Graduation Celebration for the Second Surge Oakland cohort!

Our family has reached triple digits with the recent graduation of The Radical Collective, Surge Oakland’s second ever Fellowship cohort!

On July 13th, 2019, The Surge Institute celebrated the work and collective journeys of the 2019 Oakland Fellows with a graduation ceremony at the beautiful Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, CA. Family, friends, and loved ones were present for the occasion, bringing this chapter for the 2019 Oakland Fellows to a close, while also opening the door to their new roles as Surge Alumni.

The afternoon kicked off with Surge Board of Directors member, Darryl Cobb, who introduced the Surge space through a community lens. Afterwards, attendees heard from Nicole Magtoto, Educational Policy Analyst for the San Francisco Unified School District and Surge Oakland 2018 Fellow, who spoke on her Surge experience as well as the importance of continuing the collective work with the Surge Alumni community. She noted that this movement is bigger than any individual. It’s a collective, a tribe, a family of fierce leaders.

Ty-Licia Hooker, Executive Director for Boost! West Oakland and Stockton Success and Leadership Academy, then took the stage to give a few words on behalf of the Radical Collective. Ty-Licia was selected by her fellow cohort members as the 2019 Fellow speaker, sharing her story on overcoming imposter syndrome and recognizing our own genius as leaders in a space where we can’t afford to short change ourselves. Fred Blackwell, CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony, speaking on how valuable the Fellows’ work is, specifically to communities of color in the Bay Area who need leaders representative of them.

The power of this ceremony never ceases to amaze us, reminding our entire community of the importance of celebration and showing up for ourselves and our people!

See the full list of the Surge Oakland 2019 Graduates below and click HERE to view photos from the ceremony:

  • Adanta Ahanonu, Site Director, Year Up
  • Janelle Bailey, Interim Site Director/Academic Affairs Director, College Track
  • Paul Fields, Site Director, College Track
  • Roilyn Graves, Program Specialist, Envision Education
  • Ty-licia Hooker, Executive Director, Boost! West Oakland and Stockton Success and Leadership Academy
  • Taica Hsu, Co-Director of Mentoring, Trellis Education
  • Sanam Jorjani, Co-Director, Oakland Literacy Coalition
  • Jayo Miko Macasaquit, HR & Operations Manager, Oakland Public Education Fund
  • Kyra Mungia, Education Project Director, Office of Mayor Schaaf, Oakland Promise 
  • Zakir Parpia, Director of Fiscal Partnerships, California School-Age Consortium
  • Dulce Torres-Petty, Brilliant Baby Program Coordinator, Office of Mayor Schaaf, Oakland Promise

The Surge Institute Welcomes 3 New Staff Members to the National Leadership Team!

The Surge Institute would like to extend a warm welcome to three new staff members who will be joining the Surge’s national leadership team! The Development and Program departments are key to building Surge’s national education movement, and the organization is proud to bring onboard three additional brilliant minds to aid in the organization’s education efforts.

George Deveney has accepted the role of Vice President of New Site Development. Previous to his new role with Surge, Deveney spent the last seventeen years at City Year, an education non-profit organization dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. He worked in recruitment before leading the launch of their second international affiliate in London and went on to work in partnership with local stakeholders and champions to launch new City Year programs in nine cities across the United States. In his new role, Deveney will lead the charge of ensuring that Surge’s vision and impact continues to extend across the national education landscape by leading the charge towards setting the groundwork for new locations where there is a need for Surge’s programming. “This is an exciting time to be joining Surge Institute as we continue to empower leaders and elevate voices in the cities we currently serve while being responsive to cities across the country who are seeking to bring our powerful and unique model to their communities,” said Deveney. “The impact that Surge Institute has already had provides a strong foundation to build on, and I look forward to being part of the future.”

