Surge Alumni work with and lead organizations that collectively serve more than 3 million students across the United States.
Our fellowship programs are only the beginning of the Surge experience. Upon graduating, Surge Alumni receive continued connective support throughout their leadership journeys. This includes access to our entire national online network of alums, specialized programs, community events, continuous improvement learning, career advancement opportunities, and more.
The leaders who have gained the most from the Surge experience have been the ones who have continued to engage in it, years after they completed the core programming.
Surge Angels is an incubation and investment program providing Surge Alumni with the resources and start-up support to build out their ventures, and affect the change they seek.
The Convening is a biennial national conference to which every member of the Surge Alumni community is invited. It is a rare and powerful opportunity for collective planning and deep personal connection that makes perfect use of Surge’s “for us, by us” approach. Alums design the convening space. Alums thrive in the convening space.
“Since Surge was founded, OneGoal staff members have participated in every cohort in Chicago and have now added two Oakland team members to the newest class,” said Melissa Connelly, CEO of OneGoal and a 2015 Surge Alumnus “Simply put, I am clear that we all benefit when incredible Leaders of Color in education have a community of internal and external champions who are committed to nurturing, supporting, and guiding them to be the leaders they were born to be for the communities from which they came. As an organization, I know we will be better positioned to achieve our mission and vision when our students and those that share similar lived experiences as our students are leading and thriving. With Surge’s support and investment in our staff, I know we are much more likely to make that a reality.”
Beyond the labels of professional titles, Autumn is a mother, daughter, honorable friend, and an advocate for self-healing. She enjoys journaling, car rides with the windows down, and being around good people.
Tiara joined the Surge Institute in February 2022 after a successful career in school leadership, spending ten years transforming teaching and learning at Chicago Tech Academy High School (ChiTech). In her former role she served as the Senior Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Engagement at ChiTech where she was a key member of the school’s leadership team and led fundraising, real world learning, and corporate engagement. Prior to that role Tiara served as the Assistant Principal where she led the school’s transition to Restorative Practices and led the school’s elimination of exclusionary discipline practices for students of color and organized the school’s first Race & Equity Working Group. It was at ChiTech and through this work that Tiara developed her first professional passion – serving Chicago’s youth at one of the city’s most dynamic schools.
Tiara is also the creator of and brains behind the Young Women’s Leadership Society (YWLS) and the annual Little Black Dress Night (LBDN). YWLS and LBDN bring together Chicago’s female STEM and business community members and celebrate women who are recognized as emerging women in tech and whose efforts are turning the tech industry on its heels and challenging the status quo!
Tiara is a Chicago native and a proud product of the Chicago Public School system. Tiara completed her undergraduate degree in Business Management at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), received her Master’s Degree in Educational Policy Studies from UIC as well and holds a certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from Loyola University. Tiara is also a 2020 Alumna of the Surge Institute Fellowship (Chicago).
In her free time, she enjoys baking, shopping, traveling, and spending time with her parents, four sisters, and two nieces.
Sign up for our email list to keep up with our incredible alumni community!