Chasing the ghost – The struggle to stay drug-free

By Lu Zhao Medill Reports When Ryan Ali looks back on his teenage years, he wishes he had been “the biggest nerd in the school.” He wasn’t. He was easily influenced by what he calls “peer pressure.” There was a party night back in high school in Chicago. A friend called Ali into the bathroom. […]

Water contamination threat continues for the Navajo Nation

By Lily Qi and Lu Zhao Medill Reports Uranium, arsenic, lead … have you ever thought about these metals contaminating the water you use and drink every day? Once they reach a certain level, these elements can cause illness and even endanger your life. This is what has been happening in the Navajo Nation with […]

The journey from homelessness to finding a home

By Lu Zhao Medill Reports The single room occupancy (SRO) residence on Kenmore Avenue occupies a clean, quiet and lovely part of Uptown, dotted with a chain of Vietnamese and Chinese shops. The building is close to the Argyle station on the Red Line, only a three-minute walk away. I wasn’t sure whether I could […]

Self-identification or tribal membership: Different paths to your heritage

By Lu Zhao Medill Reports It was a surprise for the 8-year-old girl when she first learned she is a Native American many years ago. Pamala Silas still remembers that day. She had transferred to a new school. Huddling in the chair, sitting beside her younger sister, Pam was introduced by the teacher as an […]

Every night out in the cold: Volunteers count the city’s homeless

By Lu Zhao and Kimberly Jin Medill Reports Shivering in the icy wind, he stood alone on the refuge island at the crossroad of West Cermak Road and South Clark Street. Out in the pitch darkness, the middle-aged man became visible under a dim streetlight. Being first-time volunteers for the annual Homeless Count, we hesitated. […]

Never had a food allergy? You may develop one in adulthood

By Lu Zhao Medill Reports Tree nuts used to be a healthy snack for Jill Marks Yamane  – until last year. She snacked on a pack of Almond Pocky Sticks as usual while waiting for an appointment. Suddenly, she felt terrible. “My tongue started going numb,” Yamane recalled. “And my mouth felt inflamed.” Breathing became […]