The Chicago Journal

April Mata Shares Why She Has Committed Her Life to Serve Others

Adversities in life can either make or break a person. April Mata is someone who has been through unimaginable things since childhood, experiences that no child should ever have to go through. She stood her ground and did not allow her circumstances to define her future through it all. Instead of wallowing over things that defiled her innocence and the early years of her life, she chose to find silver linings and clung to the hope of better days. On a mission to make a difference, April Mata now leverages her experiences to help children and adults feel that they are not alone in their battles.

“My parents divorced when I was seven, and my life quickly got turned upside down. As soon as my dad moved out, my mom was already moving a new man in,” shared April Mata. “One morning, I awoke upon hearing my mom’s voice. As I walked downstairs, she quickly got off the phone and proceeded to tell me that she had something to tell me: ‘Gilbert isn’t your real father, but I’m taking you to meet your real father today!’ That day she took me to meet my real father, who lived across the street from us in my grandparents’ basement. My life has never been the same since that day,” she narrated in detail.

At that moment, April Mata said she felt that everything she ever believed in was a lie as if the world she knew all her life no longer made any sense. During that time, she also recalled everything she had to go through in life: sexual abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, addiction, divorce, and the loss of her brother, two children, cousin, and many other loved ones. She shared that it felt as if the world was closing in on her, ready to engulf her every being. But through it all, April Mata shared that her children have been her saving grace.

Through her adversities, she grew stronger. Learning and navigating life through parenting, and seeing the world through a parental lens, allowed her to advocate for the needs of children. Today, she is advocating for children on social norms, family courts, and parental alienation to ensure that no other child has to suffer the same way she did. Her adversities were a blessing because they molded her to be the exact empathetic person she is today. But she has made it her mission to help children get the childhood they deserve.

“Throughout every downfall and painful experience has made me such a strong person. It was difficult, and I’ve seen many others give up altogether. It saddens me to think of the people out there feeling lost and alone, and I just know that my experiences will not be in vain,” April Mata said. “Somehow, I’ve managed to find the light through the darkness.” April Mata wants nothing more than to help others shed light on things that drag them to dark tunnels. As one who has been through the worst, April Mata shared that there will always be light, and the world, despite its troubles and failures, always has a hope to offer.

iPhone 14 Rumored to Integrate South Korean Tech for Selfie Cameras

The iPhone series is one of the most anticipated techs revealed each year, and the iPhone 14 lineup is no different, with reports coming in that the display notch will finally see a minimalist design; however, that is only one of the reasons to be excited as Apple is finally upgrading its front camera.

Initially, Apple had plans to upgrade its selfie cameras for the iPhone 15 lineup, but the company decided to push the schedule forward after encountering some quality problems with Chinese-made cameras, which came to light during the quality testing. As a result, the manufacturers were booted, and LG Innotek, alongside Sharp, was brought in to produce high-end selfie snappers.

The switch marks the first time in history that a Korean company would produce the iPhone’s front-facing camera. Apple is reportedly designating selfie cams as high-end components moving forward rather than the low-end ones they used to be. The new selfie snapper is expected to use autofocus that’s built into the camera, an upgrade from the software tuning that current iPhones do. 

The front camera will also reportedly have a wider f/1.9 aperture, a significant improvement from the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro’s f/2.2 aperture. The wider aperture will allow more light in, giving photos taken more light and details. Additionally, the aperture will improve nighttime shots. 

The iPhone 14 front-facing camera is expected to remain with the 12MP sensor, while the iPhone 14 Pro’s main camera is tipped to get a 48MP main camera. Apple has long been focused on the megapixels for the rear camera over the selfie camera.

Despite the positive upgrade with the widening aperture and autofocus on the front-facing camera, iPhone prices will most likely increase with camera manufacturing prices. Two of the four upcoming iPhone 14 models are expected to see a price increase of $100, with the new $899 iPhone 14 Max replacing the Mini after low sales completing the quartet.

The iPhone 14 is predicted to get minor upgrades, maintaining the A15 Bionic chip from the iPhone 13 but with an improved RAM. The iPhone 14 Max is also expected to have a larger 6.7-inch display.

Former WWE Star John Morrison’s AEW Debut Sparks Universal Praise

Since it was created, All Elite Wrestling or AEW has developed a habit of scooping up former talents from its rival brand, the WWE, and recently, they managed to bring in Johnny Elite, formerly John Morrison. 

Johnny Elite (real name John Hennigan) appeared last Wednesday on AEW Dynamite to participate in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament as a “Joker,” where he faced Samoa Joe. In AEW, the “Joker” is typically a professional wrestler who makes their debut with the promotion. The past has seen the likes of “Hangman” Adam Page, Ruby Soho, and Matt Sydal — all entering the company in a Casino Battle Royale. 

Although Johnny Elite lost to Samoa Joe, their match was met with universal praise, including AEW President and CEO Tony Khan, who had nothing but positive words for the former WWE Intercontinental Champion. Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Khan described how great it was to have Elite in his promotion as he played the mentor role to some of the young talents in the locker room and is a fan favorite among the audience.

“Oh man, it was great to have Johnny Elite here,” Khan said, letting his excitement get the better side of himself. “What a great match-up he had with Samoa Joe. It was a great way to make his debut in the Owen (Hart Foundation Tournament). That was tremendous, and really, I am very glad he was here.”

“He’s a great mentor to some of the young wrestlers in the locker room and somebody I think fans have looked up to for a long time, and he went toe-to-toe with one of the toughest wrestlers in AEW. One of our great stars and one of the greatest stars in the history of Ring of Honor – Samoa Joe.”

Although Khan was all praises for Elite, he has not revealed the wrestler’s status with the promotion, and there have been no reports from either AEW or Johnny Elite coming to terms with a full-time deal.

Following Hennigan’s release from WWE, he returned to AAA for a brief stint before returning to the independent circuit. His role as the “Joker” entrant has raised speculations about his signing with AEW, leaving many fans hoping for a permanent role with prospects of a title run.

The Second Trailer of Thor: Love and Thunder Brings Fans Closer to a Reunion with Thor and Jane

Marvel fans were treated to the long wait for Thor: Love and Thunder when it finally dropped during Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, expanding Natalie Portman’s return as Jane Foster. No longer just a human, Jane Foster’s role in Thor’s story is elevated with the reveal that not only is she worthy to wield Mjolnir, but she is also worthy to carry the title, the Mighty Thor.

In the trailer, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor finally sheds off the weight he gained over 2019’s Endgame as Korg (Waititi) tells his tale as the God of Thunder to some curious listeners. The arrival of Jane Foster’s Thor throws the God of Thunder into a mixed bag of emotions with surprise that not only did she return, but she did so with his old weapon. 

Apart from Natalie Portman’s return, fans were finally treated to the first look of Christian Bale’s Gorr the God-Butcher, the threat that Thor and his friends must overcome as Gorr has taken it upon himself to end all gods for their selfishness. Russell Crowe also makes a better appearance as Zeus (as his back was on the camera for the first trailer). Readers of the comic will be excited to see seasoned actor Christian Bale as Gorr, especially with the sword featured in the trailer, a weapon that has ties with Venom and the Celestials. 

The second trailer featured everything that excited fans and casual watchers of the Thor movies – flashy colors, good humor, and vintage rock music (this time, Guns n’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine). While characters of the Thor comics are featured prominently, Thor: Love and Thunder will also include the Guardians of the Galaxy minus Gamora, making for another star-studded Marvel movie.

“The film finds Thor on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace,” wrote Marvel’s official synopsis. “But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher, who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.”

Thor: Love and Thunder is set to hit the theaters on July 8.