columbus short - Truestar Foundation
THE CAST OF
8 COLUMBUS SHORT
EVA & LANCE
By Benita Brown
By Kintrell Winston, Kyle Bailey and Dion Spencer
11 MORE YOUNG HOLLYWOOD
By Diondra Bradshaw and Randy C. Bonds
By David Kingly
12 KNOW YOUR CELEBRITIES!
By Toni Green
13 HOW TO BECOME A TEEN ACTOR
By Ebony Tripplett
GO AFTER YOUR DREAMS
By Xavier O’Neal
14 ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
By Jameliah Salter
BUILDING STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
By Xavier O’Neal
15 HOW YOUR FRIENDS AFFECT
By Markise Wilson
16 GUN VIOLENCE
17 SHOULD TEEN MOMS BE JAILED?
TRUE STAR MAGAZINE
1130 SOUTH WABASH SUITE 302
CHICAGO, IL 60605
THRU DA WIRE
18 THE YOUNG, THE WILD
10 YOUNG HOLLYWOOD LOVE
By Steven Hall
By Randy C. Bonds
By Christine Goggins
“Could it be our society portrays single people as lonely or
& THE FAMOUS
miserable…like nothing is worst than being caught by yourself?”
� By Devon Boyson
19 HOW TO THROW A “BOMB” PARTY
By Jameliah Salter
TAKING OUR FASHION CUES
By Melinda Lee
20 REAL TEENS...REAL FASHION
34 TEENS BATTLING THE TOUGH
By Monique Archer
BILL GATES QUIZ
By Tashawn Tyus
35 FINANCIAL FITNESS FOR LIFE
By Myles Gage
22 CELEBRITY COPYCAT
UNDER THE RADAR
26 CHICAGO’S RISING STARS
LOUDER THAN A BOMB
28 LOUDER THAN A BOMB
By Benita Brown
INSIDE & OUT
30 CERVICAL CANCER
By Deleska Charleston
31 AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY
By Tierra McMillan
32 CHICAGO YOUTH SAVES:
By Deleska Charleston
33 TIPS TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR
A JOB INTERVIEW
By Jeannine Scott
By Nicolas Guzman
36 WHAT’S WRONG WITH BEING SINGLE
By Benita BrownTEEN BIZ
37 WHY ARE YOU IN A RELATIONSHIP?
By Xavier O’Neal
HOW TO LET SOMEONE DOWN EASILY
By Elicia Bibbs
ON THE COURT
38 BEHIND THE SCENES IN HOOPS HIGH
By Michelle A. Bradley
HIGH AND LOWS FOR THE PHOENIX
By Chris Frills
39 SCOUT ME... IF YOU CAN...
By Erin Ewing
40 WHITNEY YOUNG STATE
By Maya Powe
BEHIND THE NAME
41 WHAT’S IN A NAME
By Steven Hall
42 BRIGHT LIGHTS, CAMERAS,
By Maya Powe
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 5
elcome to TrueStar’s Spring/Summer 2009 issue. Just when you were getting used to cold weather and snow, it is time to
replace the winter coats for rain jackets. TrueStar highlighted some of the most talented stars of Young Hollywood, such as Columbus
Short, Eva Marcille, Lance Gross, and many others. In addition, this issue features articles on celebrity hairstyles, young girls trying
to grow up too fast, becoming a teen actor, and much more.
From the increase in student involvement to partnerships with events like Louder Than a Bomb and Day26’s domestic abuse
discussion, our magazine has experienced new heights. With these accomplishments, the graphic design, photography, and
editorial teams stepped up to make TrueStar better than ever. Turn the pages and enjoy!
PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
CONTACT US at:
Letters to TrueStar • 1130 South Wabash • Suite 302 • Chicago, Il 60605-2717
Letters become the property of TrueStar and may be edited for publication.
EMAIL [email protected]
ON THE COVER & ARTICLE OF COLUMBUS SHORT PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MICHAEL CHEVAS
Simeon High School
Event Planning Staff
Harlan High School
Manley High School
Randy C. Bonds
Michelle A. Bradley
Bogan High School
Percy L. Julian High School Instructor
Gary Comer Youth Center
Jack M. Silverstein
True Star Ofﬁce
J. Na’Tae Thompson
Jack M. Silverstein
Design and Illustration
17, Simeon High School
Surprise Beneﬁts? I have been doing
exceptionally well using software that I’d
never even heard of before working for
True Star. The ways I’ve improved are
deﬁnitely much more than I anticipated.
17, Lindblom Math & Science Academy
Have there been any surprise
beneﬁts of working for TrueStar,
skills that improved in ways that
My work ethic. I also got a feel of how
magazines are run. Everything can’t be
last minute. It takes time and planning to
write an article.
What do your friends think about the product you help put out?
A lot of my friends want to get involved with TrueStar and write because of the work I’ve
done. They think it’s great what I’m doing and I appreciate their support.
HIT UP TRUESTAR ONLINE FACEBOOK: TRUESTAR MAG - MYSPACE.COM/MYTRUESTAR – TWITTER.COM: TRUESTARMAG
ANNETTE MICHELLE ARCHER
How do you plan on using your TrueStar skills in other areas of life?
I plan on majoring in journalism in college, so the skills I’m learning now will help me
become successful in the ﬁeld.
What would you most want TrueStar readers to know about what the
magazine means to you?
TrueStar is everything I’ve ever wanted to do. It gives you something to be proud of and
look forward to. When I got published I was so geeked to see my name in print that I
passed magazines around my school and made sure they saw the last page.
As we come upon our 16th issue, what do you think the future holds
I see it becoming like a major magazine, sold in stores and artists begging to be
featured. With every issue TrueStar has gotten better, and I deﬁnitely want to continue to
be apart of it.
How do you plan on using your
TrueStar skills in other areas of
life? I want to own my own businesses
and one of them is a magazine company.
So the skills that I learned will deﬁnitely help me.
As we come upon our 16th issue, what do you think the future holds
for TrueStar? I think it’s going to turn into a big magazine like Ebony or Vibe and be
very successful around the world.
I got to meet Day 26 and Dawn from
Danity Kane. The program taught me how
to use the camera and improved my skills
with exposure, F-stops and shutter speeds.
What do your friends think?
My friends say they would like to join
TrueStar, because they see I have gotten a
lot of camera experience. Now I can do professional things because I know how to use
TrueStar skills in other areas of life?
When I get older this will become not only a hobby but a career. My experience doing
photography will look good on my resume.
The future of TrueStar?
I think one day TrueStar will be sold in stores and I will purchase it myself because I will
say I was a part of this.
TAKEYSHA EBONY BROWN
18, Harlan Community Academy
Event Planning Team
17, Kenwood Academy
By being in the TrueStar Event Planning
Program I outgrew my shyness and came
to ﬁnd that I’m pretty outgoing and goofy.
The act of going over my work again
and again, making sure there are no
grammatical errors. That discipline has
made me a more focused worker in
school. I have also made a lot of strong
networking connections, and it deﬁnitely
looks good on the resume.
Other areas of life?
I’ve learned computer skills, leadership
skills and how to cooperate with other
people, and I think these skills will help
especially after high school when I get in the working world.
What does the magazine mean to you?
It means that I get to see and hear teens like me talk about issues that are important in
What do your friends think?
I’ve brought other people into the program because they thought I was doing a good
job and they wanted to do it for themselves.
How do you plan on using your TrueStar skills in other areas of life?
Working with TrueStar helped me understand what I want to major in. I feel like some
of the skills I’ve gained—how to talk to businessmen, to get them to believe in what you
are trying to sell, being able to answer all their questions—will help me with my career
in the future.
THE MAJORITY OF THIS MAGAZINE IS DEVELOPED BY TEENS IN SEVERAL AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS PROGRAMS. THESE PROGRAMS ARE HOSTED BY ITS PARTNER AND COMMUNITY-BASED
ORGANIZATION TRUE STAR FOUNDATION. AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT OFFERS CHICAGO TEENS INNOVATIVE OUT-OF-SCHOOL ACTIVIES THROUGH
SCIENCE37, SPORTS37, TECH37, WORDS37 AND THE NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED GALLERY37 PROGRAMS. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT WWW.AFTERSCHOOLMATTERS.ORG OR
CALL (312) 742-4182.
6 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 7
BY BENITA BROWN
JUNIOR, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
PHOTO: ROBERT ECTOR
Ever since she won the third cycle of America’s Next Top Model,
triple threat Eva Marcille has been busy. Along with fashion shows and
campaigns, she is also working on her own clothing line, an interest that
began in college.
But before Eva dreamed of becoming a model or fashion designer, she
wanted to be an actress. “When I was young, my parents put me in the L.A.
Bridges Conservatory, a school for the arts and extra-curricular activity. There
I learned how to play the piano, the trombone, and to dance.” It was there
that her diverse interests developed, as well as her drive to succeed at every
opportunity. Considering all she has accomplished, it appears that she has
brought this same spirit of determination to her professional career.
Known for his role in Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,
Lance Gross got his start in a short ﬁlm by Benny Boom.
Now, at the age of 27, he has appeared in music videos for
Mary J. Blige, Rihanna and Mariah Carey, as well as
episodes of The Bernie Mac Show and .
Gross received a full track and ﬁeld scholarship from Howard University.
Still, his real passion was performance. “I’m doing what I love. I could never
see running track as a career.” His parents support his career path, but it took
some time. “Any parent [whose] child wants to do acting is concerned with the
longevity,” he said. “They wanted me to major in business.”
“My days are always run, run, run!” she said. “It can go from having to be
on set at 6:30 in the morning to having to be there all day till 7 or even 8 at
night.” The life of a triple threat must be draining.
Along with his B.A. in Theatre from Howard, he also received training from
the Ivanna Chubbuck Studio and Tasha Smith Acting Studio. It was there that
Perry found him, performing a scene from Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever. Now he
spends the majority of his time on set or promoting himself.
“There’s not one moment that sticks out on set, but everyday
working with LaVan Davis is crazy.”
Her life motto is simple. “If you’re going to play, don’t worry, and if you’re
going to worry, don’t play.” She believes that when acting or modeling,
you have to ignore the stress that comes with the job and focus on your
performance. And when it comes to fashion, “wear what is comfortable and
do what you enjoy.” In other words, do as you feel, not as others do. Great
advice, if you ask me.
Despite his immense success, he still draws inspiration from veteran actors
such as Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, Jeffrey Wright, and Sean Penn.
And for anyone drawing inspiration from him, his advice is this: “If you have
a dream, just follow it until you achieve it. Set goals so you’re always striving
for something.” Great advice from someone who has accomplished so
much in so little time.
Interviews with the Cast
by Kintrell Winston
Hosea Chanchez has
done many interviews,
but when asked if he ever
felt like giving up on his
career, he answered,
“No I haven’t. I’m just getting started and I have a
lot of work to do.” That answer showed his energy
and dedication toward his work, both of which are, in
some places, lacking in Young Hollywood.
