Roosevelt University and Mikva Challenge Partner to Help Teens Succeed


(Pictured above are representatives from the two institutions including, from left: Israel Vargas, assistant provost for college access and targeted recruitment programs; June Lapidus, Roosevelt associate professor of economics; Brian Brady, executive director of Mikva Challenge; Douglas Knerr, executive vice president and provost at Roosevelt University; Cynthia Barron, former principal of Jones College Preparatory High School and a Mikva Challenge board member; and Roosevelt Master of Public Administration alumna Sharon Bush, director of Elgin programs and senior program officer at the Grand Victoria Foundation and also a Mikva Challenge board member).

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–December 22, 2014.  Roosevelt University and the Mikva Challenge have agreed to be partners in providing at-risk Chicago high school students with information on the importance of a college education and opportunities for development as future community leaders.

Officials from the two nonprofits signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, Dec. 18 that will pave the way for Roosevelt and Mikva to work together in educating and preparing Chicago teens to become successful, socially conscious citizens.

“We are really honored to partner with Roosevelt University,” said Brian Brady, executive director of the Mikva Challenge, an organization that teaches leadership skills, giving young people a voice in civic engagement and policymaking.  “Our overlapping commitments to social justice and improving the welfare of our young people and their communities make this partnership a great fit,” said Brady.

Spawned in part by recent experiences in which approximately 140 Mikva Challenge youths spent considerable time at Roosevelt’s Chicago Campus during summer 2014, the new partnership will pave the way for Mikva Challenge to continue its summer civic program at Roosevelt.  The agreement also gives Mikva youth access to Roosevelt’s college fairs, financial-aid workshops and admissions scholarships. As part of the arrangement, Roosevelt also will be able to share other information as it arises with Mikva youths about the college experience and opportunities at the University.

“This is a very important partnership that is in the best interest of our students and our community,” said Douglas Knerr, executive vice president and provost at Roosevelt University. “In the near future we will get together to explore how best we can share resources for the betterment of Mikva teens, their development as leaders and their future success in college,” said Knerr.

Israel Vargas, assistant provost for college access and targeted recruitment programs at Roosevelt, said the partnership opens the door for Mikva’s community-minded students to learn about the University’s social justice mission and opportunities.

“At Roosevelt, we don’t just recruit students. We build relationships that give our young people the tools they need to become activists capable of making positive change. Working closely with Mikva will provide more opportunities for our young people to make a difference,” he said.


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