Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Eduardo Martinez
Eisenhower High School
Kevin McLurkin is a Chicago youth whose drive to help his community has led him to consider becoming the president of the United States.
Having witnessed some of the real life living situations in America, McLurkin plans to change the world.
McLurkin, who will be a senior this coming fall at Urban Prep Academy, located in the Chicago neighborhood of Englewood, said that from the experiences he has had living in a violent environment, he has thought of ways in which to help his community.
He feels that the reason for much of the violence in Chicago is the apathy of people with the power to help stop it. The vice president of his school’s student government as well as a member of the debate team, McLurkin has practiced his public speaking and reasoning skills extensively.
McLurkin lives in a community much calmer than Englewood called Wrightwood, but living so close to danger, he’s seen violence just a few neighborhoods over many times.
“I used to ride public transit all the time, I once saw a man punch a lady on a train I was on and steal her phone right from her hands,” said McLurkin. “That changed my life.”
From that moment on, McLurkin sought ways to combat the violence he saw in his area.
He hit a plateau once he took an African American history class at his school. He says that with that class, he realized how daunting the task of change is.
“I feel obligated to help the hood and change the environment, but the problem with looking for an answer to solving those problems is that you end up with a question: how do I help?” said McLurkin. “People have embedded a system of control that needs to be stopped.”
When asked about his political views, McLurkin identified himself as a Democrat, but expressed his belief that President Barack Obama is a political tool for a sense of false hope, however he admits Obama has done some positive things.
His plans for the future include experimenting more with politics, law and debate as career choices.
In the meantime, McLurkin plans on using his public speaking skills to do online podcasts spreading his opinion, as well as being a part of the online publication, The Lion Review at thelionreview.com.