Category: Reflection

How Did U Celebrate Easter?!?

I know many students enjoyed this past weekend.  Many were on Spring Break and for those that were in school, many were able to enjoy a nice 3 day weekend w/ great weather.  I hope everyone managed to enjoy the Spring Chicago weather (70 degrees & up all weekend).  I know I did, managed to spend time w/ my family and friends and went to see Why Did I Get Married Too.  Awesome movie just a FYI and would recommend it to anyone 13 yrs old and up.

So how did you spend your Good Friday & Easter weekend… (leave a comment)!



I just want to take the time and say congratulations to Englewood Urban Prep Academy Class of 2010!! You all defeated tumultuous odds and through determination and hard-work you all were able to make it to the next level, college!  That’s right, everyone was accepted into a 4-year college and/or univeristy.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the entire male population from Chicago’s Englewood Urban Prep Academy is on their way to colleges which include Morehouse, Howard, Northwestern, and University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana just to name a few. 

What makes this story so remarkable is the obstacles these young men have overcome.  Peer pressure, drugs, violence, poverty, fear for safety while traveling to and from school, teen pregnancy, and motivational factors could have all taken these young men out of the classroom and into a life of crime, but that wasn’t the case.  Only 4 percent of this year’s senior class read at grade level as freshmen, said Tim King, the school’s founder and CEO.  To combat this issue, students are in school longer, need twice as many English credits to graduate, and are issued school counselors from day 1.  If you’re currently looking for a school w/ an enriched academic focus, maybe you should check out this school…

The students even received recognition from Mayor Daley who provided all the students w/ a free prom.

My hats go off to the graduating class of 2010 from Englewood Urban Prep Academy.  Way to take the lead in a society where many people choose to follow.  Please continue to set the example and standard throughout your communities.


I was reading the Chicago Sun Times a few days back and came across an unbelievable story.  A 33 yr old Joliet man was in a Harris Bank while his 36 yr old girlfriend waited in the car.  While inside, he sent her a text message saying “a man with a gun was inside the bank,” but his attempt at humor failed, and the woman called 911 to report a bank robbery.  Next thing you know, cops swarm down onto the bank, all because of a false alarm sent thru a text.

The man was questioned, arrested on a felony charge of disorderly conduct, and put in jail.  WOW, guess there is a limit of texting, even if you have an unlimited text plan.  In the end, Jeremy Donaldson & his girlfriend had nothing to LOL about.


It seems just like yesterday, Taylor Swift was accepting her award at the MTV Awards and Kanye West runs onto stage to spoil the party.  But now since thats all said and done, Taylor Swift couldn’t be more happy w/ the direction of her career.  She racked up awards at the County Music Awards and topped the American Music Awards (AMA’s) w/ 5 awards including Artist of the Year.  The next big winner was Michael Jackson as the deceased King of Pop won 4 awards last night.  Other highlights of the evening included: Janet Jackson’s show opening routine featuring her number 1 hits and tribute to her brother; a raunchy performance by Adam Lambert; an eye-popping performance by Lady Gaga; Rihanna & Shakira both w/ cyborg performances; Eminem’s performance w/ help from labelmate 50 Cent, Mary J Blige w/ her elegant performance, and a special award given to Whitney Houston.

Pics from last night

I know there were more performances and winners last night and I want you all to weigh in under the comments section w/ The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from last night…



The title, is the question many ask everyday.  So often in the media we hear about youth violence, delinquency, and crime when it comes to CPS students.  These are the things that get the majority of media attention and in many cases rightfully so.  But how often do we hear about disparity of school funding when analyzing suburban schools, programs or safeguards in place as preventative methods, or even the teacher turnover rate?  If you’re just as stumped as me, don’t feel bad.  I ran across a chicagotribune article and the message was shocking: “Schools with the highest turnover tend to be among the worst performers, creating a vicious cycle that continues to hurt the school.”  In case you’re wondering CPS high schools w/ mainly African Americans students showed the trend of the greatest teacher turnover.


The article highlights that over 100 Chicago schools lose more than a quarter of their staff every year, which does nothing but destroy the learning environment for children.  In the article, 118 high schools were reviewed and found that more than 76% of teachers leave their job within 5 years.  This means you’ll have shortages in key subjects for these students and may even struggle to keep the good teachers you do have.  Rev Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were both reactive to the death of Derrion Albert but what’s next.  After that one bus ride what’s next? Will the two fade away?  The government wrote a check for feeder schools but what’s next? Is that it?  Money can’t solve everything?  Why don’t we focus on things we can improve for students as opposed to always shedding negative light on Chicago Public Students.

