April 2022 Edgar Palacios

“Latino students are rarely going to encounter a Latino teacher along their educational journey. We know that when they see themselves reflected in their teachers, they’re going to have better educational outcomes.”

KC Cares recently highlighted the work of the Latinx Education Collaborative, an organization founded by Edgar Palacios (KC’19). The organization also recently opened a new office and meeting space in Kansas City, MO. Read more here.

March 2022 Carolina Figueroa

Naptown United, a new Indianapolis-based soccer club, was featured in a local news segment. Naptown United is led by Stand for Children bilingual organizer and Peruvian native, Carolina Figueroa (IND’21). Carolina also expanded on the project as part of her Freedom Dreams Project during the Surge Academy program.

“We’re really concentrated on the youth in the intercity targeting our immigrant and refugee communities and our underserved communities,” President of Naptown United, Carolina Figueroa said.

Read the full story here.

November 2021 Ajia Morris

Ajia Morris (KC’20) was recognized as one of 20 to Know in Commercial Real Estate by the Kansas City Business Journal. Her first project is renovating a 3.7acre city block that is home to a historic elementary school which has been vacant for over 14yrs. Partnering with KCPS and Dr. Trinity Davis (KC’19), Founder of Teachers Like Me, the LocalCode KC is committed to proving workforce affordable housing as well as incentives to recruit, retain, and house Black teachers into Kansas City.

Learn more about LocalCode KC: www.localcode.co

August 2021 Sanam Jorjani

Co-Led by Sanam Jorjani (OAK’19), the Oakland Literacy Symposium (hosted by the Oakland Literacy Coalition) will be a two-day virtual conference that will bring together educators, youth development professionals, leaders, design thinkers, and change makers together to learn, strategize, elevate, and collaborate. The idea for this conference also stemmed from Sanam’s 2019 Surge Fellowship capstone project.

Registration for the Oct 1-2 Symposium is available here.

July 2021 Robbie Curry

Robbie Curry (CHI’20) is bringing to life his Surge Fellowship Freedom Dreams Project, The Marcus Literacy Project, Inc., which is an education tech company that is building a video game designed to support 4th – 8th-grade students to become proficient readers while also developing a love for reading. If you are interested in partnering with Robbie to support this work, visit www.wemakechange.org/projects/themarcusliteracyproject for volunteering opportunities.

June 2021 Ajia Morris

June 2021

In an effort to boost its reach and impact, The Greenline Initiative, a social enterprise co-founded by Ajia Morris (KC’20), has for the second year partnered with the Give Black KC campaign — timed to coincide with Juneteenth — aiming to raise at least $10,000 to support its work in redlined neighborhoods. Read more here.

“I’m really excited about it and proud of the momentum — and Kansas City for supporting Black-owned and Black-operated businesses,” Morris said of the partnership, which pairs seven additional Black-owned businesses and organizations with Generating Income for Tomorrow (Kansas City G.I.F.T.) — each one working to fill gaps around a pressing social issue.

Click here to learn more about the Give Black KC campaign or here to make a donation. 

June 2021

Dr. Lateshia Woodley (KC’20) has published her newest book, Navigating Life’s Sling Shots & Leading From Within, a project that was created out of the desire to bring awareness to the plight of women in leadership. Check it out here.

June 2021

Ada Gomero (CHI’20) has accepted a new role as Learning Officer at the MacArthur Foundation. In her new role, she will facilitate the use of data and information for decision-making, learning, and strategy as well as design/lead opportunities for continuous learning.

June 2021

Chanelle Bell (CHI’19) has been promoted to Senior Managing Director, Public & Community Affairs at TFA Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana.

In her new role, she will be leading the Public & Community Affairs team to scale the impact of corps members/alumni by collaborating with public and community stakeholders to increase access to resources and to ensure equitable policies are in place to create an environment that allows the students that they serve to thrive.

May 2021

Innovare – Social Innovation Partners, founded by AJ DeLeón (CHI’15) through his Surge Fellowship Capstone project, has become a Google for Education Partner. Google for Education is a service that provides education-focused tools for educators, school leaders and students.

May 2021

Denmark Diaz (OAK’21) has received an award entitled: The Giraffe (Sticking Your Neck Out for Social Justice) Award from SF State University at the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (SAEM) Staff Recognition Awards on May 6th, 2021.

The Award recognizes outstanding commitment to social justice. Nominees have gone far above and beyond their professional responsibilities to help someone in significant need and have made a difference in helping the campus community or the greater global community overcome a challenge. See here for more details.

May 2021

As a collaboration between the Division of Equity & Community Inclusion and Health Promotion & Wellness (HPW), a new Men of Color (MoC) program aims to focus on the academic, social and personal development of San Francisco State University students who are men of color.

We’d like to honor and highlight the work of Denmark Diaz (OAK’21) in actualizing this initiative. ​Learn more about the program by reading this article.

May 2021

India Wells-Carter (KC’19) has brought to life her new venture, Fresh Factory KC, a selfie experience inspired by the art and people of Kansas City. Learn more about this next chapter for her in this segment from Startland News.

May 2021

Ana Martinez Shropshire (CHI’15) has joined Surge’s National Board of Directors. Read the full story here.

May 2021

Susana Elizarraraz (KC’20) has transitioned as VP of Educator Supports at the Latinx Education Collaborative. In this new role, Susana will help to build LEC’s collective voice and amplify the voices of other Latinx educators nationwide.

