Michael Johns

“The Surge Fellowship has been an outstanding experience! It has truly enriched my leadership competencies. Whether reading an impactful article or having engaging dialog, Surge has reinforced the notion of walking in my excellence and leading with my strengths. I will always be grateful for my Surge experience.”

Adria Husband

“My Surge Fellowship experience has truly been life changing. It is easy to feel like an island in professional spheres where there are few individuals who share your passion, face the same challenges you have, or share a similar vision. Surge has enabled me to plug into an amazing network of energy, tenacity, vision, intellectual…

Erica Hines

“Surge has shown me how much leadership potential I already have. I’ve been given inspiration to know and believe in myself, as well as the practical information and access to make my goals a reality.”

Ceddrick Hunter

“Surge has given me the tools I never knew that I needed to truly walk in my power and purpose for the children of Chicago. Moreover, I am forever grateful for the skills and advice that helped me realize that Surge is more than just a program but a family and a movement.”

Christopher Goins

“The Surge Fellowship truly increased my capacity to lead. The Fellowship gave me a greater appreciation for my strengths and how to leverage them, as well as a deeper understanding of race – both have positively impacted my leadership as a principal.”

Adrian DeLeón

“My Surge Fellowship experience contributed to my personal and professional development by enhancing my influential leadership capacity, reawakening my political consciousness, and strengthening my kinship with other young aspiring leaders of color in education. I am deeply humbled and grateful that Surge bound me with my fellow Inaugural InSURGEnts, who inspire me, challenge me, and…

Melissa Connelly

Melissa Connelly is the Chief Program Officer at OneGoal. In this role, she stewards the organization’s programmatic strategic plan and ensures all internal stakeholders are invested in the organization’s vision for the program delivery model. She also serves as a key member of the Executive Leadership Team and partner with the CEO, Board of Directors,…

Nicole Williams Beechum

“The Surge Fellowship has been a unique opportunity to gain critical skills, and develop my capacity for leadership, surrounded by peers and mentors who know and have lived the experiences I bring to the table. As a community we push each other to step into leadership opportunities that will allow our voices to be heard…

Michelle Bess

“Surge helped me clarify my purpose and vision for life. My purpose is to connect people of color to opportunity, in order to help create the most diverse cohort of leadership the City of Chicago has ever seen. I am much more confident in leading as an unapologetically Black woman.”  

Elisa Botello

“The Surge Fellowship has played a much more significant positive role in my life, both personally and professionally, than I ever expected. I feel I am at the beginning of a new and lasting journey to finding my greatness and how that will positively impact education and lives in this city and our country. I…