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April 2022 Aijeron Simmons

Aijeron Simmons (OAK’20) will transition into a new role as UTK Coordinator for the 21st Century California School Leadership Academy. (Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education hosts and coordinates the 21CSLA State Center in partnership with UCLA Center X and the California Subject Matter Projects.) Through this new body of work, she will focus on preparing […]

April 2022 Dr. Brandalyn Hayes

“Our students can still get what they need as if they were in a physical classroom,” said Dr. Brandalyn Hayes (IND’22) in the Walton Family Foundation’s highlight of Paramount Online Academy, a new, virtual K-8 school created by Paramount Schools of Excellence, based in Indianapolis. Paramount Online Academy is an Innovation Partner of Indianapolis Public Schools, one […]

April 2022 Christopher Goins

Christopher Goins (CHI’16) has been named the next President of Girard College in Philadelphia. Read more here. Girard College is a historic boarding school in North Philadelphia that provides free education for disadvantaged children from single-parent families.

April 2022 Vanessa Gutiérrez

“For me, the stories of our participants reminded me of the strength, creativity, and persistence that lives in our schools and communities, specifically Black and brown communities. There was an understanding that folks needed to have grace and flexibility for one another.” Chalkbeat Chicago highlights the recent study from the University of Chicago’s Consortium on […]

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 […]

April 2022 TaraShaun Cain

“Nobody really focuses on the leaders,” Cain said. “And if we don’t focus on the leaders, specifically Black leaders who are experiencing stress at rates and levels that are higher than other leaders, based on the communities they serve, we will continue to see the great resignation of leaders because they don’t have the resources […]

April 2022 Halleemah Nash

Rosecrans Ventures Founder, Halleemah Nash (CHI’17), will join the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP) as an Executive in Residence in support of its signature program, HBCU in LA. The HBCU in LA Internship Program is EICOP’s signature initiative and the first Los Angeles based program of its kind to provide underrepresented students with housing […]

April 2022 Garrett Webster

The South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce honored six projects for the 2022 Community Impact Awards at its Annual Dinner, and Youth Guidance was awarded the Big Impact award of the year for its Becoming A Man (BAM) and Working On Womanhood (WOW) programs in the Hickman Mills School District. Youth Guidance in Kansas City […]

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 […]

March 2022 Kim Riley

The Transition Academy, an organization founded by Kim Riley (KC’20), was recently announced as one of NewSchools Venture Fund’s newest grantees. She is part of a new group of innovators — all leaders of color — who are receiving nearly $1.5 million in unrestricted funding to advance racial equity in education. Read the full story […]

March 2022 Claudia Montes Salinas

Claudia Montes Salinas (IND’22) has begun her new role with Indiana University Health as the Mosaic Center Special Projects Manager. The Mosaic Center for Work, Life and Learning is a workforce development initiative that will support Indianapolis youth and adults as they navigate a path to and across healthcare careers, clinical and nonclinical as well […]

March 2022 Dr. Brian Dinkins

After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from students/faculty/staff/alumni, Dr. Brian Dinkins (IND’22) will join the Butler University College of Education faculty as an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Director of Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP). Learn more about EPPSP: www.butler.edu/education/graduate-programs/educational-administration-eppsp

February 2022 TaraShaun Cain

TaraShaun Cain (CHI’20) has joined the Surge Leadership team as Executive Director of the Black Principals Network. The Black Principals Network was incubated and funded by Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, which invests in building a diverse educator workforce as part of its broader efforts to ensure all students are able to access a […]

February 2022 Tiara Wheatley

Tiara Wheatley (CHI’20) has accepted the role of Vice President, Alumni Impact at the Surge Institute. In her new role, Tiara will be responsible for developing the strategy and ensuring successful execution and measurement of Surge Alumni programming. Furthermore, this role is aligned with the second pillar of the Surge Ahead, the organization’s three-year Strategic Plan. Learn […]

February 2022 Lateshia Woodley

Dr. Lateshia Woodley (KC'20) was featured in EdWeek's 2022 Leaders to Learn From. The honorees are innovative district leaders who have showed resiliency and fortitude as they found ways to support students and families during a year of continued disruption. Lateshia was recognized for Leadership in Whole-Child Supports. Learn more about Lateshia's work as featured [...]

February 2022 India Johnson

The local Indianapolis news recently covered Thrival Indy's hypnotherapy services and the impact that this focus on mental health has had on our school culture. India Johnson currently serves as the school's Executive Director. Read the full story here.

January 2022 Diego Báez

The Poetry Foundation has welcomed Diego Báez (CHI'19) as a new Harriet Books reviewer. Named after Harriet Monroe, the founding editor of Poetry Magazine, Harriet Books centers the work of poets and serves as a portal to the latest poetry-related news. Read more here.

January 2022 Aaron Harris

Aaron Harris (OAK'22) has accepted the role of Dean of Instruction at Aspire Golden State Prep. Aspire’s mission is to open and operate small, high-quality charter schools in low income neighborhoods, in order to: Increase the academic performance of underserved students, develop effective educators, share successful practices with other forward-thinking educators, and catalyze change in [...]

January 2022 Dirrick Butler

Dirrick Butler (CHI'19) has transitioned to a full-time role of Project OneTen. Founded by Butler as part of his fellowship capstone project, the organization that engages and mentors Black and Brown boys in Chicago during the transition to high school by empowering them to recognize and develop their strengths, academic confidence, and innate brilliance. As [...]

November 2021 Ashley N. Leonard

Ashley N. Leonard (CHI'17) served as a panelist for Forefront's monthly Philanthropy Club convening titled "Black Philanthropy: Money, Mentoring, and More" in her role as a co-chair of the South Side Giving Circle at the Chicago Foundation of Women. This session was an opportunity to hear from Black philanthropists who support people, causes, and institutions [...]

January 2022 Amanda Paz

Amanda Paz (CHI'18) has been promoted to Associate Principal at the Civic Consulting Alliance. In her new role, she will serve on management team, lead high-impact projects for the City of Chicago, architect and oversee implementation of solutions, manage partnerships with key clients and pro bono partners, as well as coach and supervise colleagues. Learn [...]

November 2021 India and Keeanna

During the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis Dala (day-luh), India Johnson (INDY'21) and Keeanna Warren (INDY'21) were honored for their distinguished performance in the field of education as well as their outstanding service to the African American community in Indianapolis and beyond with the Dr. George W. Rawls Emerging Leaders Award. This award is giving [...]

December 2021 AJ DeLeón

AJ DeLeón (CHI'15) has completed the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative - Education Scaling Program sponsored by the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) and the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN). He was also selected as valedictorian for the cohort. Learn more about the initiative here.

December 2021 Zuleica Lopez

Zuleica Lopez (OAK'20) was promoted to Senior Director of Program at OneGoal, an organization whose mission is to close the degree divide in America. Learn more about OneGoal at: www.onegoalgraduation.org

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 […]

October 2021 Sonya Mehta

Sonya Mehta (OAK'18) has started a new role as the new Chief of Staff at Families in Action for Quality Education (FIA Oakland). FIA Oakland is a community-organizing coalition working to build collective power around issues that impact equitable access to quality education in Oakland, by developing the leadership capacity of school parents, youth, educators, [...]

October 2021 AJ DeLeón

AJ DeLeón (CHI'15) was recently nominated and elected into membership of the ECC. Membership in this exclusive club connects him with the heart of Chicago's C-Suite to learn from more experienced leaders and to enhance the brand awareness and impact of his organization, Innovare, locally and beyond.

September 2021 Jonathan and Shenita

Jonathan Chaparro (CHI'17) and Shenita Johnson (CHI'17) have been appointed to the BES National Board of Directors. BES is an organization that invests in leaders so that they can invest in their teams and students, delivering on the promise of an excellent education for every child.

