Roosevelt University to award scholarships to teens doing exceptional work with Mikva Challenge

1612Roosevelt University and the Mikva Challenge announced a unique arrangement on Thursday, April 7, that will pave the way for teens participating in Mikva’s many civic engagement projects and activities to be eligible for scholarships at Roosevelt University.

Building on a partnership that began in December 2014, Roosevelt will award high school students earning all of Mikva’s learning badges a $1,000 scholarship to attend Roosevelt University.

“We are amazed by the interest and action that Mikva Challenge teens take in being involved in public policy issues and their communities,” said Sam Rosenberg, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Roosevelt University.

“With this new arrangement, we are putting a value on their achievements that will inspire them to learn new skill sets, and at the same time give them an incentive to go to college at Roosevelt University,” said Rosenberg.

Following a model endorsed by the Chicago City of Learning and the MacArthur Foundation, the Mikva Challenge rewards youths who achieve increasing levels of civic involvement with digital earning badges that reinforce and actualize their accomplishments.

During a summer camp held at Roosevelt’s Chicago Campus and then throughout the school year, Mikva Challenge youths have the chance to earn up to six badges recognizing them for:  civic belief; expertise; collaboration; research; communication; and activism.

Under the arrangement, Roosevelt becomes the first educational institution to reward students who earn all six badges with a seventh Roosevelt-Mikva Social Justice Leader badge and a $1,000 scholarship that can be used with Roosevelt merit and need-based scholarships.

If admitted to Roosevelt, Mikva students will also have access to a Roosevelt social justice studies professor and advisor, check-in sessions, as well as academic, first-generation student support and counseling and career services.

“While our badges are certainly a tangible way for these youths to see that they have attained a skill set, Roosevelt is the first to put a real value on the badges,” remarked Michelle Morales, executive director of the Mikva Challenge in Chicago.

“Thanks to this new program, students at Mikva will see these badges as being useful, not only for attaining skills, but also for helping to pay for college. We hope other colleges will follow Roosevelt’s lead in this endeavor,” she said.