Real Talk….



I read this over at GlobalGrind and thought I’d share this w/ everyone:

“As I heard the news about Derrion Albert, the 16-year-old young scholar who was murdered, my heart wept. It wept because he was murdered by a group of high schoolers-his peers, a senseless death. While countless others stood by and watched, another young life was wasted. So I have to ask myself what’s going on? What’s going on in our society? A society that has morphed into a dark world where too many young lives are ended before truly beginning. An undeserved death sentence, for a very deserving soul, a soul that was taken away before its time. When is enough, enough? Something must change!

Upon reflecting, I’m reminded of the novel, Lord of the Flies. This novel mirrors the story of our inner city and the plight of our youth. Caught in the middle of a war, a plane transporting a group of young men is shot out of the air and crashes onto a deserted island.  This island represents our inner cities- an environment where ALL struggle to survive. Even though the rest of the world knows of the struggle, very few have an understanding of how harsh life can be or how to escape it.

In the book, after the crash, the youth are left to fend for themselves and must find a way to survive. The optimism of being saved quickly fades, along with order and the common sense they once had. The environment inevitably overtakes the young men, they become transformed by the island into heartless savages and senselessly kill anyone or anything opposing them. In a fight for his life the last remaining keeper of peace is hunted down by the mob of youth, and just as he is about to be caught, he falls to the ground and upon looking up he sees a Navel officer and a ship set in the distant waters.  At this sight, the raging mob was instantly transformed back to the gentlemen they once were.

Our kids are lost, and the environment that surrounds them is a powerful force causing them to transform for the worse and not the better.  The children in the story were saved because of hope. Despite the hostile environment, just a glimpse of genuine hope can reset the direction of our communities and save our children’s lives. 

An estimated 130 people have been killed in Chicago this summer. And in the last 14 months more than 36 students have lost their lives.  Where was the hope for Derrion Albert? Where was the hope for Alex Arellano? Itzel Fernandez, where was her Hope?  Ernest Williams, Julian King, Brian Murdock, Quentin Buckner, Devour Robinson, Dushawn Johnson, Isiah Stroud, Andre Stephens, Esteban Martinez, Johnel Ford, Rachael Beauchamp, Johnny Edwards, Kendrick Pitts, Raheem Washington, and the countless others, is there Hope for our youth?

Hope is what we need, it’s ALL we need.  Not a “fly by night” type of hope… we need a Hope Ship that we can board, and that we can trust to sail us in a better direction.”

Israel “Izzy” Idonije
#71, Chicago Bears


On Sunday, Taylor Swift was accepting her first VMA Award for Best Female Video, when Kanye West showed how big his ego truly was.  He interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech to let everyone know that “Beyonce had one of the best videos of all-time” and she should have won.  My first thought was he doesn’t get it.  I’m a big time Kanye fan but he just doesn’t get it.  It’s not always about him, and this time he hurt himself and someone else’s first time to experience in winning an award.  Just because things don’t go your way, you don’t have the right to throw tantrums, interrupt shows, or be disrespectful.  Now Kanye’s reputation is once again tainted. I hope this teaches him a lesson on how to carry himself as a professional b/c after this MTV may not want him back at their award shows.  Here’s his apology from Jay Leno’s show:



According to Rolling Stone Magazine, Chris Brown was sentenced to five years probation and a 180 days of physical labor after pleading guilty to charges stemming from the February 8th incident in Los Angeles.  But get this, Chris Brown openly admitted this wasn’t the first time the two were violent w/ one another.

The first incident between Rihanna and Brown occurred in Europe, with the couple engaging in a verbal dispute. Rihanna eventually slapped Brown, who responded by allegedly shoving Rihanna against the wall. The second incident, which occurred three weeks before Brown’s pre-Grammy assault on February 8th, took place in Barbados. Driving in a leased Range Rover, Brown and Rihanna reportedly got into an argument inside the car. Brown responded by exiting the vehicle and breaking the front driver side and passenger windows.

Let this be a lesson: Guys if you have to hit a woman, you shouldn’t be with her.  Women if you have to hit a man, he is not the right one for you.  Don’t get caught up in volatile and physical relationships b/c the results could cost you your live and livelihood.

Thoughts on the sentencing…Speak Up!!!