Mikva Youth Councils
We believe that youth deserve a seat at the table with city and school leaders who make public policy that significantly affects Chicago youth.
Citywide Youth Councils
The purpose of the Citywide Youth Councils (CYCs) is to strengthen youth participation in the formation, implementation, and evaluation of public policy in city government through the creation of issue-based youth councils. The six youth councils (listed below) serve as youth policy experts and advocates, helping the Mayor, 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. The councils also serve as a mechanism for a broader base of Chicago youth to have input on key city policy decisions that affect them.
Our six CYC’s include:
- Teen Health Council
- CPS Student Advisory Council
- Juvenile Justice Council
- Mayor’s Youth Commission
- Chicago Housing Authority Youth Council
- After School Matters Council
Youth in this program:
- SPEAK OUT about issues affecting them, their schools and communities;
- TAKE ACTION on issues affecting their communities;
- ADVISE city and school officials on issues affecting young people in Chicago;
- ADVOCATE for change in their schools and communities;
- COLLABORATE with young people from different backgrounds.
- 95% of CYC participants can critically analyze and take steps towards solutions for citywide issues (vs. 49% before).
- Mikva’s Student Advisory Council is rolling out a district-wide survey to help improve relations between students and security guards.
- Teen Health Council trains and leads 25 youth wellness teams, who implement grassroots health activism programs in their schools.
- Mikva’s Juvenile justice Council launched a web app, expunge.io, to help people get their juvenile records expunged.
- The Mayoral Youth Commission won Mayor Emanuel’s approval and successfully launched the Free CTA fare initiative to 10 schools with the aim of increasing school attendance rates.
- The After School Matters produced a training guide and video for youth workers to help them better facilitate their programs.
I thank Mikva Challenge for empowering me to find concrete solutions to seemingly intractable problems and for helping me reach greater heights than I ever could have imagined.
– Jennifer Osagie, Mikva Class of 2008