By Lisha Lopez.
Seven weeks, twenty-one vivacious students, three passionate adult leaders. Together they formed Mikva Challenge’s summer 2017 Teen Health Council. The Teen Health Council came together from all parts of Chicago to critique, analyze, and build upon health policy. The health council drew upon their own experiences and accepted the advice given to them by their guests to curate a number of well thought out, researched proposals.
The Teen Health Council presented their recommendations to a group of influential leaders, including Dr. Julie Morita in public health on August 9th, 2017. They strode into the conference room with an air of confidence and demonstrated who they are as Chicago youth, and what they are capable of doing. Teen Health Council youth wasted no time in presenting hard facts, “Only 19% of Chicago Public School youth eat fruits and vegetables,” they said to the group. They then provided their solutions to this issue. As a group they presented mental health awareness fairs, farmers markets on wheels, and the revamping of dental program posters.Through their proposals the Teen Health Council was able to demonstrate depth of knowledge, social consciousness and creativity.
Seven weeks may present itself as a short period of time, and it is, but in these short seven weeks the members of THC have been able to grow both as individuals, as well as a collective. The friendships they have formed with one another are long-lasting. Meanwhile, the recommendations they have drafted and proposed are quickly on their way to becoming a reality.