Chanchez grew up watching Richard Pryor, and now
wishes to work with Will Smith, Laurence Fishburne,
Don Cheadle, and Clive Owen, a great line-up of
actors indeed. He ﬁnds similarities and differences
between himself and Malik, his character on the CW’s
The Game. Their attitudes are different, but they are
both “mama’s boys.”
Tia Mowry: From teen
star to adult actress
By Kyle Bailey – Junior
Tia Mowry knows exactly how
hard it is to go from a teen star to an adult actress.
Tia ﬁrst came to public eye with her twin sister Tamera
on the sitcom Sister Sister. And while many teen stars
get stuck in their glory years, Tia has succeeded in the
industry as an adult while also branching out.
Adults always tell us that
hard work is boring and
tedious, that we must
prepare ourselves for an adult life of boredom. But
why? Couldn’t we have fun while making a living? The
Her post-Sister Sister life has included graduating trick is to do what compels you!
from the University of Pepperdine with a degree
in psychology, landing a role on the TV series The Take Marion ‘Pooch’ Hall, for instance. Before getting
Game, and getting married. “I’m a sucker for love,” paid to crack jokes on TV, he cracked them just for
Mowry said, adding that while many feel they have fun. Eventually, his talent for making people laugh
to be “deserving” of love, she feels that “love is turned into a career, but the road to stardom didn’t
come without sacriﬁce and the keyword: Hardwork!
“You can’t make your ﬁrst movie and expect to make
When transitioning from child star to adult professional millions,” Hall said. “This thing takes hard work.”
grew rough for Tia, she leaned on her family and drew
inspiration from her idol, Halle Berry. “It was hard Before his career in entertainment, Pooch did a little bit
for her to get roles because she was such a beautiful of everything. Though he was relatively good at sports,
woman, as it is [hard] for me because I was a child he chose to do what compelled him most.
star.” But things are looking up for Mrs. Mowry. She
played Melanie Barnett on CW’s The Game, and her This is the key to success. God put you on this Earth for
new production company with her sister will soon be a reason. All you need to do is ﬁnd out what that is.
releasing a movie on Lifetime.
Easier said than done, right?
All in all, he loves his fellow cast members like family.
In fact, when interviewed by TrueStar, he was in a
Baskin Robbins with castmate Tia Mowry, laughing, While Mowry loves to act, it is clear that acting
joking and continually shaping Young Hollywood.
is not her entire life. She loves to cook, and is a
devoted family woman and wife. Most of all, she is a
“If you wouldn’t do what you’re doing for a career for wonderful role model to the rest of young Hollywood
free, then you’re in the wrong career path.”
about how to become a successful adult.
10 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
Pooch Hall: Do what
By Dion Spencer
Junior, Pathways in
Matthias Clamer/THE CW
It doesn’t have to be hard. The trick is to be completely
open-minded and approach the process like an
exploration. Pay attention to those things about yourself
that come easily or naturally. One of them just might
be your calling.
enjoys his life
By Diondra Bradshaw
King College Prep
By Randy C. Bonds
Photo: Keith Munyan
Why let the stress
of a job get to
you? Is it worth it
in the end?
Naturi Naughton is
deﬁnitely a survivor, a
trait clearly displayed
in her career.
“All jobs should be fun and nothing should be taken
too seriously,” says Tyler Williams, star of TV’s
Everybody Hates Chris. “[Acting] is deﬁnitely a job
but you should have fun doing it.” Williams knows
that even if work is strenuous, you still have to push
past it and do what you love.
Many remember her as one of the founding
members of the pop trio 3LW. Naughton herself?
She prefers to look ahead. “I don’t like to dwell on
the issue,” Naughton said, “but instead show people
how much I’ve grown from it, and encourage them
not to live in the past.”
Ever since nabbing the starring role on the Chris
Rock-inspired sitcom in 2005, Williams has shown
his comedic skills. No easy feat when you are
portraying a comedic legend. “That was the biggest
thing for me: how am I going to prove to [Rock] that
I can play him?”
After leaving the group, Naughton attended Seton
Hall, where she would use her free time to work
on music and acting. She began auditioning for
Broadway plays immediately after college, and was
soon booked on the Broadway National Tour of
Hairspray. “A lot of people didn’t know that I was
doing a Broadway show,” tells Naughton, “but I was
always working, just not in the music business.”
Over four seasons, Williams proved himself worthy
of Rock’s status. Now, with the show going off the
air, the young actor is looking ahead. “The person
who inspired me to become an actor was Will
Smith,” Williams said when speaking about his ﬁlm
career. “A movie I saw when I was very young was
Men In Black, and from there I kind of got the idea
that this is something that I really want to do.”
And while Williams became famous for playing
Chris Rock, he landed the role just by being himself.
“I couldn’t think of anything to say [in auditions], so
I just was myself,” Williams said. “In conversations
[Rock and I] had later, he said that was one of the
By Randy C. Bonds
Born into a wealthy
family with a star basketball player for a father,
fame was never something to strive for in the life
of Brian White. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t
had it. After following in his father’s footsteps as
a professional athlete, an injury forced White into
a new line of work. He immediately got involved
in modeling while also co-founding the Phunk
Phenomenon Urban Dance Theater Company.
He collected a SAG card and an agent when he
was hired for a commercial, thus putting him in “the
union before I even knew what it was.” He moved
to New York to continue modeling, and was at an
L.A. bar trying to ﬁgure out how he was going to
get back into the NFL when he was approached by
a director for Moesha who, intrigued by his “look,”
asked if he had any acting experience. Soon after,
White’s career in the ﬁeld had begun. It is a job that
he loves. And to him, that’s important.
After her Broadway success, Naughton took it to
the big screen as “Lil’Kim” in the movie Notorious.
While Lil’Kim wasn’t too happy with the portrayal,
Naughton is proud of her achievement in the role.
“It’s unfortunate that she’s not happy with the role,”
says Naughton, “But I am aware that it has nothing
to do with me.”
This is only the beginning for Naugton, who has a
movie coming out later this year titled Fame. Be sure
to check it out, and continue to watch as she grows
from a singer to an actress.
Hollywood’s Next Director
BY DAVID KINGLY
JUNIOR, BRONZEVILLE MILITARY ACADEMY
ost teens today will give up on high school
if they are tired of it. That is not the case for Zon
D’Amour: instead of giving up in order to get out,
she ﬁnished early. It was clearly a good decision,
allowing her to devote her time to what she loves:
making motion pictures.
As such, she is working to create her own show, a
program revolving around the life of high school
students that, as she says, “isn’t your High School
Musical.” D’Amour, whose program will follow
the lives of students from freshmen to seniors, is
eagerly awaiting the completion of her trailer.
Zon noticed at an early age that she likes to
control the action. She also saw something that
bothered her: the largely negative portrayals
of black characters, and scenarios that seemed
Though she is a normal teenage girl in most
respects, her drive sets her apart from her peers.
While many of her supporters believe she does too
much, she believes they do too little. Her advice?
Stay motivated and keep moving forward.
Keep your eye out for this rising star. She may be
the director of your next favorite movie.
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 11
BY TONI GREEN
SOPHOMORE, MANLEY CAREER ACADEMY
Is Reality TV
How to Become a Teen Actor
BY ELICIA BIBBS AND EBONY TRIPPLETT
SENIORS, DE LA SALLE INSTITUTE
PHOTO: DEREK BLANKS/COURTESY BET
Exclusive Interview with the cast of Baldwin Hills
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR FAVORITE
YOUNG CELEBS? ANSWER THESE
QUESTIONS CORRECTLY AND FIND OUT!
1. What celebrity said watching a
6. What male celebrity was
Destiny’s Child concert on the show
featured in Snoop Dogg’s “What’s
Good Morning America inspired
My Name” video?
her to pursue a career in music?
A. LIL ROMEO
B. BOW WOW
B. ALICIA KEYS
C. BOBBY VALENTINO
D. TREY SONGZ
7. What artist has NOT dropped
2. What rapper’s birth name is
a single acknowledging our new
Algernod Lanier Washington?
Black President, Barack Obama?
A. BOW WOW
A. YOUNG JEEZY
3. What artist was founded on the
8. What female celebrity’s son’s
social networking site MySpace?
name is Daniel Julez Smith Jr.?
A. HURRICANE CHRIS
B. SOULJA BOY TELL EM
B. LISA RAYE
C. LIL KIM
D. SOLANGE KNOWLES
4. What are the names of Keyshia
9. Which artist did NOT get their
Cole’s two dogs?
start on American Idol?
A. LOLA AND SANDY
B. LYRIC AND LOLA
B. RUBEN STUDDARD
C. SANDY AND JOSE
D. SPOT AND SANDY
D. JENNIFER HUDSON
5. What singer played a role on
10. What rapper’s mother’s name
the Cosby Show as one of Rudy
is Jocita Carter?
Huxtable’s slumber party friends?
B. JIM JONES
C. LIL WAYNE
C. MARY J. BLIGE
D. ALICIA KEYS
3. B 4. B 5. D 6. B 7. C 8. D
12 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
9. C 10. C
BY EBONY TRIPPLETT, SENIOR, DE LA SALLE INSTITUTE
PHOTO: ARMAND GRANT – JULIAN HS
any teens want to break into acting but just aren’t sure where to start
or if they even have what it takes to make it in the industry. Whether you have
extraordinary talent or just ordinary abilities, your approach can make a
tremendous difference in whether or not you succeed.
The audition process is generally the same for any production, and it
starts with getting a photographer to take your headshots. Once you ﬁnd
an audition you want to shoot for, be sure to prepare. Research the role,
and understand what the directors are looking for. Nothing can be more
detrimental than coming unprepared. Also, have your friends and family
critique your audition piece.
CAUTION: Once you’re there and in front of the powers-that-be, don’t overdo
it! Be as natural as possible, and don’t let your nerves get the best of you.
Calm down, pace yourself, enunciate. To ﬁnd local auditions, start by checking
out the listings in Perform Inc, The Reader, and The League of Chicago Theatre.
“NO ONE WANTS TO BE JUDGED AT THEIR
WORST, AND THIS IS EXACTLY THE TYPE OF
OPPORTUNITY THE CAMERA PROVIDES.”
ave you ever wondered how much of reality TV is really real?
Don’t certain things that go down seem a bit too coincidental? And why
aren’t there any moments that seem boring and common? REAL life is never
non-stop action and drama—fortunately! Luckily for us, we found a few
reality stars from BET’s Baldwin Hills to speak upon the subject of “Is Reality
TV really real?”
The ﬁrst to weigh-in was Baldwin Hills heartthrob, Justin. “A lot of young
people watch Baldwin Hills,” he said, “and there is a certain type of
mannerism I have to keep up because I want people to see the good in me.
I want to give a good impression for the young people that look up to me.”
Understandably, most people put in this situation would probably censor
“On the show, you don’t really get to see my goofy side,” said Season 3’s
Tyler. “I’m very easygoing. I seem a little high strung on TV but I’m REALLY
not.” Because of the editing, and because Tyler’s love triangle with Moriah
and Gerren was the center of her camera time, she came off a bit onedimensional. But put yourself in her situation: no one wants to be judged at
their worst, and this is exactly the type of opportunity the camera provides.
