Gucci while fulfilling his passions for screenwriting and film producing and directing. Ford’s impact in the fashion industry as an American designer has influenced many in recent years.
THE ONES TO WATCH:
The Rich Boys
YOUNG, AMBITIONS & FASHIONABLE BY AARON GUY, TRICITIES HIGH SCHOOL, EAST POINT, GA & KHALIS LONG, CEDAR GROVE HIGH SCHOOL, ELLENWOOD, GA
he Rich boys are two swagged out brothers who live in Atlanta. Amir, 13, and Ace, 9, are the faces and co-owners of the Rich Boys brand. Their clothing line is inspired by the latest trends in men’s fashion, such as Fendi, Gucci, and Balenciaga. True Star Jr. interviewed the brothers to get some insight on the young entrepreneurs. True Star Jr.: How did you choose your name? The Rich Boys: Our dad’s name is Rich and we’re his boys. TS: Describe your products. TRB: We provide kids high fashion at low costs. Most of our items are Unisex so Girls Allowed. Rich Boys believe that by exposing young boys to a lifestyle that they may have only attached to a pro athlete or a rapper, we are showing them that they can be whatever they want to be and still look fly and feel rich. Ultimately, we are building confidence through clothes and encouraging kid entrepreneurship along the way. Every boy can be a Rich Boy! Our motto is that, we take whatever is trending in men's fashion and we shrink it down for kids, which allows us to provide affordable luxury worldwide. TS: Have celebrity children purchased or modeled your clothing line? TRB (Amir): Yes, T.I. and Tiny’s sons, Swizz Beatz’s sons, Ciara and Future’s son, 50 Cent’s son, and many others. TS: Are your products sold in stores? TRB: They are sold on our online store ShopRichBoys.com or in select stores like
Exclusive Game in Atlanta, Ga. and MK Fashion Brands in Dubai. TS: Does business affect your schoolwork? TRB (Amir): Not really, because we are homeschooled. TS: Do you guys have hobbies? TRB (Ace): Yes, I do. I take Parkour classes. It’s the physical training to overcome any obstacle within your path by adapting your movements to the environment. If you have ever seen a Jackie Chan movie, The Bourne Legacy, or Takers, then you have seen the sport before. TS: Do you plan to explore other career options? TRB (Amir): Me and my friends started a venture called the Blue Strip Boys where we will promote teen parties and events TRB (Ace): I want to be a stunt man in movies. TS: Who has the most style between the two of you? TRB (Amir): We’re equal and we both stay fresh! TRUE STAR JR. 23
CULTURE Crew FASHION DOESN'T MOVE WITHOUT US
Photography Stella Netherly of Netherly Photography Make-Up-Artist Tifany Williams IG: @tshante_williams Hair Heaven Stewart of Bnaturalwigs IG-@heavenhands1 @bnaturalwigs Stylist Rich Boys @rich_boys
Jonasia @therealjonnirose Tee $32 Socks $22 Slides $68
Khalis @envylis_ Tee $42 Trackpants $52 Sneakers $86
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Amir @gohard.mir Tee $42 Shorts $38
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Ace @millionaire.ace_ Set $68 Sneakers $78 TRUE STAR JR. 27
CHEERLEADING AND DANCE TEAM TEACHING LIFE LESSONS BY MAKAYLA IDELBURG, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY, CHICAGO, IL
he KAOS Bulldogs cheerleading and dance team won several awards this spring at a competition in Maryland. The 47-member squad, that includes 45 girls and two boys, focuses on the empowerment of youth with the combination of sports, tutoring, and mentoring. “Our mission is represented by our acronym for our name, KAOS (Keeping Adolescents of the Streets). Our goal is to provide an outlet for kids. If they can’t do traditional sports or they don’t want to do high school sports, we provide it for them,” said Coach Stacy Tolar.
both felt it’s like being part of a family. They pray together before competitions to ease nervousness and also tell jokes. Taylor added that having the crowd involved with songs and music helps to make the team become comfortable.
Being a KAOS cheerleader is a lot of work, especially since the participants are as young as 6 years old. They have five different team levels of Mini, Youth, Juniors, Seniors and a Hip Hop dance team.
“When people see our performances, I want them to know that even though some of our athletes have overcome a lot of adversities, they are talented,” said Coach Tolar.
“I wanted to quit cheer before, but I decided not to because there were a lot of other things I wanted to do,” said 13-year-old Moriah Cottrell, who is part of the Senior Unit. “However, I realized how much I love cheer even though it’s a lot of conditioning; but I’ve learned to accept that since it’s for a good cause.”
These girls and boys knew what they were getting into when they joined the program, even the younger participants like Mini Unit member McKenzie Smith, 7. Smith says that being a part of the program has “taught me how to help my team mates, be nice to people, and ask my coaches for help when I don't get something.”
Like Cottrell, 10-year-old Dakarrah Taylor said she’d grown to love being part of the quad. They
For more information, visit Facebook and search KAOS Bulldogs Cheer and Dance.
