Thank you for your interest in the Surge Fellowship program, a transformative journey designed specifically for Black and Latinx leaders in Chicago who are committed to making a lasting impact on our communities.

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.

2024 Chicago
Fellowship Webinar

Sign up for
Chicago Updates

Why I Became A
Surge Chicago Fellow



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.


Application Opens: May 1, 2024

Application Closes: June 28, 2024

Selection Days: August 7-9, 2024

Cohort Announcement: September 4, 2024 

Welcome Mixer: Coming soon. 

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 2025 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 17-19, 2024

Session 2:
November 15, 2024

Session 3:
December 20, 2024

Session 4:
January 24, 2025

Session 5:
February 21, 2025

Session 6:
March 21, 2025

Session 7:
April 25, 2025

Session 8:
May 23, 2025

Session 9:
June 20, 2025

Session 10: Closing Retreat and Graduation
July 19-21, 2025

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 (ages 28-40)
  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum six years of relevant experience
  • Demonstrated leadership in education or youth-serving roles (5-15 years)
  • Proven creativity, resilience, and maturity
  • Reflective about leadership journey and future vision
  • Open-minded with a growth mindset
  • Strong desire to bridge divides and positively impact 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