WBEZ | high school http://www.wbez.org/tags/high-school Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Adidas offers to help U.S. high schools phase out Native Ameican mascots http://www.wbez.org/news/adidas-offers-help-us-high-schools-phase-out-native-ameican-mascots-113666 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Adidas has pledged to help high school teams that want to change their mascots from Native American imagery..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res454915402" previewtitle="Adidas has pledged to help high school teams that want to change their mascots from Native American imagery. President Obama praised the effort, while the Washington football team shot back, calling the company's move hypocritical."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Adidas has pledged to help high school teams that want to change their mascots from Native American imagery. President Obama praised the effort, while the Washington football team shot back, calling the company's move hypocritical." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/ap_08050806897-58e0ccfdb2992737eb8273f8791cef9a4ab7cc29-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Adidas has pledged to help high school teams that want to change their mascots from Native American imagery. President Obama praised the effort, while the Washington football team shot back, calling the company's move hypocritical. (Christof Stache/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>Sportswear giant Adidas announced Thursday that it would offer free design resources and financial assistance to any high schools that want to change their logo or mascot from Native American imagery or symbolism.</p></div></div></div><p>The company announced the initiative ahead of the Tribal Nations Conference at the White House, which Adidas executives attended.</p><p>&quot;Sports have the power to change lives,&quot; Adidas executive board member Eric Liedtke<a href="http://news.adidas.com/US/Latest-News/adidas-Announces-Support-For-Mascot-Name-Changes-Ahead-Of-White-House-Tribal-Nations-Conference/s/7197ec89-d0fe-4557-b737-cd27dc76aba1">said in a statement</a>. &quot;Sports give young people limitless potential. Young athletes have hope, they have desire and they have a will to win. Importantly, sports must be inclusive. Today we are harnessing the influence of sports in our culture to lead change for our communities.&quot;</p><p>Approximately 2,000 high schools in the U.S. use names that &quot;cause concern for many tribal communities,&quot; according to the company&#39;s statement.</p><p>At the Tribal Nations Conference, Obama praised the effort by Adidas, and added that &quot;a certain sports team in Washington might want to do that as well.&quot;</p><p>Even before Obama&#39;s remarks, the Washington football team had responded in an emailed statement that read:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;The hypocrisy of changing names at the high school level of play and continuing to profit off of professional like-named teams is absurd. Adidas make hundreds of millions of dollars selling uniforms to teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and the Golden State Warriors, while profiting off sales of fan apparel for the Cleveland Indians, Florida State Seminoles, Atlanta Braves and many other like-named teams. It seems safe to say that Adidas&#39; next targets will be the biggest sports teams in the country, which won&#39;t be very popular with their shareholders, team fans, or partner schools and organizations.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>The team&#39;s owner, Dan Snyder, has vowed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/10/07/230221006/an-uphill-battle-to-push-an-nfl-team-to-change-its-name">never to change the team&#39;s name</a>.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/05/454902114/adidas-offers-to-help-u-s-high-schools-phase-out-native-american-mascots" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 05 Nov 2015 09:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/adidas-offers-help-us-high-schools-phase-out-native-ameican-mascots-113666 U.S. says Illinois school must give locker room access to transgender student http://www.wbez.org/news/us-says-illinois-school-must-give-locker-room-access-transgender-student-113642 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/3111086451_91879a4b16_o_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A suburban high school in Chicago is the<a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-04/battle-brewing-over-use-high-school-locker-room-transgender" target="_blank"> center of a debate</a> about how to accommodate transgender students without singling them out. At issue is whether a student who identifies as female can use the girls locker room in the same fashion as other female peers do.</p></p> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/us-says-illinois-school-must-give-locker-room-access-transgender-student-113642 Michelle Obama announces new education push http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-19/michelle-obama-announces-new-education-push-113393 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/First%20Lady%20Michelle%20Obama%20attends%20the%20First-Ever%20Citywide%20College%20Signing%20Day%20With%20Get%20Schooled%20And%20Detroit%20College%20Access%20Network%20As%20Part%20Of%20The%20First%20Lady%27s%20Reach%20Higher%20Initiative%20in%20Detroit%2C%20Michigan.jpg" style="height: 362px; width: 620px;" title="First Lady Michelle Obama attends the First-Ever Citywide College Signing Day With Get Schooled And Detroit College Access Network As Part Of The First Lady's Reach Higher Initiative in Detroit, Michigan. (Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Get Schooled)" /></div><p>Michelle Obama is continuing her push to get every young person to pursue some form of higher education. At the White House Monday, the First Lady is expected to launch a new public awareness campaign geared toward students aged 14 to 19.</p><p>A new website,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bettermakeroom.org/" target="_blank">bettermakeroom.org</a>, will let young people post their goals and share pictures, and will point students to resources to help them research and apply to colleges. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;When we define postsecondary success, we do mean a two-year degree, a four-year degree, community college, an industry-recognized certificate or credential,&rdquo; said Eric Waldo, executive director of the first lady&rsquo;s Reach Higher initiative. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s some education past high school.&rdquo;</p><p>Carrie Warick, with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.collegeaccess.org/" target="_blank">National College Access Network</a>, has seen how students respond to Michelle Obama, who was a first-generation college student herself.