Next, Surge welcomes Noemí Cortés as the new Program Director for the Surge Academy. Cortés joined the  Surge team in July of 2018 as a consultant Program Manager for Surge Academy in Kansas City and comes with a breadth of experience as a classroom educator, pre-service teacher professor, and school administrator. Cortés brings a critical consciousness to leadership development and understands the critical tenets of adult learning needed to lead the Surge Academy to the next level. “I’m excited to bring the powerful, healing work of the Surge movement to more folks of Color across the country. I am even more excited to be heading back to Kansas City to continue the work we started just one year ago,” said Cortés.

Lastly, Sam Wong will be joining the Surge team as the new part-time Development Coordinator. Wong joins as a staff member who will support Surge’s donor gift operations, playing a pivotal role in ensuring that the organization reaches its national short and long-term fundraising goals. For the past 4 years, Wong has worked as the Database Manager for San Diego LGBT Community Center, five years as a Human Resources consultant for BMO Harris Bank, and over the last 14 years served as a volunteer for both BMO Financial Employee Resource Groups Chicago, Illinois, and the AIDS Walk in San Diego.

The Surge Institute is blessed to have these leaders joining the team and looks forward to working and collaborating all in the effort of expanding and fulfilling Surge’s mission!

July 2019 Everett Daily

July 2019

2019 Surge Fellow, Everett Daily recently received an award for Outstanding Educator/Administrator from the Office of Congressman Danny Davis. The award highlights Everett’s work and dedication to connecting with and mentoring young people in the field of education and beyond.

July 2019 Janene Ingram

July 2019

2019 Surge Fellow, Janene Ingram has accepted the role of Managing Director, Strategy & Chief of Staff, Collective Leadership & Engagement at Teach for America. This role is the backbone of the 30+ person team responsible for leading and supporting the 60,000 alumni of Teach for America as well as spearheading towards system level change.

July 2019 Dulce Torres-Petty

2019 Surge Oakland Fellow Dulce Torres-Petty has been promoted to Senior Program Manager for the Brilliant Baby program, the early childhood program of Oakland Promise, helping low-income parents and guardians advance their baby’s academic and socio-emotional development during the first critical years of life (ages 0-5).

June 2019 Christopher Goins

June 2019

2016 Surge Alumnus, Christopher Goins accepted the position of Chief Equity Officer for Thrive Chicago, in partnership with the Obama Foundation, to lead My Brother’s Keeper Alliance for the city of Chicago.

July 2019 Melissa Flores

2019 Surge Chicago Fellow, Melissa Flores, along with 24 other Chicago Non Profit leaders, were selected as part of the Negocios Now “Who’s Who in Hispanic Chicago.” Melissa was recognized specifically for the amazing work she has done while at Erie Neighborhood House.

July 2019 Cesar Dominguez

2017 Surge Alumnus, Cesar Dominguez was accepted into the Broad Residency for The Broad Center. The Broad Residency in Urban Education provides the opportunity for outstanding management professionals to apply their skills and knowledge to meet the challenges faced by urban public school systems. Learn more at

July 2019 Bryan Jackson

2017 Surge Alumnus, Bryan Jackson participated on the panel, Creating Inclusive Environments for Every Player, at the US Soccer Foundation’s National Conference in Washington D.C. Approximately 150 national Soccer for Success Trainers who support and train the coach-mentors that work with youth in underserved communities across the country were in attendance. The coaches were passionate about physical activity, children’s health, and sport-for-social change, and the panel featured experts from organizations across the country that are focused on creating inclusive environments for all children.

July 2019 Jonathan Chaparro

2017 Surge Alumnus, Jonathan Chaparro has been selected as part of the Class of 2020 for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders Program. Every year the Chicago Council on Global Affairs selects a class of approximately 20 participants with high potential from across Chicago’s business, cultural, civic, and academic sectors and provides a robust expansive platform to deepen their fluency and exposure to global affairs and policy. Selected candidates are highly accomplished in their careers and expected to rise to the top of their fields in the next 10 years. They also have a have a strong demonstrated professional and personal interest in global issues, trends, and events and are active in their communities and committed to working on solutions that will positively impact Chicago’s role as a global city.