#ChiTownWarriors (pt 3)

In Part 3 of #ChiTownWarriors, DeAnna McLeary-Sherman and Na-Tae’ Thompson of True Star Media and Foundation talk about elevating the next generation’s voices.

Guest Profiles


DeAnna McLeary-Sherman, True Star Media

DeAnna McLeary-Sherman, co-founder and executive director of True Star Media & Foundation, oversees operations of the organization created to inspire dreams so that young people can find their voice, choose their path, and prepare for life. Being part of the day-to-day operations of True Star has given McLeary-Sherman the opportunity to marry her passion for the business world with her personal goals of educating and empowering underserved youth. Her past career path crosses several industries, including management consulting with Accenture and advertising sales with Essence Communications Partners. In 2015, McLeary-Sherman launched True Access; a marketing strategy group that delivers thought provoking, creative insight for the youth and the young adult urban consumer market. McLeary-Sherman is a 2016 Vanguard Award Honoree recipient of the State of Illinois, Office of Comptroller.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and an MBA with a concentration in marketing and finance from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.  McLeary-Sherman is a wife and mother of three girls ages 4, 21 months, and 9 months. LinkedIn | Twitter | Website


Na-Tae' Thompson, True Star Media

True Star Foundation Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, JeQuana Na-Tae’ Thompson is recipient of an Arts & Youth Community Development Masters and Marketing and Management Bachelors from Columbia College Chicago. Thompson manages the organization’s programs, offering youth skills based apprenticeships as well as community partnerships, ensuring collaboration across multiple organizations throughout the city of Chicago.

Mrs. Thompson utilizes her corporate knowledge, community organizing and natural ability to effectively create niche programming for True Star Foundation, ultimately assisting with the growth in youth served and programs offered. Her school-based network steered the organization’s newest target, middle school students, creating the True Star Jr. program, which emulates the high school programs. Following her desire to impact the lives of youth, Thompson has worked for the Chicago Park District to Chancellor Marketing Group to Vibe Magazine where she gained a wealth of knowledge and experience to lend to the success of True Star Foundation. LinkedIn | Twitter | Website


Vaughn Bryant, Ambassador
Executive Director, Chicago Literacy Alliance

Vaughn is the Executive Director of the Chicago Literacy Alliance and joins after spending the last four years as the Chief Program Officer for the Chicago Park District, where he was responsible for its largest department, Community Recreation, which focused on the Park District’s core mission of providing high-quality leisure services to Chicago residents and visitors. Vaughn joined the Park District after working on the Violence Prevention Initiative as a Deputy Officer at Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Prior to his work at CPS, he served as a manager in Player Development for the National Football League, worked as a licensed marriage and family therapist, and was a former fourth-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions. Vaughn received a master’s degree from Northwestern University and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University. He is a recent graduate of Leadership Greater Chicago, serves on the National Advisory Board of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University and is on various committees with the Chicago Community Trust. Vaughn is also a board member for the Positive Coaching Alliance – Chicago. LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Show Notes

Sponsor messages donated to YouthRadio by The Ambassadors Circle

Time For Some Action: Check out True Star Media and True Star Foundation to make a donation, consume some independent media or give them a shout out and word of encouragement on our social posts.

What’s the 411:



  • Last Word - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel 
  • Love Jones Brother to the Night (A Blues for Nina, Love Jones OST)


Production: Sound Design by Courtney Grace, Production Assistance by Jen Huynh with Hosts Christianne Harder, LT and j-

360BayArea Intro Music by Courtney Grace with vocals by ElleT

Featured Music:
DD Sakora “2020” and “Outta This World
Griot “Everyday
Eleone “Ambient Lounge

Featured Quick clips:
Mary J Blige “What’s the 411
Drake ft Future “Grammys
Redman “Time 4 sum Aktion
The Dark Knight Rises Main Theme
Vic Mensa “Lovely Day
Jennifer Hudson “You Pulled Me Through” and “Walk It Out Ft. Timbaland

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