</p><p>&ldquo;Having the First Lady, specifically as a woman of color, for our students of color, championing an issue that&rsquo;s so important to them really does have an intangible impact,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>More minority and low-income students are furthering their education after high school, Warick said, but there is still a sizeable&nbsp;<a href="http://www.collegeaccess.org/benchmarkingreport2015" target="_blank">college access gap</a>.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/education/michelle-obama-announces-new-education-push" target="_blank"><em> via Marketplace</em></a></p></p> Mon, 19 Oct 2015 10:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-19/michelle-obama-announces-new-education-push-113393 How one Chicago high school built a college culture http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-19/how-one-chicago-high-school-built-college-culture-113412 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Principal Kevin Gallick and his team have worked to make college the mission at George Washington High School in Chicago..jpg" alt="" /><p><div><div id="file-293902"><img alt="" id="1" src="http://www.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/styles/primary-image-766x447/public/Kevin%20Gallick_0.JPG?itok=KfHjQGvB" style="height: 362px; width: 620px;" title="Principal Kevin Gallick and his team have worked to make college the mission at George Washington High School in Chicago. (Amy Scott/Marketplace)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><div>When it&rsquo;s time to change classes at George Washington High School on Chicago&rsquo;s southeast side, students don&rsquo;t just hear a bell. Bands like U2, Florence and the Machine, and ManĂ¡ blare over the intercom.</div></div></div></div><div><div id="story-content"><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really fun to have music in the background,&rdquo; said senior Ariana Aguilera. &ldquo;It just kind of pumps us up throughout the day.&rdquo;</p><p>That&rsquo;s the kind of energy principal Kevin Gallick and his team were looking to create when they arrived at the high school three years ago. Washington is a predominantly Hispanic school in a working-class neighborhood. When Gallick started, just 65 percent of students graduated on time, and only 35 percent of those students went to college.</p><p>&ldquo;We knew that this 35 percent&nbsp;alone made us even abnormal in Chicago,&rdquo; Gallick said. &ldquo;It was something we wanted to focus on right away.&rdquo;</p><p>But creating a college-going culture at Washington would take some doing. Many of the students came from families with no college tradition.&nbsp;Less than 10 percent of people over age 25 in the area have a four-year degree.&nbsp;</p><p>History explains some of that.</p><p>For decades this part of the city had been a manufacturing hub. Students could walk across the street after graduation and get a good job at a steel mill. By the 1990s, most of those jobs were gone, but the school hadn&rsquo;t adapted, Gallick said.</p><p>&ldquo;We were talking about redefining what a high school is supposed to be about, and the bottom line is Washington was a little bit behind the times,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>To catch up, Gallick started making college part of the conversation at Washington. The school staged a phonathon, reaching out to parents to answer their questions about applications and financial aid. On ACT testing day, the &ldquo;Rocky&rdquo; theme accompanied students down the hall. Assistant principal Anthony Malcolm even passed out T-shirts like the one John Belushi wore in the movie<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/film/movie/132134/animal-house" target="_blank">&ldquo;Animal House,&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;with the word &ldquo;college&rdquo; printed on the front.</p><p>&ldquo;I&#39;m telling you, we would come out of here on Fridays and be driving home, and you&#39;d see a kid wearing their college T-shirt, and we were like, &lsquo;Yes!&rsquo;&rdquo; Malcolm said.</p><p>Gallick also ramped up the academics, bringing in more literacy and AP classes. The school used data to keep a closer watch on students&rsquo; grades and attendance, and enlisted virtually every adult in the building &mdash; from security guards, to coaches, to teachers &mdash; to mentor students individually.</p><p>At first, Gallick said, the changes were hard for some teachers to swallow. They were busy enough just trying to keep the students in their classes from falling behind.</p><p>&ldquo;Teachers weren&#39;t saying, &lsquo;Yes, I think this is my job, to support kids to go to college,&rsquo;&rdquo; Gallick said. &ldquo;It wasn&#39;t really the role at the time.&rdquo;</p><p>Gradually, he said, they got on board. History teacher George Fotopoulos said he starts talking with his students about college at the very beginning of ninth grade.</p><p>&ldquo;I let the kids know we&#39;re here in school to support them,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We all want so see them to graduate in four years, we all want them to succeed and move on, and do something in higher education.&rdquo;</p><p>The extra help &mdash; and some new college coaches &mdash; have taken some of the pressure off Washington&rsquo;s counselors. One of them is Gabriel Fuentes, a Washington graduate who returned to work at the school.</p><p>&ldquo;Now we felt that we had a lot more ammunition,&rdquo; said Fuentes. College was no longer talked about only in counseling sessions. &ldquo;It was being talked about in a classroom, or with a coach,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Everyone was speaking the same language here.&rdquo;</p><div><img alt="Gabriel Fuentes meets with senior Ariana Aguilera about her college plans. " src="http://www.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/Gabriel%20Fuentes_Adjusted.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Gabriel Fuentes meets with senior Ariana Aguilera about her college plans. (Amy Scott/Marketplace)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><div><div><p>Counselors can now work more closely with students. They received additional training on how to help students choose the right college and keep track of whether they&rsquo;ve completed their financial aid forms. They meet monthly at the University of Chicago to learn about the latest research on adolescent development and collaborate with counselors from other schools.</p></div></div></div></div><p>At a recent meeting with senior Ariana Aguilera, Fuentes asked her about college visits she&rsquo;d made over the summer and how a scholarship interview had gone. Even straight-A students like Ariana need a lot of guidance. Her parents didn&rsquo;t go to college, and she&rsquo;s going to need financial aid.</p><p>&ldquo;The school has a lot of support,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;You don&rsquo;t feel like you&rsquo;re left all alone.&rdquo;</p><p>Remember, three years ago, only 35 percent of Washington graduates went to college. The numbers for last year&rsquo;s seniors aren&rsquo;t in yet, but principal Gallick estimated close to 70 percent of those students are now in college.