Our Programs.

Youth-led Advocacy

All Programs

We believe that youth deserve a seat at the table with city and school leaders who make public policy. When young people are involved in decision-making processes that impact their lives, better decisions are made.

Citywide Youth Councils

One of our most robust Chicago based programs removes barriers to help youth participate in the formation, implementation, and evaluation of public policy in city government. Our youth councils serve as policy experts and advocates, helping the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, the Cook County Board President, City Commissioners, and other city leaders make public policy decisions that significantly impact youth citywide.

Student Voice Committees

are designed to form crucial student–adult partnerships to help address the myriad of issues facing schools today. The primary goals for these councils are: to improve school culture, and to develop leadership skills of each youth.

Student Voice Committees accomplish both of those primary goals by engaging young people in the decision-making process at school by partnering with the school principal or other key school leaders on addressing a key issue in the building.

Neighborhood-based Change

Our Neighborhood Leadership Initiative (NLI) program is an intensive program that supports young people from communities that experience high rates of violence by exploring hyper-local issues; intensive mentoring and support for opportunity youth; and connecting youth to local leaders to impact community decision-making.

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We offer focused support to help young people unpack issues specific to communities that experience high-rates of violence. Youth build skills to become leaders and work with adults to bring solutions-based changes to their communities.

Neighborhoods in Focus

  • New City
  • North Lawndale
  • Gage Park

In IL, for more information contact:

Verneé Green

Chief Program Officer

Mikva Challenge has helped me connect with the constituents that matter most to me and my office — students. Listening and working with Mikva youth leaders has helped me implement policies and programs that truly center youth needs.

Dr. Janice Jackson, CEO, Chicago Public Schools