Juleny Santa Cruz is the Neighborhood Leadership Initiative Council and Special Projects Manager at Mikva Challenge

“As a lifelong Chicagoan from the Little Village community, Surge will allow me to continue to grow and expand my mind and capability as to how I can be of service to improving the quality of life for Black and Brown youth and communities in the city that I love dearly. Being an Afro-Latinx woman navigating through different systems that were not built for our success, it is important to me, now more than ever, to be a part of a larger community that can provide critical support for ideating and pushing forward true racially equitable and just changes for youth to be able to experience both joy and success. It shouldn’t be this difficult for Black and Brown youth to thrive and live fearlessly in their passion and dreams.”