</p><p>Similar strategies have paid off across the district, despite severe budget cuts in recent years. In 2013, about 61 percent of Chicago Public Schools graduates enrolled in college, up from 49 percent about a decade ago, according to&nbsp;Eliza Moeller, an analyst with the&nbsp;<a href="https://ccsr.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;I think this is pretty remarkable change,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;We&#39;ve essentially caught up to the U.S. average for students enrolling in college, and we&#39;re far poorer than the U.S. on average.&rdquo;</p><p>Now the big challenge, Moeller said, is to make sure more of those students actually finish college. The consortium&nbsp;<a href="https://ccsr.uchicago.edu/publications/educational-attainment-chicago-public-schools-students-focus-four-year-college-degrees" target="_blank">estimates</a>&nbsp;that just 14 percent of ninth graders in Chicago Public Schools will earn a four-year degree by the time they&rsquo;re 25.</p></div></div><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/education/how-one-chicago-high-school-built-college-culture" target="_blank"><em> via Marketplace</em></a></p></p> Fri, 16 Oct 2015 16:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-19/how-one-chicago-high-school-built-college-culture-113412 The surprising power of the ninth grade http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-16/surprising-power-ninth-grade-113374 <p><div><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Fernando%20Rodriguez%2C%2017%2C%20is%20a%20senior%20at%20George%20Washington%20High%20School%20in%20Chicago..jpg" title="Fernando Rodriguez, 17, is a senior at George Washington High School in Chicago. (Amy Scott/Marketplace)" /></div><div><p>The school year is just a few weeks old, and ninth graders at George Washington High on Chicago&rsquo;s southeast side are still trying to get the hang of things. They&rsquo;re at a much bigger school, with hundreds more kids, and a more complicated class schedule. To help ease the transition, the school has grouped most of the freshman classes along one hallway.</p><p>&ldquo;It keeps things easier, so freshmen aren&#39;t going all over the place,&rdquo; said history teacher George Fotopoulos. &ldquo;High school can be pretty overwhelming as it is.&rdquo;</p><p>And ninth grade isn&rsquo;t just any grade.</p><p>&ldquo;Freshman year&rsquo;s where you start,&rdquo; said Fernando Rodriguez, who&rsquo;s a senior now. &ldquo;If you start strong, chances are you&rsquo;re going to end strong.&rdquo;</p><p>He&rsquo;s got that right.</p><p>Years ago, researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that how students perform during their freshman year is&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a href="https://ccsr.uchicago.edu/publications/track-indicator-predictor-high-school-graduation" target="_blank">best predictor</a>&nbsp;of whether they&rsquo;ll graduate &mdash; better than their previous grades or attendance or their family&rsquo;s income.</p><p>The first year sets the tone for the rest of high school, said Sarah Duncan, who co-directs the university&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="https://ncs.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Network for College Success</a>. She cited the example of a student who gets off to a rough start, and fails a class or two in ninth grade.</p><p>&ldquo;We&#39;ve experienced many teachers who thought that giving a freshman who&rsquo;s 14 years old an F would make them work harder,&rdquo; said Duncan. But, she said, &ldquo;Most kids interpret an F as &lsquo;I don&#39;t belong here, I am not going to succeed here.&rsquo; They come to school less, they do less and less work, and then they&#39;re in this downward spiral of falling further and further behind.&rdquo;</p><p>To prevent that, Chicago Public Schools started arming teachers with a steady stream of data on grades, course credits and attendance. If the data reveal a student is struggling in a certain area, a faculty member can step in right away.</p><p>At Washington High, students at risk are also assigned mentors.</p><p>When Kathleen Valente became an assistant principal at the school three years ago, &ldquo;we had security guards being mentors, coaches being mentors,&rdquo; she said, adding that it paid off.&nbsp; &ldquo;We saw increases for those students, just that little touch.&quot;</p><p>Back then, just 65 percent of students graduated in four years.</p><p>Last year about 83 percent graduated on time, according to principal Kevin Gallick. And about 88 percent of last year&#39;s freshmen were considered on-track to graduate, he said, meaning they&#39;d earned at least five full-year course credits and failed no more than one core class.&nbsp;</p><p>Based on that trend, &ldquo;it&rsquo;s pretty reasonable to have a 90 percent graduation rate, if we can get things right with today&rsquo;s freshman class,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Big gains in graduation rates, like the ones at Washington High, have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/07/chicago-graduation-rates/397736/" target="_blank">raised some eyebrows</a>&nbsp;in Chicago, which is one of the largest urban school systems in the country, with a majority of students living in poverty. Chicago&rsquo;s accountability system rates schools on the number of freshmen considered on-track to graduate, and skeptics&nbsp;worry that some schools are goosing their numbers by passing students who aren&rsquo;t prepared.</p><p>But Gallick says his students&rsquo; ACT scores have gone up four years in a row. Scores are also up across the district, said the University of Chicago&rsquo;s Sarah Duncan.</p><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;If we were just passing kids through and not really teaching them,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;then ACT scores should have gone down.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/education/surprising-power-ninth-grade" target="_blank"><em>via Marketplace</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 16 Oct 2015 11:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-16/surprising-power-ninth-grade-113374 Can't afford school? Girls learn to negotiate the Harvard way: #15Girls http://www.wbez.org/news/cant-afford-school-girls-learn-negotiate-harvard-way-15girls-113240 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Now in tenth grade, Mulando is already planning how to negotiate her tuition for 11th grade. She&#039;s also trying to figure out how to get to medical school..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res446322603"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Madalitso Mulando studies at the Chinika Secondary School in Lusaka, Zambia. By fifth grade, the school dropout rate is three times higher for girls than for boys." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-4_custom-077cecb0aaa29cfa3124f09f995f0219cddb455e-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="Madalitso Mulando studies at the Chinika Secondary School in Lusaka, Zambia. By fifth grade, the school dropout rate is three times higher for girls than for boys. