(United States – April 14 2022)  The Surge Academy, a national program that develops, elevates, and unites leaders of color within the education and youth-serving space, will be expanding to two new cities in 2022.

In May, Surge will begin recruitment for the Philadelphia Surge Academy, made possible thanks to partnerships with Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and Spring Point, Inc. 

“There is a real opportunity to develop high-quality education leaders for underserved communities right here in our hometown of Philadelphia,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation. “We are excited to partner with Surge Institute as they expand to increase the collective impact of leaders locally by providing them with the support, skills, and resources to affect educational outcomes.”

“At Spring Point Partners, we seek out and support community leaders with the power to drive lasting change,” said Laura Tate McHugh Director of Impact Operations at Spring Point Partners. “We also understand from other partners that the uniquely designed, intensive leadership development experience that the Surge Academy facilitates for education leaders of color is vitally needed and deeply desired within our local education ecosystem. We are thrilled to help support the Surge Institute’s expansion to the Philadelphia region and look forward to our shared learning in the months ahead.”

Designed by the Surge Institute, the Surge Academy program provides an intensive leadership experience, packed with powerful content that explores executive skills such as finance, strategic planning, and change management. In addition, throughout the program, fellows engage in a deep and unflinching dialogue about personal growth, trauma, and the true state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the United States. 

Mathew Mauricio Rojas (IND ‘21), an alum of the program and Assistant Professor of Practice at Relay Graduate School of Education, shares what he gained. “Because of my experience with the Surge Academy, I now am a fuller version of myself,” Rojas said. “I feel confident in my leadership and don’t feel like I am asking for permission to be who I am becoming. I am now surrounded by people who believe in me and see me for who I was, am, and hope to be and know they will be there to support me.”

In September, thanks to a partnership with Opportunity 180, Surge will also start recruitment for a Las Vegas Surge Academy, which will develop, elevate and unite leaders in the city as well all of Clark County, Nevada.

“In an ongoing effort to strengthen and accelerate the pipeline of education leaders who represent the diversity of Southern Nevada, we are thrilled to partner with the Surge Institute team to provide the opportunity to launch the Las Vegas Surge Academy,” said Jana Wilcox Lavin, CEO of Opportunity 180. “The Academy is a momentous step forward in building out the region’s educational ecosystem to better reflect that diversity, and will have a significant impact on students, families, and our community.”

Originally launched in Kansas City, the six-month fellowship has grown into a signature program of the Surge Institute. To date, the Surge Academy has graduated three cohorts, two in Kansas City and one in Indianapolis respectively, totaling 44 leaders who have transitioned into Surge’s National Alumni Network of more than 200 leaders of color. More recently the Academy has kicked off a new cohort in Indianapolis and launched a new fellowship experience in Washington D.C. 

Upon graduating from the Surge Academy, fellows maintain a deep connection to the Surge national movement, united in the purpose of building an equitable future for communities of color.

To learn more about applying to the Surge Academy, visit the Surge Academy homepage. Applications for the Kansas City cohort open on April 14, 2022. Applications for the Philadelphia cohort will open on May 9, 2022. Applications for the Las Vegas cohort will open in October 2022.

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Marisa Muñoz


c: 773-251-7475

About The Surge Institute:

The Surge Institute is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established with a simple but important mission to develop and elevate leaders of color who create transformative change for children, families, and communities. Founded by Carmita Semaan in 2014, the organization was designed to empower emerging diverse leaders to change the landscape of education by providing them with a unique, authentic leadership development experience. To learn more about The Surge Institute, please visit: www.surgeinstitute.org