May 2021

Originating from her Surge Fellowship capstone project, Jordan Owens (CHI’19), recently introduced Msaada, an organization that supports the education, empowerment, access, and equity for parents and students within the special education process.

Msaada means “help” or “support” in Swahili, and Jordan shares more in this on-demand video on strategies for effective parent and student support and engagement by schools/districts in special education evaluation and service provision.

May 2021

In a recent Kansas City Spotlight segment, KC STEM Alliance featured Inspired Aesthetics’ recent event, #RemakeDaysKCCHALK. The project came to life from Surge Alum and Founder/ED of Inspired Aesthetics, Cescily Phillips’ Freedom Dreams Project. Watch the full segment here and visit www.inspiredaestheticskc.org to learn more.

May 2021

India Johnson (INDY’21) was featured on the May/June 2021 issue of Huami Magazine, an African American Community focused publication that serves several U.S. states.

The issue will be available at www.mykelmedia.com

May 2021

Last October 2020, Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare (OAK’18) brought her Surge Fellowship capstone to life. She launched her organization’s 1st Youth Advisory Board and ushered in the next phase of health equity in my organization by centering high school student voices in our work, while focusing on their individual growth (professional development, networking with their peers, and providing a work opportunity).

“We launched in our Bay Area and Los Angeles communities. As we wrap our 1st year with this amazing group of students, we’re celebrating all their accomplishments – including co-designing our strategic plan! We have plans to double the size and our investment of our youth advisory board next fiscal year by scaling to new communities across the country and are being led by their brilliance!”

May 2021

Jayo Miko Macasaquit (OAK’19) is The 19th’s new Chief People Officer. The 19th is an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. Learn more about Jayo’s new role here.

April 2021

Ángel L. Vélez (CHI’21) has launched Rabble-Rouser Diversity Consultants LLC, an anti-racist diversity training company that deals with racial equity issues in P-21 education and the workplace. Learn more about their work here.

April 2021

Melissa Flores has accepted her new role as COO at the Latino Policy Forum, an organization whose mission is to build the power, influence, and leadership of the Latino community through collective action to transform public policies that ensure the well-being of our community and society as a whole.

April 2021

Adanta Ahanonu (OAK’19) has been promoted as COOP’s first Chief Program Officer. Adanta joined the California team exactly one year ago — re-energizing the regional team out west and revolutionizing the Program and Recruiting functions on both coasts. As CPO, Adanta will add the Alumni and Social Work teams to her portfolio, bringing the “COOP journey” under one C-suite leader.

April 2021

JuDonne Hemingway (CHI’19) has accepted the role to serve as the next Principal of Gary Comer Middle School with the Noble Network of Charter Schools.

April 2021

Natalie Neris (CHI’17) was a part of a recent panel titled, Equity in Education for All: Closing the Gap. This virtual conversation was moderated by Kate Grossman, a Senior Education Editor for WBEZ.

Guest speakers included Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez (LGC Fellow since 2015), Chief of Network 8 for Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Janice K. Jackson (LGC Fellow since 2007), Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools, and Natalie Neris, Chief of Community Engagement for Kids First Chicago.

April 2021

Charles Cole, III, Ed.D., MPA (OAK’18) has officially released the audiobook for his dissertation titled, “Beyond Grit & Resilience.” Give it a listen today on Audible or Apple Books.

April 2021

AJ DeLeón (CHI’15) was featured on an episode of LatinxAmerica’s Podcast. Click here to give it a listen and learn about AJ’s journey within education, tech and entrepreneurship as well as co-founding Innovare – Social Innovation Partners.

June 2021 4.0 Schools’ 151 Fellows

Five Surge Alumni were announced as part of 4.0 Schools’ 151 Fellows for their Essentials and New Normal Teams, as well as their Meet the Moment 2.0 Grantees. 4.0 is an early-stage education incubator that brings educators, entrepreneurs and technologists together to launch ventures that redefine school.

Meet the Moment 2.0 Grantees: Dirrick Butler (CHI’19); Cescily Phillips (KC’20); Kim Riley (KC’20)

2021 Essentials Fellows: Aiyeshia Hudson Wong (CHI’20); Jahna Riley (KC’20)

2021 New Normal Fellows: Cescily Phillips (KC’20)

Meet 4.0’s Meet the Moment 2.0 Grantees here.

Meet the New 151 2021 Fellows of the 4.0 Community here.

June 2021 Geoff Fenelus

On June 22nd, Promise Prep, a new Indianapolis public charter school founded by Geoff Fenelus (INDY’21), had their official ribbon cutting ceremony. Along with the festivities, the school also hosted a community open house. See the full recap here.

Promise Prep’s vision is that Indianapolis will become a city that delivers on the promise of equitable education for all children so that we end generational poverty.

April 2021 Ángel L. Vélez

Ángel L. Vélez (CHI’21) has launched Rabble-Rouser Diversity Consultants LLC, an anti-racist diversity training company that deals with racial equity issues in P-21 education and the workplace. Learn more about their work here.

August 2020 Katie Boody

LEANLAB Education (Katie Boody, Co-Founder & CEO) announced the first recipients of their $50,000 Micro-Grant Support Fund, which included the impact and work of six Surge Alumni. Learn more about the initiative and each awardee via this article from Startland News.