TMA and Mikva Challenge DC: Working together to amplify Youth Voice

Preparing students to actively engage in our democratic society. This is the heart of the work in our social studies department. By combining critical reading, inquiry, reasoning and research skills, our students take history from the pages of textbooks and transform their learning into real life experiences – taking action through speeches, field trips, and social awareness campaigns.

Much of our students’s advocacy efforts – both in and out of the classroom – is through Mikva Challenge DC. Read more below about Issues to Action, Soapbox Competitions, and other ways students participate in the national conversation.

Issues to Action Project

In AP Government each year, students work to find solutions to issues of their choice. This year, students read “One Person No Vote” by Carol Anderson over the summer. In class, they focused on the importance of voting and the role of the Census in eliminating some of the barriers to voting.

Students designed T-shirts with a QR code linking to voter registration information. Additional ideas were in the works prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

With distance learning in effect, students are now promoting action digitally, and launched a social media campaign, #TMA Takes Action, to raise awareness.

All of TMA’s seniors registered to vote and will be first time voters in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Students on the Presidential Campaign Trail

Through partnerships with Mikva Challenge DC, Moms Demand Action, and a host of other organizations, our students took advocacy efforts around the country, from knocking on doors to meeting presidential candidates.

  • September 2019

    New Hampshire Democrat State Convention with DC Democrats

  • October 2019

    Las Vegas Gun Safety Forum with March for Our Lives and Pathways

  • November 2019

    Campaigning in VA with Swing Left

  • students stand in front of an Iowa loves Amy sign at the Caucus January 2020

    Iowa Caucus with Mikva Challenge DC

  • student on phone during SC primary February 2020

    South Carolina Caucus with Mikva Challenge DC


TMA students compete annually in the citywide Soapbox competition hosted by Mikva Challenge DC.

We are not utilizing treatment centers, instead we play cat and mouse. The police catch, they hold, they let go and they chase again.

– Meiko, “End the War on Drugs”

There needs to be a way, no wait, there must be a way for us to travel safely without having to feel like we won’t make it to see the next day.

– Sam, “Gun Safety”

Pathways 2 Power

  • Panels

    Offering solutions to help promote a safer city

  • Safe Passage

    Using youth voice in the creation of DC’s Safe Spots initiative

  • Coalitions

    Creating space for all youth to be part of conversations that impact them most

  • Awareness

    Highlighting youth issues in media outlets

  • Caption content for video.

To learn more about the student-led group Pathways 2 Power, visit their website.