Mikva Challenge is a nonpartisan nonprofit whose mission is to develop youth into informed, empowered, and active citizens who will promote a just and equitable society. We do this by engaging youth in Action Civics, a transformative learning process built on youth voice and expertise. We coined the term action civics to describe our philosophy of teaching democracy by doing democracy. Action civics is a force for individual school and community change that:
- Transforms young people from apathy into active and informed citizens
- Employs a holistic approach that combines positive impacts on young people’s social and emotional well-being with academic and workforce development growth
- Creates a positive and collaborative school and community culture that motivates youth to be drivers of their own education
- Builds a new pipeline of diverse leaders and community change agents who can help revitalize our democracy
Mikva’s program model is based on the principles that 1) youth voice matters, and 2) youth are experts on the issues that affect them. Our three main program areas – youth electoral participation, youth policymaking, and youth community problem solving – teach young people essential leadership skills while transforming their attitudes about civic participation.
These programs focus on helping young people from underserved communities achieve success in schools, in their careers, and in life. Our programs are youth-led, which is one of our keys to success as it empowers youth to take responsibility for the direction of their work. We believe that young people are the experts of their lived experiences, and we treat them as valuable sources of information and insight. We are proud to be one of the most innovative youth development and civic education organizations in the country, with lasting impacts on the personal and educational development of youth and their communities.