September 2021 Cristina Marquez

Cristina Marquez (KC'20) has begun serving as an adjunct instructor at her alma mater, The University of Kansas (KU). "I have served and will continue to serve as a Field Instructor for MSW students and will also begin serving as a Field Liaison/Lecturer. This is a stretch assignment for me, but Surge gave me the [...]

September 2021 India Johnson

India Johnson (INDY'21) was featured on an episode of Terrell Talks where she shares on her work and how she is lighting the path to the future through her educating and healing our youth. "This my favorite of all the interviews I have ever done because I was authentic in my expression of the joys, [...]

August 2021 Dawn Hicks

Dawn Hicks (CHI'17) has accepted a new role as Senior Director of the BES Fellowship at BES. In this role, she will providing direction and strategy to the Fellowship, oversee Fellowship training and coaching, and manage the BES Fellowship Team. Learn about about BES at: https://bes.org/

August 2021 Keeanna Warren

Keeanna Warren (INDY'21) has recently accepted the new role of Associate Executive Director of the Purdue Polytechnic HS Network. Read more here. ​​“We want our students to be prepared with a 21st-century skill set so they are able to compete globally. We want them to be really excited and to help grow Indiana’s economy,” Warren [...]

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 [...]

August 2021 Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare

Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare (OAK'18) has been promoted to Head of Talent & Equity at Peer Health Exchange, and she now advises growing her capstone project, the organization's Youth Advisory Board, nationwide.

August 2021 Liam Bird

Liam Bird (CHI'18) was promoted to Director of Racial Equity Initiatives at Chicago Public Schools. Launched in 2018, Liam is a founding member of the CPS Office of Equity: the only Office of Equity dedicated to solely to education in the City of Chicago. August 2021 Co-Led by Sanam Jorjani (OAK'19), the Oakland Literacy Symposium (hosted [...]

August 2021 Jessica Sullivan-Wilson

Jessica Sullivan-Wilson (CHI'21) has transitioned into her new role as Director, Community Affairs at Teach For America - Greater Chicago - Northwest Indiana.

August 2021 Brittany Jones

Brittany Jones (CHI'20) served on a panel at the ASU GSV Summit 2021 for a conversation on how art, social justice, history, and philanthropy intersect to evolve ways of being at school, at work, and in community. See here for the full recording here.

August 2021 Michelle Bess

Michelle Y. Bess (CHI'16) was quoted in Crain's Chicago Business's recent article on tackling the access/support gap within the technology sector. "I’m thrilled about the work I get to do because it helps me live my passion to connect more people of color to opportunity.” Read what she had to say here.

July 2021 Alberto Morales

Chicago Latinos in Philanthropy (CLIP) has announced Alberto Morales (CHI'20) as CLIP’s first Project Manager. Read more in the official press release.

July 2021 Jermaine Wilson

Jermaine Wilson, Ph.D. (KC'20) has accepted a new role as Executive Director of Student Support Services at DeSoto Independent School District.

July 2021 Elisa Botello

Elisa M. Botello (CHI'16) has been appointed as Chief of Staff at Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS). In her new role, Elisa will serve as a member of the Superintendent’s Executive Leadership Team and will prioritize and facilitate the resolution of critical issues on behalf of the Superintendent.

July 2021 Dalonte Burns

Noble Network of Charter Schools has welcomed Dalonte Burns (CHI'21) as new principal of UIC College Prep. Crain's Chicago Business also featured him on 'People on the Move'. Read more here: http://ow.ly/YUhi50FEJPq

July 2021 Jawann Pollard

Jawann Pollard (CHI'17) has accepted a new role as Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission at Loyola University Chicago.

July 2021 Bridget Lee

Bridget Lee (CHI'18) has been promoted to Director of Education Strategy. In her new role, she will support the Chief Education Officer in achieving the CPS Vision: Success Starts Here. Bridget will also design and facilitate professional learning and collective problem solving sessions for CPS senior leaders.

July 2021 Jennifer Collier

July 2021 “We hope that this [program] is just the beginning,” Collier said. “Our students need more of these opportunities to have paid work experiences in their own community. Our students need this, and they deserve it.” Game-changing work is happening in the Kansas City community. The Surge Institute is honored to highlight Jennifer Collier (KC'19) [...]

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 [...]

July 2021 Ngozi Harris

Ngozi Harris (CHI'19) was recently featured on a segment for 'Our Chicago,' highlighting the work of Youth Guidance's WOW program and its impact on girls in Chicago and beyond. See the full segment here.

June 2021 Randal Seriguchi, Jr

For his work in starting Man the Bay, a four-year fellowship program that trains and supports Black men to become teachers, CBS SF Bay Area presented the Jefferson Award for Public Service to Executive Director of Urban Ed Academy to Randal Seriguchi, Jr. (OAK'18). See here for the full highlight of his impactful work.

June 2021 Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare

Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare (OAK'18) has joined Surge Oakland's Advisory Board.

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 [...]

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); [...]

June 2021 Dr. Lateshia Woodley

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

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

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 [...]

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 [...]

May 2021 AJ DeLeón

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

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 [...]

May 2021 India Wells-Carter

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

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

May 2021 Susana Elizarraraz

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 Jordan Owens

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 [...]

May 2021 Cescily Phillips

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

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 Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare

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, [...]

May 2021 Jayo Miko Macasaquit

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

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

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 Leslye Salinas

A leader who is deeply passionate about supporting community responsive services and access at school sites, Leslye Salinas (OAK’21) will complete her Doctorate in Education from the USC program in Organizational Change and Leadership in the coming weeks.

April 2021 Diego Báez

On Wednesday, April 14th, Truman College (in partnership with Poetry Foundation & Poetry Magazine) will host a virtual poetry reading with Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley! This gathering is the final culmination of Surge Alumnus Diego Báez's (CHI'19) capstone project and is also in celebration of National Poetry Month. Register to attend: https://tinyurl.com/2rj4zzs5 Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley belongs [...]

April 2021 India Johnson and Keeanna Warren

March 2021 For #WomensHistoryMonth, Citizen Education asked readers on social media to nominate the women who are changing education for the better. Congratulations to all those a part of the #21in21 campaign, and a special shoutout to Surge's own India Johnson (INDY'21) and Keeanna Warren (INDY'21) for an incredible recognition.

April 2021 Adanta Ahanonu

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 [...]

April 2021 JuDonne Hemingway

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

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 [...]

April 2021 Cheryl Flores

Cheryl Flores (CHI'19) was elected as a new board member for Telpochcalli Community Education Project (Tcep), a grassroots organization in the Little Village community. She is part of the Donor Stewardship & Cultivation Committee, and she is currently working on developing a strategy for donor cultivation to leverage for the organization's 20 year anniversary next [...]

April 2021 Charles Cole, III

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 [...]

April 2021 AJ DeLeón

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.

March 2021 Melissa Connelly

March 2021 As part of their #WomensHistoryMonth celebration, CBS Chicago highlighted Melissa Connelly (CHI'15) for her ongoing work as CEO of OneGoal.

March 2021 Ana Agarrat

Ana Agarrat (CHI'19) is joining fellow alum, ángela mungía (CHI'18), at AMPT: Advancing Nonprofits. She will serve as Associate Director, a role focused on developing and building out the programming of the organization that will serve to build the capacity of small Black and Latinx-led organizations on Chicago's West and South sides.

February 2021 Jahna Riley

Jahna Riley (KC'20) was recently interviewed for Startland News regarding her Freedom Dreams Project, Aya Coffee + Books, and its immediate impact thus far. Started as an online bookstore, Aya Coffee + Books in February evolved into a Black History Month Pop-Up shop series. And by the end of 2021, Jahna hopes to secure a [...]

February 2021 Ángel L. Vélez

Ángel L. Vélez (CHI'21), doctoral candidate in EPOL and OCCRL research associate, was recently featured in an NBC News story on Racism Within Racial Diversity. Vélez explains the danger of making assumptions about Latinos and more. Read the full story here.

February 2021 Nina Sanchez

Nina Sanchez (CHI'17) was selected as part of Chicago magazine's 30 "New Power 30," highlighting her transformational, equity-centered work as Director of Enrich Chicago.

