The Obama Foundation and Chicago Public Schools aim to recognize, honor, and uplift the students, educators, and community partners that are promoting an open space for young people to make their voices heard, and impact their schools and communities. As part of our shared vision to elevate the next generation of young leaders, we aim to inspire and empower students, educators, schools, and organizations to change their communities, and the world, for the better.
We are pleased to announce that the following students, educators, school leaders, community partners and school communities have been recognized as finalists in the inaugural Obama Foundation and Chicago Public Schools Civic Action Recognition Awards.
Civic Culture and Commitment Award
This award honors schools that elevate students to have a role in decision-making and policy development processes, and infuse best practice civic education throughout students’ coursework. The following schools have shown a commitment to building opportunities for students to have authentic and meaningful civic learning both in the classroom, throughout the school, and in the community.
- Michele Clark High School
- Marie Sklodowska Curie Metropolitan High School
- Solorio Academy High School, Social Science Department
- Uplift Community High School
- Bell Elementary School
- Belding Elementary School
- Dever Elementary School
Civic Education Leadership Award
This award honors educators who stand out for their commitment to: providing space, encouragement, and guidance for youth voice and leadership; innovation in practicing democracy with students in and outside of the classroom; and commitment to engaging youth in discussion, investigation, and action on issues impacting students’ lives.
- Dustin Voss, Fenger Academy High School
- Elizabeth Robbins, Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy
- Daniel Michmerhuizen, Benito Juarez Community Academy
- Leah Whitesel, Farragut Career Academy
- Sabrina Anfossi Kareem, Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy
- Christopher McCabe, Ogden International
- Jane Leyderman, Dever Elementary School
- Erin Henry, Shoesmith Elementary School
- Shana Pearlmutter and Peter Barash, Bell Elementary School
Youth Impact Award
This award recognizes student leaders who are committed and have made a significant impact in their classroom, school, or community. These awardees exemplify the spirit of President Obama’s challenge that we occupy the most important office, that of citizen.
- Estudiantes Sin Fronteras (Students Without Borders) from Schurz High School
- Team TACTICS from Phillips Academy High School
- North-Grand Student Voice Committee
- Oscar Marquez (Nicholas Senn High School)
- Reilly Student Voice Committee
- N11 Student Voice Committee
- Ogden - Jenner Student Voice Committee
Community Partner Award
This award recognizes organizations that exemplify collaborative and meaningful partnership with schools to empower student voice and civic engagement. This organization honors and elevates youth voice and expertise to advance high quality civic learning in schools and classrooms.
- Kuumba Lynx
- Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE)
- Mikva Challenge
- Ron Wolford, University of Illinois Extension Program, Master Gardener (Karma Garden at JTDC)