Ashshonti Cash is a student leader at Marquette School of Excellence and has been in the Mikva Challenge Peace and Leadership (PLC) program for the past three years. Ashonti has shared with us why she chooses to continue to participate in Mikva each year.
We did a lot of fun stuff over the years. We wrote Soapbox speeches and participated in the Project Soapbox competition. We did a fun basketball game with the police. When I first attended Mikva Challenge, I thought it was going to be boring, but then I got the hang of it. I really liked it because they asked us our opinion and how we felt about the community. Mikva also asked us what we thought we could do about improving different situations in our community. I like that it kept students engaged and was never boring. I loved that all the work we did was about improving our community.
The people that are in Mikva Challenge are also the people that work in the school so I already have a relationship with them. Being in Mikva helped build our relationship more and because of that, I was really comfortable talking about situations in the community and how to change them and make my community better. I like that they listen to me. When we were writing our speeches, I really needed help so they helped me prepare a better speech. When I went up in front of people to give my speech, I wasn’t really scared because I already had people looking at me like, “You got this! You got this! You don’t have to be scared.”
Mikva Challenge has shaped me to be a better leader than I was because before I was a little shy. Mikva brought out in me the leader that I want to be. It gave me the push that I needed. I really appreciate them for helping me become the leader that I am now.