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Fox32 News, CPS students prepare to march for peace


FOX 32 News Chicago

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Ronda Hopps, CEO of Perspectives Charter Schools, and students Razia Hutchins and Janeya Cunningham, talk about their effort to keep students safe this summer.

Deerfield Patch, Lundbeck Focuses on Increasing Number of Graduates Earning STEM Degrees


June 2, 2015
By Community Contributor Kate Neer (source)
Lundbeck Focuses on Increasing Number of Graduates Earning STEM Degrees
According to the 2014 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index, student abilities and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have been relatively flat for more than a decade, even as the need for STEM expertise continues to increase. Locally, Deerfield-based Lundbeck US is working hard to address this issue. "Lundbeck is a science and research-based company, so we have an important responsibility to inspire and motivate the next generation of scientists," said Staffan Schüberg, president of Lundbeck US. "We also have a deep understanding that these young adults interested in STEM careers will be tomorrow's medical innovators, bringing new treatments to patients who need them."

Lundbeck is a long-time partner of the Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy, an open enrollment public school focused on scientific inquiry and problem solving in math, science and all subjects. In 2011, Lundbeck sponsored the refurbishment of the school's chemistry lab, and each year offers two internship positions for students to gain hands-on experience in STEM careers. Last year, for the first time, Lundbeck took its commitment to STEM education a step further by offering two college scholarships to Perspectives seniors demonstrating academic excellence and a passion for STEM. "Lundbeck is a longstanding and deeply engaged supporter of our school," said Julie Puzon, principal of Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy. "Through their hands-on involvement with our students, they have truly brought to life the exciting possibilities a STEM career can offer."

Lundbeck again offered two STEM college scholarships to the class of 2015. Zhanelle Mitchell and Akporesiri Omene were selected as this year's recipients and will enroll in STEM majors when they begin college in the fall. Mitchell will attend the University of Illinois and is driven to study biology. She plans to use that degree to attend medical school and become a physician. She hopes to center her career on improving infant and childhood mortality rates around the world. After earning a degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Omene aims to become a civil engineer and create needed infrastructure in developing nations. "We are very proud to support Zhanelle and Akporesiri," said Schüberg. "They not only represent the solution to the ongoing struggle this country faces with producing STEM graduates, but both plan to use their degrees to tackle some of the most difficult issues facing the world."

Student-Led Peace March on June 5, 2015


June 2, 2015

March for Peace, Safe Summer #iamforpeace #besafeJoin the student-led Peace Movement. The march begins at 9:30am on...

Posted by Perspectives Charter Schools on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Perspectives Athletics V5I3, Look Ahead to 2015-2016


By Barry Temkin

Perspectives Charter Schools student-athletes, coaches and fans will have some exciting events to look forward to next fall and winter.

The Perspectives football team will open its 2016 season at 7:15 p.m. Aug. 28 against Hansberry College Prep. The contest will be notable for two reasons: It will take place at the University of Chicago’s Stagg Field, and it will be a “blackout” game, with spectators being encouraged to wear black attire.

“It’s a nice way to start the season,” Perspectives Director of Athletics & Programs Vinay Mullick said.

On Oct. 3, PCS will play host to the second annual Warrior Invitational volleyball tournament at the Auburn Gresham campus. The field will be eight Chicago charter schools, including Perspectives’ three varsity programs—PLA/Tech, MSA and Joslin.

Perspectives’ girls basketball teams, PLA/Tech and MSA/Joslin, will compete for the second consecutive season in the Northside College Prep holiday tournament in December.

The PLA/Tech boys basketball team will make its fourth appearance in the prestigious Rich South McDipper tournament in December. The MSA/Joslin boys will play in the Hinsdale Central holiday tournament, which though in its debut season will be one of the top tournaments in the state.

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Perspectives Athletics V5I3, Middle School Spring Roundup


By Barry Temkin

The Perspectives Middle Academy coed softball team got hot when it counted to finish its season with a 3-3 record and the championship of the Perspectives network league.

“The highlight was our players coming together and supporting each other to ultimately win the league championship,” head coach Ron McBride said. “We started the season off a bit rocky but came on strong the second half.

“They played hard and never gave up. “

PMA’s top performers included 7th-grader Laterreon, Miles, 8th-grader Marion Finches and 6th-grader Aaron Pierce.

Perspectives MSA made PMA earn its network title, losing by just one run in the championship game after loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the final inning.

“The players worked hard, took the game seriously and were committed to winning,” head coach Michael Reid said about his 2-2 team.

Top contributors included 8th-graders Xavier Riley, Yakeme Sheppard and Marcus Fobbs.

The highlight of Perspectives Joslin’s season was same-day victories against PMA and MSA, which head coach Emmanuel Tillman said gave his players “momentum and confidence going into the playoffs.”

Marlon Young, an 8th-grader, and 7th-grader Raniyah Roberts helped lead the way for Joslin, which finished with a 2-3 record.

Success bred success for the Perspectives Middle Academy boys and girls track teams this season. The result was a strong performance in the city championships, with several athletes reaching the finals.

