April 2021 Ángel L. Vélez

Ángel L. Vélez (CHI’21) has launched Rabble-Rouser Diversity Consultants LLC, an anti-racist diversity training company that deals with racial equity issues in P-21 education and the workplace. Learn more about their work here.

April 2021 Melissa Flores

Melissa Flores has accepted her new role as COO at the Latino Policy Forum, an organization whose mission is to build the power, influence, and leadership of the Latino community through collective action to transform public policies that ensure the well-being of our community and society as a whole.

April 2021 Leslye Salinas

A leader who is deeply passionate about supporting community responsive services and access at school sites, Leslye Salinas (OAK’21) will complete her Doctorate in Education from the USC program in Organizational Change and Leadership in the coming weeks.

April 2021 Diego Báez

On Wednesday, April 14th, Truman College (in partnership with Poetry Foundation & Poetry Magazine) will host a virtual poetry reading with Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley!

This gathering is the final culmination of Surge Alumnus Diego Báez’s (CHI’19) capstone project and is also in celebration of National Poetry Month. Register to attend: https://tinyurl.com/2rj4zzs5

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York and is an assistant professor of poetry and nonfiction in Old Dominion University’s MFA program. He is most recognized for his collections: Colonize Me and Not Your Mama’s Melting Pot.

April 2021 India Johnson and Keeanna Warren

March 2021

For #WomensHistoryMonth, Citizen Education asked readers on social media to nominate the women who are changing education for the better. Congratulations to all those a part of the #21in21 campaign, and a special shoutout to Surge’s own India Johnson (INDY’21) and Keeanna Warren (INDY’21) for an incredible recognition.

April 2021 Adanta Ahanonu

Adanta Ahanonu (OAK’19) has been promoted as COOP’s first Chief Program Officer. Adanta joined the California team exactly one year ago — re-energizing the regional team out west and revolutionizing the Program and Recruiting functions on both coasts. As CPO, Adanta will add the Alumni and Social Work teams to her portfolio, bringing the “COOP journey” under one C-suite leader.

April 2021 JuDonne Hemingway

JuDonne Hemingway (CHI’19) has accepted the role to serve as the next Principal of Gary Comer Middle School with the Noble Network of Charter Schools.

April 2021 Natalie Neris

Natalie Neris (CHI’17) was a part of a recent panel titled, Equity in Education for All: Closing the Gap. This virtual conversation was moderated by Kate Grossman, a Senior Education Editor for WBEZ.

Guest speakers included Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez (LGC Fellow since 2015), Chief of Network 8 for Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Janice K. Jackson (LGC Fellow since 2007), Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools, and Natalie Neris, Chief of Community Engagement for Kids First Chicago.

April 2021 Cheryl Flores

Cheryl Flores (CHI’19) was elected as a new board member for Telpochcalli Community Education Project (Tcep), a grassroots organization in the Little Village community. She is part of the Donor Stewardship & Cultivation Committee, and she is currently working on developing a strategy for donor cultivation to leverage for the organization’s 20 year anniversary next year.

April 2021 Charles Cole, III

April 2021

Charles Cole, III, Ed.D., MPA (OAK’18) has officially released the audiobook for his dissertation titled, “Beyond Grit & Resilience.” Give it a listen today on Audible or Apple Books.

April 2021

AJ DeLeón (CHI’15) was featured on an episode of LatinxAmerica’s Podcast. Click here to give it a listen and learn about AJ’s journey within education, tech and entrepreneurship as well as co-founding Innovare – Social Innovation Partners.