This week we highlight how Mikva Challenge students are gaining attention as the voices to be heard on how COVID-19 is impacting youth and their communities. We also look at how youth are finding creative ways to amplify their voices during the outbreak. 

Mikva’s youth experts

Our very own Gage Park Neighborhood Leadership Initiative (NLI) member, Jose, participated in Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton’s Virtual Town Hall this past week. Jose told viewers that adults and teachers can support young people by understanding that homework is not a priority at the moment; there are other more pressing concerns that are taking a toll on young people.

“Abiding by the shelter in place mandate is difficult for a person like me. The whole situation is really difficult.” 

Watch the full Virtual Town Hall and ICYMI, watch as Mikva’s young people joined in the conversation last week on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.

Youth get creative

Mikva’s Neighborhood Leadership Initiative students are coming up with creative ways to share their voices around the pandemic by participating in virtual check-in projects. They have designed TikToks, videos, pictures, and posters to describe their moods, to share things they’ve been doing to remain uplifted during shelter in place, and to give motivational words of encouragement to peers. 

Check out 8th grader, Arianna’s, (NLI North Lawndale Council) virtual video check in!

The bottom line: 

Our work impacts 10,000 young people annually.

With your support, we can continue to serve these youth virtually throughout the summer and beyond. They need us now more than ever.

Mikva Challenge participants don’t have to wait for the opportunity to act as a leader, they are leaders NOW. 

Join our mission by becoming an advocate to support youth voices.


Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, all gifts from new donors will be matched-dollar-for-dollar. Additionally, any increased gifts will also be matched. Your generosity at this critical moment will make a difference!

Our Spring Benefit has gone virtual! 

Tune in to our website on May 28, at 5:30 PM to participate in our virtual youth-focused celebration. 

We’re grateful for our Virtual Spring Benefit Host Committee.

With appreciation,

Verneé Green

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Champion sponsor

Supporter sponsors

Best Portion Foundation

Laurie Mikva and James Pfander

Mark Rosenberg and Rachel Mikva


Ally Sponsors

Ariel Investments

Henry Crown and Company

Jerry Newton & David Weinberg

LSV Asset Management

Noel Bennett Patterson

Peter Birnbaum

Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Smith, Graham & Co. Investment Advisors, LP



Bruce and Vicky Heyman

Christina and Kyu Hwang Family Fund

Governor Jim Edgar

Greg Kinczewski

Jon Quinn

Joseph Bernstein

Larry and Janet Shiff

Michael and Sheila Kuzman

Michael Lawrence

National Investment Services, Inc

Peter Barber

Priscilla Kersten

Sarah Kammerer

Segall Bryant Hamill

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200 S Michigan Ave, Ste 1000  |  Chicago, IL 60604  |  312-863-6340

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