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What Can Drive a Person to Murder?

by Tatiana Minter 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Paul Robeson High School in the Englewood neighborhood. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

Have you ever wondered what causes someone to act on violent impulses or commit a murder?

Amber Johnson, 18, a Paul Robeson student, responded, “Stress, no money, no job, childhood experiences, etc.” People are often confronted with feelings of disappointment, frustration and anger as they interact with government officials, co-workers, family and friends. Sometimes mistakes are made and the victim of a murder turns out to not be the intended target of the one who committed it. In my opinion, this urge to kill comes from built-up anger inside of that person which they have failed to release. It’s so powerful because people hold things inside of them forever and never talk about their problems. Some people are not able to control their anger by doing stuff they enjoy or talking to someone they trust to relieve stress.

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Does TV Affect Children’s Behavior?

by Khadijah H Masud 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Luke O’Toole Elementary School in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

Television does affect children’s behavior because children are influenced by what’s around them. When I turn on my television, I see violence, people doing things that they shouldn’t be doing and hear profanity.

According to the University of Maine, violence in the media, on television programming, video games and movies is a growing concern.

In the movies and videos that some kids have access to, they see a lot of bad people doing bad things and hear a lot of profanity. An example of this would be in some movies and/or videos you can see rappers with money who are treating women badly. When a child sees this, they think that type of behavior is OK. They think it’s OK to talk the way they do and act the way they do. A lot of time, they act out the things they see in school, and that affects other kids. It’s not OK to use profanity in school and try to fight other students. Children should not watch things like this. There are movies for adults and there are certain movies for children.

As for television programming, some things are age appropriate and other things aren’t. Kids still have access to these programs either way so the TV should be OK for everyone to watch. Statistics in a University of Maine report indicate that “The typical American child will be exposed to 12,000 violent acts on television a year.”

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Categories: Homepage UYIJP

CAC Releases Vision for the Future

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

September 12, 2012 -Elected leaders of Chicago’s public housing families today issued the 2012 Strategies and Recommendations Report, a comprehensive vision for the future that would see the city provide quality housing to many more low-income families who need it in these tough economic times.

Twelve years after the Plan for Transformation for the Chicago Housing Authority was launched by Mayor Richard M. Daley, much work remains to be done. All of the city’s public housing high-rises for families have been demolished and a small number of mixed-finance communities have been built, but large tracts of land across the South and West sides remain vacant, awaiting a new vision that will deal with the realities of the current housing market. CHA remains the landlord, meanwhile, for more than 130,000 people in low-rise family developments, senior citizen high-rises and private apartments rented through the Housing Choice Voucher program.

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Winners from the Resident Survey!

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

generic cialis2 pic of Ethan Myra King and winners of survery-1″ src=”http://wethepeoplemedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Marys-8-8-12-pic-of-Ethan-Myra-King-and-winners-of-survery-12-768×1024.jpg” alt=”" width=”377″ height=”502″ /> Central Advisory Council President Myra King (center) congratulates Mable L. Carter (left) and Deborah Thigpen (right), winners of the random drawing for the 2012 Resident Survey. We The People Media Executive Director Ethan Michaeli stands in the background. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

The 2012 Resident Survey of Chicago public housing tenants conducted by We The People Media received an unprecedented response – more than 500 residents provided their opinions on a range of issues. Among other findings, residents strongly oppose term limits, a policy which is being tried by a small number of public housing agencies in other part of the country. Residents also showed strong opposition to expanded drug testing but were highly enthusiastic about initiatives that offer training and employment.

The Resident Survey was conducted both on-line and in print from May 7 through June 1. The Central Advisory Council commissioned the survey from We The People Media and Local Advisory Councils in Oakwood Shores, Cabrini-Green Row Houses, Dearborn Homes, Princeton Park, Altgeld Gardens, Lathrop Homes, Trumbull Park, Lowden Homes, Wentworth Gardens, ABLA Homes, West Haven Homes, Washington Park Homes, Scattered Sites and senior buildings throughout the South, West and North sides assisted with distribution and collection of the print version.

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Exploring After-School Programs

by Bre Patterson 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with SGA Family Services and Luke O’Toole Elementary School, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood.