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></div><div><p>Madalitso Mulando knew what she needed to finish 10th grade: $150.</p></div></div><p>That&#39;s the cost of tuition at Chinika Secondary School, a public high school in Lusaka, Zambia. Completing 10th grade was part of Mulando&#39;s dream to go to medical school and become a doctor.</p><p>But the 15-year-old&#39;s parents were broke.</p><p>&quot;Yeah, I was alone. I was in my bedroom ... and I started, like, crying because Mom and Dad didn&#39;t have any money,&quot; she remembers. &quot;And I was like, maybe I&#39;ll never go to school again because Mom and Dad didn&#39;t have any money.&quot;</p><p>Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Mulando shares her room with her sister and two nieces &mdash; and a stack of dog-eared textbooks.</p><p>&quot;I like biology,&quot; she says, laughing.</p><div id="res446322759"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Madalitso Mulando brushes off her shoes before heading to school in Lusaka, Zambia. Last year, she missed a whole semester while her parents struggled to scrape together tuition." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-2_custom-005abbe76c82a6dc1c1b7f65b9b9dc29c8a21942-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="Madalitso Mulando brushes off her shoes before heading to school in Lusaka, Zambia. Last year, she missed a whole semester while her parents struggled to scrape together tuition. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>For most Zambian schoolgirls, that&#39;s where their education might have ended. Most Zambian families live below the poverty line. Most Zambian schoolkids, especially girls, never make it to 10th grade because their families can&#39;t afford it.</p></div></div></div><p>One might see this as an unchangeable fact of poverty.</p><p>But Kathleen McGinn, a professor of negotiation at Harvard Business School, sees it as a communication deficit. She says Zambian schoolgirls have to advocate for their interests in a way that American high-schoolers rarely need to.</p><p>&quot;In the U.S., it&#39;s illegal to take your kid out of school,&quot; says McGinn. &quot;In Zambia, you have to pay to keep your kid in school.&quot;</p><p>Some programs have tried to remedy this by offering cash grants and other incentives to schoolgirls, but the well-intentioned money always runs out. So, McGinn and her colleagues Nava Ashraf and Corinne Low wondered: Could Zambian schoolgirls stay in school if they received training in negotiation &mdash; a version of the same training given to Harvard MBAs, undergrads and executives? Could techniques honed around an oak boardroom table apply in a slum in southern Africa?</p><p>With the help of the Zambian Ministry of Education and the New Haven-based Innovations for Poverty Action, a research nonprofit, they&#39;re hoping to find out. They wrote a curriculum to teach Zambian high school students the art of getting to &quot;yes.&quot; It&#39;s part of a multiyear research study to see if a week of negotiation training can&nbsp;<a href="http://www.poverty-action.org/study/negotiating-better-future-impact-teaching-negotiation-skills-girls-health-and-educational">help Zambian schoolgirls stay in school</a>&nbsp;and avoid getting pregnant.</p><p><img alt="After a weeklong course in negotiation training, Mulando petitioned relatives to cover her school fees by convincing them that her education was worth investing in." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-3_custom-c686cadd60ae88ddd06c7477375644acf950856d-s300-c85.jpg" style="float: right; height: 413px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="After a weeklong course in negotiation training, Mulando petitioned relatives to cover her school fees by convincing them that her education was worth investing in. (Gregory Warner/NPR)" /></p><p>Earlier this year, we visited a high school in Lusaka, where coach Jean Mwape was leading a discussion with 50 teenage girls crowded into a tiny classroom. The students volunteered for this weeklong negotiation course taught by local university grads.</p><div id="res446322673"><div><div><p>At times, the language sounded like it was ripped from an arbitration manual, which, of course, much of it was.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;Finding out the other person&#39;s interests helps you think of solutions to meet both your interests and theirs,&quot; Mwape says. &quot;OK?&quot;</p><p>The girls were brainstorming ideas on how to ask open-ended questions to figure out what their parents really want &mdash; and how to speak more effectively with them.</p><p>&quot;How can we become better negotiators?&quot; Mwape asks.</p><p>&quot;Practicing!&quot; the students reply.</p><p>Madalitso Mulando took this course two years ago when it was first offered. She found it so useful, she&#39;s back for a refresher, even though it means walking an hour each way from her house in Kanyama slum, past mangy chickens and mobile phone shops on flooded, muddy roads.</p><p>Mulando hops from stone to stone across the huge puddles.</p><div id="res446322499"><div><div><p>She opens a metal gate, slips off her plastic shoes, and she&#39;s home.</p></div></div></div><p>Her house is tidy and spare. The only decorations on the walls are her parents&#39; graduation photos.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Mulando fetches water from a tap a short walk from her home. Most Zambian schoolgirls have to advocate for their interests in a way that American high schoolers rarely need to, says Kathleen McGinn, a professor of negotiation at Harvard Business School." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-5_custom-a6829c700fe35c3e6533047f66895ae7688fb324-s600-c85.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="Mulando fetches water from a tap a short walk from her home. Most Zambian schoolgirls have to advocate for their interests in a way that American high schoolers rarely need to, says Kathleen McGinn, a professor of negotiation at Harvard Business School. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></p><p>Mulando&#39;s parents care deeply about education. Her older brother and sister went to college, but her mom&#39;s grocery stand closed two years ago. Her father&#39;s hardware store is failing. And, so, one night this January her parents had to tell her they couldn&#39;t afford to pay her $150 yearly tuition.</p><p>This wasn&#39;t the first time this had happened to her. In ninth grade, she missed a whole term while her parents struggled to scrape together tuition. But this time around, Mulando vowed to use her new negotiation skills to do some fundraising with her extended family.</p><div id="res446322448"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Mulando lives at home, in Lusaka's Kanyama slum, with her extended family." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-6_custom-68f0b897a593d52f66d6de7a9ad856b196055c4f-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 300px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Mulando lives at home, in Lusaka's Kanyama slum, with her extended family. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>&quot;I learned a lot in negotiation,&quot; she says. &quot;If you want to ask something, you need to tell them what you want.&quot;</p></div></div></div><p>If she were going to cold-call her relatives, she&#39;d have to be crystal clear about her intention to finish school. Because most schoolgirls do drop out, she would have to prove that she wouldn&#39;t end up just another statistic: that she was worth investing in. She took some deep breaths, as she&#39;d learned in the training, and asked to use her mom&#39;s phone.</p><p>&quot;I first called my cousin,&quot; Mulando says. &quot;I was like, &#39;I passed my grade nine, but it&#39;s kind of difficult to pay my school fees.&#39; &quot;</p><p>Her cousin was impressed enough to send her $55.</p><div id="res446322380"><div><div><p>Then, she called her older sister, who gave her nearly $70. And somehow her parents came up with the last $25.</p></div></div></div><p>But she still needed money for textbooks. So she called the person her mother least wanted her to call: her uncle, Neba Mbewe.</p><p>&quot;I should say I&#39;m in a privileged position to help others,&quot; Mbewe says.</p><p>He&#39;s the managing editor of a big Zambian newspaper. He has helped Mulando&#39;s family financially several times in the past. But he also made it clear that he won&#39;t be their piggy bank. He won&#39;t bail out his nieces and nephews for what he called her parents&#39; business mistakes.</p><p><img alt="According to the World Bank, if girls in developing countries complete high school, there's a better chance they'll earn more and their kids will go further." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-7_custom-bdac9a8acb08e327feac2e0af10a5ecaa6cd87d4-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="According to the World Bank, if girls in developing countries complete high school, there's a better chance they'll earn more and their kids will go further. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></p><p>Mulando&#39;s mother, Dorcus Mulando, says the idea of begging from her older brother was shameful. He&#39;d refused them so many times before. So, when her daughter asked for the phone to call her uncle, Dorcus Mulando simply warned her: &quot;If he says he doesn&#39;t have [the money], don&#39;t get hate.&quot;</p><p>Don&#39;t get hate in your heart, she warned her daughter. Like most of us, she saw the situation as a fixed pie. Her brother had more, she had less. Any act of asking felt shamefully like begging.</p><p>Mulando, though, had learned to see it differently. She&#39;d learned about things like &quot;core values&quot; and &quot;aligning incentives.&quot; This 15-year-old girl didn&#39;t feel she was asking her uncle for money. She was expressing to him how much she desired to finish her education, something he has often encouraged her to do, and what she needed to achieve that goal.&nbsp;It&#39;s a subtle shift, but it made the difference.</p><div id="res446323488"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Mulando with her niece, Destiny." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-8_custom-367f665c651ae714246833274813be22e3e464ca-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 600px;" title="Mulando with her niece, Destiny. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></div><div><p>&quot;Now that you&#39;re mentioning it, she was more focused on exactly what she wanted and how that would benefit her,&quot; her uncle recalls. &quot;The minute someone says &#39;education,&#39; that certainly hits a nerve in me.&quot;</p></div></div><p>Did she negotiate well?</p><p>&quot;Excellent,&quot; he says. &quot;She did a good job!&quot;</p><p>Mulando&#39;s uncle shelled out the $25 that she needed to buy all of her books for the year. And Mulando was able to enroll in 10th grade.</p><p>For a poor country like Zambia, these small choices matter. World Bank research shows that if girls in developing countries complete high school, there&#39;s a better chance they&#39;ll earn more and their kids will go further. The choices of teenage girls can have a socioeconomic impact across generations.</p><div id="res446322340"><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Now in tenth grade, Mulando is already planning how to negotiate her tuition for 11th grade. She's also trying to figure out how to get to medical school." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-1_custom-27714249e32568b6d2cf8c1568529a704876b2e7-s600-c85.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="Now in tenth grade, Mulando is already planning how to negotiate her tuition for 11th grade. She's also trying to figure out how to get to medical school. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></p><p>For Mulando, making it to 10th grade is only the beginning of a long string of negotiations to come. She&#39;s already trying to come up with a plan for how to pay for 11th grade, not to mention medical school. Still, she believes she&#39;ll be a doctor one day. And by the time her niece, Chichi, is 15, eight years from now, she hopes Chichi will come calling to negotiate with her.</p></div><hr /><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>About This Series</strong></span></p><p><em>In many countries, the decisions teens make at 15 can determine the rest of their lives. But, often, girls don&#39;t have much say &mdash; parents, culture and tradition decide for them. In a new series,&nbsp;#<a href="http://www.npr.org/series/446115168/-15girls?source=blog">15Girls</a>, NPR explores the lives of 15-year-old girls who are seeking to take control and change their fate.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Share Your Story</strong></span></p><p><em>No matter where you live, being a 15-year-old girl can be tough.&nbsp;Tell us:&nbsp;<a href="http://n.pr/1LzkPNo">What was the hardest thing about being 15?</a>&nbsp;Post a photo of yourself as a teen with your answer on Twitter or Instagram, and tag your post with #15Girls and @NPR.&nbsp;<a href="http://n.pr/1LzkPNo">More details here.</a></em></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/10/08/446237057/can-t-afford-school-girls-in-zambia-learn-to-negotiate-the-harvard-way-15girls?ft=nprml&amp;f=446237057"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 11:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cant-afford-school-girls-learn-negotiate-harvard-way-15girls-113240 Meet Mozzified, a site for Ramadan recipes, Sharia memes and nosy-auntie jokes http://www.wbez.org/news/meet-mozzified-site-ramadan-recipes-sharia-memes-and-nosy-auntie-jokes-113223 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Zainab Khan.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res446254259"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Zainab Khan, founder of Mozzified.com" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zainab-sweater-14a436f4f9de96a56d09df6909ee3e116fd48f4a-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 456px; width: 610px;" title="Zainab Khan, founder of Mozzified.com (Courtesy of Zainab Khan)" /></div><div><div><p>A Muslim pop culture website: The idea seemed so obvious, Zainab Khan waited years for someone else to make one. A place for jokes about nosy aunties, sharing hijab hacks and Ramadan recipes, and advice on navigating Minder (yup, there&#39;s a Muslim Tinder).