Etienne, also from Season 3, offered this insight: “It’s real in some cases,
like when it comes to how you feel towards somebody. But when they tell
you, ‘Oh, say this one more time, that was a really important line you
just said’…stuff like that is not real.” He went on: “It’s kind of like you’re
improvising. You do what you feel, then you try to make it real when you do
it, [but if] you’re not doing it right the ﬁrst time, you have to do it again. It’s
just shooting different takes, and that’s what’s not real about Reality TV. But
other than that...it’s semi-real.”
Etienne said it all. The truth of the matter is that Reality TV is neither real
nor fake. It is semi-real. Different parts of it are real, while other parts are
exaggerated. For the purpose of entertainment, reality is tweaked and
transformed into something all-together different: Semi-Reality TV.
You don’t necessarily have to audition for big gigs right away to showcase
your talent. There are places like improv theaters that teach you the art of
improvisation while allowing you to perform in front of smaller audiences.
You can also check out community and school theaters. These venues
are good for getting more experience, a feel for the stage, and comfort
performing in front of an audience.
As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you
know.” This is why you have to build up your networks
whenever and wherever possible, meaning going to
the right functions to meet the right people at the right
times. Find actors and actresses, acting coaches and
instructors, ﬁlm and theater coordinators, and
directors to get contact information. The more
people you contact, the more connections you
are sure to make. And if theater is your forte
you can go to performances to ‘study’ and
possibly stay after the show to meet with
The acting biz is far from easy to break
into. You have to have a thick skin
and the ability to take
criticism. Actors are
expected to memorize
lines, take direction,
and possibly improvise, be
comedic, and sing. It is a very demanding
occupation, but if it is your passion, it can also
be a very rewarding one. Good luck!
Go after your dreams…
but keep them in perspective
BY XAVIER O’NEAL,JUNIOR, KENWOOD ACADEMY
PHOTO: DOMINIQUE DAILY – JULIAN HS
any people in today’s society tend to lose focus on major things in life,
such as maintaining or getting a good education, because they are focusing on
the mainstream life and becoming a superstar.
Becoming a rapper or singer may be the most common dream shared by the
youth of America, and many children are blinded by success in the mainstream.
Some begin to cling to that kind of lifestyle and lose track of their schoolwork.
When it comes to dropping out of school in order to pursue a dream in the
music industry, Kanye West may be the ﬁgure most often looked up to. His
album College Dropout signiﬁes how he didn’t ﬁnish school and still became
rich and popular. But that experience was a one in a million sort of thing, and
can give youth false hopes of something that is not likely to happen.
Once the real image is portrayed from artists and other role models, our
nation will become a much better place. We will slowly see people who may
have otherwise become bums—people who had nothing to fall back on after
failing to ‘make it’—get off the streets, drop the liquor, and make something of
themselves. Perhaps once the up-and-comers get their own education on the
realities of the music industry, they will provide funding to recreational centers
and youth-oriented programs, thus encouraging the next generation to keep
their real-life focus as well as their dreams.
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 13
The Early Signs of an
BETWEEN FRIENDS: 1(800) 603-HELP •••• RAINBOW HOUSE: 1(800) 913-0065
“IF HE CUSSES YOU
OUT OR THREATENS
ASKING TO BECOME
THE NEXT VICTIM IF
YOU CHOOSE NOT
BY JAMELIAH SALTER
SOPHOMORE, GWENDOLYN BROOKS COLLEGE PREP
PHOTO: JULIAN PHOTO TEAM
After the disturbing news about Chris Brown and Rihanna, I immediately
thought to myself:
Can a girl ever even avoid such a situation? How can a girl
like me peep game before a guy tries to put hands on me?
So I did some investigating. According to the Arizona Coalition Against
Domestic Violence, 30 to 60 percent of female high school students have
already experienced abuse. Every 1 in 3 high school students will be involved
in an abusive relationship. Whoa! That is truly disturbing.
Some of my friends said the only way to avoid getting hands put on you is
not asking for it. My girl Adriana Rosales told me “there were times where I
manipulated the fact that I knew (or thought) my boyfriend would never hit
me, and even challenged his manhood on several occasions. But one day he
snapped out of no where and smacked me!” Well, one way to avoid it is not
to ask for it. That seems too obvious, though.
Jayne Dawning, Executive Director of the Women’s Crisis Service, believes that
nothing triggers violence. “Most abusers are violent out of choice, in secret,
and wouldn’t be the same way publicly because they know it’s wrong.”
Truthfully, there is no exact science to knowing if a guy can potentially be
abusive, but there are a few early warning signs. The trick is to keep your eyes
open for them:
Most abusive guys are jealous and controlling. Because this usually won’t
come out early in a relationship, pay attention to how he reacts to your other
friendships, be it with guys or girls. If he cringes or seems bothered by you
spending time with them, chances are he is jealous and controlling.
Name-calling is a no-brainer. If he cusses you out or threatens you, you’re
asking to become the next victim if you choose not to leave.
Most of all: use your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, then it’s
probably all wrong. And if worst-comes-to-worst and you ﬁnd yourself in a
situation you can’t get out of, don’t hesitate to ﬁnd help.
The Importance of Building Strong Relationships
BY XAVIER O’NEAL
JUNIOR, KENWOOD ACADEMY
really control the way they speak to or how they treat their teachers. Most
of the time if a student doesn’t like something a teacher does they tend to
disrespect the teacher or clown out and act a fool in order to show out in front
of the class. Most teachers may be lenient to the situation for a short amount
of time, but this is usually when the teacher will be taken advantage of. Still,
the student may not understand that this is really not beneﬁcial at all.
A student may be mostly concerned with his or her grade and without caring
about what kind of a relationship they have with their teacher. The teacher
knows way better than the student that in the long run the student is going to
need them some way some how. This usually comes senior year, when it’s time
to start applying to college and recommendations are needed. And guess
who has to write them? The teachers. So now the student is thinking about
teachers to ask and thinks since he or she got an A in a class despite being
disruptive, they will still receive a strong recommendation from the teacher.
From here only two things can happen. Either the teacher won’t write the
recommendation or they will write one saying how you are the worst student
in the world.
any students today don’t understand the important roles teachers and
administrators play in our education. When students are in school they don’t
14 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
Building a strong relationship with your teachers can be more valuable than
some people may think. Maybe if you have a strong enough bond with a
teacher he or she would be more likely to mention you for selective programs
that may really beneﬁt you. And while creating strong relationships with
your superiors is vitally important towards school, this should also be applied
universally because it can only have a positive outcome.
ALWAYS HEAR PEOPLE SAY, ‘DRUGS AREN’T HARMFUL’ OR ‘I
COULD STOP ANYTIME I WANT TO,’ BUT I NEVER LET IT FAZE ME.”
Many teens complain about being judged in terms of their friends. I believe,
though, that your friends can have an affect on your judgments depending on
your conﬁdence and inner-strength.
When looking at groups that participate in negatively viewed activities, I
notice you rarely ﬁnd an individual who stands out based on academics or
anything else positive. Usually when a positive person is frequently around
negative people, they are pressured to participate in such activities. As a result
of constant peer pressure they eventually give in. In this case, only the strong
As difﬁcult as it was I ﬁnally found an individual who perfectly ﬁts the
description of someone who stands out to the group of people they hang
around. His name is Johnny Jenkins and he is a current student of Kenwood
Academy. Johnny associates himself with “cool kids” who engage in minor
drug use and alcohol. When I ﬁnally found time to talk to him I immediately
asked him several questions.
BY MARKISE WILSON
JUNIOR, KENWOOD ACADEMY
PHOTO: DOMINIQUE DAILY – JULIAN HS
Markise Wilson: Have you ever been pressured to participate in any
negative activities, such as drugs, alcohol or violence? If so, can you explain
Johnny Jenkins: Yes, I daily face tempting challenges that I always
dismiss. Peer pressure has not led me to go against any morals I possess. I
always hear people say, “Drugs aren’t harmful, everyone is doing it” or the
big, “I could stop anytime I want to,” but I never let it faze me.
MW: How do you deal with situations in which you are pressured, like in the
situation you describe?
JJ: Like I said, “I remain strong and do not let little things faze me.” If it is
something I don’t want to do, I simply don’t do it.
MW: In general, do you believe the people you hang with have an effect on
choices people make?
JJ: I deﬁnitely believe that the people you hang with affect the choices you
make. Anyone that doesn’t think so hasn’t lived yet. Although, a lot of the
people I hang around with smoke and drink, but I remain above the inﬂuence.
It all depends on how strong you are. Strong-minded individuals such as
Johnny are able to dismiss the pressure and remain strong, striving for a
decent and healthy life. Be a leader and only do what you want to do, not
what others want you to do.
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 15
should teen moms
BY STEVEN HALL
SENIOR, KING COLLEGE PREP
PHOTO: JULIAN PHOTO TEAM
BY CHRISTINE GOGGINS
FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO (UIC)
PHOTO: DESHAUN ‘TRIG’ ADAMS
never thought gun violence would be an issue that I would write about
from a victim’s standpoint. I lost a very dear friend of mine, Blair Holt, to gun
violence on May 10, 2007. That was the most devastating day of my life,
but it has also had the most impact on my future. After losing him I knew that
something needed to be done about this issue.
I had heard so many stories about people getting shot. I hear gunshots
outside of my Southside home almost every night. I never thought it could
happen to me but it did. I do not want anyone else to endure the pain that
I have felt.
Ever since I lost one of my best friends to gun violence I have devoted
much time and effort advocating against the issue. I have joined the Illinois
Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence as part of their youth core. My ﬁrst
assignment was to collect 1,000 signatures to represent the number of people
that die in Illinois each year from gun violence. In our efforts we collected
over 1,000 signatures and presented them at a press conference on May 19,
16 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
I lost a very
dear friend of
to gun violence “
2008 to state lawmakers in hopes of passing more common sense gun laws.
I also created a Facebook group for ICPGV where we have facts posted about
gun violence in Chicago.
Gun violence in Chicago deserves immediate attention because it ultimately
affects us all. I want my peers to be proactive instead of reactive because
there’s no way to tell whose life will be taken next. I have talked to the media
and I have done non-violence specials believing that I will somehow impact
this tragic situation. It will take more than me to make change. I need the
support of my peers. I want for us as a generation to stand up and say,
“We’re scared, we’re hurt, we’re angry but we want to live.” We have the
determining voice so we need to exercise that power and ﬁght as one. In
saying all of this, I hope that I will encourage and make change so that our
streets will be safer. I do not know exactly what will work but I will continue
to advocate until something does. I believe in my peers and although we are
considered the lost and horrible generation I remain positive and hope for a
less violent future.
t was a typical day for me as I rode the bus down Cottage Grove on my
way home. The bus was overcrowded, the heat had people inclined to act
up, and three young girls were becoming very argumentative with an older
patron. “You all need to grow up!” the older lady yelled. From that point
on mufﬂed curses became thrown punches and hair yanks. What were they
arguing for? Did they even know?
