Mikva Staff

Jill Bass, Director of Curriculum and Teacher Development
Jill has taught in Chicago and New York City public schools for 14 years and has been a Mikva teacher for much of that time.  She has a masters in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has been a professional developer, curriculum writer, educational consultant and instructional coach.  At Mikva, Jill directs the Center for Action Civics, overseeing curriculum development, teacher training and marketing of "action civics" philosophy in Chicago and beyond.  

Brian Brady, Executive Director
Brian has led the Mikva Challenge for 12 years and has over 20 years of experience as a youth worker. Prior to joining Mikva Challenge in 2000, Brian worked with at-risk youth on the West Side of Chicago. He has grown Mikva Challenge's unique model of action civics over the years from an all volunteer organization that served 120 students in 8 schools to one that now involves over 5,100 students from 101 Chicago area high schools annually and 22 staff. His vision for a society where youth's expertise, voice, and action are valued is what continues to be a driving force for the organization today. 

Jocelyn Broitman, Youth Council Program Coordinator
Jocelyn graduated from the University of Illinois with a BA in International Studies and Gender and Women Studies. Before she came to Mikva she coordinated an after-school enrichment program in Rogers Park. She will be coordinating the Peace & Leadership Councils at Clemente, Marshall and Wells high schools.

Karla Castilla, Youth Council Program Coordinator

An alumna of Mikva Challenge, Karla has interned at SEIU and Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC). Karla later became a Mikva Peace Fellow in 2009, where she helped run a Peace & Leadership Council at the high school level. Last year, Karla came back to Mikva and helped launch a middle school pilot project at Orozco middle school. Karla joined the Mikva staff officially as a Peace & Leadership Council Coordinator in June of 2011.

ShaRhonda Dawson, Associate Director
ShaRhonda has been with Mikva since 2000. She has held many positions at Mikva and most recently directed Mikva's Elections program. She currently supervises all of Mikva's youth policymaking programs. ShaRhonda holds a Masters degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.

Louise DiLullo, Individual Giving and Special Events Coordinator

Louise joined the Mikva staff as a member of the development team in 2013. Louise is an AmeriCorps alum, holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Ohio University, and has previously worked in nonprofit management.

Francisco "Cisco" Enriquez, Youth Council Program Coordinator
Cisco graduated from Governors State University with a bachelor's degree in Social Work and graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a master's degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community Health and Urban Development. He has experience working as a childcare worker at a resident home for youth and also as a youth advocate for an after school program. During the 2010-2011 school year, Cisco interned at Mikva Challenge in the student judge program and PLC program. He currently coordinates Peace & Leadership Councils at two Chicago high schools.

Meghan Goldenstein, Elections in Action and Project Soapbox Coordinator meghan@mikvachallenge.org
Meghan holds a Masters in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and comes to Mikva following previous work as a children's librarian assistant, a teacher, and a field organizer during the 2008 presidential campaign. At Mikva, she works on the teacher-based program team, managing the Campaign Program and overseeing the organization of Project Soapbox classroom competitions.

Rocio Herrera, Operations Coordinator & Lead Bookkeeper
Rocio is a graduate of Kelly High School and National-Louis University, where she earned a degree in Business Administration. Rocio assists Mikva's Operations Department on Account Payable, Bookkeeping, Human Resources, and Office Administration functions.

Ayeshia "AJ" Johnson, Youth Council Program Director
Ayeshia Johnson comes to Mikva Challenge with experience in organizing, canvassing, and health advocacy. She served as the Canvass Director at Campaign for Change, and recently worked in the Englewood community as the Community Networker with the Consortium to Lower Childhood Obesity in Chicago (CLOCC).

Miriam Martinez, Youth Council Program Director
Miriam is a distinguished alumna of the Mikva Challenge and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a major in Political Science. She has been on the Mikva staff since 2003 and has directed the Education Council (formerly Youth Innovation Fund) and Out-of-School Time Council (now Youth Commission).

Joshua Prudowsky, Youth Council Program Director
Born and raised in Chicago, Josh has his Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois - Chicago. Over the past seven years Josh has local and international experience in community organizing, curriculum development, group facilitation, and program planning. At Mikva, Josh is the Program Director of the Citywide Teen Health Council.

Kelly Rolf, Director of Development
Kelly oversees the development and implementation of Mikva's fundraising and communications strategy. Before joining the Mikva staff in early 2008, she worked in book publishing in New York City.

Jackie Rosa, Youth Council Program Director
Jackie joined the Mikva team in June of 2011 to run the newly launched Youth Commission of Mikva's youth policymaking program. Born and raised in Chicago, Jackie is a proud graduate of the Chicago Public School system. Prior to joining the Mikva team, Jackie spent the last five years doing youth development work at Sullivan High School.

Christopher "Chris" Rudd, Youth Council Program Director
Christopher has been a community organizer and an advocate for youth empowerment in Chicago for over a decade. He started organizing with the SouthWest Youth Collaborative in the Marquette Park neighborhood. He will return to his home base and use his experience to work with youth at Marquette elementary. Similar to his work at Maquette, Christopher will also be working at Reavis elementary school, guiding students to realize their power and make change as a Peace and Leadership Council Coordinator.

Maliha Sadiq, Grants and Communications Coordinator
Maliha is a graduate of Northwestern University and joined Mikva’s development team in 2013. Maliha manages all communications efforts at Mikva and assists with grant writing and reporting. Prior to joining Mikva, Maliha was a freelance journalist and wrote grants for an international NGO.

Catalina Salley, Senior Operations Director
Catalina joined the staff at Mikva in April of 2011. She oversees finance, accounting, human resources, information technology and administration. She has over 12 years of executive leadership experience in not for profit healthcare organizations and in 10 years of leadership in the for profit sector.

Brenan Smith-Evans, Associate Director
Brenan holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has been at Mikva since 2005. She oversees all the teacher-based programs at the Mikva Challenge including the Issues to Action, Democracy in Action, and Elections in Action programs.

Stephanie Troche, Youth Council Program Coordinator
Stephanie started with Mikva Challenge in 2008 through the Public Allies program, a community leadership apprenticeship program, and has been on staff for over four years now. She has led Peace & Leadership Councils at EPIC Academy, Clemente, Marshall and Sullivan High Schools. Stephanie is also the Director of the After School Matters Youth Advisory Council which operates through Mikva Challenge.

Tessa Zevallos, Grants Manager & Evaluation Director

Tessa joined the Mikva Challenge team in 2010. Once a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru,  Tessa holds a Masters degree in Sociology and Community and Economic Development. She oversees all assessment of Mikva Challenge's programs. She also manages Mikva's grant portfolio.

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