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…

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Surge Welcomes new Director of National Programs

Chicago, IL – April 1st, 2022) The Surge Institute is excited to welcome Milka Ramírez, Ph.D., LCSW, PEL as the organization’s new Director of National Programs. Dr. Milka Ramirez is an Afro-Caribbean queer healer, mission and value driven leader, and cultural worker. Guided by community building, anti-racism, and anti-oppressive practices, Milka has extensive experience working…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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

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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…

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Surge Institute and Black Principals Network Join Together to Further Community Building and Growth Among Black Principals

 The Surge Institute announces relaunch of the Black Principals Network (BPN) as part of its national programming suite TaraShaun Cain announced as Executive Director of BPN (Chicago, IL – February 28, 2022) — Today, the Surge Institute announced a new collaborative and collective action effort with the Black Principals Network to continue to expand capacity…

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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…

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Surge Welcomes new Vice President of Alumni Impact

(Chicago, IL – February 18, 2022) The Surge Institute is excited to welcome Surge Alumna, Tiara Wheatley (CHI’20), as the new Vice President of Alumni Impact. An educator, mentor, equity advocate and lifelong Chicagoan, Tiara has dedicated her career to serving Chicago’s youth, and it was at Chicago Tech Academy where she discovered her lifelong…

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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…

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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.

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Surge welcomes the newest class of Surge Fellows in Indianapolis

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN – February 3, 2022) Last Fall kicked off the Surge Institute’s recruitment cycle to seek the next class of leaders of color in Indianapolis to #JoinTheSurge. After having the opportunity to connect with many education leaders and learn about the collective vision for transformative change in their communities, we are excited to welcome…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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