February 2021 Will Collins

Will Collins, VP of Development & External Affairs and 2017 Surge Chicago Alum, was recently announced as an inaugural member of the 2021 Black Bench Chicago Fellowship. The Black Bench brings individuals together to build community, foster creativity, develop leadership skills, and encourage more progress. During the program period, participants are challenged to think critically [...]

January 2021 Jessica Cañas

Jessica Cañas (CHI'21) has been promoted to Assistant Director of Education at Enlace Chicago, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of Little Village Residents in Chicago.

January 2021 Lydia Mercer

2019 Surge Chicago Alum, Lydia Mercer, has launched The (Un)Learning Space. In this space, (Un)learning refers to the process of recognizing and addressing our implicit biases. Through a process rooted in love and centered on people, they want to support individuals, teams and organizations on their antiracist journey. Learn more at: www.unlearningspace.org

January 2021 Destiny Ortega

2020 Surge Chicago Alum, Destiny Ortega, has been promoted to Associate Principal at Civic Consulting Alliance, a non-profit consulting organization that works on high-impact projects with government agencies in the Chicago region. In her new role, she will join the senior leadership team, co-lead the education project portfolio, and co-lead the Recruiting team.

January 2021 Allissa Impink

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) Indiana announced an exciting staff addition late last year, bringing on local education leader Allissa Impink to serve as Manager of Community Engagement for K-12 Advocacy. “I am thrilled to have hit the ground running and for the opportunity to continue to work towards my passion of making meaningful impacts [...]

December 2019 Candace-Moore

December 2019 At the PILI Annual Awards Luncheon, Shareholder and Secretary of the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Board of Directors, Daniel Lange, presented the Distinguished Intern Alumni Award to 2015 Surge Chicago Alum and former PILI intern, Candace Moore.

December 2020 Ma’at Lands

“Tech is something that is still moving forward. While the world has to stop and the world has slow down we know, and we see that the tech world and tech industry is still moving forward.” — Ma'at Lands Rooted School (Ma’at Lands, Founding School Leader and 2021 Surge Academy Fellow), Eleven Fifty Academy and [...]

December 2020 Candace Moore

2015 Surge Chicago Alum, Candace Moore’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice for the city of Chicago has announced a citywide Together We Heal initiative, which invites Chicagoans between now and the end of January to organize around racial healing — acknowledging and discussing past wrongs, addressing consequences of individual and systemic racism, working together [...]

December 2020 Chicago Public Schools

Surge Chicago Alumni have been elected as representatives for Local School Council(s) within Chicago Public Schools. See below for full results. Nicole W. Beechum (CHI16) elected as a Parent Representative at Ray Elementary School Erica Bauer (CHI18) elected as Community Representative at Walter Payton College Prep Ulric Shannon (CHI20) elected as Community Representative at Lovett [...]

October 2020 DuJuan Smith

DuJuan Smith, 2015 Surge Chicago Alum, has successfully defended his dissertation, Black While Leading: Unmasking the Lived Experiences of Senior-Level Black Men Administrators at Historically White Institutions and earned his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Higher Education/Higher Education Administration.

May 2020 Adanta Ahanonu

April 2020 2019 Surge Oakland Alum, Adanta Ahanonu, has accepted a new position as Senior Director of Program for California at COOP Careers. The organization's mission is to build a diverse movement of upwardly mobile college grads overcoming underemployment through digital skills and peer connections.

November 2020 Halleemah Nash

"To be of service to the younger me." 2017 Surge Chicago Alum, Halleemah Nash, appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show where she shared the impact she's had through her company, Rosecrans Ventures. Check out her feature HERE and visit www.rosecransventures.com to learn more about her work.

August 2020 Aurora Flores Garcia

Aurora Flores Garcia (CHI'18) has been promoted to Director of Undergraduate Success at National Louis University. In her new role, she will oversee the work of the Student Success Coaching team. This team works with undergraduate students towards the mission of NLU of becoming national leaders and in closing the opportunity gap in Bachelor's degree [...]

November 2020 Joanna Vazquez Zelaya

2018 Surge Oakland Alum, Joanna Vazquez Zelaya, has accepted a new role as Public Policy Manager at Alliance for a Better Community. The mission of ABC is to promote economic prosperity of the Latino community and the Los Angeles region, inclusive of an improved quality of life for Latinos in education, health and civic participation.

November 2020 Kyra Mungia

2019 Surge Oakland Alum, Kyra Mungia, was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 2021 in education. She is the youngest director or deputy director working in the mayor's office in Oakland, California, and she helped spearhead the Oakland Undivided campaign that raised $13 million to help public school students get 25,000 laptops and reliable internet [...]

November 2020 Taica Hsu

2019 Surge Oakland Alum, Taica Hsu, was recently selected as part of The Roddenberry Foundation 2021 Fellowship. Launched in 2016, the Roddenberry Fellowship is a $1mil investment in the innovators, community leaders, and change-makers leading the efforts for a more just and equitable country.

November 2020 Derrick M. Fleming, Jr.

Initiated by 2020 Surge Chicago Alum Derrick M. Fleming, Jr., The #JUSTBE campaign. is meant to help dismantle current and historic systemic forms of oppression or indifference, foster anti-racism, eliminate hate, and activate individuals both personally and professionally to choose themselves and love themselves authentically, transparently, and honestly.  For updates or inquiries about The JUST [...]

November 2020 Melissa Connelly

OneGoal who were selected as a winner of The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s 2020 Holiday Impact Prize. Special shoutout to 2015 Surge Chicago Alum and CEO of OneGoal, Melissa Connelly, for her dedication and authentic leadership in this work!

November 2020 Melissa Connelly

November 2020 2015 Surge Chicago Alum, Candace Moore, was recently featured in Bloomberg Cities' highlight of 10 innovators who are raising the bar in the fight against COVID-19.  November 2020 Generation Thrive (Golden State Warriors Community Foundation and Kaiser Permanente Thrive) recently held a workshop titled: United for Black Educators: Building a Pipeline for Representation. [...]

November 2020 Garrett Webster

2020 Surge Alum, Garrett Webster Sr., will serve as the Executive Director of Kansas City as Youth Guidance announces the launch of their #BAM and #WOW programs in Missouri in 2021. For more on this expansion, visit http://ow.ly/p0ml50Ch626. 

November 2020 Dominique McKoy

"As college success advocates in this moment, we must consider whether asking our students to persevere more is truly a credible or responsible strategy." The team at The University of Chicago To&Through Project published a recent op-ed that summarizes some of the key takeaways from their podcast that focused on how first-generation, low-income (FGLI) college [...]

November 2020 Jacqueline Rodriguez

“(Multilingual students) finish high school with such an advantage. Here we have children already with that advantage that we’re telling them that they don’t have." Jacqueline Rodriguez, Director of ESOL and Migrant Programs at Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools and 2020 Surge Alum, was recently featured in the ESU Bulletin article titled, Kansas world language [...]

November 2020 Ashley Leonard

"Radically reimagining what’s possible in education through relationships will not only prepare middle schoolers to navigate school in the age of coronavirus but all of the challenges this moment in history requires of them as our future leaders." Check out this op-ed by Jen Ciok and 2017 Surge Chicago Alum, Ashley Leonard on the importance [...]

October 2020 Keeanna Warren

2021 Surge Academy Fellow, Keeanna Warren, was recently awarded the Outstanding Educator in STEM award during the 2020 Women & Hi Tech Leading Light Awards and Scholarship Gala. The Leading Light awards focused on Indiana women in STEM with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

October 2020 Edgar Palacios

The Latinx Education Collaborative hosted its third annual professional and leadership development conference, Evolución, for Latinx education professionals (and friends) virtually on Saturday, October 24, 2020 streaming live from 9 am to 12 pm. The LEC hosted 465 total registrants from across the nation!

