FM Supreme & CIW’s Cassandra Murff Team Up to Mentor Chicago Youth

Rapper and activist Jessica Disu, known as FM Supreme, had been waiting to meet a young Harper High female student named “Murff” for a long time.  Murff was in the same high school program Disu had been a part of as a student, and the two share the same mentor.
Cassandra Murff, Mission Motivators founder and Harper High grad,
is ready to share her story and inspirations with area youth.
Photo courtesy of Cassandra Murff.

When she was introduced to Cassandra at the Chicago Ideas Week Master Class Guns: Solutions and Action, it took Disu a minute to realize that this was the motivated Harper High student she had heard so much about, Cassandra Murff.  For her part, Murff—now a freshman at DePaul University and the founder of Mission Motivators, a mentoring program at Harper High—knew immediately whom she was meeting.  Disu’s activism and rapping career keep her in the spotlight; just this month, she released a new music video and showed up in The Chicago Tribune.

Murff, a co-host and speaker at the Master Class, impressed Disu with her ability to “use her voice to tell her story, speak her voice.”  Not too long after the October event, FM Supreme asked Murff to talk at “Transforming Pain into Power,” a panel and youth town-hall held this November in Chicago.
FM Supreme views mentorship as a growth process
 for mentor and mentee alike. Photo courtesy of FM Supreme.

“I always speak in front of a group of adults,” Murff said of the experience, where she shared her story with around 230 area youth and brought the room to “tears,” according to Disu.  “I finally had the opportunity to go out and speak to kids my age and a little younger.”

Disu views the talk as an opportunity for both Murff and the students she talked to.  “The younger you are, the more youth listen to you,” Disu said, admitting that even being in her mid-twenties creates a barrier between her and some of the students she is trying to reach.
Disu is excited to continue to collaborate with Murff, whom she considers a mentee and a “little sister.”  “Being a mentor is being a friend/teacher/sister/supporter/motivator,” she described of her relationship with Murff and other area youth.  “The mentee should always be growing.  If you’re not growing, you need to ask, ‘Am I mentoring or being a friend?’”

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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