Program Descriptions

Here are Mikva Challenge IL’s youth programs:

Here are the programs Mikva operates during the summer:

Neighborhood Leadership Initiative (NLI) |

NLI is a leadership program for 13-15 year old youth living or going to school in North Lawndale, Gage Park, and New City/Back of the Yards. Each session, youth get to know each other, engage in community-building games, and discuss and research issues around violence in their neighborhood. The ultimate goals are to gain leadership skills and meet with adult leaders, such as aldermen, to include youth voice in the changes they want to see in their communities.

Apply to NLI


Citywide Youth Councils (CYCs) |

Citywide Youth Councils serve as a mechanism for current 9th -11th graders to have input on city policy. Each CYC consists of young people from across the city who meet to participate in team building, leadership development, research, and the creation of policy proposals to key decision makers in city government.  Citywide Youth Councils allow youth to have a voice in the formation, implementation, and evaluation of public policy; our councils include Juvenile Justice Council (JJC), CPS Student Advisory Council (SAC), Teen Health Council (THC), and Youth Safety Advisory Council (YSAC).

Chicago Youth Councils are currently recruiting! If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form.


Mikva Summer Fellows (MSF) |

Mikva Challenge Summer Fellows (MSF) is a six week program that will place approximately 50 young people ages 17-20 to serve as fellows in the offices of city, county, state and federal lawmakers across the city of Chicago for 30 hours a week, for 6 weeks between June and August. Additionally, Fellows will receive 4+ hours of professional development workshops focused on work readiness skills. Mikva partners with the Illinois Department of Human Services Youth Investment Program (IYIP) to support this paid internship opportunity to Cook county youth. The IYIP partnership allows Mikva to pay our fellows $15 per hour for their hard work and valuable contributions in their offices.

Mikva Summer Fellows (MSF) is currently recruiting! If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form.


Any questions about the application process can be sent to

At Mikva Challenge, we celebrate difference and are committed to providing equitable opportunities, addressing the effects of power and privilege. Mikva Challenge is proud to be an equal employment opportunity workplace. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, gender, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, veteran status, or any other factor covered by federal, state, or local statutes. We want to create an empowering space to change lives!