October 2020 Savitha Moorthy, Aija Simmons and Sara Rizik-Baer

EmbraceRace recently spoke with Savitha Moorthy and Surge Oakland Alums Aija Simmons and Sara Rizik-Baer to describe Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors, a community-focused effort from Tandem, Partners in Early Learning that uses children’s books as a departure point for expanding the capacity of families with children under 5 to engage in critical conversations [...]

October 2020 Tyfahra Singleton

2020 Surge Oakland Alum, Tyfahra Singleton, has been appointed to the Oakland Police Commission. The purpose of the Police Commission is to oversee the Oakland Police Department's policies, practices, and customs to meet national standards of constitutional policing and to oversee the Community Police Review Agency which investigates police misconduct and recommends discipline.

October 2020 William Collins

2017 Surge Chicago Alum and VP of Development & External Affairs, Will Collins, served as moderator for The Chicago Urban League's October 13 Fireside Chat with Michael Strautmanis, Chief Engagement Officer of the Obama Foundation.

October 2020 Ajia Morris

"For me, it's an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is and say, 'Hey, I truly care about my friends on the east side and this is how I'm going to pay it forward." 2020 Surge Alum and Co-Founder & CEO of The Greenline Initiative, Ajia Morris, recently spoke on the work of [...]

October 2020 Lilly Cruz

"I grew up thinking that I was inferior, that we were less and here are these intrepid, brilliant revolutionaries who thought differently and did incredible things. There’s a fire that needs to be there to do revolutionary work. Like you need to care enough and get fired up enough." As part of El Griot & [...]

September 2020 ASU+GSV Summit

For the first time, the ASU+GSV Summit featured an all Surge Institute Alumni panel: Katie Boody (KC19); Melissa Connelly (CHI15); Candace Moore (CHI15); Randal Seriguchi, Jr. (OAK18). The panel was also moderated by Founder & President, Carmita Semaan! Learn more about this Surge milestone HERE.

October 2020 Chanelle Bell

2019 Surge Chicago Alum, Chanelle Bell, has been promoted to Managing Director, Public and Community Affairs at Teach For America Chicago-NWI. In her new role, she will manage a portfolio of public and community relationships; design and implement a government affairs strategy that results in sustainable public funding from Chicago, Northwest Indiana and/or the State [...]

September 2020 Charles Cole

Educate78 and Energy Convertors have launched The People’s Literacy Fund, a new pilot program that will award grants between $500 and $5,000 to members of the community who are helping Oakland students learn during distance learning. The program will provide financial support to individuals from affected communities who have come up with creative solutions to [...]

September 2020 DuJuan Smith

2015 Surge Chicago Alum, DuJuan Smith, has been named a 2020 Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellow at Illinois State University. Read more about the list of recipients HERE.

September 2020 Nicole Beechum

September 2020 "Even before the upheaval of the last several months, our education system was in dire need of a shift in how to define success for our young people." 2016 Surge Alum, Nicole Beechum, was featured in Education Week for her work around creating a space for students to define their own success. Check [...]

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.

August 2020 DuJuan Smith

2015 Surge Chicago Alum, DuJuan Smith, has accepted the role of Associate Director of Graduate Advising for The University of Chicago Professional Education. This opportunity will allow him to serve as a GUIDE to those seeking graduate and continuing education to facilitate transformation in their lives!

August 2020 Charles King and Edgar Palacios

2020 Surge Alumni Charles King and Edgar Palacios have been announced as part of the fifth cohort of the Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship, which is made up of sixteen emerging leaders who will dedicate a significant portion of the next two years to addressing issues of educational inequity in their local communities. This cohort joins a [...]

August 2020 Melissa Flores

August 2020 2019 Surge Chicago Alum Melissa Flores has been elected to the Harvard University Graduate School of Education's Alumni Council, for which she will be serving for four years. In addition, she has also been elected as Vice-Chair on the Membership Committee for the Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance. Through her roles, she will support recruitment efforts, [...]

August 2020 Melissa Flores

2019 Surge Chicago Alum Melissa Flores has been elected to the Harvard University Graduate School of Education's Alumni Council, for which she will be serving for four years. In addition, she has also been elected as Vice-Chair on the Membership Committee for the Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance. Through her roles, she will support recruitment efforts, serve as [...]

August 2020 JuDonne Hemingway

August 2020 2019 Surge Chicago Alum JuDonne Hemingway will be moderating at the 2020 InnoPower Minority Business Conference. She will be a part of a discussion on "Education CEOs: The New Faces of Social Entrepreneurship."

August 2020 Sonya Mehta

2018 Surge Oakland Alum Sonya Mehta was featured on an episode of on PRI's The World! She, along with others, spoke with reporter Rupa Shenoy about how they feel as South Asians about Kamala as the Democratic VP pick. Listen to the 6-minute piece HERE.

August 2020 Cristina Marquez

2020 Surge Academy Kansas City Alum, Cristina Marquez, has recently accepted a new role the Founding Social Worker at Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy.

August 2020 Ulric Shannon

August 2020 2020 Surge Chicago Fellow Ulric Shannon has been accepted into the The Chicago Urban League’s IMPACT Leadership Development Program for emerging African-American Leaders in Chicago.

August 2020 Ty-Licia Hooker

"It takes a village, and our babies need the excellence and support that you have to offer." 2019 Surge Oakland Alum Ty-Licia Hooker has recently published her first article in San Francisco Bay View where she shares reflections on the reality of navigating COVID-19 and educating our youth. Read the full piece HERE.

August 2020 Aija Simmons

August 2020 Now, more than ever, students and teachers must draw on their social and emotional capacities in order to be resilient and to learn through this pandemic. Both adults and students need vibrant communities of distance learning that foster autonomy, belonging, and competence. Aija Simmons, 2020 Surge Alum and Program Manager of Oakland Unified’s [...]

July 2020 Paul Morgan

July 2020 2018 Surge Chicago Alum, Paul Morgan, has accepted a position with Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Representative. In his new role, he plans to support and work with educators, nonprofit administrators/executives and underrepresented communities that have historically gone without equitable access to these supports and services.

July 2020 Dirrick Butler

July 2020 2019 Surge Chicago Alum, Dirrick Butler, has recently accepted his new role as Managing Director of Partnerships and Civic Engagement at City Year Chicago.

July 2020 Teni Ugbah

July 2020 2020 Surge Oakland Alum Teni Ugbah has been promoted from a Senior Analyst, Certificated Recruitment to SFUSD’s Manager, Recruitment. In this role, she will lead the recruitment efforts across all employee typed, developing a multi-pronged recruitment strategy that ensures a comprehensive plan to recruit employees who are committed to SFUSD’s mission of social [...]

July 2020 Jacqueline Rodriguez

July 2020 2020 Surge Alum Jacqueline Rodriguez has been promoted to Director of ESOL & Migrant Programs at KCKPS. In this role, she will oversee the ESOL department for the district as well as provide high quality professional development for teachers who service emergent bilingual students. She will also oversee the Migrant and Multilingual Advocates [...]

July 2020 Nick Freeman

July 2020 2019 Surge Chicago Alum Nick Freeman has recently been accepted to the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design’s Executive Program for Social Innovation Design.

July 2020 David Muhammad

July 2020 2020 Surge Academy Kansas City Alum, David Muhammad, has recently accepted a new role a Martial Arts Enrichment Teacher at Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy.

July 2020 Ulric Shannon

2019 Surge Chicago Fellow, Ulric Shannon, has recently accepted his new role as the Director of Partner Engagement at AUSL (Academy for Urban School Leadership).

July 2020 Jayo Miko Macasaquit

July 2020 2019 Surge Oakland Alum, Jayo Miko Macasaquit, has recently accepted his new role as Director of HR at Mother Jones / Foundation for National Progress.

July 2020 AJ DeLeón

July 2020 2015 Surge Chicago Alum AJ DeLeón was recently featured in a special edition Negocios Now's "Who's Who in Hispanic Chicago 2020" publication. View the full piece HERE.

