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Student Advisory Council

The Student Advisory Council is a collective of 20 young leaders from across the city of Chicago who are passionate about education and addressing issues affecting students throughout Chicago Public Schools. With the support of Mikva Challenge, the council has learned about different factors that impact inner-city public education and met with several stakeholders, activists, and educational representatives including Chief Executive Officer, Pedro Martinez. With these opportunities, the council developed and curated recommendations for the Chief Education Officer of Chicago Public Schools.

Program Snapshot


The CPS Student Advisory Council’s (SAC) mission is to build a network of youth input that works with the CEdO’s office to influence policy change promoting community investment in neighborhood schools.


The CPS Student Advisory Council is composed of 20 high school students across Chicago. The group advises the Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools, Pedro Martinez, on the youth perspective of all school-related policies and issues. The Council members work in subcommittees with CPS leaders to develop action plans based on how students can have an impact of the allocation of resources to fairly impact all CPS students.

Notable Achievements

  • Developed a comprehensive list of three recommendations on increasing the number of student representatives on Local School Councils, creating a tool to teach CPS students how their school budgets work, and connecting Local School Councils with Student Voice Committees.
  • Students developed a Budgeting 101 workshop where they explain how money comes into schools and simulates the allocation process for creating a budget.
  • Members of the Student Advisory Council were invited to host the 2017 Administrators Summit, welcoming principals and administrative staff from the entire district to the 2017 - 18 school year.
  • In partnership with the Student Voice and Activism Fellowship, SAC students cohosted the 2017 CPS Student Leadership Conference at Depaul University, as well as, created and facilitated workshops on gender identities and diversity inclusion.

Benefits to Students

  • Have a direct role in improving your school and CPS for all students
  • Gain important leadership, public speaking, decision making and team skills
  • Have access to a network of supporters and mentors through exposure to leaders at CPS and in the city of Chicago
  • Great addition to resumes and college applications

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

  • Must have been a CPS high school student for a total of at least one year by June of the school year preceding the year you wish to serve
  • Must complete an online application: CPS Student Advisory Council Application
  • Must provide a recommendation from a non-family member adult who can speak to your work ethic, character and teamwork skills (e.g. teacher, mentor, community organization, guidance counselor, etc.) Recommendation can be filled out on the CPS SAC Recommendation Form
  • Must attend scheduled group interview.
  • All students must also apply for One Summer Chicago. We will give further instructions during interview process