This incident of stupidity was a great example of parenting gone completely
wrong, and it solidiﬁed my notion that there should be punishments and
repercussions for a young woman’s reckless use of sex and reproduction.
Being born into poverty will most likely produce ignorant, hopeless youth who
have little future in this world, since 7 out of 10 pregnant teenage mothers
make an income of $5,600. And how can a child guide a child? Who should
be held accountable for producing humans who are unlikely to be productive
in life? Who should be accountable for the emotional stress and mental
disarray a single teen mother’s child endures with no father in the home, and
the loss of identity that comes with that?
I ﬁnd it difﬁcult to believe that a person with no plan other than “love” can be
strong enough to guide a child through life. What about sufﬁcient clothing,
shelter and food? A teen mother cannot provide all of that.
We are teens, and we all make mistakes, mistakes which we should be held
accountable for. Sources say that 80% of teenage mothers end up on welfare,
and on the average, taxpayers pay $18,133 a year for the ﬁrst birth of a
teenage mother’s child. That is enough money for at least two and a half years
of college. When it comes to an innocent baby, accountability should not be
avoided. What do teenage mothers have to offer, to pass on to their young,
our young? Not much more than a future as bloody and grim as her delivery
sheets will be in the near future, sorry to say.
teenage mothers pass on
" Whatto can
their young? Not much more
than a future as bloody and grim
as her delivery sheets will be in
the near future, sorry to say."
Certainly the fathers should be held accountable too, but the last decision lies
with the mother. In these situations, the child goes through life searching for
the love that the mother claims to give, ﬁnding it nowhere, or thinking to have
found it in places where no love exists. Gangs are a perfect example of this
loveless place. Lots of young men join gangs in search of the family his wed
locking mother could not provide. These gangs usually precipitate violence,
with young men ﬁghting for respect. Inevitably, they are detrimental to society;
it is estimated that taxpayers spend $1 billion dollars a year towards building
prisons. Who is accountable for the tax money spent on these crimes? For the
$6.9 million a year spent on teenage pregnancy? For the $2.2 million that
goes into welfare, or the $1.5 million spent on medical care that comes from
the increased complications and health risks that come when teens give birth?
If a juvenile commits a crime, his parents can be held accountable. Why not
hold teen moms accountable for breeding children who are detrimental to
society, as 33% of teenage mother’s sons are?
While many of the sons of these teen moms end up involved in crime, the
daughters usually suffer the same fate as their mothers. These young women
often have low expectations of how they are supposed to be treated, thus
keeping the wheel turning on this perpetual cycle of lottery pregnancies: few
successes, many failures, and a low percentage of happily-ever-afters.
Jails are for people who threaten society, and teen mothers do just that. They
are the fertile cages of potentially unstable human beings who, raised without
proper guidance, love, nurture, discipline, and good living conditions, will reek
havoc on our society and suck barren the bone marrow of our living, breathing
and functional body. Why then shouldn’t teenage moms be jailed, sorry to say?
SOURCES: www.teenpregnancy.org, www.virginia.edu, www.josh.org, www.ripnroll.com
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 17
THE YOUNG,THE WILD
& THE FAMOUS
BY DEVON BOYSON
FRESHMAN, SIMEON CAREER ACADEMY
viscous cycle has occurred for decades on the dark side of Young
Hollywood. The publicity and press that can make or break your career can
also be your worst enemy. It happened to Drew Barrymore, Christina Aguilera,
Lindsay Lohan, and even Britney Spears. They went wild. Some recovered,
while others faded to black. Now Tinsel Town has a new wave of hot, young
celebs to make victims. This is, “The Young, The Wild, & The Famous.”
VEN THOUGH SOFT DRINKS SUIT A THIRSTY TEEN, IT’S A
BETTER IDEA FOR YOU TO HAVE BOTTLED WATER AVAILABLE
FOR THE “EXTREME DANCERS” AT YOUR PARTY.”
The room is packed shoulder to shoulder, people are posted on the wall, and
the sweat on your forehead is slowly running down your neck. You tell yourself
to take a rest but then the new Gucci song comes on and you’re right back
up into the mix. One of the greatest things about being a teenager is the fun,
carefree life you get to live, especially when you go to parties. But as we all
know, not all parties are fun. A great theme, good DJ, and tasty food are
important elements of a “Bomb” party.
Miley Cyrus seemed to be a teen celebrity that could do no wrong. But now,
this Disney Channel angel has fallen from grace. The Hannah Montana star
proves that her iconic character isn’t the only one with duel personalities. Just
like one of her Hannah Montana songs “I Got Nerve,” Cyrus is full of it.
Her wild exploits were ﬁrst seen when pictures of her were published, showing
body parts girls her age shouldn’t expose. Then there were pictures leaked
of her and a boy at a party that were only partially clothed. There was
controversy over a picture in which Miley was suspected to be making fun of
one of her Korean friends. Now she’s accused of being racist. Miley is a prime
example that all publicity is NOT good publicity.
“I GOT NERVE”
There’s nothing more dreadful in a teenager’s life than to go to a lifeless party.
When it comes to theme, you’ve got to be creative. A balloon on the wall and
BY MELINDA LEE
SOPHOMORE, MANLEY CAREER ACADEMY
Through the Cheetah Girls movies, it seemed like she would accomplish her
goal. But all that changed when, in November of 2008, several alleged
photos of a partially undressed Bailon were leaked to the media. She was
reportedly ﬁling a lawsuit against the man who stole her pics, but later
Celebrity hair is what sets the trend for the type of
As crazy as it may seem, your guests are bound to get hungry. Even the
slightest bit of food satisﬁes the roaring hunger of a teenager. Even though soft
drinks suit a thirsty teen, it’s a better idea for you to have bottled water available for the “extreme dancers” at your party. A little bowl of chips can only go
so far, so you’re better off ordering enough food for all your guests.
One more thing before I leave you to your party planning: be sure to invite the
right people. Inviting the neighborhood thug can only bring problems because
he will bring the whole hood with him, and that’s obviously not something you
want. Make sure to invite people who are down to party and won’t just stop
by to mooch and leave right after. Happy party planning!
Everyone seems to be feeling Ms. Kerry baby, as Lil
Wayne calls her. Is it the hair? Keri rocks an exclusive
short cut wrapped with bangs right above her eyes.
Rihanna rocks this boy hair cut, giving her a “good
girl gone bad” look. Her bangs are uniquely cut over
her face with combed down sides creating a cute
and wild style. Choosing such a basic yet bold color
choice, Rihanna’s cold black hair sets the tone for her
Keys” braids or some of Allen Iverson’s “Ivos.”
We can’t deny that particular celebs have inspired
some of our favorite hair dos.
point asked our parents if we could get the “Alicia
As for the most talked about couple of 2009’s ﬁrst half? R&B duo Chris Brown,
20, and Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty, 21. Apparently, the two got into a heated
argument while driving. Chris hit Rihanna, and when she fought back, things
got worse. After the beat-down, Chris pushed her out of the car, leaving her
battered and bruised. Brown has been quoted by Us Weekly saying he is
“deeply saddened by the whole situation, and wishes things could go back to
what it was before.” Only time can tell what is ahead for this power couple.
Will Rihanna keep Brown under her “Umbrella”? Or will she push him out in
Your party is set for disaster if the music isn’t on-point. There’s nothing wrong
with a radio but who knows if you have enough music for the entire party or
even if the best CD you have is scratched? A good, reliable DJ can play just
about any song requested to the pleasure of everyone’s ears. DJ’s like DJ PJ,
DJ Roc, DJ Pierre, and DJ Pnut feature in some of Chicago’s hottest Juke Jams
and could easily be looked up online.
Chrisette Michele’s new cut is for sure hot to death.
Like her music, her hairstyle is extremely different
from any others. With a soft earth tone color to match
her complexion, Chrisette Michele helps prove that
short hair is sexy too.
styles we like. Let’s keep it real: we’ve all at some
developments revealed that the leak was a publicity hoax set in motion by
Bailon’s own team. If the truth of the “leak” is murky, the truth of the situation
is clear: whether self-made or outwardly-imposed, the whole world has seen
what this cheetah looks like without its spots.
ribbon on the ceiling isn’t going to cut it. When thinking about a good theme
you’ve got to ask yourself, “Is it enough?” How about a glamorous Hollywood
theme, or set high stakes with a Casino setting? Even an 80s party could make
for good times.
TAKING OUR FASHION CUES
Cheetah Girl Adrienne Bailon seemed to be the perfect role model for young
girls. When she started out in the all-girl group “Three Little Women” better
known as 3LW, Bailon wanted to set a good example for girls everywhere.
18 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
BY JAMELIAH SALTER
SOPHOMORE, GWENDOLYN BROOKS COLLEGE PREP
PHOTO: DESHAUN “TRIG” ADAMS
It seems that when young celebs come into power and money, they feel they
are on top of the world. In reality, the world is on top of them. There’s a
camera at every turn, ready to capture each move and show it to the world.
Will Hollywood ever get it together? Who knows? It sure is fun watching.
With a blend of black, blonde, and brown, her
highlights stand out just right.
One thing is certain: Yeezy’s undeniably unique style
has made him a fashion mogul. Kanye West brings
back the mullet, a hairdo from the late 80s. His hair
compliments his new style and his goal to break the
chains of similarity in the fashion world. A lot of people
are stunned by Yeezy’s change of style...how could they
be so heartless?
Red and blond, just blond, just black...Ms. Keyshia
Cole has rocked all those colors and still manages to
look like a diva. Lately, Keyshia has been sporting a
small cut, sometimes worn straight and other times
curly, in a jet-black color. Keyshia deﬁnitely played
her cards right with this style.
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 19
Real Teens...Real Fashion...Real Places...Real Fun...
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330 North State Street, Chicago, IL • 312.644.0300 • www.10pinchicago.com
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OUR REAL TEENS FASHION? IF YOU THINK THIS IS YOU, SHOW
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Stylists: Brittany McNairy, Naja Bailey, Derron Cherry
Makeup Artist: Brittany Edens
Photographers: Shelby Brown, Deandre Watts, Ricky, Powel Julian HS
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 21
SHARING CELEBRITY STYLE DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO
SHARE THEIR BANK ACCOUNT. CAN YOU GUESS WHO’S
WHO IN OUR CELEBRITY STYLE PHOTOS?