July 2020 Paul Fields

2019 Surge Oakland Alum, Paul Fields has recently accepted his new role as Director of Programs and Partnerships (DoPP) at The Knowledge House, Inc. in The Bronx, NYC. In his new role, he will manage all functions regarding core program logistics as well as oversee development of all internal/external student support systems.

July 2020 Kim Riley

July 2020 Founded by 2020 Surge Academy Kansas City Alum Kim Riley, The Transition Academy is an organization focused on college/career exploration for high school students impacted by autism and intellectual developmental disorders. Her work was recently featured on WDAF-TV network.

July 2020 Ariel Johnson

July 2020 2016 Surge Chicago Alum Ariel Johnson has been promoted to the C-suite as Chief of Staff of INCS.

July 2020 ángela munguía

July 2020 2018 Surge Chicago Alum ángela munguía has recently transitioned into her new role as founding Executive Director for AMPT: Advancing Nonprofits. AMPT is a new, Chicago-based initiative that provides capacity-building support to sustain and grow small to mid-size nonprofits on Chicago’s South and West Sides, with an emphasis on those led by Black [...]

July 2020 D. Nigel Green

2017 Surge Chicago Alum D. Nigel Green has accepted his new role as Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at the Noble Network of Charter Schools.

June 2020 Edgar Palacios and Laura Isabel Alvarez

June 2020 Surge Academy Kansas City Alumnae Edgar Palacios and Laura Isabel Alvarez appeared on Up NeXt with Kiona where they talked about family, community, leading change, and how the latinx community is strong allies for us all. View the episode HERE.

June 2020 Dirrick Butler

June 2020 Project OneTen, an organization founded by 2019 Surge Chicago Alum, Dirrick Butler, celebrated their first cohort, The McGuire Cohort, as they wrapped up their first year of high school. See the photos HERE.

June 2020 Susanna Elizarraraz

June 2020 Susanna Elizarraraz, 2020 Surge Academy Kansas City Alum, will continue her community-driven work with the Latinx Education Collaborative as the organization's new Chief Community Officer. June 2020 Roilyn Graves, 2019 Surge Oakland Alum was promoted to Director of Special Education at Envision Education. June 2020 Nina Smith, 2019 Surge Chicago Alum and Executive [...]

June 2020 Nina Smith

June 2020 Nina Smith, 2019 Surge Chicago Alum and Executive Director for LEAP, recently spoke on BONNIE'S EYE on 95.1 FM Chicago where she spoke on how to prepare our youth to handle employment, college interviews and more.

June 2020 Roilyn Graves

June 2020 Roilyn Graves, 2019 Surge Oakland Alum was promoted to Director of Special Education at Envision Education.

June 2020 Ty-Licia Hooker

June 2020 Ty-Licia Hooker, 2019 Surge Oakland Alum, was recently featured on the first episode of the HMTWNHERO podcast. During the episode, they discuss the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the Oakland protests, and the current climate of the country. We encourage everyone to give it a listen!

June 2020 Marjorie Johnson

May 2020 Marjorie Johnson, 2020 Surge Oakland Fellow, has accepted her new role as Principal for Envision Academy Middle Grades and will continue fulfilling her vision for students centered on student empowerment and collaborative leadership.

May 2020 Darryl McDavid

Darryl McDavid, 2020 Surge Oakland Fellow, has joined the Board of Director for First Place for Youth, an organization dedicated to helping foster youth build the skills they need to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood. May 2020 David Muhammad, 2020 Surge Academy Kansas City Alum, was featured on KCTV news regarding [...]

May 2020 David Muhammad

May 2020 David Muhammad, 2020 Surge Academy Kansas City Alum, was featured on KCTV news regarding his impactful work as a karate instructor amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the feature HERE.

May 2020 Bryan Jackson

2017 Surge Chicago Alum Bryan Jackson and others have officially launched the "Dad Genes: Exploring the DNA of Healthy Fathering" podcast.

May 2020 Katie Boody

LEANLAB Education, an organization founded by 2019 Surge Academy Kansas City Alum Katie Boody that builds communities and launches transformational innovations into K12 schools, recently secured $460K to help schools buy devices (i.e. WiFi hotspots) for students sidelined by COVID-19. Learn more HERE.

April 2020 Alberto Morales

April 2020 2020 Surge Chicago Fellow, Alberto Morales was selected as part Chicago Scholars 35 Under 35 for 2020.

April 2020 David Blancas

2020 Surge Chicago Fellow, David Blancas has accepted the role of Program Manager for the City of Aurora Financial Empowerment Center at The Neighbor Project.

April 2020 Kyra Mungia

March 2020 2019 Surge Oakland Alum, Kyra Mungia, has been promoted to Deputy Director of Education with the Office of the Mayor, City of Oakland. In addition, she has been accepted into the prestigious Emerge program for training democratic women to run for office.

March 2020 Terrence Pruitt and Steven Rosado

March 2020 2019 Surge Chicago Alumni Terrence Pruitt and Steven Rosado are collaborating together to facilitate the “Communities of Praxis” gatherings, a virtual space to process, collaborate and radically re-imagine the future of the work of, including but not limited to, educators, counselors, health care workers, youth development workers, and community based organizers.

March 2020 JuDonne Hemingway

JuDonne Hemingway, 2019 Surge Chicago Alum was featured in a Teach for America online article titled, “Women Empowering Women: Inspirations and Resources from Seasoned Female Leaders.”

March 2020 Adelric McCain

Adelric McCain, 2018 Surge Chicago Alum was selected for the Leadership Award by the San Francisco Coalition of Essential Small Schools (SF-CESS) for his work as well as that of Network for College Success at the University of Chicago in demonstrating equity-centered leadership for transforming our schools.

March 2020 Grisel Maldonado and Ernesto Saldivar, Jr

February 2020 Grisel Maldonado, 2015 Surge Chicago Alum, and Ernesto Saldivar, Jr., 2019 Surge Chicago Alum were selected as part of Negocios Now’s list of Latinos 40 Under 40 Class of 2019.

February 2020 Edgar Palacios

February 2020 Edgar Palacios, 2019 Surge Academy Kansas City Alum, and the Latinx Education Collaborative worked with Scuola Vita Nuova sixth-grade students on a Shark Tank-style design thinking project.

February 2020 Charles Cole, III

February 2020 Charles Cole, III, 2018 Surge Oakland Alum was featured on a podcast episode with Dr. Boyce Wakins.

February 2020 Randy Seriguchi, Jr

January 2020 Randy Seriguchi, Jr., 2018 Surge Oakland Alum was featured on an episode of the Cook on Monday Morning Podcast.

January 2020 Jonathan Chaparro

Jonathan Chaparro, 2017 Surge Chicago Alum was announced as a DE&I Honoree from the Chicago Latino Network.

January 2020 Steven Rosado

Steven Rosado, 2019 Surge Chicago Alum has joined the Praxis Institute Chicago as the Director of Strategy and Engagement. The Praxis Institute Chicago works with individuals, teams, communities, and organizations to apply research and practice informed strategies to meet their goals. They provide consultation, coaching, and facilitation services to help partners discover, identify and execute [...]

January 2020 Sara Rizik-Baer

January 2020 Sara Rizik-Baer, 2018 Surge Oakland Alum was featured on a Learn with Less podcast episode titled “Choosing Books for Infants and Toddlers.”

January 2020 Adrian DeLeón and Nick Freeman

Innovare - Social Innovation Partners, an organization co-founded by Adrian DeLeón, 2015 Surge Chicago Alum, and Nick Freeman, 2019 Surge Chicago Alum, was selected as part of the GSV Ventures’ “Elite 200.”

January 2020 Darryl McDavid

Darryl McDavid, 2020 Surge Oakland Fellow was recently featured in LADYGUNN magazine’s piece, “Life After Foster Care.”

