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Make Room at the Table for Youth Voices

We’re making our communities stronger in D.C. by bringing youth voices to the decision table — and Mikva Challenge DC is showing us how.

Modeled after the successful civic engagement program in Chicago, Mikva Challenge DC empowers students to be informed and engaged citizens. The organization helps students understand ‘democracy is a verb’ and that it is possible to change their communities — and democracy as a whole — by taking action.

“To fully understand and be a part of the D.C. community, you must understand the experience of the youth that live here,” said Robyn Lingo, Mikva Challenge DC Executive Director.

We care about our neighborhoods and our neighbors in D.C. We know the issues that impact all of us don’t just change on their own.

Mikva’s signature work is an Issues to Action program in which local teachers implement a curriculum that empowers students to explore their communities from an asset based perspective. Students identify issues that are important to them and their community, research the issue and ultimately develop a plan and take action.

Mikva encourages students to speak up about issues that matter to them through programs like Project Soapbox, a public speaking competition. These speeches become a catalyst for change that students use to go transform their communities. “We are able to provide a platform and a format, but mostly it’s giving young people an opportunity,” Robyn Lingo shared.

The impact lasts a lifetime. Over 69% of Mikva students continue to volunteer in their communities compared to 36% of 18-29 year olds nationwide, thousands vote and volunteer with campaigns during election cycles and some go on to become civic leaders or return as volunteers with the program.

Help DC youth find their seat at the table. Volunteer or donate to today:

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