WHETHER YOU’RE IN CHICAGO
OR ZIP CODE 90210
YOU CAN PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR
Zebra cocktail dress
and studded belt,
Brown patent leather high
top boots, models own
Black cardigan by
BKC “B”, Solemates
Button-up shirt by Tank
Farm, Buffalo Exchange
Denim jeans and Black
Converse Allstar gym shoes,
Photography by Mireya Acierto
Tristan Wilds and Lauren
Gold Hoops, Loehmann’s
Male model Emery Johnson
Sheer top, yellow gloves, black
faux leather boots, Metallic skirt
by Tibi, Buffalo Exchange
Leather biker jacket, and fringe
scarf, True Star closet
Glasses by Playboy, Track jacket,
Crew neck sweatshirt by WESC,
Diesel skinny jeans, Solemates
Female Model Sharaun Brown @ Elite Chicago
Silver metallic shoe, ADIDAS
Silver chain necklace, Buffalo
Kanye West and Rhianna
Hair Heather Rae
Makeup Krystyn Johnson
Wardrobe Stylist Tiffany Sutton
Photography Assistants Elizabeth Kindig, Deshaun Adams
OR WILD OUT IN COLORFUL CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES
SO HOT YOU MIGHT WANT TO SING AND DANCE
WHATEVER STYLE YOU CHOOSE
ALWAYS MAKE IT FUN …XOXO
Track jacket, magenta tank
Military jacket by Robert Rodriguez, Helmut Lang white tank,
J Brand skinny jean, necklace,
Ralph Lauren belt,
Grey cable knit thigh-highs
and purple thigh-high
boots, models own.
Heels by Steve Madden, DSW
Lime green track jacket,
watch, black high tops and
black hat, ADIDAS Chicago
Cream fedora by Jacobson Hat,
Tan track jacket by Lacose,
Plaid shorts by CM,
White button-down shirt and
white boot cut jean, GAP
Nick Cannon and Vanessa Hudgens
Yellow tie, TJ Maxx
White leather loafer, DSW
Ed Westwick and Blake Lively
WHERE TO BUY: ADIDAS, 923 Rush St. Chicago, IL 312.932.0651
BUFFALO EXCHANGE, 2875 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 773.549.1999
SOLEMATES, 2708 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 773.327.7732
musical style My music is pain medicine. It is witty,
informative, energetic, refreshing, the perfect melodic blend of street scriptures and pulpit pictures. The ride is a transformation: you can’t walk away
from an OPlus song thinking and feeling the same way you did when you
all purpose musik
musical style Soulful, pop-motivated, and street. Very
powerful and triumphant. It’s All Purpose Muzik!
uniqueness It’s all-purpose. I have developed an exact
ﬁrst approached it.
uniqueness My music mirrors my life experiences. Few art-
ists have been through and survived the happenings that serve as the plots
to OPlus music. Few artists know what it’s like to grow up in a gang-infested neighborhood, like Woodlawn & Englewood, and still be educated
in the best schools in the best neighborhoods. Few artists know what it’s
like to dodge bullets on the Southside of Chicago one night, and have
science of creating a soundtrack for most artists that I would work with
lunch with Jamie Dimon or Warren Buffet the next. As an artist, I’m able to
directly. I take pride in composing a composition that is tailor-made
survive on both sides of the game.
perfectly for any artist. Most importantly, I have worked extremely
hard to craft my own sound. In today’s music you just don’t see much
originality across the board.
goal My goal in music is to directly change the game with timeless
goal With my art, I ultimately want to make the best music ever
created. I want to unify the masses with my sound. I want to bring people
together from all walks of life, ages, races, and creeds, those who would
have otherwise been unacquainted ﬁnding kinship in their appreciation for
hit songs that can be played for the next 20 years. I want to continue
my art. Ultimately, I want to be remembered for being the hardest-working
to improve my craft. Ultimately, I want to be mentioned with the greats:
and thus most successful contributor to what we call the “music industry.”
Quincy Jones, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. It doesn’t get much better
influence I have several people who inﬂuence my music. DJ
influence They say ‘necessity is the mother of all creation’
but I’d have to say poverty is. Having to go without is what inﬂuences
many of my songs. “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” As far as music
Premiere, Pete Rock, RZA, Just Blaze, Kanye West, DJ Toomp. Essentially,
icons go, Quincy Jones, hands down....I love that dude! As an artist:
anyone that’s making great music inspires me and inﬂuences the way I
Common, Nas, 2Pac, Scarface, and Jay-Z. As a producer (don’t sleep,
I’m mean on the beats too), Timbaland, Dr. Dre, 9th Wonder, Kanye West,
and Justice League.
musical style I would describe our music as a “new
school” notation with an “old school” foundation. Conceptual tracks and
rhymes from an Inner City mind. Our musical style varies from day to
day. Some days one may be in an aggressive mood, so aggressive music
is what’s made, and other days we may be more laid back and so is the
music. We make mood music.
uniqueness We’re very hands-on. Onis & JaeOneder play
the keyboard and are accomplished producers who have got placements
on various rap & R&B artists. Ka’Ron is an accomplished songwriter and
doesn’t limit himself to just hip-hop, but has also written songs for R&B
artists too. What makes Ka’Ron unique is every song he does is either a
and pop ﬂava. I’ve got that “make you wanna dance” music, with a little
heartbreak and love from a teen’s perspective.
uniqueness What makes me different is my voice, my
knowledge for music and that I write the majority of my own songs—I’ve
been writing since I was a little girl. I don’t limit myself to one genre of
or people around him have experienced. JaeOneder kills em with the word
music. I love to listen to R&B, Pop, Rock, Gospel and little bit of country
play, and on the production side he throws in sounds that the average
music. I feel you can hear all these styles in my voice—that’s what makes
person wouldn’t use at ﬁrst. Onis’s love for architecture, fashion, and design
me different than most artists. I dare to be different—
helps him provoke so many emotions and reach so many new ideas.
you can’t pin point me!
goal Music is for life, so we want to change the world with our music.
goalMy goal is to become a music legend. I want my music to reach
they need to relax, or when they need a pick-me-up. We want to invoke
know I’m here to stay and willing to work hard and learn from those who
new ideas, better formation, and spread light amongst our peers. We’d like
came before. My ﬁrst love is to sing and write but as my career continues
to promote positivity. There is a lot of gloom within society right now and
to evolve, I plan to get into many other parts of the entertainment industry.
We want people to play our music when they need to get amped, when
we just want to be a ray from the light that’s going to clear it all up.
influence Everybody from Chicago signed and unsigned,
the whole world and touch everyone. I want longevity. I want people to
influence My ﬁrst musical inﬂuences, of course, were my
parents and my grandmother. As a young child, there wasn’t a day when
hip hop and R&B, all of ‘em. Other than that, Donnell Jones, TLC, Nas, the
we didn’t have music playing at our house. Some of my favorites that I
regular legends Big and Pac, Big L, Eminem, Ras Kass, Outkast, Twista,
grew up listening to were Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Lauryn Hill, Jodeci, Dru
Bone Thugs, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, Marvin Gay, Method Man,
Hill, SWV, Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah to name a few. I still love the greats
Stevie, Yeezy, the Neptunes, Billy Paul, Teddy Riley, and all the song writers
though—my Aunt Tonya always told me to listen to the great singers like
and producers out there.
Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, because
that’s the type of music people will always return to no matter what is
Facebook: All Purpose Beatz
Booking Info: Contact Reginald Allyn @ 773.471.5235
26 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
musical style My musical style is made up of R&B
conversation or a story. Everything is from a perspective that he has seen
being played on the radio. Their music is timeless.
Email us at [email protected]
Michael Deak D5 Entertainment at 630 430-3413
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 27
LOUDER THAN A
BY BENITA BROWN
JUNIOR, LINDBLOM MATH & SCIENCE ACADEMY
PHOTO: ARMAND GRANT & DEANDRE WATTS - JULIAN HS
ouder than a Bomb, commonly known as LTAB, is a movement inspiring
poets around America. It is a competition where the scores don’t matter, but
when the emcee reads a score that the audience doesn’t agree with, the crowd
responds, “listen to the poem!” The feeling from the audience and the poets on
stage arouses something inside that you can’t get from any other experience.
Starting off with a small group of Chicago students, Kevin Coval and Jane
Addams founded the competition with sponsorship from Young Chicago
Authors (YCA). As of recently, the program has gained a lot of attention, with
over 500 high school and college students now participating all around the
country. Their popularity eventually caught the attention of Russell Simmons,
who is now working on a documentary and upcoming HBO series called
“Brave New Voices” featuring LTAB.
For anyone who has never seen a slam, attending Louder than a Bomb would
leave you speechless. When I attended for the ﬁrst time, for whatever reason
I felt compelled to get on stage with them and represent! And when the
excitement died down, I immediately wanted to go home and start working on
my own piece.
“It’s a testament to the need for young people to express themselves,” Coval
explained. He’s very excited about the progress that has been made in nine
years and wants it to become something that is in every school in the city.
Teens complain about not being able to express themselves all the time, but
if you don’t take advantage of the right opportunities, you truly have nothing
to complain about. If you need a place to vent your frustrations and are
compelled to express your innermost, Louder Than a Bomb is the place for
you. Check them out at www.youngchicagoauthors.org.
28 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 29
INSIDE & OUT
What Every Teenager Should Know
BY DELESKA CHARLESTON
JUNIOR, MANLEY CAREER ACADEMY
PHOTO: BOGAN PHOTO TEAM
“SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL CANCER ARE
ABNORMAL VAGINAL BLEEDING AND PAIN
DURING SEXUAL INTERCOURSE.”
hat is something that all women can share regardless of race, religion, age or were
they came from? Give up? It is cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer kills thousands of women all around the world today. According
to the Center of Disease Control (www.cdc.org), 11,150 women in the U.S.
were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2007 alone. It doesn’t matter if this
woman was black, white, Hispanic, or Asian. What matters is that she
could have been your mother, sister, aunt, grandmother or friend. This is a
disease that can determine whether or not a woman can give birth
to a child. It can affect the population growth of your generation and
your child’s generation. Now can you see how cervical cancer can
As deﬁned on webmd.com, cervical cancer is “a disease that affects
the cervix in the female reproductive system.” The symptoms don’t
appear until the disease has progressed, but they are: abnormal
vaginal bleeding and pain during sexual intercourse. At the
age of 30, you may be at risk of having this cancer.
To prevent this from happening, ﬁrst know the facts of what
it is and how you can get it. Practice safe sex and spread
Another way of preventing cervical cancer is through
a shot called Gardasil Prevention Shot. For more
information on this shot, you can go to www.drugs/
Still, according to Dr. Shirley Moore of Partners in
Women’s Health in Forest Park, Illinois, “The best
way for teens to prevent cervical cancer is to avoid
the pain and abstain.”
Dr. Moore has been a gynecologist for over 10
years and says she treats each patient with care
because a “woman’s body is what holds the
key to reproduction. It is important to be
educated when it comes to a woman’s
An American Tragedy
BY TIERRA MCMILLAN
SOPHOMORE, SOUTH SHORE HIGH SCHOOL
“ONE DAY I WANT TO OPEN AN AGENCY FOR TEENS WHO HAVE SIMILAR SITUATIONS TO MINE…
TO LET THEM KNOW THEY ARE NOT ALONE.”
elicia Todd” is a seventeen-year-old mother and AIDS survivor, currently
living in a shelter and attending Whitney Young High School. She was kind
enough to share some of her struggles and tragedy with TrueStar.
Tierra McMillan: How did the shelter become your home?
