2020 Projects

2019-2020 Team

Teens:  De’Marcus Anderson, Dionne Edwards,  Michelle Gongora, Ariauna Graham, Trinity Graves, Darita Higareda, Ronald Jackson, Nakiya’h Longstreet,  Fares Marzouk, Ariana McEntee, Angeles Munoz, Ruth Orozco,  Aaliyah Stottlemyer,

Mentors:  Jason Asenso, Andrew Cao, Daisy Conant, Sylvia Goodman, Lucas Kaplan, Michelle Kim,  Saira Singh, Thea Showalter, Aaron Wang, Cassidy Wang, Alex Wong, Stephanie Zhu

Facilitators: Michael A. Deas,  director                                                        Marjorie Geraci, pre-collegiate programs assistant

Chris Krypel, coordinator, Gary Comer Youth Center                                Hector Palacios, Medill Information Technology



Talking X&O’s of life

Award-winning sportswriters Fred Mitchell and Missy Isaacson share their pearls of wisdom in navigating the inevitable twists and turns of life– both personally and professionally. During Q&As, the trailblazing journalists reflected on experiences and relationships with some of the greatest athletes ranging from Michael Jordan to Muhammad Ali. Mitchell, who spent 41 ½ years at Chicago Tribune, was the paper’s first African-American sportswriter. Isaacson, a 30-year-year veteran, was the first woman to cover the Bulls and Bears for the Tribune. 

Photo caption:   Medill Media Teens  and undergraduate journalism mentors join Mitchell and Isaacson after their respective Q&As at the Medill School of Journalism’s downtown location.  The longtime journalists fielded various questions from  job experiences to preparation for college and life in general. (Medill Media Teens photo)

Memorable moments

By Fares Marzouk, Darita Higareda

Legendary Chicago sportswriter Fred Mitchell visited the Medill Media Teens on Feb. 8 to share his experiences as an African-American journalist. He discussed his passion for writing and storytelling, and retold encounters he had with some of Chicago’s most celebrated athletes.

The teens were captivated by his relationships and stories with celebrities such as Walter Payton, a Chicago Bears running back, and Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time. Mitchell went behind the scenes with some of the most well-known athletes, generously sharing those stories with the teens. (Click below to read)

Straight Talk

By Trinity Graves

Fred Mitchell, prolific journalist and author, said he sees sports as “one of the great unifiers” of people” across age, gender and race, explaining his love and respect for the pastime.

Mitchell shared his thoughts about race in the workplace, provided insight into his work ethic, described challenges of young black males in the ’60s and talked about his desired legacy.

When asked about the challenges of being a black sportswriter, the legendary reporter responded by saying he tried not obsess race because he did not want that to affect his …  (Click below to read)


By Fares Marzouk

Missy Isaacson, longtime journalist and storyteller, described how her girls high school basketball team overcame off-the-court challenges to win a state championship several years after the passage of Title IX, a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities.

In the face of sexism, Isaacson said she and her teammates dealt with personal challenges such as alcoholism and abuse off the court—in addition to being made to feel like outcasts by high school peers for their interest in sports.

(Click below to read)



‘Womanpower’ on display

Audio-photo slideshow by Nakiya’h Longstreet and Angeles Munoz

Braving the rain, snow and 30-degree temperatures, thousands of activists and citizens on Jan. 26 converged on the streets of downtown and Grant Park in Chicago for the 2020 Women’s March to fight for and promote causes such as reproductive rights, LGBT rights, gun violence prevention, climate justice, health-care access and voting.

In solidarity, ‘standing up for our rights’

By Fares Marzouk

Despite the winter storm, thousands of protesters gathered Jan. 18 at the Women’s March at Grant Park, where they chanted messages of unity, tolerance and love while braving snow and infamous Chicago winds.

In spite of a smaller crowd of 10,000 compared with 250,000 in 2017, activists were still determined to make their voices heard on issues of climate change, gun violence, the 2020 census, health-care access and voting.

Some of the protesters told Medill Media Teens what inspired them to participate in the protest.

“It’s a beautiful celebration of feminism and standing up for our rights,” an abortion-rights activist said, criticizing the recent restrictions on abortions in states such as Alabama and Georgia. “It means the world to me, because as a woman I don’t agree with the laws trying to govern my body.”

Such sentiments were common among the protesters, reflecting the activists unity and shared goals.

“People should be able to do what they want with their own bodies, said another activist.”Nobody should have somebody else run their body, whether it’s a parent, government official, or otherwise.

“We have our own minds, and we should be able to use them.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was among the elected officials to speak at the event.

“As a mother of a daughter, I want to make sure that the world she inherits is better and stronger than what I inherited,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot, along with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx urged the participants to make their voices heard at the polls in November.



Chicago offers off-season escape for out-of-towners

Photo caption: Kylie Hues and her family were munching at Maggie Daley Park. Their snacks included chocolate granola bars and bananas. Though it was cold outside, Hues said they decided to come to the park because it was an improvement from the previous...

Comic bookstore described as anything but action-packed

Photo caption:  Zylah Andrea, a longtime employee at Graham Cracker Comics, said the Chicago bookstore attract " great people from around the city and the United States.   Below, Graham Cracker Comics at 77 E. Madison is near the Cloud Gate and the Art Institute....

‘Nice weekend’ getaway turns into pancake experience

Photo caption: Tiffany Long and Austin Severson, a Michigan couple visiting Chicago for a “nice weekend,” said they were 34th in line, down from 180. (Media Teens photo by Darita Higareda) By Darita Higareda The sign above Wildberry Cafe reads “Pancakes...