January 2020 Janene Ingram

January 2020 2019 Surge Chicago Alum, Janene Ingram, has accepted the role of Director of Program for Pitch In - Wood Family Foundation. In her new role, Janene will will set the vision for and drive the growth and expansion of the program, and will ultimately be a key contributor to ensuring as many students [...]

January 2020 Chanelle Bell

TEDxNaperville recently published 2019 Surge Chicago Alum, Chanelle Bell’s TEDxTalk titled “How theatre helped me reclaim my power.”

December 2019 Candace-Moore

At the PILI Annual Awards Luncheon, Shareholder and Secretary of the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Board of Directors, Daniel Lange, presented the Distinguished Intern Alumni Award to 2015 Surge Chicago Alum and former PILI intern, Candace Moore.

December 2019 Terrence A. Pruitt

December 2019 2019 Surge Chicago Alum, Terrence A. Pruitt founded Project Restore Initiative LLC. Project Restore Initiative (PRI) provides curriculum development, consulting, training and coaching services to organizations, school districts, and companies aimed at creating more equitable environments and experiences for students and communities. PRI uses healing centered engagement to support organizations and practitioners in [...]

December 2019 Natalie Neris and Jacare Thomas

Natalie Neris, 2017 Surge Chicago Alum, and Jacare Thomas, 2019 Surge Chicago Alum have been accepted as CUE (Chicago United for Equity) Fellows for the 2020 cohort. Read more HERE.

November 2019 Jacare Thomas

November 2019 2019 Surge Chicago Alum, Jacare Thomas has accepted the role, Chief of Growth and Innovation, for the Umoja Student Development Corporation. In his new role, Jacare will lead the organization in planning and developing its capacity and opportunities for increased social impact. He will also provide leadership to the Umoja strategic planning process [...]

November 2019 Amanda Paz

November 2019 Amanda Paz, 2018 Surge Chicago Alum started a new role as a Senior Associate at the Civic Consulting Alliance.

November 2019 Ashley Leonard

November 2019 2017 Surge Chicago Alum, Ashley Leonard, accepted a new role as the Founding Associate Director of the Middle Grades Network for the To&Through Project at the University of Chicago Urban Education Initiative. Learn more HERE.

November 2019 Zakir Parpia

November 2019 2019 Surge Oakland Alum, Zakir Parpia, recently served as a co-editor for the National AfterSchool Association (NAA)'s magazine "After School Today." Read it  HERE.

October 2019 Edgar Jose Palacios and Randy Seriguchi Jr.

October 2019 The Latinx Education Collaborative (Founder/CEO & 2019 Surge Academy Alum - Edgar Jose Palacios) and Urban Ed Academy (Executive Director & 2018 Surge Oakland Alum - Randy Seriguchi Jr.) have been selected in the first round of grant recipients of the new competitive funding opportunity from the NewSchools Venture Fund, with financial support [...]

October 2019 Maraliz Salgado

October 2019 2018 Surge Fellowship Alum, Maraliz Salgado, played the role of Camila in The Miracle Center's recent rendition of "In the Heights."

September 2019 Bridget Lee

2018 Surge Fellowship Alum, Bridget Lee, has been promoted to the role of Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives for Chicago Public Schools.

September 2019 Michael Johns

September 2019 Michael Johns, Director of Student Activities at Kennedy-King College and 2016 Surge Chicago Alum was recently a part of an initiative that started a food pantry for the college’s community and students. Read more HERE.

September 2019 Katie Boody and Edgar Palacios

LEANLAB Education, an organization co-founded by 2019 Surge Academy Alumna, Katie Boody, recently welcomed ten companies to their latest fellowship who will be met with real-world classroom partners from nine school systems in the Kansas City metro and Colorado to create breakthroughs in a variety of instructional areas. 2019 Surge Academy Alumnus, Edgar Palacios and [...]

September 2019 Nina Smith

September 2019 2019 Surge Alumna, Nina Smith was selected to join the Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellows Program 2019-2020 cohort. Now in its fourth year, the program bridges the early childhood knowledge of leaders in the field with tools for assessing public policy levers, and hands-on application that leads to action. Learn more HERE.

September 2019 Dominique McKoy

2018 Surge Alumnus, Dominique McKoy will be pursuing his MA in Public Policy through the University of Chicago Harris School Evening Masters Program. Designed for working professionals, the Harris Evening Masters Program provides a broader perspective on public policy and a fundamental understanding of analytics to complement emerging leaders' professional experience.

September 2019 Charles King

2019 Surge Academy Alumnus, Charles King currently serves as President and Executive Director for the Kansas City Teacher Residency, an organization that has just been selected as a new partner for 100Kin10. This final round of growth specifically focuses on 100Kin10’s latest project: tackling the root causes of the STEM teacher shortage. If solved, these [...]

September 2019 Grisel Maldonado

2015 Surge Alumna, Grisel Maldonado will be starting her Executive MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University this Fall. She decided to pursue an MBA to continue building her education consulting firm, Avanza Strategies, as well as to build a strong foundation for EdPower, a 501c3 she started last year as a [...]

September 2019 Andrea Black

2017 Surge Alumna, Andrea Black was recently featured in an article for Teach for America. The article titled, "How One Principal Is Building Student and Teacher Confidence," highlights Andrea’s 6+ years as Principal for Schmid Elementary in Chicago, IL and how she is working with and supporting the school community and its student leaders. Click [...]

September 2019 Michelle Kemp

2018 Surge Alumna, Michelle Kemp founded MK Consulting Group, a new consulting firm that focuses on diversity recruitment, human capital management, and project management.

September 2019 Charles Cole

August 2019 2018 Surge Oakland Alumnus, Charles Cole, III, Ed.D., recently released his book, Beyond Grit and Resilience: How Black Men Impacted by the Crack Epidemic Succeeded Against the Odds and Obtained Doctoral Degrees. This comparative case study utilized oral histories to illuminate the life stories of three Black men who navigated their way through [...]

September 2019 Kyra Marcano

2018 Surge Alumna, Kyra Marcano founded Brilliant Light, LLC, which provides strategic consultative support to clients ranging from identifying individual impact to larger scale strategic planning, staff development, and training.

September 2019 Natalia Torres

2018 Surge Alumna, Natalia Torres will be pursuing her Masters in Education - School Leadership with a principal licensure at the Harvard Graduate School of Education this fall.

July 2019 Everett Daily

July 2019 2019 Surge Fellow, Everett Daily recently received an award for Outstanding Educator/Administrator from the Office of Congressman Danny Davis. The award highlights Everett’s work and dedication to connecting with and mentoring young people in the field of education and beyond.

July 2019 Janene Ingram

July 2019 2019 Surge Fellow, Janene Ingram has accepted the role of Managing Director, Strategy & Chief of Staff, Collective Leadership & Engagement at Teach for America. This role is the backbone of the 30+ person team responsible for leading and supporting the 60,000 alumni of Teach for America as well as spearheading towards system [...]

July 2019 Dulce Torres-Petty

2019 Surge Oakland Fellow Dulce Torres-Petty has been promoted to Senior Program Manager for the Brilliant Baby program, the early childhood program of Oakland Promise, helping low-income parents and guardians advance their baby’s academic and socio-emotional development during the first critical years of life (ages 0-5).

June 2019 Christopher Goins

June 2019 2016 Surge Alumnus, Christopher Goins accepted the position of Chief Equity Officer for Thrive Chicago, in partnership with the Obama Foundation, to lead My Brother's Keeper Alliance for the city of Chicago.

July 2019 Melissa Flores

2019 Surge Chicago Fellow, Melissa Flores, along with 24 other Chicago Non Profit leaders, were selected as part of the Negocios Now “Who’s Who in Hispanic Chicago.” Melissa was recognized specifically for the amazing work she has done while at Erie Neighborhood House.