Felicia Todd: When I was ten my mother died of cancer and my father was so
hurt, he couldn’t maintain. He lost his job, we lost our house, he lost his mind
and he almost lost custody of me. Some days we even went without food. My
dad was working part time at Sears but even that wasn’t enough. By the time
I was eleven I began prostituting just to eat and buy school supplies. I did
this for about four years, up until I went to high school. I stopped when I was
ﬁfteen, the year my dad died of a heroin overdose, the year I fully developed
AIDS, and the year I had my ﬁrst child. I had no other family, so I went to
DCFS and I was marked as a ward of the state. I had a hard time getting
adopted because of my disease. I moved into the shelter and been there
TM: WOW. I’m so sorry to hear about your parents. You’ve had it pretty
rough from the start huh?
FT: Yes. It’s been rough. You really start to feel like you’re in the world
TM: Now you said that you are a victim of AIDS. Are you being treated
FT: Yes I’m on medicine and I am up to twenty-two different pills a day.
TM: You also mentioned you had a child at ﬁfteen, and I see you’re pregnant
a second time. How did that come about?
FT: The ﬁrst time I got pregnant was from my prostitution. One day I was
coming home from our school’s football game, and I walk down the alley
because it’s a shortcut from the school to home. I’m walking down the alley and
out jumps this man so I started walking a little faster and so does he. At this
point I’m running and he catches me, pulls me by the side of the garbage can,
and rapes me. This incident has put me six months along in my pregnancy.
TM: There’s just one tragedy after another. So is your one-year-old
FT: Well they are trying to take her away from me, saying that I can’t give
her the proper care she needs. So it gets really hard for me. I already feel
like it’s just me and her and if they take that from me I have no reason to live.
TM: So people say she’s going to get a disease if you hold her.
FT: Yeah, people around here poke fun. Nobody will come near her or me.
They treat us like animals.
TM: Your story is incredible. You are a strong person and you really just
inspired me. Just to wrap things up what do you say is next for you?
FT: No, thank God she’s HIV negative.
FT: Graduate from high school, go to college, get me a little part time job,
TM: So you still attend school?
FT: Yea I have to or I won’t have a home.
30 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
TM: How does your virus affect your daughter?
and raise my two daughters. One day I want to open an agency for teens
who have similar situations to mine. I want to be there for them and let them
know there are people out here like them and they’re not alone.
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 31
The Chicago City Treasurer is a proud
partner of the Chicago Youth Saves
Conference, Money Smart Week,
TrueStar Magazine and On the Money
City Treasurer, Stephanie D. Neely, at the
Chicago Youth Saves Conference
BY DELESKA CHARLESTON
SOPHOMORE, MANLEY CAREER ACADEMY
Tips to help you prepare
for a flawless job interview
BY JEANNINE SCOTT
SENIOR, KENWOOD ACADEMY
PREPARING FOR A PERFECT JOB INTERVIEW TAKES PRACTICE AND PATIENCE. THE INTERVIEW IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP IN
THE WHOLE EMPLOYMENT PROCESS. THESE STEPS WILL ASSURE A FLAWLESS INTERVIEW.
• Arrive at the interview at least 10 minutes early. This will give you time to mentally
prepare yourself for the upcoming questions.
• Bring at least three copies of a completed, up-to-date resume with all relevant info.
• Give a formal greeting, introducing yourself with name, age, and current educational
status. A ﬁrm handshake helps as well.
• Dress like a professional. Let the interviewer see “you,” not your outﬁt.
• Stay attentive during the entire interview. Practice good posture.
• Take the time to answer all questions efﬁciently and accurately.
• Inform the interviewer of the highlights on your resume.
• Stay positive during the entire interview, even if you feel the interviewer is not impressed.
• Always ask at least three questions during the close of your interview. This shows your
prospective boss that you will be an intelligent, inquisitive employee.
• Inform the interviewer that you will be waiting for a call or email.
Ofﬁce of the City Treasurer, City of Chicago
Stephanie D. Neely, Treasurer
• Remember to be polite and repeat these words: “Thank you and have a great day.
I hope to be in contact with you soon.”
MAKE A COMMITMENT TO
SAVE THIS SUMMER!
Be part of the $ave, Chicago! Challenge.
Pay yourself ﬁrst! Set goals for your savings
– school, emergency, or holiday spending. Get
to know your money, and get in control.
Chicago Money Smart Kids 2004 & 2008
– Myles and Mario Gage at the Chicago
Youth Saves Conference
“I NOW REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCES AND UNDERSTAND THAT THE
FINANCIAL CHOICES I MAKE TODAY WILL DETERMINE MY FINANCIAL TOMORROW.”
n February 26th, America Saves, the City Treasurer of Chicago, the Economic Awareness
Council, On the Money Magazine, and TrueStar Magazine teamed up to host the Chicago Youth Saves
conference at Fosco Park for over 75 young people in the city in Chicago. This event provided valuable
lessons regarding budgeting money and making preparations for affording college.
As a high school student, I sometimes want things that I know are not important. However, this
workshop taught young people like me the importance of budgeting as a way to get the things you
want while preparing for your future. The America Saves-Youth Saves program told students how
millionaires save their money and how they spend. The event was sponsored by Harris Bank, member
FDIC, and HSBC-North America.
On the Money and TrueStar Magazine
would like to thank HSBC – North
America for their sponsorship of this
issue as well as the Ofﬁce of the City
Treasurer of Chicago Stephanie D.
Neely, the Economic Awareness
Council and TrueStar Foundation
for their partnership.
32 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
Stephanie D. Neely, Treasurer of the City of Chicago, really captured the attention of the students. Her
words, “cash is good and credit cards are bad” taught me that credit cards are not a good use of
money because they often add charges that you wouldn’t have if you bought that item with cash. Since
most youngsters are looking forward to being ﬁnancially stable, the words and activities gave me a
head start on what to do and what not to do. Exercises offered by ﬁnancial experts and professionals
showed students the importance of having good credit, and alerted us to the reality that people are
actually putting themselves in debt from credit cards.
This entire event was an eye opener for all of the young people who attended. It personally
bettered my life, and I will be sure to take these important facts with me later on. I now realize the
importance of ﬁnances and understand that the ﬁnancial choices I make today will determine my
Outside the Comfort Zone
BY NICOLAS GUZMAN, SENIOR, BROTHER RICE
ometimes, people must open their eyes in order to see the possibilities that
can change their lives and, truly, deﬁne who they are.
Many people have gone through life afraid to leave their home and explore.
I, too, was afraid to branch out, until one summer came along that I will never
forget. I had the opportunity to spend the summer of 2008 in Dubai, a city
located in the Middle East next to the Persian Gulf, for an internship at one of
the largest banks in the world.
On top of the intellectual experience of working in a real business setting, I had
the privilege to encounter new cultural experiences. I began taking advantage
of the city’s venues—sky diving, indoor skiing, camel riding, and shopping. I
met amazing people who welcomed me warmly, and tasted great food. In just
one summer, I learned more than I had in the ﬁrst 16 years of my life.
“IN JUST ONE SUMMER, I LEARNED MORE THAN I HAD IN THE
FIRST 16 YEARS OF MY LIFE.”
Three very important lessons can be learned from my experience. The ﬁrst
is that the world is too great to conﬁne yourself to home. Second—there are
experiences everywhere; you just have to open your eyes to ﬁnd them. The
ﬁnal lesson is that when you are openhearted and open minded you can learn
more than you ever thought possible.
Anybody aged 14 to 24 can ﬁnd a great opportunity on youthreadychicago.
org, where summer jobs and internships are offered along with resume tips
and extra job resources. There are many sites to ﬁnd jobs, such as studentjobs.
gov, aplus-summerjobs.com, and getthatgig.com, while internships can be
found on college-based sites such as fastweb.net.
Let’s take ﬁnding a job or internship. A big problem for teenagers is that they
do not know where to look. However, the right websites and newspapers can
guide teens to great opportunities.
A teenager can even reach out to friends and family for employment help.
There are too many opportunities available to sit back and watch others
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 33
Teens Battling the Tough
BY MONIQUE ARCHER, SOPHOMORE
SIMEON CAREER ACADEMY
BILL GATES QUIZ
BY TASHAWN TYUS
FRESHMAN, CHICAGO MILITARY ACADEMY AT BRONZEVILLE
IF YOU OWN A CANDY SALE BUSINESS THAT MAKES A PROFIT OF $30 A
DAY WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Spend it on something you want
Spend it on supplies to increase proﬁts
Save it for a new PS3 or outﬁt.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU WHEN
YOU OWN A BUSINESS?
asmine” wakes up every morning worried about what she is going to eat
that day and how she is going to get by. Her mother lost her job; as a result,
they lost their house. The 16-year-old Southsider has now gotten a job to help
her mother, while her family has moved in with relatives until they can get back
on their feet. “It’s very hard to work and do school,” she said. “But you have to
do what you have to do.”
Newspaper headlines remind us daily that we are in a recession. According
to Wikipedia, a ﬁnancial recession is “a signiﬁcant decline in the economic
activity across the country that lasts more than a few months. It is normally
seen by a decline in personal income, employment, industrial production,
and wholesale-retail sales.” To understand more about how our recession is
affecting young American teens, I spoke with a young man whose life changed
because of the recession.
“Marques” doesn’t understand how his life can be so horrible. Sometimes he
doesn’t think he is going to make it to the next day. His family doesn’t have
enough food to eat most nights and they can’t afford clothes to put on their
backs. His father got laid off and now they are on welfare. “Sometimes I just
cry because I’m so hungry,” Marques said. “I even think about killing myself.”
He has a job right now, making things better, but he feels he cannot take care
of the household himself.
Trying to ﬁnd a job in these hard times isn’t easy. According to Andrew Sum,
director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University,
“retailers and restaurants aren’t hiring as much, and a rising unemployment
rate means stiff competition from laid-off workers with more experience.” In
Colorado there was a teen job fair that was crashed by adults desperate for
work. Teens also face competition from illegal immigrants and young college
graduates who are unable to ﬁnd jobs, and according to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, 2008 saw 32.6% of teens aged 16 to 19 employed, a drop of nearly
13% since 2000.
Hopefully the work that President Barack Obama is putting in will help us out of
this horrible recession. For now though, we have to wait it out.
“Though many U.S. adults consider today’s teens to be selﬁsh
and lazy, nearly seven out of ten parents say the current
economic situation has made their teens more aware of the
needs of other people.” (New World Vision study)
34 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
BY MYLES GAGE
FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LABORATORY HIGH SCHOOL
t is important that teens become ﬁnancially ﬁt in order to live a long, healthy
and wealthy life. Being ﬁnancially ﬁt is just as important as being physically
ﬁt. If you are ﬁnancially ﬁt, you will be able to eventually own your own piece
of Corporate America. This opens doors to other opportunities such as owning
your own home and business, meaning you will be in good shape to live a
DO YOU EVER WONDER HOW YOU CAN FIX A PROBLEM OR SOLVE A
DEMAND NEEDED IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? (EX. A PAPER BOY OR A
BOY FRIDAY (HANDYMAN).)
Investing money is fun and easy to do. Since it is not a topic discussed in a
lot of homes, most of us don’t know where to begin. I’m going to help you get
in ﬁnancial shape! Just like with exercising, you must stick to a routine to see
results. Here are two good routines to start immediately (no matter how old
WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL?
