“I chose Surge because of my desire to take charge and make change. As an African-American woman, born and raised on the Westside of Chicago, I often find myself afraid to advocate for myself because of the “only” syndrome. It feels good to be among other leaders who are making a change in the field of education in order to have a supportive network that will empower me to be a confident advocate for myself and my black and brown students. Surge will challenge me to come out of my comfort zone and speak out to stakeholders and those of authority about the field of education. Surge will offer me a voice to explain the importance of a high-quality education for children across our city, regardless of neighborhood, income or the color of their skin.”

Helen Loving is the Dean of Operations at DRW College Prep.