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Proviso East Students Work to Understand Policy and Politics

Election season sparked the interest of Proviso East students who are working to make a difference in their communities through participation in the political process.

Proviso East students have joined Mikva Challenge Suburban, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that works to develop the next generation of civic leaders.  The students have been participating in workshops, attending forums, and working with community leaders to better understand politics and how it impacts their daily lives. Students participated in the recent election by helping candidates place election signs, manning phone lines, acting as election judges, and helping individuals get registered to vote.

“The most rewarding part was making sure that people are registered to vote,” said Proviso East junior Jibri Mason. “Also, we noticed that because of our interactions with a few of the candidates we’ve begun to pay closer attention to political issues and the television and radio ads. On election night we were so anxious to see how candidates came out in the running.”

Proviso East social studies chair Mrs. Rosella May-Hartwell says The Mikva Program allows student to participate in the political process and learn first hand what leadership and democracy are all about.

“This program gives students who are interested in government or those who are simply interested in being governed by elected officials, who respond to their values and needs, an opportunity to work for candidates, attend election forums, intern in public offices, and share ideas with students from neighboring schools,” said May-Hartwell.

Mikva challenges high school students throughout Chicago to be active participants in the political process through elections, activism and policy-making programs. Mikva Challenge currently works with 58 schools in the city of Chicago and is expanding their program to area suburban high schools. Proviso East was selected as one of the pilot schools for Mikva’s expansion.  They will continue active hands-on civics lessons throughout the school year.

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