</p></div></div></div><p>But existing sites for young Muslims tended to focus on international news and politics.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/10/07/445261490/mozzified.com">Mozzified</a>, which Khan launched in January while attending journalism school at the University of California, Berkeley, is geared toward what Khan and her friends call &quot;Mozzies,&quot; young, socially aware Muslims who might, say, &quot;binge-watch&nbsp;Friends&nbsp;on Netflix, play basketball after Friday prayers and buy eco-friendly products.&quot;</p><p>Khan and a team of four classmates have put out dozens&nbsp;of articles on everything from Muslim street artists to the whereabouts of a post-One Direction Zayn Malik. The site thrives on inside jokes, like the&nbsp;<a href="http://mozzified.com/2015/02/26/thoughts-every-muslim-has-while-making-wudu-in-a-public-restroom/">12 thoughts every Muslim has while prayer cleansing in a public restroom</a>.</p><p>What you won&#39;t find? Apologies. Khan looks for content that she thinks will appeal to other young Muslims, and says she refuses to pander to fear-mongers or Islamophobes.</p><p>Khan expected the site to be popular with people like her &mdash; high school and college students who grew up with Muslim and American identities. She says she&#39;s been surprised at how many young Muslims from Australia, the U.K., Pakistan and India have been checking the site out, too.</p><p>Given that her target audience is one of the world&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/">fastest-growing&nbsp;</a>demographic groups &mdash; Pew estimates there will be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/future-of-the-global-muslim-population-main-factors/#age">540 million Muslim youth worldwide</a>&nbsp;by 2030 &mdash; Khan says Mozzified is just getting started. I had a few questions for her:</p><div><hr /></div><p><strong>So, what does </strong><strong>Mozzified</strong><strong> mean?</strong></p><p>Mozzify is a made-up word. At Wesleyan, we had a small but active Muslim Students Association, this really cool community of international students and people from across the country who all had shared experiences, and we started calling each other &quot;Mozzies.&quot; The idea was this intersectional identity of being everything else&nbsp;and being Muslim.</p><div id="res446105150"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="&quot;Food&quot; on Mozzified.com" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/05/mozzified-website-751d6905118ded8701230137d6b31a3c07dc06d6-s600-c85.png" style="height: 458px; width: 610px;" title="&quot;Food&quot; on Mozzified.com (Mozzified.com)" /></div><div><div><p>To &quot;mozzify&quot; is to take something from any culture and reinterpret it through a Muslim lens. So, for example, when I walk into a Nordstrom and I see a rack of scarves, I&#39;m like, &quot;Oh, that&#39;s the hijab section.&quot; Being a Mozzie, I&#39;m filtering the information that I&#39;m seeing. I think a lot of people do this, and it&#39;s really, really powerful for us to be able to give voice to that community.</p></div></div></div><blockquote><p><em>To &#39;</em><em>mozzify</em><em>&#39; is to take something from any culture and reinterpret it through a Muslim lens. So, for example, when I walk into a Nordstrom and I see a rack of scarves, I&#39;m like &#39;Oh, that&#39;s the hijab section.&#39; - Zainab Khan, founder of&nbsp;</em><em>Mozzified</em></p></blockquote><p><strong>Why did you start this website?</strong></p><p>I wanted to do something for people like me, in college or in high school, who are maybe the only Muslim students in their entire school, or just one of a few. They have these experiences that are very similar, but they don&#39;t know that there are massive groups of people throughout the world who are experiencing the same thing.</p><p>I grew up in a traditional Pakistani Muslim household, but being at Wesleyan University was the first time that I saw people perform both their American and Muslim identities comfortably. That was something that was really foreign to me, because growing up in my household, to be Muslim meant to be Pakistani, but here I was, a kid who was raised in the suburbs of Chicago. I didn&#39;t feel very culturally Pakistani. But at Wesleyan, I noticed this unique culture of Muslims owning all of our identities.</p><p>I had a Muslim chaplain who was Egyptian and American Muslim, and the first time I saw her, she was wearing a Gap hoodie, a long denim skirt and a hijab. I thought that kind of epitomized this Muslim American identity, and that was really cool. As a kid, I was agnostic in high school, I wasn&#39;t practicing, and then I get to one of the most liberal colleges in this country and I saw that it was possible to perform all of my identities and to do it well.</p><p>How does your site address Muslim identity differently from spaces that already exist on the Web?</p><p>There&#39;s two ways to form an identity. One is by deciding who you are not, and in my opinion that&#39;s a very dangerous way to form an identity, because you&#39;re building yourself based on reactions rather than affirmations. So I wanted to create something that was based on an &quot;I am&quot; sort of identity formation.</p><p>But there&#39;s a vast breadth of knowledge on Islam and Muslims on the Web already, and I don&#39;t feel the need to re-explain. Instead, I get to have my contributors and myself and this large, large, large group of people share their stories as they want to, and as they see them. I think post 9/11, a lot of Muslims and a lot of Muslim organizations have gotten into this trap of being apologetic, and always responding. It&#39;s much more powerful to tell your own story on your own terms. I think it&#39;s really healthy for us as Muslims, as communities, to start understanding ourselves from inside out rather than outside in.</p><p><strong>What&#39;s next for </strong><strong>Mozzified</strong><strong>?</strong></p><p>There&#39;s a whole bunch coming. We&#39;re going to do a &quot;dirty laundry&quot; column, a platform to talk about the issues that we as a community want to ignore. The idea is that I want Mozzified to be an inclusive space for all kinds of Muslims. I don&#39;t really turn anyone away.</p><div id="res446351016"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Mozzified is a website about Muslim pop culture." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/mozz-final-picture-bottom-ef22142cea0c46e089d778655f1788e5ab9f95c6-s600-c85.png" style="height: 456px; width: 610px;" title="Mozzified is a website about Muslim pop culture. (Mozzified.com)" /></div><div><div><p>One of my really good friends wants to write a piece called &quot;The F-word.&quot; And it&#39;s not the F-word that you would imagine; it&#39;s &quot;feminism.&quot; Why does that cause such a reaction in the community? Really exploring things that need to be aired out, airing out our dirty laundry. That&#39;s something I&#39;m really excited about.