A 14-year-old Chicago teen is celebrating a huge win, graduating with her master’s degree before most of her peers have graduated from high school.

According to Rolling OutDorothy Jean Tillman has been exceeding expectations her entire life. At just 8 months old she began talking, by four she was completing math problems and by nine she was starting high school. Three years later at the age of 12, she earned her bachelor’s degree in humanities from Excelsior College.

Tillman said she’s always loved learning and once she finished high school, she figured she should pursue her associates degree which worked in her favor since many of the credits counted towards her bachelors. She just kept going and going.

STEM has always been a huge interest for Tillman, crediting the subjects with shaping her path in education. She obtained her graduate degree from Unity College, through distant learning, in sustainable science and environmental planning and plans to find ways to give back to other young people looking to pursue a career in STEM.

“I’ve been working on STEM labs for kids because I really want to go into the STEM-related field and work with kids. I love helping kids have bright futures. I feel like I’m here to make people happy and to help people find their purpose. I know I want to go into that field, but I’m definitely sticking on the path of my engineering degree. I might go back to school, but my plan is to be an entrepreneur and [use] my engineering degree,” Tillman said.

Tillman said that she just wants to be an inspiration to other kids that they can do it too. “I know, one thing that I would want every kid to know, is that what I did is an option and that they can do it too. It doesn’t take a genius or someone who has been learning forever. I’m not perfect. I’m not the smartest person in the world. It just takes dedication,” she said.

Congratulations Dorothy! We are so proud of you!

Source: Becauseofthemwecan


While the intent of students at Oak Park and River Forest High School remains unclear, the photos were jarring enough that administrators withheld the books.

A high school in a Chicago suburb is spending more than $53,000 to reprint its 2018-2019 yearbook after staff discovered photos inside in which students were flashing the white supremacist “OK” hand sign.

Administrators at Oak Park and River Forest High School released a statement last week notifying parents that they were withholding the yearbooks from distribution after they discovered the photos, according to CBS Chicago.

This week, the Chicago Tribune reported that the high school will pay Jostens $53,794 to reprint the books and that the new versions are expected to be delivered to students by mid-June.

The racist adaptation of the “OK” hand sign began on 4chan ― an anonymous message board frequented by racists, trolls and extremists ― and has since been co-opted by prominent white supremacists who often use it to signal their presence to like-minded extremists. It’s prominent enough that those who use it have been fired from their jobs or faced other consequences ― recently, a Chicago Cubs fan was banned indefinitely from Wrigley Field after flashing the hand sign behind a black reporter during a live broadcast.

While the students’ intent was unclear and the photos weren’t made available, the content was apparently jarring enough that staff felt it necessary to reprint the yearbooks.

An email to parents, from school district Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt-Adams, notes that while the hand gestures could have been in reference to the classic schoolyard made-you-look “circle game,” its use by hateful people and ideologies led to the decision:

We’ve been made aware that this year’s ‘Tabula’ yearbook, which has not yet been distributed, contains several photos of students making a hand gesture that has different meanings. In some cases it’s used in what is known as the circle game. However, the gesture has more recently become associated with white nationalism. Regardless of intent, the potential negative impact of this gesture has led us to decide that we cannot distribute the yearbook as is. We are looking at alternative options, and in the coming days we will share further details about distribution plans. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and support as we work through this situation.

Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor vowing to take down Chicago’s political machine, won the race to become the first black woman mayor of Chicago.

With 94% of precincts reporting, Ms. Lightfoot led Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, 74% to 26%, on Tuesday night, according to data from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Ms. Lightfoot will also be the first gay person to lead the nation’s third-largest city.

“We were up against powerful interests, a powerful machine, a powerful mayor,” Ms. Lightfoot, who will take office in May, said in her victory speech. “We can and we will break this city’s endless cycle of corruption.”

Ms. Preckwinkle said she called Ms. Lightfoot to congratulate her just before 9 p.m. local time and though she was disappointed, she acknowledged the historic nature of the race. “Not long ago, two African-American women vying for this position would have been unthinkable,” she said. “Tonight is about the path forward.”

The women, both Democrats, were the two top vote-getters in the early round of voting on Feb. 26 that whittled the field of 14 candidates.

Ms. Lighfoot will take over a city grappling with problems including violence and trust in police, a falling population and massive pension liabilities.

Both candidates said addressing Chicago’s pervasive violence is a priority and would affect how they deal with the city’s struggling schools, communities and finances.

During the campaign, Ms. Lightfoot sought to link Ms. Preckwinkle with the city’s corrupt political machine, while Ms. Preckwinkle questioned Ms. Lightfoot’s previous leadership of a police-accountability task force.

Despite the vitriol of the campaign, Ms. Lighfoot struck a note of unity with Ms. Preckwinkle on Tuesday night. “Our differences are nothing compared to what we can achieve together,” she told supporters. “Now that it’s over I know that we will work together for the city that we both love.”

Ms. Lightfoot, who supports more-progressive tax policies, said one thing the city can do to improve its finances is rein in the millions it spends each year on settlements, judgments and attorney fees. She said the city must also do a better job about communicating its financial woes and needs to residents.

“We really have to demonstrate to the taxpayers that we’re not going to continue to treat them like an ATM machine with no limit,” she said.

Jaime Dominguez, a professor of political science at Northwestern University, said he was stunned by how few Chicago voters turned out on Tuesday. Officials with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said 32% of registered voters had cast a ballot in the runoff, with turnout largely mirroring that in February. Officials said mail-in and provisional ballots yet to be counted likely would bump that number up slightly in the coming days.

Mr. Dominguez said Ms. Preckwinkle seemed to struggle in her efforts to persuade voters that she could bring reforms related to criminal justice, housing opportunities and aldermanic privilege.

“This wave or undercurrent of antiestablishment politics was definitely prevalent,” Mr. Dominguez said. “Preckwinkle was just not able to detach herself from the establishment, from the ongoing corruption.”

Ms. Lightfoot led in the polls by a substantial margin ahead of election day, putting Ms. Preckwinkle and her supporters on the attack.

Michael Jackson, a 61-year-old teacher from the South Shore on the city’s majority-black South Side, said he voted for Ms. Lightfoot because she symbolizes change and is a “fresh voice” for the city.


Credit: wsj.com