Surge Fellows leave this experience having enhanced their competency in both technical and adaptive leadership skills, including relationship management, problem-solving, negotiation, conflict resolution, communication, anti-racist design, and project planning, management and execution. Surge Fellows also gain a deeper understanding of the sociopolitical and economic context, history and structure of public education. And, importantly, Surge Fellows rediscover themselves, their power and their dreams, and become a part of a community of leaders who see, support and affirm each other.
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Why I Became A
Surge Chicago Fellow
Virtual Men / Male-Identified Mixer
May 22, 2023 • 5:30-7:30
Discuss the importance of guiding our Chicago youth as men with male-identifying fellows and alums.
May 25, 2023 • 5:30-7:30
Join the big kick-off event if you’re a Chicago-based emerging leader of color looking to transform the system.
Virtual Latine/x Mixer Celebration
June 22, 2023 • 5:30-7:30
Center on love and healing for youth and communities of color with a community of Latine/x & Afro-Latine/x leaders.
In-person Connection Hub
June 15 • 4:30-6:30
June 29 • 5:30-6:30
Get answers and support in filling out your application.
The Surge Chicago Connection Hub is a space where potential applicants can connect with our team and community to learn more about the application process and ask any questions related to the Fellowship program and Surge Institute.
Attendees will be required to follow COVID safety protocols that will be shared via email the week of the event.
May 25, 2023
4:30pm – 6:30pm CT
Pilsen Yards at
1163 West 18th St
April 25, 2023
2024 Surge Chicago Fellowship Applications Open
July 6, 2023
2024 Surge Chicago Fellowship Application Deadline
August 7-11, 2023
2024 Chicago Cohort Selection Days
September 5, 2023
2024 Chicago Cohort Announcement
September 21, 2023
2024 Welcome Mixer
Disclaimer: Our intended audience for our virtual gatherings are African-American and Latine/x leaders in the Chicago education and youth-serving space.
“I am sensing a shift within myself. At the start of my experience with Surge I was feeling defeated. I can’t fully capture it but I am sensing a shift within myself, in the way that I am showing up for myself and therefore others. I am learning so much in Surge and being able to practice centering wellness in the spaces that I am in. I see the shift for myself but also those who are in community with me.”
– 2023 Surge Fellow
“As a leader of Color, my most important takeaways from the Surge Fellowship experience were that my worth and value are inherent and that I deserve a sense of belonging. I’ve also learned that in making space for my wellness, I make space for others to do the same and that that kind of healing is only possible through collective, community care.”
– 2022 Surge Fellow
Surge Chicago 2024 Fellowship Session Dates
The fellowship cohort participates in monthly full-day sessions: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (virtual sessions) and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (hybrid sessions). Fellows are expected to attend all retreats and monthly sessions.
Session 1: Opening Retreat
October 19-21, 2023
November 17, 2023
December 15, 2023
January 19, 2024
February 16, 2024
March 15, 2024
April 19, 2024
May 17, 2024
June 21, 2024
Session 10: Closing Retreat and Graduation
July 18-20, 2024
For the 2024 Surge Fellowship year, we anticipate a combination of virtual and hybrid monthly sessions, with optional opportunities to gather in-person for social connections. COVID protocols will be in place to ensure the health and safety of all in our community. It is possible that we will be able to thoughtfully and carefully transition our hybrid sessions to be fully in-person (no virtual component) at some point during the year. In doing so, we would follow the wisdom, needs, and risk-tolerance of our community. Our priority is the physical and psychological well-being and safety of our people.
- Chicago-based African-American or Latine/x leader roughly between the ages of 28 to 40
- Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
- Minimum of six years of work experience
- Employed in education or youth-serving role (i.e., district, charter, youth-serving non-profit, higher education, public policy, philanthropy, advocacy) at the initiation of and for the duration of the fellowship
- Passion for positively impacting the lives of young people and their communities
- Attend all sessions
- Complete all requisite pre work before sessions (approximately 5-10 hours per month)
- Get your supervisor’s support
- Show up for yourself!
- Completed application, including a résumé and responses to four essay questions
- Two recommendation surveys: one must be from current supervisor
- Memorandum of Understanding signed by applicant and employer