Democracy is a verb.


Chicago Housing Authority Youth Council

The Chicago Housing Authority Council’s (CHA) mission is to improve the quality of life for young people living in CHA Housing. Their vision is to create more year round paid educational opportunities for CHA youth through community, government and private partnerships.

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Youth Council is a group of 20 empowered and outspoken young CHA residents who are striving to create practices and policies that could better the lives of CHA youth. They also serve as a youth advisory body to the CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority and provide him with recommendations on policies and practices that could improve the lives of CHA youth residents.

The group came together this summer for the first time to answer the framing question of: “How might we build on current youth programming in order to create more year round paid/unpaid educational opportunities for CHA youth?” They are now in the process of rolling out these recommendations and preparing for a YOUth Rule Chicago summit in December 2016.

YOUth Rule Chicago 2016

YOUth Rule Chicago is a youth sponsored summit bringing together the ideas of young people across the city.
Click here to download a flyer for this event.

Notable Achievements
  • Inaugural year for the Chicago Housing Authority Youth Council aimed at bringing youth voice to the CHA leadership
  • Researched and analyzed the current state of youth employment through articles, video clips, site visits, panel discussions and interviews with experts
  • Youth leaders met with CHA CEO Eugene Jones Jr. five times to discuss and present their ideas
  • Researched, developed and presented 5 recommendations related to youth unemployment within CHA
  • Planning a youth-led Summit for young people to share ideas and solutions on December 3rd

My favorite part of Mikva is that I feel empowered to say how I feel. I know my voice matters and I know how to make changes in my community – Reggie Hatley, CHA Youth Council participant.


students campaigned during the 2015-16 Election Season


of Mikva alumni continue to volunteer in their communities, vs. only 36% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide


Mikva students serve as election judges each election cycle


of Mikva alumni are registered voters, vs. only 53% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide


of Mikva alumni encourage their friends and family to be politically engaged, vs. only 35% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide


Chicagoland teachers participate in Mikva Challenge programs


students from 117 schools nationwide presented speeches and/or worked on civic action projects


young people served in the Chicagoland area, California and Washington DC

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