Students Climb On Soapboxes For Public Speaking Competition

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some Chicago high school students are getting on their soapboxes today to talk about issues affecting them.

Pop-up soapboxes are part of a mass action day by the Mikva Challenge, which encourages youth to get involved in politics, government and law.

Thirty Chicago Public Schools high schoolers are expected to speak on issues such as health, safety, housing and juvenile justice.

The group has been researching and discussing these issues for a month as part of an eight week initiative which the students are paid through the mayor’s youth summer jobs program.

Mikva Challenge spokeswoman Maliha Sadiq says more than 200 high schoolers in the program have formed councils on those issues and plan to advise city leaders on their ideas.

That includes feedback to Mayor Rahm Emanuel on his new high school graduation requirements.

Pop-up soapbox speeches are expected to be two to three minutes apiece.

They’ll start at noon in Daley Plaza, Federal Plaza and near “The Bean” (Cloud Gate) in Millennium Park.

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