Welcome the newest Surge Chicago Alumni!

We are proud to announce the graduation of our fifth Surge Chicago cohort and welcome them into our National Surge Alumni community!

On August 24th, 2019, The Surge community gathered to celebrate the collective brilliance of the 2019 Surge Chicago Fellows, the Emergents, at their graduation ceremony.  The event was held at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort in Oak Brook, IL. This final chapter of the cohort’s fellowship journey served as a signal for another transformational beginning: the intentional, purposeful and daily work to continue leading authentically and in their full power as Surge Alumni!

Tamara Prather, Executive Director for the Chicago branch of the Surge Fellowship, kicked off the afternoon with words and acknowledgments that opened the space as one of community, love, and collectivism. She then welcomed the graduation keynote speaker, Chief Executive Officer for OneGoal and 2015 Surge Fellowship Alumna, Melissa Connelly. Melissa shared her story of being one of the inaugural members of the Surge Fellowship program and the continuous impact it has had on her leadership and her personal journey today.

Afterward, Erica Bauer, 2018 Surge Fellowship Alumna and Director of Student Engagement at Walter Payton College Prep took the stage to share what the first year after completing the fellowship entailed for her and the rest of her cohort family. “Though one graduates from the fellowship, the growth and work of authentic, heartfelt leadership is ongoing.” Erica Bauer then introduced the afternoon’s next speaker, Terrence Pruitt.

Terrence was selected by his fellow cohort members as the 2019 fellow speaker. He used the space to craft a beautiful story, comparing the collective work of his fellow Emergents as part of a larger ecological circle, needing everyone’s brilliance to thrive and to “just be.”

Cecily Relucio Hensler, Program Director for the Surge Chicago Fellowship, then transitioned the space to the Circle of Affirmation. Through this ceremony, the Emergents introduced one another through the exchanging of familial and supportive words, marking the conclusion of their fellowship. It has truly been amazing to see the transformations that have taken place within the 2019 Surge Chicago cohort, and we are excited to see the Emergents’ impact and reach continue throughout the city of Chicago and beyond!

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

September 2019 Charles Cole

August 2019

2018 Surge Oakland Alumnus, Charles Cole, III, Ed.D., recently released his book, Beyond Grit and Resilience: How Black Men Impacted by the Crack Epidemic Succeeded Against the Odds and Obtained Doctoral Degrees. This comparative case study utilized oral histories to illuminate the life stories of three Black men who navigated their way through trauma. The goal of the study was to better understand how they navigated education and life experiences to eventually earn doctoral degrees.

September 2019 Kyra Marcano

2018 Surge Alumna, Kyra Marcano founded Brilliant Light, LLC, which provides strategic consultative support to clients ranging from identifying individual impact to larger scale strategic planning, staff development, and training.

Welcome the 2020 Surge Oakland Cohort!

We are proud to announce that 16 leaders from across the Oakland & Bay Area education landscape have been selected for the 2020 Surge Oakland Fellowship program! This year-long cohort-based program focuses on uniting, accelerating, and empowering leaders of color in education and youth-serving organizations.

The Surge Institute officially began serving Oakland & Bay Area communities in January 2018, with the number of our Bay Area Alumni reaching a total of 22 African American, Latinx, and Asian/Pacific Islander education leaders this past July.

Prospective candidates hear from 2019 Surge Oakland Alumna, Dulce Torres-Petty and Surge Oakland Executive Director, Michelle Seijas, Ed.D.

The following is a list of the 2020 Oakland Surge Fellows:

Over the course of the Fellowship program, Surge Fellows will receive executive skill training, a space for connection and community building, and the tools needed to facilitate transformative change within institutions and organizations serving youth and communities of color.

The cohort will also develop their own leadership and advocacy skills, with the culminating final step of the program being the completion of individual capstone projects, which will focus on advancing the work of a new or existing Oakland education initiative. Afterward, graduating Fellows become part of an elite and growing national network of over 100 Surge Fellowship Alumni who are currently leading change in numerous cities across the United States.

2020 Surge Oakland prospective candidates engage in a education and equity dialogue that mirrors aspects of the Surge Fellowship.

The Surge Fellowship began in Chicago in 2015, with the goal of expanding diversity in the education leadership pipeline. Over the past 4 years, the Surge Movement has expanded its reach beyond our imagination! 2.25 million students across the United States have been impacted by the work of Surge Alumni through education and youth-based organizations, and 97% of Surge Alumni say that their experience with the Surge Institute lead to an expansion of their own personal vision!

“The Surge Fellowship is a place for me to stand bold in my convictions, unpack my own identity within the context of the dominant narrative, and build up my own skills and literacy on how to disrupt, reimagine and rebuild oppressive educational systems. For me, I chose Surge because it’s a space to reignite a sense of hope and healing within this work. It is a committed system of care and support that will have a lasting impact as I continue to serve our students and lead the teachers of Oakland,” stated Roxanne Rose, 2020 Surge Fellow and Assistant Principal at Achieve Academy, Education for Change Public Schools.

September 2019 Natalia Torres

2018 Surge Alumna, Natalia Torres will be pursuing her Masters in Education – School Leadership with a principal licensure at the Harvard Graduate School of Education this fall.