Amanda Vinicky talks to Chicago teens Erica Smith, Davarius Jones and Jonathan Morales on “Chicago Tonight” on April 23, 2024. (WTTW News)

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the average age for Chicagoans to witness a shooting is 14. Research also shows that exposure to violence can lead to long-lasting mental health issues.

(WTTW News)

Gun deaths among U.S. youth rose 50% in just two years. Black children and teens were roughly five times as likely as their White counterparts to die from gunfire in 2021, according to the Pew Research Center.

Zorita “Zoe” and Abner Mikva. (Courtesy of Mikva Challenge)

Along with her husband, the late Abner Mikva, Zorita “Zoe” Mikva created the Mikva Challenge more than 20 years ago. She died Saturday at the age of 90.

Democratic nominee for governor J.B. Pritzker answers questions from 70 Mikva Challenge high school students – some of whom will be first-time voters in November.

Democratic candidates for governor (seated in the order they appear on the ballot, from left): J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman and Robert Marshall.

During a special edition of Chicago Tonight, all six Democratic candidates for governor join us to answer questions from an audience of 50 high school students and discuss issues facing Illinois’ young people. 

(Mikva Challenge / Twitter)

High school students got their first taste of the Democratic process Tuesday, volunteering as election judges at polling sites across Chicago on Election Day.

Abner J. Mikva, a former federal judge and congressman, died Monday, July 4 at the age of 90. Mikva dedicated more than a half-century to public service. 

On Thursday, “Chicago Tonight” welcomes 50 Mikva Challenge high school students from across the city to participate in a forum on violence.

On Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Chicago Tonight for an hourlong forum with Mikva Challenge high school students who asked him about his priorities for a second term. After the forum, students shared their thoughts on how well they thought the mayor answered questions and how the forum impacted their opinions of him.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel won a second term in office in this month's runoff election. He joins Chicago Tonight for a forum with Mikva Challenge high school students who'll ask him about his priorities for his second term and how he plans to address issues facing young people in Chicago.

Students Question GOP Gubernatorial Candidates

We share what you had to say about our recent forum featuring high school students from the Mikva Challenge questioning the GOP candidates for Illinois governor in tonight's viewer feedback.

Students from the Mikva Challenge who questioned the Republican candidates for Illinois governor during our Monday forum share their thoughts in a written survey. Read their responses.

We are holding a special one-hour candidate forum, hosted by Phil Ponce, to give viewers an opportunity to meet the Republican candidates for Illinois governorChicago Tonight is partnering with the Mikva Challenge, a program that encourages Chicago youth to be active in the political process. During the forum, high school students from the Mikva Challenge will question the candidates about jobs, gun violence, education and more. View a slideshow and watch web extra videos.

Steffani Robinson

It's called "Project Soapbox." High school students from around the city compete in a public speaking competition. We take you to an early round.