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LEBRON IS BETTER THAN Jordan (and Kobe) BY DAVIDA BARNEY, W.E.B. DUBOIS ELEMENTARY, CHICAGO, IL
eBron James. Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant. Who is the best basketball player? James is still in the NBA and still has a chance to rack up points and wins. Bryant retired two years ago, and Jordan finally stopped playing basketball in 2003. For some, being the G.O.A.T. is all about making it to the finals. Cleveland Cavaliers may be headed to the finals again, although they lost last year. On the other hand, Jordan never lost in the finals. How many times did Bryant make it to the finals? According to the Los Angeles Times, Bryant competed in seven and won five. “Even if [James] wins three more, the comparative goalposts will move, and Jordan will remain ahead of his challenger by virtue of his perfect 6-0 record in the Finals,” according to theringer.com. Despite this fact, the debate will continue about who is the best. Some may argue that James’ strength makes him a better player than the other two. Eighth grader Kevin Morel is a huge James fan, but said picking James over Jordan as the best is a tough decision. Morel ended up creating a Venn diagram to determine who was better. According to Morel, his statistics proved that James averaged more assists and rebounds than Jordan. “LeBron just makes his teammates better,” said Morel. And according to his findings, Bryant was never in the running despite Bryant being a better clutch player than James. This is interesting
because even Jordan said Bryant is a better player than James because he has five rings. Maybe seeing the stats could help determine who is the best. Keep in mind, Jordan only played 15 seasons and “retired” for three-and-half years. He also spent three years playing college ball at North Carolina. Bryant and James were drafted out of high school. All three atheltes have no doubt amazed us, but because James is the only one still playing in the NBA, determining who the G.O.A.T. actually is will have to wait.
Jordan Bryant James
FG% 49.7 45.4 50.3 3-P% 32.7 33.9 34.4 Reb 6.2 5.3 7.3 PPG 30.1 25.3 27.2 Assists 5.3 4.7 7.1 Steals 2.3 1.5 1.6 FT% 83.5 83.7 74 Blocks 0.8 0.5 0.8 *Stats are averaged for each player using 15 seasons.
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Girls CAN PLAY
BY ASHLY POZOS, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, ROBBINS, IL
or girls who play basketball, soccer and lacrosse there is always a traditional path for high school and college success: girl teams. Well that’s not the case for girls who play baseball. The only possible sport for a girl to sort of be able to play baseball is softball. But it’s not the same. While softball does have bats and bases and other similarities to baseball, it’s still a fundamentally different game. There are about 10,000 girls who play baseball but only about 1,000 play in high school. What happened to the other thousands? Easy. Some rather play other sports, which have girl teams available, to have more opportunities to get scholarships. Or they are discouraged from playing all together because of their gender. As a former baseball player, I know how it feels being the only girl on an all-male team. Really, my experience wasn’t that bad though. All my former teammates treated me like one of them. But it wasn’t always like that. At first, they had their doubts about me and 30 TRUE STAR JR.
wondered whether I was capable of playing or not. “She’s a girl. Girls don’t know how to play,” they said. But their high expectations pushed me to play better and to prove them wrong. As I earned my spot on the team and became friends with my teammates, I still faced people who were prejudice. But it only made me stronger, and I moved from the bench to outfield to shortstop. The few girls who get to play baseball in high school say that one of the challenges they face is always trying to prove themselves. During an interview with web.usabaseball.com, former baseball player Marti Sementelli said girls “stick out like a sore thumb,” but she loved playing baseball and competing. “The biggest challenge I faced was always trying to prove myself... I had to be perfect because there were many people in the stands expecting me to fail… I had to prove them wrong,” said Sementelli. “I had to prove to them that girls can play ball.” If you’re a girl who wants to play baseball, go for it, and don’t let anything or anyone stop you.
SET, SPIKE, Spencer! BY LAJOY THURMAN, SPENCER ELEMENTARY, CHICAGO, IL
he Spencer Technology girl’s volleyball team proved that hard work and cowmmitment can lead to success. The elementary school’s talent not only produces on the basketball court, but also on the volleyball court. Lead by head coach Eboni Williams, who also serves as the third grade math teacher for the school, the Seahawks volleyball team is comprised of seventh and eighth grade girls and one sixth grader that love playing the sport and working towards the goal of winning a championship. That goal was met with challenges throughout the season for the team. The technique, rules and proper way to play were new to the young ladies, but through true perseverance and dedication, the Seahawks developed their skills. “Our girls lacked volleyball experience, but came to practice every day and got better. We were fortunate to have a lot of leaders within our group and it made up for a very dynamic team,” says Coach Williams. Those skills honed in practice translated to the game. Despite some bumps in the road during the season, seventh grader and captain Tamia Stivey kept the Seahawks on their path to the championship by consistently motivating her teammates. That “never say die” attitude resulted in a coveted playoff berth. Awaiting the Seahawks in the 1st Round of the playoffs was Brunson Elementary, who was the No. 1 seed. Brunson was a team that defeated Spencer twice which gave them confidence. “The
girls were down when they realized we would play Brunson in the 1st Round, but I reminded them to give everything they had during the match and good things will happen,” says Coach Williams. That message and the girls renewed confidence resulted in a win over top ranked Brunson and a spot in the championship match against Howe Elementary. Despite their huge win over Brunson, the Seahawks were out-matched against the more experienced Howe team. Howe was awarded the championship, while Spencer would finish in a respectable 2nd place. Despite their shortcoming, the ladies walked away carrying a stronger sense of pride with their heads held high. “I was ecstatic that their hard work paid off,” said Coach Williams. “It made me feel grateful that our girls grew as players and learned that through consistency and hard work, good things will happen.” TRUE STAR JR. 31
DEEPER THAN SKIN
Your Phone = MIND CONTROL
BY KAYLA HOLLOWAY, MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL
lthough smartphones are popular, people have created an unhealthy relationship with their phones. According to a survey from Common Sense Media, 78 percent of teens checked their devices at least hourly, and 72 percent of teens felt pressured to respond immediately to texts, notifications and social media messaging. The new word ‘nomophobia’ is the fear of a person not having the ability to use their phone or mobile device. This results in a person having a dependence to their devices, or an addiction. This also causes a person to have anxiety or behavior problems. The most common behavior problem is being distracted while being on a mobile device, like texting while driving or using your phone while walking across the street. Distracted driving 32 TRUE STAR JR.