</p></div></div></div><p>Articles you&#39;ve written in the past that have gotten large reactions, both positive and negative: What were some of those reactions, and how have those experiences affected the way you pick what goes on Mozzified?</p><p>I&#39;m so happy the community called me out for this: I wrote a piece for the&nbsp;<em>Islamic Monthly</em>&nbsp;called &quot;<a href="http://theislamicmonthly.com/deconstructing-the-hijabi-bride-even-islam-in-america-is-hegemonic/">Deconstructing the Hijabi Bride</a>.&quot; When I talked about American Islam, I didn&#39;t even know that I was doing it, but I was promoting second-generation, educated Arabs and Pakistanis and South Asians as the communities that represent American Islam. People were really quick to call out the fact that I had completely disregarded black American Muslims, African-American Muslims and West African Muslims. I&#39;m thinking about model minorities, and within the American Muslim communities, who interacts with whom, whose narratives we are trying to erase, whose narratives we are not giving prominence. I think putting that piece out there was great in making me more self-aware.</p><p>I&#39;ve written pieces that end up on all these sub-Reddits where people just hate me, they hate my face, hate everything that I have to say. At first it&#39;s alarming, but I learned fairly quickly what it takes to do this kind of stuff. It&#39;s prepared me for the Internet and reactions in general.</p><p>My first major decision with Mozzified was that I don&#39;t want our posts to be reactionary. That&#39;s my philosophy when it comes to building an American Muslim voice, or a Muslim voice, or identity formation, whatever it may be. I wanted to do things on our own terms. Obviously, there&#39;s gonna be some news that really calls for our reaction, but for the most part, I still have the philosophy of, just put it out there and see what happens. I don&#39;t think it&#39;s smart to hold back.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/10/07/445261490/meet-mozzified-a-site-for-ramadan-recipes-sharia-memes-and-nosy-auntie-jokes"><em>via NPR&#39;s Code Switch</em></a></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/meet-mozzified-site-ramadan-recipes-sharia-memes-and-nosy-auntie-jokes-113223 Transgender teenager named Prom Queen http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/transgender-teenager-named-prom-queen-111411 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 150116 Reyna Ortiz A bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When he was 12, Ray Ortiz packed a blue duffel bag and prepared to leave home forever.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s just no way in hell that I&rsquo;m going to live a life that I&rsquo;m not happy with,&rdquo; Ortiz remembers thinking.</p><p>&ldquo;At the time I didn&rsquo;t know what transgender was,&rdquo; Ortiz says in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps. Kids at school called him &ldquo;Gay Ray,&rdquo; so he assumed that he was gay.</p><p>He wrote his mom a letter saying &ldquo;not only was I gay, but that I wanted to be a girl.&rdquo;<br />She was supportive and gradually Ray transitioned to living life as a female, going by the name Reyna and using female pronouns. &ldquo;I just made a mental decision like: I&rsquo;m going to do what I want. And I don&rsquo;t care what anybody else has to say.&rdquo;</p><p>Ortiz has three brothers, one older and two younger. And they provided a lot of support when it came time for her to attend Morton East High School in Cicero.</p><p>Other students were &ldquo;horrendous,&rdquo; Reyna said. She told her older brother and she says he went to her high school, into her classroom and confronted her bully. She says kids never bothered her again.</p><p>Ortiz became friends with the most beautiful girls in school. &ldquo;And they were willing to fight and slap somebody if they disrespected me,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But eventually people just got used to me. By my junior year, I can honestly say, I ruled that school.&rdquo;</p><p>Emmanuel&nbsp;Garcia was a sophomore at Morton East when Ortiz was a senior. Garcia was struggling to come to terms with his identity as a gay Latino man. &ldquo;Seeing someone who was so open and out with their gender identity, it was intimidating,&rdquo; Garcia said in an interview recently. &ldquo;She carried herself so fearlessly.&rdquo;</p><p>During Reyna&rsquo;s senior year, she was nominated for Prom Queen. She went without a date, and sat by herself when the court was announced.</p><p>Then, they announced the winner: &ldquo;&rsquo;And the winner of Prom Queen of 1998 - Ray Ortiz.&rsquo; And I just remember everybody coming to the stage. When I turned around it was just flashing lights and paparazzi. Pictures everywhere and people applauding.&ldquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We always hear that the Latino community is full of machismo and we never hear about a community embracing their own,&rdquo; Garcia said. &ldquo;To have this person kind of pioneer sexuality and gender identity in 1998 was unheard of.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 08:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/transgender-teenager-named-prom-queen-111411 What happens to people with autism when they age out of school? http://www.wbez.org/news/what-happens-people-autism-when-they-age-out-school-111326 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/artworks-000101028088-1nyuya-t500x500.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-2de977b6-abb8-ca6e-c072-bc877bdd2ffc">It&rsquo;s early in the morning. Josh Stern waits outside his house in Wilmette for a Pace van he calls every as his ride to work. The van arrives, Josh kisses his mom goodbye and pays his fare.</p><p dir="ltr">Stern is 25. He was diagnosed with autism when he was two. He has a photographic memory that allows him to sort through loan paperwork at great speed.</p><p dir="ltr">He takes one quick glance at the numbers, hits the calculator, files the forms in order and it&rsquo;s ready to go. It&rsquo;s a skill his co-worker Ricardo Ramos says he admires.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s like a computer almost,&rdquo; Ramos said. &ldquo;He literally just keeps on doing it and you know he doesn&rsquo;t miss a detail. That&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s great about him, once you train him, he&rsquo;ll just do it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Illinois has more than 19,000 minors who have autism. And that&rsquo;s just what the <a href="http://www.easterseals.com/explore-resources/living-with-autism/2014_autism_illinois.pdf">schools</a> are identifying. When these kids&rsquo; services expire from the state, they face the same choice as most young adults: school or work? But the transition to either of those worlds can be difficult depending on the disability.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>The day the bus doesn&#39;t come</strong></p><p dir="ltr">Josh&rsquo;s mom Linda Stern is all too familiar with what many parents refer to as &ldquo;the day the bus doesn&rsquo;t come.