TaMikka Sykes

“Before Surge I focused on executing someone else’s vision for change; now I am shifting to developing my own solutions to problems I encounter as a practitioner. The Surge Fellowship challenged my own thoughts about how to bring the change we need to see.”

Marilyn Rhames

“Surge has had a profound impact on my professional development, highlighting the value of my perspective as a Black female educator in the mostly white, privileged education reform world. I now have a keener sense of racial injustice and inequity, which has made me all the more passionate about staying in the fight to reverse it.”

Bianca Paiz

“The Surge Fellowship provided me with a perspective of success I had not yet dreamed of as a person of color working in education. As an applicant I wanted to gain the skills to better provide for my community. As an alumnus, I experienced what could be for me and for my community. I gained a collective strength I didn’t know I needed and didn’t know existed. Surge brought us all together.”

Nche Onyema

“Through the Surge Fellowship, I’ve come to understand my worth and value and now have the power and the tools to settle for nothing less than greatness. I’m ready to jump in with both feet as an Alumna and be a game-changer and an unstoppable force for our students.”

Khadeejah Lasuc-Lewis

“The Surge Fellowship was an absolute game changer for me personally and professionally. I have grown greatly in my executive skills and presence, and am much more aware of the issues effecting the educational landscape. I have been held to standards I did not know existed and now know the power and greatness I hold.”

Ariel Johnson

“Surge has reignited my dedication to education through the lens of a Black woman from the south of Chicago. It has affirmed that my perspective is not just useless fodder in the broader politics of education, but essential to the interplay between those making the decisions and those affected by those decisions. I now understand that my presence in a room is not enough without a microphone to speak. I am called and required to push my superiors and my colleagues to do better for the people that they serve.”

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.”

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.”