results in 1,000 people getting injured and nine people getting killed daily. A study done by link.springer.com found that 42 percent of pedestrians crossed the street on a “Don’t Walk” signal. They also found that headphone use was the most common distraction for walking across the street. To rid of this addiction, don't get rid of your phone immediately. Doing so will cause withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, feeling lost, boredom, changes in behavior, depression and more. According to CNN, some ways you can distract yourself from your smartphone are to turn your phone off during certain times of the day and replace being on the phone with meditating or hang out with friends. Lastly, to wake you up, use an old fashioned alarm and make sure to turn off your phone before going to bed.
Fast Food’s GOOD BUT NOT SO GOOD FOR YOU BY DAKOTA REEDFIELDS, SPENCER ELEMENTARY, CHICAGO, IL
t’s everywhere. In every city. In every neighborhood. It’s convenient and easily accessible. What am I describing? Fast food! As tasteful and fulfilling as fast food can be, it also carries serious health issues that harm us. Some effects on the body from fast food happen sooner than others, but over time, those issues will reveal themselves. There are many negatives to fast food, but here are five good reasons to limit your intake of those foods we can never say no to.
1. Chances of Obesity Increase Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the obesity program at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, noted in a CBS News report that billions of dollars are spent each year at fast-food advertising towards children. A study found that 6,212 children that ranged from the ages 4-19 eat fast food, which likely packs on six pounds of sugar per child per year. That is one way fast food can lead to obesity.
2. Risk of Cancer Increases From processed foods to processed meats and sugar, when you’re consuming these items, your risk of cancer increases. Studies have shown that since processed foods are industrially packaged and sealed to maintain flavor and taste for months, it’s likely a cause to upping your risk of cancer.
3.Decline of Memory and Cognitive Skills Important function of the brain such as brain
synapses and several molecules related to learning and memory are affected with the consumption of fast food.
4. Constipation Many fast food menus are high in fat and low in fiber, which forces the bowels to perform its evacuation duties. Again, processed food and sodas due disservice to your body’s natural functions when it comes to bowel movements.
5. Bloating Bloating is another harmful effect of fast food. Unhealthy fats like saturated fats and trans fatty acid really cause issues with your digestive system. These fats cause an inflammatory response in the body disrupting its healthy and natural functions after consuming food. With everything considered, please make conscious efforts to monitor what you eat. Too much of anything is bad for you, especially when it’s fast food. Try healthier choices each day to adjust your intake of food. What we eat shouldn’t lead to health problems. Choose wisely. TRUE STAR JR. 33
CREATIVE & CULTURE CORNER
Everyone Has A MEANING In Life BY XAVIER AGUILAR, KELLAR MIDDLE SCHOOL, CHICAGO, IL
Everyone has a meaning in life Nobody is worth nothing here You’ll always have someone near Don’t let feelings be kept inside Always stay open and leave problems aside Crack! Heart breaks come and go Nobody should suffer for a person like someone once did Don’t let your heart speak to you Always leave the negativity in the cage Stay happy like my heart inside
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The Misconception OF KINDNESS
BY JAMARI SHELTON, JENNER ELEMENTARY, STUDENTXPRESS, CHICAGO, IL
ometimes a friendly smile can save a life. Many people walk around as though they don’t have a care in the world, but on the inside, they are crumbling. I see this quite often in middle school; students walk around with a fake smile while pretending that everything is okay, but really it isn’t. Students are being bullied, they often feel like they don’t “fit in,” and sometimes there are problems at home that carry over into school. All of these experiences can lead to depression. Sometimes I see students veer off
from the crowd and get real quiet. This behavior is a red flag to me that something might be wrong. I know this to be true because I’ve been through this before. Kindness is probably the most important thing ever! Everyone needs it because everyone is going through something, adults and kids alike. No one wants to be bullied, left out, or have a chaotic home life. We may not be able to fix all those problems, but we can be kind to each other and sometimes that’s all anyone needs. TRUE STAR JR. 35
True Star Junior Spring 2018