The Students on Stage program at Hinton Elementary school is quickly gaining interest with students, thanks to team coordinator Mike Brunlieb, who brings lots of energy and planned activities for students at each project.   Mike joined Chicago Cares two and a half years ago and quickly saw potential for improv and acting programs for children. As a leader for Students on Stage Mike is able to pull from his personal knowledge and experience as an accomplished improv performer in Chicago and share it with eager youth.
When we talked with Mike he shared some of his amazing experiences with his programs.  As students begin the program they are sometimes very resistant to learning improv or feel awkward, but quickly begin to open up, letting their intuition guide them. He sees improv and acting as an opportunity for the youth to drop their pretences and toughness.
“I think that improvisation is unique in the way allows people of different ages and backgrounds to create something together. When people drop their cool, and start really playing, especially people who would normally have little contact with one another, something wonderful happens. There’s nothing like it!”
Mike stands out as a leader for this children’s program because he takes the time to sit down with the kids and get to know them, laugh with them, and listen to their stories. The students have told us that they are excited to return to his projects. 
Mike enjoys the leadership role for the program because it allows him to include colleagues from across different theaters in the city as guest speakers. He also uses the opportunity to expose the students to a variety of styles, techniques, and skills.
Thanks Mike for your commitment to Chicago Cares, your program at Hinton Elementary, and the many students and volunteers you work with at each project!