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They put so much effort and wonderful work into the school experience and for most people all that work all that effort all that wonderful enriching experience just disappears,&rdquo; Stern said. &ldquo;They don&rsquo;t even understand it, it&rsquo;s like how come I&rsquo;m not going to school and I&rsquo;m sitting at home with mom watching TV all day long.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The transitional period out of the school system in Illinois starts at age 14 &frac12;. During that time, families work with the school to create post graduation goals based on the child&rsquo;s interests and skills.</p><p dir="ltr">Though federal law requires that every child receive a transition plan, parents like Bill Casey feel the system can leave parents frustrated and confused.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Parents don&rsquo;t understand what&rsquo;s offered to them by the community service organizations,&rdquo; Casey said. &ldquo;You really have to start digging to figure what&rsquo;s available. You really need friends like Julie and Michael Tracy to help guide you in some ways to find the right avenues.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Julie and Michael Tracy run an urban farm that caters to young adults with autism. The farm harvests everything from collard greens to fresh tomatoes, and all of that goes to food pantries across the city.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We&rsquo;re teaching them jobs skills, interviewing and resume, working with other people,&rdquo; said Gwenne Godwin, farm manager at the <a href="http://jmtf.org/portfolio/growing-solutions-farm/">Growing Solutions Farm</a>. &ldquo;We just happen to be using the medium of agriculture to do it in so that they can get a job in this industry or in any industry because they&rsquo;ve learned those vocational skills.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Casey&rsquo;s son Dan works at the farm. He feels it offers Dan an experience he didn&rsquo;t have in a school setting.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You know kids with autism don&rsquo;t have all the victories that we all have growing up,&rdquo; Casey said. &ldquo;The baseball, the football, the debates and the like, this is something for them.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">We asked the Illinois Division of Developmental Disabilities for response to Bill Casey&rsquo;s claims about these programs, but they didn&rsquo;t provide one. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Now, the National Garden Bureau is behind the program and these young workers are able for the first time to take home a paycheck. The non-profit has generated nearly $30,000 in donations and continues to raise funds for the farm.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Opportunities in higher education</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/6/1042">More than half</a> of people with autism struggle to find work and often don&rsquo;t seek higher education opportunities.</p><p dir="ltr">For those who do, they can turn to Jennifer Gorski. Gorski runs the Autism Clinic and TAP Training Center at University of Illinois, Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We are hearing about these needs from people in our community quite a bit,&rdquo; Gorski said. &ldquo;We formed the ASPiE group which is a support group geared toward supporting college students that are on the spectrum.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">ASPiE (Adults Spectrum People in Education) meet once a week to have frank conversations that every college kid has such as, what&rsquo;s in store after college, questions about careers and managing course load.</p><p dir="ltr">Since social interactions can be a big obstacle for individuals with autism, ASPiE members like Jasmin Khoshnood say it helps them interact with their peers.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been really helpful to me in terms what do with with college and how to add to professional world,&rdquo; said Khoshnood. &ldquo;Meeting ASPiE college students has been good for me as well having a peer group that is more like me I can tell things that I couldn&#39;t tell to non-autistic, neuro-typical people.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The program at UIC Khoshnood participates in is not the norm across the state.</p><p dir="ltr">United Cerebral Palsy <a href="http://cfi2014.ucp.org/data/">ranks</a> Illinois at the bottom for the way it handles its services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;My perspective is that it all comes down to funding,&rdquo; said Gorski from UIC&rsquo;s Autism Clinic and TAP Training Center. &ldquo;I think that the adults are a little bit behind in terms of the allocation of resources.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Come January, that funding could get even <a href="http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=71009">tighter</a> when the current income tax hike rolls back.</p><p dir="ltr">Kevin Casey from Illinois&rsquo; Division of Developmental Disabilities said in a statement, &ldquo;the loss of any funding will limit and delay our ability to provide services.&rdquo;</p><p>Governor-elect Bruce Rauner has said he wants to roll back the income tax hike.</p><p>What that means for the autism community remains to be seen.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 02 Jan 2015 11:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/what-happens-people-autism-when-they-age-out-school-111326 Big sister shares tips on how to survive the loneliness of high school http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/big-sister-shares-tips-how-survive-loneliness-high-school-109219 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Lucy and Jennifer.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>When Lucy Zhuo left for college this fall, her little sister, Jennifer, didn&rsquo;t realize how much she would miss her. The two visited the Chicago StoryCorps&rsquo; booth recently to catch up.</p><p><strong>Jennifer</strong>: Honestly, it&rsquo;s been really lonely, since you&rsquo;re, like, my only sister ...</p><p>Jennifer said having her sister away at college was especially hard now because she&rsquo;s a sophomore this year, and is taking several junior classes. The other students are older than her, so she doesn&rsquo;t know them. She said the tendency of students to gossip limits what she shares with her friends.</p><p><strong>Lucy</strong>:.. I learned going into college how important it is not to get so sucked up into your work especially since your family&rsquo;s not around. You rely on your friends in college. You need to find those friends. You can&rsquo;t isolate yourself.</p><p><em>To hear the rest of Lucy&rsquo;s advice to Jennifer about how to survive (and even enjoy!) high school, click on the audio above.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/big-sister-shares-tips-how-survive-loneliness-high-school-109219