Marissa Lumpkin

“I want to sound-off about drugs in the neighborhood. I wish there were somebody to help us get rid of drugs. I suggest maybe more police or community programs.”

“Hurricane Katrina Victims”
Nedra Sobule
“I want to talk about the Hurricane Katrina victims. A few weeks ago I was looking at the news and I saw some of the people who had been victims of the disaster, and they were upset because the government was going to stop paying for their housing in the hotels. I was kind of desponded about the whole issue because the government had already paid for them to live there for one month. Why had they not been out searching for jobs? They know it couldn’t last forever. I mean the government doesn’t have that kind of money, and then it just seems like the African-American people are always people with our hands out. We don’t ever look to our future to see what we can invest in and see what we can do to make our future better. Just like the people who were so poor in Louisiana. They have been poor for so many years, now all of a sudden the hurricane comes and now the fact that they’re poor is this major issue. What were they doing to get themselves out of that slump before it all happen? Why weren’t they going to school? Why were they not trying to get better jobs? Why were they not trying to pack their families up and sell what they had to move to better areas? Were we complacent in being poor? So I think we just need to look to the future and try to do better as a people and stop looking to the “man” to help us get out of everything. We have the capabilities to do it ourselves.”

Destiny Basnight

14 years old: “I transferred from a school on the West Side (Lovett) to Lake Forest Academy, a boarding school. It was a better environment because it was a better neighborhood. The academics were challenging and it was a different environment then where I was. At Lovett, there where a lot of fights and a lot of problems, and they didn’t give you any challenges. The first semester was a struggle for me because it was really different. I’m not at home with my parents anymore and the skills were different. I am accountable for my actions and I am going to Lake Forest Academy because it is going to help me in the long run with the type of job that I would like to have, and the colleges I would like to go to. And it’s just bettering my education so I can become smarter and enhance my vocabulary . As for a career right now, I thinking about forensic science. I got a scholarship to Lake Forest because at the public school at the end of the year there was a scholarship program and you had to fill out papers to Daniel Murphy Scholarship Foundation, and you had to write an essay. They read about your life and review your grades and put you with people on the same academic status.”


Colleen Redmond

“I certainly would like to make more money. I want to finish college and pursue a medical career. I would like to use my ROTC training I received in school from 7th grade to graduation to pursue my goals.”

Nina Basnight

“As Destiny’s mother we wanted the best education for her. This is now her second semester. It’s a challenging environment, but you need that because with all of this ‘No Child Left Behind,’ I think all the children are being left behind. I really don’t understand the concept of that. So how are they going to get to the level they need to be once they get out on their own? It is not possible for them to advance or become what they need to be in this world for our future, or even get into college. We must prepare our children early.”

Jonathan Blissit

“I would like to go back to school. I am going back this summer. My ambition is to become a cop. (AWN: Why did you choose a cop, being a young black man?) “Well, I would get to do things the way I want to see them done and protect my city the way I feel it should be done. We’re always talking about things, but we need to go out and do something about it. Another thing, I want to be able to help my little brother and sister more because my mother is working first shift now. I have to help them more with their work. Their names are Sean and Shalita. They are six-year-old twins and they are great kids. I would like to help them more this summer and set an example for being a good son and brother.”