I’m a student at Luke O’Toole Elementary School and I participate in two after-school programs called ST Math and Achieve 3000. ST Math was developed in 1998 by the Mind Research Institute, a California-based non-profit education group, according to eschools news. ST Math is a program on the computer in which we work with a penguin character named “JiJi” who knows nothing. We can teach him everything we know. At the same time, we are playing a game and practicing our math.

The ST Math Program was started in 2009 in 14 Chicago Public Schools on the South Side. The schools where the program is active have an average of 89% African American, 11% Hispanic and 4% other students, while 98% of the students get a free or reduced lunch, according to a report written by Dr. Shawn Smith, chief area officer.

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Making a college visit count

by Tyreshia Black 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood.

The student editor of Michigan State University's State News shows off recent editions of the publication during a visit this fall to the academic institution's campus. Photo by Tyreshia Black.


Every year, high school students across Chicago start preparing to attend a college or university. The effort is a big undertaking, and it is easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many different types of higher education institutions to choose from, and a lot of students don’t know what they’re looking for.

One important way that many students figure out what they want from a college is through a campus visit. During a visit, prospective students tour the campus, talk to professors, and learn about student life.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” said Tametrius Files, a 16-year-old Simeon High School student who has visited Eastern Illinois University, DePaul University and other schools.

Experts say it is important to make the most out of college visits.

Betty Weinberger, a college consultant at a Glencoe-based company called North Shore College Counseling Services, said in an e-mail interview that students must make realistic and appropriate plans in order to ensure their campus visits are worthwhile.

“You might begin by asking yourself the following questions,” she said. “Do you like a large school or small? Do you want to be in the city in an urban environment or do you prefer a suburban or even small town environment?”

Ms. Weinberger added that students should also think about college activities while on a campus tour as well as their fields of interest.
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Corporate Partnership Builds a Public School Playground

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Howe Elementary School of Excellence students on their new playground built through Coca Cola's "Sprite Spark Park Project" on September 9, 2011. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Keisha S. Campbell, principal of the Howe School of Excellence in the West Side’s Austin neighborhood, pointed at her school’s new playground and recalled what was there before:

“When we took over Howe, there was not a green area on site. It was gravel,” Campbell said during a press conference on Friday, Sept. 9, at the school, 720 N. Lorel Ave. “In three years, due to the partnership of the Chicago Public Schools, and the alderman’s office, we now have a green area and grass for students to run and play safely.”

Actually, the new playground at Howe – a school that is run by a private non-profit organization under contract to the Chicago Public Schools – is the result of a grant from a major corporation, Coca Cola/Sprite, which donated $25,000 to build the brand new playground where none existed under their “Sprite Spark Parks Project for Schools,” a national campaign that is “focused on refurbishing active spaces for students, in order to create clean, safe and fun areas and to encourage physical fitness among students.”
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Residents’ Journal Publisher talking about an Environmental Project for Youth

by Mary C. Piemonte 


Click on the image to view the first episode of this season’s “RJ TV,” on July 11, 2011.

Watch Residents’ Journal‘s Publisher Ethan Michaeli talking to our Urban Youth International Journalism Youth Program Coordinator Quintana Woodridge about our teen reporters’ participation in the environmental project funded by the McCormick Foundation.

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RJ Reporter talking about Youth Media Project

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Click on the image to view the second episode of this season’s “RJ TV,” on July 19, 2010.

Watch Residents’ Journal Youth Project Director Quintana Woodridge report the statistics, results, and plans of recent surveys our youth reporters and others in the Chicago Youth Voices Network’s “Nuf-SAID” project done in March 2010, on Chicago low-income area youth perspectives regarding crime, violence, education, health and the environment, housing and homelessness, jobs and employment issues.

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Tenants Protest New CHA School Reporting Policy

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Resident leaders said they would fight a proposed CHA policy that would allow the agency to get reports from teachers and other school personnel on the conduct of school children whose parents are public housing tenants.

Francine Washington, Washington Park Scattered Site president, told Residents’ Journal she was upset after the CHA proposed the policy at a public hearing on March 29 at the CHA’s Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center.

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