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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2024 Chicago
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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.

Virtual #LeadtheSurge

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

Virtual Application Office Hours

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
Chicago, IL


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.

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

Session 2:
November 17, 2023

Session 3:
December 15, 2023

Session 4:
January 19, 2024

Session 5:
February 16, 2024

Session 6:
March 15, 2024

Session 7:
April 19, 2024

Session 8:
May 17, 2024

Session 9:
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

If you have specific questions, contact Surge at