July 2019 Cesar Dominguez

2017 Surge Alumnus, Cesar Dominguez was accepted into the Broad Residency for The Broad Center. The Broad Residency in Urban Education provides the opportunity for outstanding management professionals to apply their skills and knowledge to meet the challenges faced by urban public school systems. Learn more at www.broadcenter.org/broad-residency

July 2019 Bryan Jackson

2017 Surge Alumnus, Bryan Jackson participated on the panel, Creating Inclusive Environments for Every Player, at the US Soccer Foundation’s National Conference in Washington D.C. Approximately 150 national Soccer for Success Trainers who support and train the coach-mentors that work with youth in underserved communities across the country were in attendance. The coaches were passionate [...]

July 2019 Jonathan Chaparro

2017 Surge Alumnus, Jonathan Chaparro has been selected as part of the Class of 2020 for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Emerging Leaders Program. Every year the Chicago Council on Global Affairs selects a class of approximately 20 participants with high potential from across Chicago’s business, cultural, civic, and academic sectors and provides a [...]

July 2019 Steven Rosado

2019 Surge Fellow, Steven Rosado founded Rosado Consulting Collaborative, which provides clients with services in the following domains; community outreach and civic engagement; curriculum development and program design for youth-serving organizations; participatory action research; participatory grant-making; public policy and advocacy; racial equity; strategic planning; and workshop facilitation

June 2019 Dawn Hick

2017 Surge Alumna, Dawn Hick founded DSH Coaching and Consulting, LLC where she provides coaching to mission driven leaders who are ready to discover their innate greatness and move in a direction that is more in alignment with their goals. Clients experience transformational change and are then able to show up and operate from their [...]

June 2019 Michelle Bess

Degrees of Change, a national college success, and leadership development organization, announced that its board of directors has appointed 2016 Surge Alumna, Michelle Bess, as new chair of the board. Michelle currently serves as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director at Sprout Social, a Chicago-based software company. She has served on the Degrees of Change board [...]

June 2019 Nick Freeman and LeShonne Segura

2019 Surge Fellow, Nick Freeman, and 2015 Surge Alumna, LeShonne Segura, were named Chicago Agents of Change by Education Pioneers at their Annual Luncheon. Agents of Change work on behalf of underserved students and demonstrate results toward achieving educational equity and opportunities in many ways, including innovation, entrepreneurship and community advocacy and empowerment.

May 2019 AJ DeLeón

2015 Surge Alumnus, AJ DeLeón was selected to become a member of the NationSwell Council. The NationSwell Council (NSC) is a membership community of service-minded leaders; people who have achieved great things in their respective fields and share an authentic passion for service, taking action around solutions, and supporting each other as part of a [...]

May 2019 Marilyn Rhames

Teachers Who Pray, an organization founded by 2016 Surge Alumna, Marilyn Rhames, recently had its 6th Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. In addition, Marilyn also released her new book, The Master Teacher: 12 Spiritual Lessons That Can Transform Schools and Revolutionize Public Education.

May 2019 Candace Moore

May 2019 2015 Surge Alumna, Candace Moore, has been named the city of Chicago's first Chief Equity Officer. In her new role, she will be responsible for shaping a new office tasked with uprooting one of the city’s most entrenched problems — inequity in every sector, including jobs, housing, economic development and education.

April 2019 Melissa Connelly

2015 Surge Alumna Melissa Connelly has accepted the role as the new CEO for OneGoal. Melissa joined OneGoal five years ago and previously served as the Chief Program Officer. OneGoal aims to provide more access to college for students from low-income communities.

March 2019 Cheryl Flores

2019 Surge Fellow Cheryl Flores has accepted the role of Director of Academic and Social Emotional Supports at the Golden Apple Foundation. In this role, Cheryl will support student's successful college completion, connect scholars to academic resources and non-cognitive supports at their university, develop and execute support strategies for all undergraduate Golden Apple Scholars, and support scholars [...]

March 2019 Ariel Johnson

2016 Surge Alumna Ariel Johnson has accepted the role of Director of Government Affairs The Illinois Network of Charter Schools/INCS Action. In this role, Ariel holds a number of responsibilities which include lobbying for education and charter related policies at the state capitol, drafting legislation, legal advocacy, strategy implementation in high stakes electoral campaigns and more.

March 2019 Onel Abreu

2019 Surge Fellow Onel Abreu was accepted into the Urban Leaders Fellowship program, for the summer of 2019. The Urban Leaders Fellowship is a summer fellowship for early- to mid-career professionals who are already leaders in their own right and are looking to accelerate their leadership through a seven-week fellowship with a focus on policy and [...]

March 2019 Michael Johns

2016 Surge Alumnus Michael Johns has accepted the role of Director of Student Activities at Kennedy-King College. In this role, Michael is responsible for the strategic planning and development of co-curricular programming, working collaboratively with students, faculty, and college administrators to implement events and activities that encourage student engagement, provide enriching experiences, and enhance students overall [...]

March 2019 Ty-Licia Hooker

March 2019 2019 Surge Fellow Ty-Licia Hooker will be honored with Saint Vincent's Day School 30th Annual Children's Choice Award, on March 29, 2019. Ty-Licia's efforts as Executive Director and Co-Founder of Student Success and Leadership Academy, a program that empowers underserved youth to lead change in their own communities. With over a century of service to [...]

February 2019 Liam Bird

February 2019 2018 Surge Alumnus Liam Bird has accepted the role of Equity Policy Strategist (EPS) at Chicago Public Schools. In his new role, Liam will be responsible for conducting policy analysis reviews of existing school board policy, the Illinois School Code, city and state policies/practices, and district and school-based practices, to assess their impacts on [...]

February 2019 Tamara Hoff Pope

2018 Surge Alumna Tamara Hoff Pope accepted the role of Managing Director of College Success at Chicago Scholars. Chicago Scholars uniquely selects, trains, and mentors academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities to complete college and become the next generation of leaders who will transform their neighborhoods and our city. In this new role, Tamara will oversee engagement and [...]

February 2019 Janine Franklin

2018 Surge Alumna Janine Franklin has accepted the role of Project Director at the The University of Chicago Urban Labs. Urban Labs works to address challenges across five key dimensions of urban life: crime, education, health, poverty, and energy & environment. They partner with civic and community leaders to identify, test, and help scale the programs and [...]

February 2019 Andres Avila

2017 Surge Alumnus Andres Avila has accepted the role of School Counselor, Junior Lead at Back of the Yards College Prep. In this role, Andres works to ensure that all students are supported, informed, and celebrated on their path to post-secondary options.

December 2018 Khadeejah Lasuc-Lewis

2016 Surge Alumna Khadeejah Lasuc-Lewis has accepted the role of Vice President of Talent and Training at Chicago Scholars, an organization that uniquely selects, trains, and mentors academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities to complete college and become the next generation of leaders who will transform their neighborhoods and city. In her new role, Khadeejah supports, [...]

November 2018 Aimee Rodriguez

2019 Surge Fellow Aimee Rodriguez has accepted the role of Title IX Compliance & Training at Chicago Public Schools. In this role Aimee leads a team to develop, implement, monitor, and maintain effective district-wide training and compliance programs that comply with Title IX and other related federal and state laws and regulations. 2019 Surge Fellow [...]

October 2018 Nicole Magtoto

October 2018 2018 Surge Alumnus Nicole Magtoto recently published a blog entry for the San Francisco Coalition of Essential Small Schools using the theme of identity awareness, reflect on the skin she is in within the context of her relationship with the San Francisco Unified School District.

October 2018 Lydia Mercer

October 2018 2019 Surge Fellow Lydia Mercer has accepted the role of Director of Secondary Supports on the National Program Team at OneGoal.  In her new role, Lydia will learn from the Y1 roll-out, and then support all of OneGoal's regions—which include New York, Massachusetts, Chicago and the Bay Area—as the organization rolls out its Culturally Relevant [...]

October 2018 Paul Morgan

2018 Alumnus Paul Morgan has accepted the role of Executive Director at Ignition Community Glass, an organization that uses hands-on learning to chip away at the diversity gap in glass art. The ICG vision is to leverage the power of glass making to foster positive youth development and access to students from Chicago’s under-resourced communities and [...]

