Chicago Rising from the Ashes

By Deja Young and Ally Gawrys

It was never quite specified how the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 started. Some say it was the barn of Patrick and Catherine O’leary on October 8 – but there is no denying the drastic push for a newly envisioned Chicago that came through the devastation.

Before the Chicago fire – the landscape of the city followed the typical city landscape of the time – low tech, low fidelity and yielding a population of approximately 324,000. Author and Chicago historian Neal Samors told the Chicago Architecture Foundation and WBEZ – if the fire had not occurred, “Chicago would probably have been a much smaller metropolis and not the second [currently third] largest city in the United States.”

Continue reading “Chicago Rising from the Ashes”

10 of Chicago’s Black Owned Businesses

In  Chicago there are so many things to do and places to visit that sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. Often people visit these places without taking into account those who own it and what they offer to the city’s social and cultural atmosphere. I wanted to take the time to highlight some very successful Black owned businesses throughout the city that I believe do a great job at expanding our social and cultural atmosphere within Chicago.


Google Trends: Fenty & KKW

Fenty vs KKW

Many celebrities like to make a name for themselves outside of their claim to fame, and Rihanna and Kim Kardashian are no different. The year of 2017 was the launch of both of their makeup lines Fenty Beauty and KKW Beauty. Both of these women are known for their glamorous style and flawless makeup. Kim Kardashian launched her brand on June 21, 2017 while Rihanna launched hers on September 8, 2017.

In this Google trend I compared a years worth of search for Fenty Beauty and KKW Beauty from the day both of brands launched. In the graph below we can see that during the time Kim launched her brand KKW was trending higher than Fenty, but Fenty Beauty was searched for drastically higher around the time of Rihanna’s launch compared to Kim.


Kim vs Rihanna

Kim Kardashian and Rihanna have been in the limelight for over a decade now, and have been a household name for many.  Because of their vast popularity within our pop culture, especially within the year of their makeup line launching I decided to do a Google analysis of both of these women to see who was searched more.

As expected Kim Kardashian was searched more just because she is more active on her social networking platforms in comparison to Rihanna, but what I thought was the most interesting was that around the time of her KKW launching Rihanna was searched more than Kim which is interesting because one would think otherwise.

Quinn: MAP grants critical for low-income students


Gov. Pat Quinn talks about MAP grants at DePaul University. (Photo by Josclynn Brandon)

Editor’s note: This story was originally posted on Dec. 12, 2012 and is housed at It’s been repurposed with permission for this assignment:

By Deja Young

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said.

“We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”

MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.“We do not want anyone denied that opportunity because of finances,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to lose all the talent that exists, all the ability that exists for higher education to help our economy and to help all of us, because there are financial challenges that deny someone the opportunity to go to community college or a four-year university — public and private — in our state.”

Quinn was joined by several Illinois college students, including DePaul Student Government Association Vice President Casey Clemmons.

“Every year over 5,000 DePaul students receive MAP grants, and just like the students who have already spoken here today, all of these DePaul students rely on this funding in order to continue their college careers,” Clemmons said.

“Because the number of Illinois students eligible to receive MAP is currently increasing, existing funding does not allow the state to assist all the eligible students. As a result, without action by the Illinois state leadership, more DePaul students than ever will see their MAP funding disappear this year and more DePaul students than ever will be forced to give up their education due finances”

More than 150,000 students nationally receive MAP grants each year.

Clemmons told the audience that on Tuesday, DePaul’s SGA unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Illinois general assembly and the governor to ensure the longevity of the MAP program.  He read the resolution aloud and presented a copy to Quinn. 


Ken Thomas, a University of Illinois Board of Trustees student member, MAP recipient and University of Illinois Chicago student, told how he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the MAP grant.

“My mom, when I was in high school, had to work two jobs just to keep food on the table,” Thomas said, “and if we didn’t have [the] MAP program like we do today, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today; graduating with a degree, hoping to be a productive member of society.” 

Having a productive and functioning society and economy is what Quinn says it’s all about.

“Jobs follow brainpower,” he said. “We want to make sure we have smart people in Illinois. Well skilled, well-educated students coming out of college with graduate degrees and diplomas so they can create jobs, create new businesses,” he said. “Our goal in Illinois is to have at least 60 percent of the adults in our state with a college degree or college associate degree or career certificate by the year 2025. In order to achieve we have to make sure we have a good scholarship program.”

Clemmons said that in order for that to happen, state legislatures need to reflect upon the question, “What must be done?” and do what’s required.