Leading the way were 6th-grader Rakiya Lawrence, who won the 100-meter dash, and 8th-grader Sherman Williams, who placed second in the boys 100.

“The season highlight was watching our team compete at a high level for the entire season,” said head coach Chasity Wilson, whose other top runners were 8th-graders Raheem Byfield, Aaron Philips and Kareem Pollard and 7th-grader Kayla Mayden. “Once they experienced some successes on the field, that drove them to work that much harder in practice.

“I had a group of hard-working, competitive athletes, and I’m very proud of them.”

Antonio Spearman, an 8th-grader, and 6th-graders Ashli Childs and Shakirah Muhammad helped lead the way for head coach Heather Ksiazek’s Perspectives MSA middle school boys and girls track teams.

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Perspectives Athletics V5I3, Joslin Girls Soccer


By Barry Temkin

The Perspectives Joslin girls soccer team was 0-4 this spring but had a successful season nonetheless.

“We enjoyed building a team together,” said head coach Maria Kossick, whose captains were juniors Alexandra Rendon and Stephanie Maltos. “We scored several goals this year and had fun.”

The coach plans to continue the team-building process next season.

“Our goal is player retention, player development and ensuring our girls are learning the fundamentals of the game,” she said.

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Perspectives Athletics V5I3, Varsity Track


By Barry Temkin

It’s difficult to be a good athlete. It’s even harder to be good consistently, but juniors Carah Cole and Alaysia Hardy have done exactly that.
For the second consecutive year, the two Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy/Joslin standouts participated in the Class 2A girls state track meet at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

Cole qualified by winning the shot put and discus in the North Lawndale sectional meet; Hardy did it by placing second in the shot put. They had reached state in the same events a year earlier.

At the state meet this season, Cole recorded a strong 38-foot-3-inch throw in the shot put preliminaries to miss a spot in the 12-person finals by just three-quarters of an inch. Cole and Hardy also competed in the discus preliminaries.

The Perspectives MSA/Joslin girls team placed sixth in the sectional meet with 34 points. The boys team placed 13th in the Robeson sectional.

Besides Cole and Alaysia, head coach Jesse Hardy’s top contributors included seniors Brayce Hardy and Nehemiah Israel and freshman Kolby Pruitt of the boys team and junior Dai Milan Coleman of the girls team.

“As a team we constantly got better,” Hardy said. “Track and field athletes deserve to be recognized for the dedication and effort they put in to succeed.

The Perspectives Leadership Academy/High School of Technology boys track team produced an excellent third-place finish in the Chicago Public Schools Orange Division meet.

Top performers for head coach Terry Jones included senior Lee Langham, who finished second in the city championship in the shot put and discus, and classmates Ronnie Davis and Aaron Wiley.

“I’m very proud of our seniors’ efforts, with many achieving personal records in their events,” Jones said.

Season highlights for the PLA/Tech girls team came from senior Déjà Washington, who set a personal record of one minute in the 400-meter dash while placing in the CPS finals, and freshman Tabatha Daniels, who placed sixth in the high jump in the CPS finals with a personal best of four feet six inches. Washington also placed in the 200 dash.

Head coach Savannah Wright’s other top performers included seniors Rokyah Robinson and Niara Powell, sophomore Dejah Walton and freshman Mercee Branch.

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Perspectives Athletics V5I3, Varsity Softball


By Barry Temkin

The Perspectives Leadership Academy/High School of Technology softball team achieved perfection, finishing its season with a 13-0 overall record and the CPS Yellow Conference title.

Freshman pitcher Yetunde Arogundade had an outstanding debut season, and seniors Danyia Bell, Alyssa Sanders, Shekinah Richmond, Jocelyn Williams, and Jasmine Pearson “played with exceptional commitment,” according to head coach Susie Mazur.

Senior Jana Harris, junior Taniya Ceaser and freshman Essence Ramsey were also top contributors.

The Perspectives MSA/Joslin softball team finished with a 5-5 record overall and in the Yellow Conference.

Head Coach William Yadron’s top performers included seniors Victoria Williams, Gloria Scott and Dawn Rayford and sophomore Destiny Garner. Garner had five home runs to help lead a potent offense.

“We rallied hard in many of our games,” Yadron said. “We never fell out of a game because we had such strong bats throughout our lineup that could allow us to have big innings to keep us in the game.

“We had a great season, and I am very proud of our athletes.”
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Perspectives Athletics V5I3, Varsity Baseball


By Barry Temkin

The Perspectives Leadership Academy/High School of Technology baseball team played smart on and off the field.

Five Warriors were Chicago Public League Ernie Banks Conference all-league performers and six received all-academic honors, so it’s no surprise their team finished an impressive 15-11 overall and 8-6 in conference games.

PLA/Tech also reached the state tournament regional championship game against Morgan Park.

Head coach Lacey Rogers’ top contributors included junior all-conference performers JuJuan Patrick, Hakeem Adebimpe, James Patterson, and Deaireon Davis. With seven starters back next season, Rogers hopes to win conference and regional titles.

The Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy/Joslin baseball team finished 8-11, including 6-7 in the Sammy Sosa Conference.

Top performers included seniors Jack Pratt and Jamichael Nevers and juniors Glenn Wagner, Cortlen Murphy and Queshawn Burnett.

“We’re rebuilding with a fairly young team,” head coach Cletus Nichols said about next season. “Our goals are to win the conference and go deep in the state playoffs next year.”

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Media Advisory, Chicago Public Schools Students March for Peace, a Safe Summer


June 5, 2015
Attn: Assignment editors; crime, urban affairs and education reporters; and sports desks.

Chicago Public Schools Students March for Peace, a Safe Summer
#iamforpeace #besafe
More than 2,000 expected to participate in peaceful protest against escalating violence endangering the lives of schoolchildren

WHAT: Before summer break starts, students at Perspectives Charter Schools will lead a peace march culminating in a peace rally and jam with music, performances and words of encouragement to students from their peers and other supporters imploring them to be safe this summer.

Students and corporate and community leaders will march together to disrupt the violence endangering the lives of schoolchildren. Perspectives students will also be joined by students from Evanston, IL; Brentwood and Murfreesboro, TN; and Suwanee, GA. Violence against youth is a global phenomenon and peace marches inspired by Perspectives’ peace movement are scheduled to take place in Haiti, South Africa and Belgium, as well as in four additional U.S. cities, including Ferguson, MO; Madison, WI; Minneapolis, MN; and Miami, FL.

Students from Perspectives Charter Schools will lead the Chicago march. At Perspectives, students learn to be socially aware and academically prepared through the A Disciplined Life social emotional learning education model, which uses 26 principles to help students develop positive self-perception, healthy relationships, and tools for productivity.

Visual: Students will wear matching T-shirts, lead call and response chants using bull horns, carry banners and other signs with messages of hope, peace and non-violence.

WHO: More than 2,000 marchers, including middle- and high-school students, teachers, staff and administrators from Perspectives Charter Schools’ five schools; local corporate executives and elected officials; and community leaders.
Special guests and grand marshals include:
  • David P. Storch, Chairman and CEO of AAR CORP. The T-shirts the students and about 30 AAR employees will be wearing are donated by AAR and made by Rags of Honor, an apparel company that expressly hires military veterans.
  • Tom Wilson, CEO, Allstate, who recently awarded two leaders of Perspectives’ peace movement with $10,000 scholarships each
  • Mark Aguirre, DePaul University grad formerly with the NBA champion Detroit Pistons (the Bad Boys era) and an executive for AAR 
  • Tony Anderson, Retired Vice Chairman and Midwest Managing Partner, Ernst & Young and Perspectives Charter Schools board chair
  • Rev. James Meeks, pastor, Salem Baptist Church
  • Rev. Charles Jenkins, pastor, Fellowship Chicago Church
  • and Cheryle Jackson, VP, Government Affairs and Corporate Development for AAR; Perspectives Charter Schools board member
  • Student architects of the peace movement Razia Hutchins, Janeya Cunningham and Maurice Young
Peace jam and rally:
  • Matt McGill, WVON 1690 AM morning radio show host, will emcee the peace rally and jam following the march
  • FM Supreme, socially conscious Chicago rapper, will perform at the peace jam
June 5, 2015. Marchers will line up at 9:30 a.m. There will be opportunities to interview participants before the march officially starts at 10 a.m.
11 – 11:30 a.m. -- The peace jam on the grounds of Perspectives’ IIT/Math and Science Academy, 3663 S. Wabash Ave.

WHERE: The march will extend between two South Side locations of Perspectives Charter Schools, commencing at 24th and State, and culminating with a peace jam at 36th and Wabash.

BACKGROUND: Summer should be a time of anticipation for schoolchildren. But in Chicago, it’s also a time of fear. And the violence only seems to rise with the temperatures. Perspectives Charter Schools students are taking a stand against violence and being a voice for peace. This is the third peace march in as many years, and it is anticipated to be the largest in terms of participation and awareness.
Last year’s peace march was one of the largest peace marches led by middle- and high school students in Chicago’s history. The march will come a week after the public television debut (Chicago’s WTTW) of the documentary “I Am for Peace,” (New Chapter Entertainment) which chronicles the three architects of Perspectives’ peace movement and shows footage from last year’s peace march and rally. The film also features comments from Academy award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former CPS chief.

About Perspectives Charter Schools
Founded in 1997 by two public school teachers, Perspectives Charter Schools is a network of open enrollment public schools across the South Side of Chicago, serving nearly 2,200 students. Perspectives educates students for college and prepares them for life. At Perspectives, the A Disciplined Life education model combines academic rigor with a focus on character development. Despite coming from some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Chicago, Perspectives students graduate from high school, enroll in college, and persist towards graduation at rates above the national average for all students, regardless of background. Learn more at pcsedu.org.

Media contact: David Terry at dterry@pcsedu.org | 312-604-2142 or Shayla Butler at sbutler@pcsedu.org | 708-516-7828.