Work at McDonalds
Go to College
Probably Go to College
IF YOU OWN A CANDY BUSINESS SELLING SNICKERS, SKITTLES AND M&MS
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST PRICE TO SELL ONE PACKAGE OF CANDY?
Buy for 50 cents Sell for 50 cents
I would look to maximize the amount of money I make
by balancing the trade off between my proﬁt per bar
and the impact of cost on the volume of my sales.
Buy for 50 cents Sell for 1.50
If you mainly picked A, then you are the next employee of McDonalds. You
spend every cent you have, and you don’t look for great opportunities around
you. If you apply yourself, you might still be able to be the next assistant
manager of McDonalds or any food chain. Thinking more about your ﬁnancial
future and career path may help you reach your goals.
If you mainly picked B then you are the next potential Bill Gates. You want to
learn and are always looking for something to get into or change. You want
to go to college and loves reading the Wall Street journal or any newsletter.
Congratulations and good luck in the future with your CEO abilities.
If you mainly picked C then
you are the next potential
owner of a McDonalds or
other food chain. You have
the smarts and great ideas,
but you just have to carry
out those ideas to become
a CEO. You would beneﬁt
from more commitment to
your goals and looking for
big opportunities around
you. Most likely you will
become Assistant to the
Interested in Investing?
Terms to Know
Stock: a tool that represents
an ownership position (called
equity) in a company; buying
stock in a company means that
you own a small part of it
Growth Rate: change in
value of your investment from
year to year (shown as a
• Don’t buy things you don’t need!
Do you really need another pair of gym shoes?
Savings Account: an
account where you can deposit
your money at a bank. Often
• Start investing in yourself regularly! Decide on a dollar
amount that you are going to save/invest monthly. It can be
as little as $5.00 a month or more depending upon age.
Interest: extra money banks
pay customers to keep their
money in an account there
“If I can do it anyone can. No money is too little.
You can start with $10 a month. Everybody can
scrape up $10 a month.”--Damon Williams, Ujamaa Junior
Investment Club Member, High School Student, Money Smart Kid 2006
Certiﬁcate of Deposit (CD):
FDIC insured investments that
pay a set rate of interest for a
speciﬁed time period
Once you have saved enough, you can begin purchasing stocks in companies
that have good growth rates. To start trading stocks, you’ll have to go through
a brokerage service like “sharebuilder.com.” To set up an account, you’ll need
a parent or guardian with a credit card.
Sector: a subgroup of a
market, business or economy
It is good to put money in a savings account or Certiﬁcate of Deposit (CD),
but when investing for the long-term you should also consider investing your
money in the stock market because stocks have the potential for higher growth
rates. This means stocks can POTENTIALLY make you more money. Say,
for instance, that you put $100.00 into a savings account with the average
Once you start purchasing stocks, remember to diversify: don’t put all your
eggs in one sector. Invest in companies that you’ve actually heard of and are
interest rate of 2.4% a year. According to bankrate.com, it will take about 37
years to double your money. If you invested in a stock with an average growth
rate of 10% a year, doubling will take 7 years. BUT, stocks can go up and
knowledgeable about. Investing can be fun if you ﬁnd interesting companies to
research. Remember: it is good to save but sometimes it is better to invest for
the long-term because your money might grow more with investments.
down in value and you can even LOSE money.
Let’s take a look. If a senior in high school needs money for college tuition
the following year, the smartest choice he can make is to play it safe with a
savings account or a CD. (This is because you do NOT know if the market
will go up or down in value in one year.) However, if you know you will not
need your money for a long time (i.e. you anticipate your parents will pay for
college or you will get a scholarship), this may be the perfect time to invest in
the stock market.
a mutual fund or an index fund.
Mutual funds allow you to buy a little bit of
stock in a lot of different companies. Index
funds buy a set amount of a large number of
companies and generally have reduced costs.
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 35
What’s Wrong with
why are you in a relationship?
BY XAVIER O’NEAL
JUNIOR, KENWOOD ACADEMY
PHOTO: JULIAN PHOTO TEAM
Many teens today are busy with relationships without fully understand why
BY BENITA BROWN
or for what reasons they may want to be in one. Many relationships are based
off of social status: sex, money, cars, and clothes. In some instances a girl
may not even be attracted to a guy but peer pressure from her friends may
inﬂuence her to date him anyway.
JUNIOR, LINDBLOM MATH
& SCIENCE ACADEMY
PHOTO: DOMINIQUE DAILY - JULIAN HS
In a school, there is always a cool guy who nearly all the girls ﬁnd attractive.
Some girls feel that they don’t want to come into high school feeling like a
lame, so they try to ﬁnd a way to get a bold reputation. They date the popular
guys or people in the in-crowd who they feel will boost their popularity
amongst their friends. Many girls aren’t used to being treated with respect, so
when a guy approaches them in a respectful manner, the girl is less likely to
show interest than if the guy calls to them by saying “Ay Shawty” or “Check it
out.” Girls may think it is cute and give the boy attention.
Although being able to provide for the other is an important factor, the key to
a relationship is friendship. When trying to build a relationship it is important
to build a strong friendship with the person so that things such as sex won’t be
rushed into and nothing will be regretted.
How to Let Someone Down Easily:
Sensitive, but Assertive.
BY ELICIA BIBBS, SENIOR, DE LA SALLE INSTITUTE
PHOTO: CARLTON RICE - JULIAN HS
You are strolling through the mall, trying to see if anything
cute catches your eye when you hear that all-too-familiar catcall from behind:
“Could it be our society portrays single people as lonely or
miserable…like nothing is worst than being caught by yourself?”
ike the weather, people’s feelings for their signiﬁcant others change every
day. These changes often end relationships, and even though this is a common
occurrence, girls are usually so emotionally torn down by breakups that it
affects both their personal and school life. Funny thing is they don’t realize
all the possible beneﬁts of being single, how being exclusive can take a lot
of time and effort that could be used on focusing on more important things,
When coming out of a serious relationship, you may feel hurt or confused.
Some people feel so attached to the person they were with that they don’t see
themselves with anyone else. But why do they feel so compelled to be in these
relationships? Could it be that our society portrays single people as lonely or
miserable, constantly putting down the “third wheel” like nothing is worst than
being caught by yourself?
Eckhart Tolle, a woman recognized by Oprah for her tips on self-happiness, advised to “accept the present moment and ﬁnd the perfection that is
untouched by time.” She explained that people are so dependant on their
36 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
happiness, not even realizing that it is the least stable thing in the universe.
Instead of focusing on the past, move on and consider that there will be better
people to spend your time with. The past is so difﬁcult for humans to detach
themselves from, is it not?
Of course, being single doesn’t mean being alone. Why is it that we, as a
society, feel that having someone “always there for you” somehow completes
you? You may ﬁnd that being single gives you more time to be with your
friends and meet people that you wouldn’t have gotten a chance to while
going out with your girlfriend or boyfriend. As teenagers, we should be experiencing all types of people. We are young! This time is when we should be
having fun, not worrying about how you can’t do certain things because “such
and such” might ﬁnd out. That just adds unneeded stress.
Single people rise up! Don’t be ashamed to say it. Focus on what is important
and forget the drama of the past, because the simple fact is that everyone is
going to be single at some point in life. So celebrate your status, because like
the weather, it will also change in due time.
“Hey girl,” he shouts, shamelessly. “What’s your name, Sexy?”
Now, before snapping out or simply ignoring the situation, take a moment to
consider all the possible consequences:
If you choose to be impulsive and curse him out, chances are he might
retaliate and curse you out in return, as childish guys have been known to do
when dealing with rejection. And who wants that, right?
But if you choose to let him down sensitively, then you may give him the
impression that you are playing hard-to-get instead, meaning that he will
surely persist and perhaps even follow you throughout the whole mall.
So how can a girl rid herself of unwanted attention without being rude or
appearing indecisive? Well, the answer is simple. Pulling it off is a bit more
complicated, but in no way is it impossible.
The trick to painlessly ridding yourself of unwanted attention is to be both
sensitive and assertive, simultaneously. In other words, you don’t want to be
mean, but at the very same time, you do mean business when you say “I am
not interested.” Most of what is communicated when balancing the two is done
through body language, so make sure your body is saying the same thing as
your mouth. This combination should, if he’s not a total ignorant brute, soften
the blow of rejection.
ON THE COURT
THE H O O P S H I G H HYPE
BY ERIN EWING
SOPHOMORE, MANLEY CAREER ACADEMY
behind the scenes
In the HoopsHIGH Family
BY MICHELLE A. BRADLEY
SOPHOMORE, COLLINS ACADEMY HS
scout me...if you can...
high and lows
for the phoenix
BY CHRIS FRILLS
SENIOR, NORTH LAWNDALE COLLEGE PREP
PHOTO: BO HILL
orking for HoopsHIGH is a blast! In HoopsHIGH, we students
announce, direct, and operate cameras to make our own sports show. We
also develop skills to help us in the future.
The students in our crew come from all over the city, from many different
schools, with many different attitudes and personalities. But when the crew
comes together we see ourselves as one, with one top goal—producing a
great show for our audience.
HoopsHIGH is a “missions” program. When you are sent on a mission you
think is impossible, there is always someone there to guide you. We have
supportive adults who help us take our production skills to a high level. They
want us to have great futures. Sometimes we do have bad attitudes, but they
can handle us, calm us down, and even make us smile.
The missions are cool, too. I have interviewed Derrick Rose, Scottie Pippen,
and Michael Phelps, and covered some big time games.
Well there you have it. Now you know a little bit about what goes on inside
our HoopsHIGH family. The rest is on television—the greatest sports show
ever—HoopsHIGH. I hope you will be watching.
HoopsHIGH airs every Saturday at 8 p.m., on CAN TV, Channel 19.
HoopsHIGH is a program of Free Spirit Media, run in partnership with
After School Matters, the Chicago Public Schools, and Chicago Access
38 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
e’re Rockin’ Phoenix … Phoenix,” the North Lawndale Varsity
Boys Basketball Team chanted arm-in-arm before tip-off at every game. This
chant represented the pride and unity that the team constructed in its fast rise
to elite status, the ﬁrst charter school to win state and city Championships.
This pride took a strange hit this spring. The NLCP Phoenix had been on a
memorable journey since winning IHSA’s 2A Championship in 2008. From
the bullet wound in junior forward Jermaine Windﬁeld’s thigh to the unique
lawsuit by team leader Jonathan Mills, this season had been dramatic and
unusual. Off-court events seemed to be overwhelming those on the court.
Looking strong, the Phoenix had a highlight game in the defeating rival
Whitney Young (and eventual 4A Champ) in the City Semi-Finals, and
followed that with a clutch comeback win against Hyde Park to take city. The
Phoenix were showing their true talent and heart. They avenged a loss to St.
Joe’s and headed downstate for a fourth consecutive year.
