CHICAGO – On Saturday, September 26, 2015, the Inaugural Surge Fellowship Cohort, comprised of twelve emerging African American and Latino leaders in Chicago, will complete the 2015 Surge Fellowship program. Between April and September of this year, The Surge Institute piloted a condensed program, which modeled the Surge Fellowship’s rigorous 12-month leadership development program to be delivered to the 2016 cohort and beyond.

The Surge Fellowship was designed to identify and groom emerging education leaders, accelerating their trajectory so that they may bring new ideas, perspectives, and solutions that change the landscape of education. Surge Fellowship is the flagship program of The Surge Institute, a Chicago-based non-profit that exists to broadly address issues of race and class in urban education through leadership development, technical assistance and advocacy.

To commemorate the completion of the 2015 Inaugural Fellowship, Surge is hosting a Capstone Project Showcase “Gallery Walk” and Graduation Luncheon for graduating Fellows, their employers and their families. Speakers at the invitation only event include Kaya Henderson, Surge Executive Board Member and Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, and 2015 Surge Fellow, Melissa Connelly. “I am beyond grateful that my peers chose me to speak in honor of the profound and life-changing six months our cohort has spent together. I have no words to describe how humbling it was to be selected by this group of incredibly brilliant leaders,” says Connelly, Senior Director of Regional Persistence for OneGoal – Chicago.

“Upon graduation, our first generation of Surge Fellows is better prepared to take on the sizable challenges of Chicago’s public education system with conviction in their beliefs, understanding of the players in the education ecosystem, and a network of peers and support to help them improve conditions for our children,” remarks Surge Founder and President, Carmita Semaan.

The 2016 Surge Fellowship Cohort was announced on September 9, 2015 and their program will conclude in August, 2016.

About the Surge Fellowship

The Surge Fellowship develops high-potential talent within education to create a pipeline of influential education leaders of color. This network transforms status quo systems and approaches in education by sharing ownership of the change efforts, engaging communities in defining and working toward success, serving as role models for young people to pursue roles with influence and risk, and accessing financial capital and power brokers to develop new solutions. Contact or (312) 768-8139 for more information.