September 2018 Adria Husband

2015 Alumna Adria Husband has launched Shifting Hearts and Minds, an organization that believes that true transformational change in our educational system and our society at large will come through shifting the hearts and minds of the adults in it. Shifting Hearts and Minds provides organizational training, strategic consultation, and practical implementation supports for education-focused organizations working towards equitable [...]

September 2018 Willow Walker

2018 Fellow Willow Walker has accepted the role of Director of Admission and Recruitment with the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund. In this new role. Willow develops the strategic plan for recruiting and admitting Chicago youth for the Daniel Murphy Scholarship. She also manages high school placement for 8th grades students in private schools in Chicago.

August 2018 Sonya Mehta

August 2018 2018 Fellow Sonya Mehta has accepted the role of Director of Partnerships at The Teaching Well, an Oakland-based nonprofit consulting group that supports schools across California with teacher retention and wellness. Founded by teachers, for teachers, The Teaching Well works in partnership with schools to create thriving school ecosystems that more effectively retain, [...]

August 2018 William Collins

2017 Fellow William Collins has been accepted to the 5th cohort of the Chicago Urban League IMPACT Leadership Development Program. Through IMPACT, the Chicago Urban League strives to move the needle toward racial parity in leadership positions by developing and supporting emerging African American leaders. The intensive, nine-month program begins in September and provides our Fellows with [...]

August 2018 LeShonne Segura

2015 Fellow LeShonne Segura has accepted the role of Manager of Program Investments for the Chicago Public Education Fund. In this role, LeShonne will manage a portfolio of programs and investments, managing a team of four. The Fund believes that solutions to the challenges in public schools exist. The Fund devotes time, leverages data and invests in programs [...]

August 2018 Susan Tovar

2018 Fellow Susan Tovar has accepted the role of Senior Director of Teacher Support for OneGoal. In this role, Susan will lead OneGoal's Year 1 team to meet its end-of-the-year goals and implement the organizations new program model.

August 2018 Adrian DeLeon and Nick Freeman

  2015 Fellow Adrian DeLeon and 2019 Fellow Nick Freeman were selected as 2018 LEANLAB K-12 Fellows. LEANLAB accelerates the growth of transformational innovations that address achievement gaps and inequities that persist in public education by giving immersive and intensive support to early-stage founders. The K12 fellowship is a startup accelerator program based in Kansas City, MO, [...]

August 2018 Tina Enagbare

2018 Fellow Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare has accepted the role of Vice President, Talent & Equity for Peer Health Exchange, Inc. In this role, Tina will guide people, culture, and how the organization lives out its core values and commitment to equity. As a member of executive leadership, she will provide the vision and leadership for ensuring [...]

July 2018 Christine Diaz

2018 Fellow Christine Diaz is has accepted the role of Chief Education Officer for Acero Schools. In this role, Christine is an essential leader in Acero's quest to achieve consistently excellent results at each of its schools on behalf of the students and communities being served. Christine has a direct impact on ensuring high-quality practice and outcomes in [...]

July 2018 Adelric McCain

2018 Fellow Adelric McCain is has accepted the role of National Director of Equity and Impact for the Network for College Success. In this role, Adelric organizes and implements the organization's internal and external facing equity work. Adelric also manages and measures the Network for College Success' national partnerships and outward facing professional development work.

June 2018 William J. Collins

2017 Fellow William J. Collins has accepted the position of Vice President of External Affairs at OneGoal Chicago. In this role, William's mission is to ensure OneGoal-Chicago maintains its financial stability by maintaining and growing a diversified and sustainable investor base, building efficiencies of scale to keep the revenue goal manageable and increase awareness and [...]

June 2018 Dominique McKoy

2018 Fellow Dominique McKoy has accepted the position of Associate Director at the University of Chicago's To&Through Project, a project that aims to use research, data, and resources to give every student who aspires to earn a college degree the opportunity and support to do so. In this role, Dominique will lead local partnership strategy and work [...]

June 2018 Stephanie Arias

June 2018 2017 Fellow Stephanie Arias has accepted the position of Director of College Initiatives at the Cristo Rey Network. In this role, Stephanie oversees all college-going initiatives at the network level and leads the organization's 32 member schools across the country in achieving their post-secondary goals. These efforts range from forging partnerships with colleges [...]

June 2018 Iris Dominguez

2018 Fellow Iris Dominguez was awarded as Administrator of the Year from the Chicago Public Schools Office of School Counseling and Post-secondary Advising. She was recognized for her exemplary contribution to school counseling at North-Gand High School.

June 2018 Janine Franklin

2018 Fellow Janine Franklin has accepted the position of Associate Director of Pipeline Programs at the University of Chicago. In this role, Janine will oversee initiatives that train and mentor underrepresented students toward academic pathways.

June 2018 William J. Collins, Ashlie Tyler and A.J. Watson

   2017 Surge Fellows William J. Collins and Ashlie Tyler and 2018 Surge Fellow A.J. Watson were named Agents of Change by Education Pioneers. Agents of Change are Education Pioneers alumni who work on behalf of underserved students and demonstrate results toward achieving educational equity and opportunities in many ways, including innovation, entrepreneurship and community advocacy and [...]

April 2018 Amanda Paz

2018 Fellow Amanda Paz has accepted the role of Continuous Improvement Work Plan Coordinator at Chicago Public Schools. In this role, Amanda is responsible for the management of the Continuous Improvement Work Plan site and coordinating processes that guide schools in meaningful data-driven reflection and analysis to positively impact the instructional core. Amanda also assists schools [...]

April 2018 Nicole Spicer

2018 Fellow Nicole Spicer has accepted the role as Principal of Bronzeville Classical School, a new classical high school launched by Chicago Public Schools in the fall of 2018. Bronzeville Classical's mission is to offer a strong accelerated academic program, emphasizing teaching the whole child. Students of the school will develop core academic skills, work in [...]

April 2018 D. Nigel Green

2017 Fellow D. Nigel Green has accepted the role as Diverse Leaders Mentor and Noble Fellow at Noble Network of Charter Schools. In this role, D. Nigel is responsible for supporting and mentoring Noble's up-and-coming leaders of color to increase their presence at the table and nurture the voice they'll use while there. As a Noble [...]

February 2018 Halleemah Nash

2017 Fellow Halleemah Nash has accepted as the role of Chief Partnerships Officer at The Academy Group, a new enterprise established to create a sustainable source of highly skilled, diverse, resilient leaders to drive the American economy. The Academy Group identifies and invests in extraordinary young people from under-resourced communities and prepares them to own, operate, [...]

February 2018 Andrea Serrano

2017 Fellow Andrea Serrano has accepted the role of Managing Director of Individual Giving at Teach For America, an organization committed to expanding opportunity for children by affecting profound systemic change. TFA finds, develop, and support a diverse network of leaders from classrooms, schools, and every sector and field in order to shape the broader system [...]

Janurary 2018 Stacey Mitchell

2015 Fellow Stacey Mitchell has accepted the role of Director of People at the Obama Foundation, a working, living center for citizenship with the goal to develop the next generation of active citizens and leaders — and what it means to be a good citizen in the 21st century. The Obama Foundation's mission is to inspire [...]

January 2018 Alejandro Espinoza Olazaba

January 2018 2017 Fellow Alejandro Espinoza Olazaba has become a 2018 Fellow of The Civic Leadership Academy, an interdisciplinary leadership development program for emerging and high-potential leaders in nonprofit organizations and local government agencies within the City of Chicago and Cook County. Developed by the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement, in partnership with LISC [...]

January 2018 Ángela Munguía

2018 Fellow Ángela Munguía has accepted the position of Chief Dream Director at The Future Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to unlock the limitless potential of every young person in this country. In this role, Ángela's key responsibility is to lead the The Future Project's Chicago market in establishing a strong foundation and growth.