Update, June 2020 (see full original press release below):

January 2020, Mikva Challenge brought over 200 students together from six states and DC before the Iowa Caucuses for three days of campaigning, meeting candidates and learning from each other about the issues they most hope candidates will address in the lead up to this November’s election. Watch their journey here:


For media inquiries:  Mary Carlson 

Office: 312-471-2004  | Cell: 773-837-8388 |  Email: mary@mikvachallenge.org

Friday, January 17, 2020 – Sunday, January 19, 2020

Over 100 students representing high schools from across the country will travel with Mikva Challenge to Iowa where they will spend three days campaigning for Presidential candidates in the lead up to the Iowa Caucuses.

Students will:

  • Friday and Saturday: campaign for Presidential candidates through phone banking and canvassing 
  • Saturday evening: participate in a Youth Issues Summit where they will discuss and debate the top issues young people are facing today with youth from across the country; and strategize how youth can get involved in this election regardless of whether they can vote next November. 
  • Sunday: Convene for a farewell sendoff


  • As part of the Mikva Action Civics programming, youth return from trip and work on local political campaigns and as community activists for issues in their neighborhoods and schools.
  • Alumni of the Mikva presidential campaign trips report: voting at 3 times the rate of their peers, working on campaigns at 16 times the rate of their peers, and volunteering at twice the rate of peers.

Press opportunities:

  • Thursday, Jan. 16, 5pm — Washington, DC: Students arrive at Ronald Reagan National Airport to depart for Des Moines. 
  • Friday, January 17, 6:00am — Chicago: Students leave from Chicago for Des Moines. Youth from Chicago will gather at the Mikva Challenge office to head out for Des Moines. 
  • Friday, January 17, 3pm to 5pm — Iowa: Campaigning Day 1 / 125 Youth will visit different campaign offices and phonebank for candidates. 
  • Saturday, January 18, 9:30 to 4:30pm — Iowa: Campaign Day 2 / 125 Youth will visit  different campaign offices and events and campaign  for candidates. 
  • Saturday, January 18, 6:00pm to 10:30pm — Iowa: 2020 Youth Issues Summit at Franklin Junior High, 4801 Franklin Ave, Des Moines, IA 50310. Youth will come together to caucus for issues they want to see candidates address in the coming election 
  • Sunday, January 19, noon: Farewell from Iowa / Youth will board buses to head back to Chicago.
  • Sunday, Jan. 19, 12pm — Iowa: Students arrive at the airport to depart for Washington, DC. 

Mikva alumni available for interviews:

  1. Contact: Warisha Aslam at war798@gmail.com
  2. Contact: Oswaldo Alvarez at oswaldo.alvarez@illinois.gov

Current Mikva students who are going on the Iowa trip are also available for interviews leading up to the trip.

Contact: mary@mikvachallenge.org to arrange an interview. 

Students attending the Iowa trip will come from:

Chicagoland and central IL, Washington DC, Detroit MI, Des Moines IA, Milwaukee and Madison WI, St Louis MO, Dallas TX, Portland OR and Daly City CA

“I learned that I can help change the world even though I am young. Young people have voices too.”  — Mikva Challenge student, 2016

“One of my favorite parts of the trip was going to the campaign office. The atmosphere there was something impossible to describe – I wanted to spend hours there and never leave!” — Mikva Challenge Iowa trip alumni