Then in Peoria, another bizarre twist: the IHSA penalized them for a uniform
violation before their semi-ﬁnal game. The team tried to brush off the
distraction, but the one point that Champaign’s Centennial HS earned on
the pre-game technical became a huge issue when the Phoenix, who had
led almost the whole game, suddenly found themselves down one with two
seconds to play. There was no miracle this time. Centennial won the game and
the 3A Title.
“Fair is fair
he NBA and NFL will be scouting draft prospects for many years to come.
The question is, how can a high school athlete get drafted if scouts don’t
scout them? I have noticed that scouts tend to only scout schools with either
strong athletic reputations or schools in higher income areas. This is not fair to
students who are interested in professional sports but also attend high school
in a low income, high crime neighborhood. All young athletes deserve the
In most cases, it is not a teenage student’s choice what high school they
attend. A lot of times, youngsters are obligated to attend a particular high
school due to their family’s socioeconomic class or situation. For example, in
Chicago’s Austin community, high schools including Simeon, Marshall, Austin
and Crane have exceptional players on their teams. However, when asking
the young athletes how many times they’ve been scouted for draft picks, the
answers are disheartening.
A different situation occurs on the opposite side of town in the western suburb
of Hillside. According to 17-year-old Devin Thompson, a senior at Proviso
West High School, college scouts are often at his basketball games looking to
recruit the newest talent for their colleges.
“Even though scouts from colleges make me nervous to play, I am thankful to
know that I have a chance to make it to the pros,” says Thompson.
Truth is, in most cases if a high school has a bad reputation, scouts refuse to
seek talent at that particular school. However, fair is fair and talent is talent.
No teenager should be deprived of a chance to excel...even if their neighborhood does reﬂect high crime and low income.
“I’ve never had a scout come out and watch me play,” says 17-year-old senior
Lance Freeman of Marshall High School’s basketball team.
When Freeman realized he was not getting the proper attention that a young
athlete of his standing should be receiving, he complained to his coach and
looked for other ways to get noticed by college scouts.
Freeman is in his senior year at Marshall with hopes of becoming a team
player for the NBA. However, his dreams are deferred when he looks up at
the bleachers at his games and sees not one scout.
“I want to make it to a good college team and eventually the pros just like
the next kid,” says Freeman. “Where I’m from should not determine where
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 39
What’s In a Name?
Wins the Basketball State Championship
BY MAYA POWE
SENIOR, WHITNEY YOUNG HS
PHOTO: RAY WHITEHOUSE
BY STEVEN HALL
SENIOR, KING COLLEGE PREP
Bowen Environmental Studies Team (BEST)
2710 East 89th Street Chicago, IL 60617
James Harvey Bowen (1822-1881) was an entrepreneur in the dry goods
industry. Bowen’s interest was centered in the southeast side’s development
in industrial industry, and due to his contributions the school’s name was
changed from South Chicago H.S. to Bowen H.S.
William J. Bogan Computer Technical
3939 West 79th Street Chicago, IL 60652
William J. Bogan (1870-1936) was involved in Chicago Public Schools,
leading an extensive educational career from 1893 to the early 1930’s.
Bogan prepared those who would not attend college; they were considered
the “forgotten 90%.”
Gwendolyn Brooks College
250 East 111th Street Chicago, IL 60628
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) was one of
America’s most proliﬁc writers. She grew up
in Chicago, and had seventy-ﬁve published
works in the Chicago Defender by her
twenties. In 1950, Brooks won a Pulitzer
Prize for her poetry, one of America’s most
prestigious awards for writers.
edication, teamwork, and determination may seem like the cliché
ingredients for success, but for the Whitney Young Dolphins, they are
commonplace. Winning 69-66 against Waukegan in the Boys 4A State
Championship, the Dolphin seniors attribute their success to the team’s hard
work and their drive to accomplish the impossible.
There is no debate that hard work plays a large part in being successful. But
for these young men, hard work is an understatement. Between practice and
weekly games, the team worked close to seven days a week, with little room
for down time. Their hectic schedules also required the team as a whole to
make sacriﬁces. “There are many things we had to give up in order for us to
win,” said guard Chris Colvin. “It was good for the team.”
Center Stanford Brown added, “We won. That’s what we wanted all year.
We had doubts but we overcame and won state.”
Colvin also attributes the team’s success to their close relationship.
“I’ve been with some for two years and some for all four years. We’ve
built a family amongst each other, we trust each other, and we all became
For many of the players on the team, winning the championship means
more than the title itself. “Winning state was the end to a great senior
year,” said forward Franklin Grifﬁn. “As seniors we wanted to leave
this school better than it was when we got here. We were ﬁnally able to
George Washington Carver Military Academy
13100 South Doty Avenue Chicago, IL 60827
THIS WAS WRITTEN TO GIVE SOME INSIGHT ON
THE NAMES OF THE PEOPLE WE AS STUDENTS
REPRESENT THROUGH PRINTED SHIRTS,
GENERATED ID, OR BY WORD OF MOUTH. LET THE
NAME OF OUR SCHOOLS ENCOURAGE US TO
ACHIEVE OR ACCOMPLISH MORE THAN THEY DID.
WHAT ARE THE STORIES BEHIND THE NAMES?
Christian Fenger Academy
11220 South Wallace Street Chicago, IL 60628
Dr. Christian Fenger (1840-1902) was a Denmark native who immigrated to
the U.S. in 1877. Fenger was a surgeon and pathologist; he served for 25
years as a professor of surgery throughout the Chicago region.
John Marshall Harlan Community Academy
9652 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60628
It is said that John Marshall Harlan (1877-1911), this former colonel of the
U.S. Army Air Force, was revered as the “judge’s judge.” He was appointed
to the United States Supreme Court in 1877 where he fought for the rights of
the individual. In 1896, Harlan was the lone dissenter in the infamous Plessy
v. Ferguson decision, the case that re-enforced segregation in public schools
through its “separate but equal” doctrine.
Emil G. Hirsch Metropolitan School of Communications
7740 South Ingleside Avenue Chicago, IL 60619
Emil G. Hirsh (1852-1923) was entrenched in the Chicago educational
system, including teaching at University of Chicago and being on the Chicago
Public Library Board. He fought for black students’ rights to equal opportunity
George Washington Carver (1864-1943)
could be considered America’s greatest
inventor. He found over three hundred uses
for peanuts, and created dyes and methods
for rotating crops, methods that saved the
South from their soil depletion (from cotton
and tobacco crops/slavery). Though Carver
invented many things still relevant today, he
didn’t to proﬁt, instead offering his ﬁnding
for the advancement of mankind, saying:
“Take your share of the world and let others
Percy L. Julian
(1899-1975) was an
responsible for producing
a foaming ﬁre retardant
which was used in WWII,
and steroids that treated
Percy L. Julian High School
10330 South Elizabeth Street Chicago, IL 60643
Guard Marcus Jordan was among those making sacriﬁces. “My time here at
Whitney Young has been great. Many people wondered why I transferred
but now they can look at my ring! My teammates have been really great at
making me feel welcome.”
“Our class will always be remembered for leaving Whitney Young with a
state championship,” said guard Ricardo Munoz. “Our names will always
be on the wall.”
George H. Corliss
821 East 103rd Street Chicago, IL 60628
Neal F. Simeon Career Academy
8147 South Vincennes Avenue Chicago, IL 60620
The Dolphins have many strengths but it’s their ability to channel criticism
that drives them. “When the season started, we were playing exactly how
everybody said we would,” said forward Antonio Johnson. “We played
like a BUNCH of talented INDIVIDUALS, instead of ONE talented TEAM.”
With a state championship under their belt, the Dolphins sit on top of the
world. Nonetheless, they never forget that they are a part of something
bigger. As Munoz said, “We represent more than the school. We represent
the city of Chicago.”
George H. Corliss (1817-1888) was an inventor and engineer. Born in
New York, where transportation trafﬁcked the water area, Corliss created
improvements to the steam engine, thus making travel less expensive. In
1878, he received the Montyon prize, the most prestigious award for a
Neal F. Simeon (1916-1963) was a jack of all trades. An athlete throughout
high school and college, Simeon was valedictorian in high school and
graduated from ITT with a degree in bachelor science. He was one of the ﬁrst
black men to gain an aviation license, though his heart was in educating the
youth of Chicago.
40 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
TRUESTAR MAGAZINE 41
Bright Lights, Cameras,
BY MAYA POWE – SENIOR
WHITNEY YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL
ou’re a seventeen-year-old senior by day and an actor/musician by night. You hang out with your friends at the movies and
have dinner with the people who write, direct, and act in them. After coming home from movie premieres, you have chores and
homework to complete. And to think you do it all without masks and wigs. Impossible right? Not for Maestro Harrell.
Maestro began acting at a young age. He did his ﬁrst television show at 7, and from there we’ve seen him in HBO’s
The Wire, movies like Barbershop and Ali, and even musical theatre in The Lion King. Nonetheless, though
Maestro has been acting for about ﬁfteen years, he’s only now seeing acting as a career. “When I was
younger, it was just something I did. I never really realized that this could be a profession. You’re doing
it, but you don’t really realize what you’re doing. But deﬁnitely, as I’ve started getting older, I was like,
‘Yeah, I’ve been doing this for so long, and this is what I want to do.’ I don’t want to
do anything else. I don’t want to switch it up now and, like, become a dentist or
Unlike some child stars, Maestro’s success is the product of hard work, not silver
spoon syndrome. He attributes his acting world exposure to connections he’s
made over the years and inspires others to follow their dreams, regardless of
who they know. “As my career progresses, [I want to] come back to Chicago
and give other kids a shot.” He added, “All the connections I have now,
the ones I do have, I made on my own, me and my parents. There wasn’t
anybody handing it to me. Even all the jobs I got, it wasn’t like I knew
casting directors. I auditioned. So I’d like to help, to give back, to let
people see how it is.”
While Maestro has much to brag about, most important is his ability
to juggle work and school. “Most [kids] go to school because they
have to get a job pertaining to what they’re learning in school.
Whereas with me, it’s always been more—you know, I go to school,
but at the same time I’m working on my profession. So that’s always
been a juggling act. But I get good grades… Sometimes the hardest
thing is that you’re not in class learning, and you sort of have to
teach yourself… If you put the time in at school—as long as I make
up all my work, I’m alright.”
Though it may seem like Maestro spends his school days
signing autographs and answering questions about
Randy’s activities on the week’s episode of The Wire,
Maestro enjoys being a “regular” student. “That’s
what’s cool about my school, about [Morgan Park
Academy]. Everybody has their own stuff going
on. Whether they’re extremely smart and going to
be doctors, or whether they’re musicians, or whatever
it is. At that school, they think it’s cool what I do, but at
the same time I’m just one of the guys, just another friend,
and I like it that way.”
Even though Maestro’s accomplishments speak for themselves, it is his maturity
and tenacity that speak even louder. “I have a lot of years in it, because I’ve
been working pretty consistently since I was like 4 or 5. I started at 2, but like
really doing stuff since 4 or 5. But you gotta pay your dues. And it takes
time. I’m fortunate. I’m 17, and I’ve accomplished all that
42 TRUESTAR MAGAZINE
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