Segal McCambridge founding partner Don Segal recently attended and participated in the Mikva Challenge Dinner, an event sponsored by the firm that encourages Chicago high school students to get involved in a variety of civic, school, community and political activities. Established in 1997, the Mikva Challenge focuses on informing, empowering and activating youth to become active community leaders. Every year, 6,000 students are involved and represent 110 schools across Chicago.
Mr. Segal has known Abner Mikva, for whom the Mikva Challenge is named, for several decades. The two met when Mr. Segal was a young attorney and Mr. Mikva was serving in the Illinois State House of Representatives. Mr. Mikva went on to become a U.S. Congressman, a judge and thereafter, Chief Judge for the United States Court of Appeals and eventually, White House Counsel for Bill Clinton. Mr. Segal admires Mr. Mikva's commitment to the education of young people on politics and the law.
Prior to the start of the dinner, Mr. Segal and his wife acted as judges at a fair where 60 Chicago High Schools presented current projects relevant to the Mikva mission. Showcased at the fair were projects related to immigration and anti-bullying issues and petitions to have better athletic facilities in city schools. As judges, Mr. Segal and his wife, interviewed participants, reviewed the projects and rated them. Mr. Segal was especially impressed by the submission of a Fenger High School junior who had committed his time to the school’s Peace and Leadership Council to help address issues of attendance, the school lunch program and access to a school nurse as an alternative to getting involved in gangs and street activities.
Mr. Segal is a Pro Bono Mentor, having worked with Mikva students over the past year. He has been involved in teaching, peer juries, and other service programs on the South and West Sides of Chicago. Most recently, Mr. Segal conducted interviews with candidates seeking the “Youth Change-Maker Award,” where city-wide participants competed to receive awards, including Electoral Politics Change-Maker, Education Change-Maker, and Peace and Public Safety Change-Maker. Being a product of Chicago Public Schools and having two sons who attended public schools, Mr. Segal is committed to bettering public education. In furtherance of his commitment, Mr. Segal encourages young lawyers to get involved with programs like the Mikva Challenge as he believes they are apt to relate to the issues facing these public school students.
Over the past several years, the Challenge has received sponsorships from several corporations. Segal McCambridge is one of just a few law firms to get involved in the cause. To learn more about the Mikva Challenge, please visit https://www.mikvachallenge.org/