Tiara Wheatley

Tiara Wheatley is the Vice President of Alumni Impact at the Surge Institute.

“I chose Surge to continue my lifelong mission of making an impact in my community and beyond. Though the knowledge provided through Surge will be in some ways self-fulfilling, it will also serve as an example to students. I want my experience with the Surge Institute to be a story I can tell students that no one can do it alone – sometimes you’re the teacher, sometimes you’re the student. Having a team of dedicated and like-minded educators to support, but also rely on, throughout an educational journey and in life is one of the greatest assets that education can provide. As an alumnus of the program, I would hope that the relationships I’ve formed as a Surge Fellow would not only benefit me, but the community I serve, and the program itself.”



Ashli Watts

Ashli Watts is a Director of Teacher Support at OneGoal.

“I chose Surge because when just thinking about it, the words to Stevie Wonder’s ‘For Once in My Life’ came to mind. Like Surge, the melody and lyrics served me like a mantra ushering in the energy and reassurance I need to continue moving forward. With the Surge movement, I feel part of a community that actually gets me and I believe this environment will continue to help me become more of my best possible self.”





Ulric Shannon

Ulric Shannon is the Director of Partner Engagement at AUSL (Academy for Urban School Leadership).

“The Surge Fellowship is a movement to ensure educational equity, with the belief that it can only be achieved if it is diverse in every aspect. By leveraging the perspective and credibility that individuals who share the same racial and economic backgrounds to the students to whom we serve can disrupt the status quo; achievement gap, the cycle of poverty, and inequity. The Surge Fellowship is about transformational leadership. It is a movement to develop and train black and brown leaders to recognize educational excellence and equity. Through Surge’s cohort structure we maximize the collective impact that will inspire, challenge, and support each fellow to be their best and sustain our efforts. Our collective impact will change the face of our city, state, and country.”





Alison Regalado

Alison Regalado is the Associate Director, Undergraduate Enrollment and Partnerships at National Louis University.

“I have felt like I don’t have or deserve a place at the table – keeping quiet or going along with an idea because I didn’t think I was in a position to say anything or I didn’t have the presence to have my thoughts valued. I want to be a Surge Fellow so that I can develop my voice and executive presence so that when I speak for students, my voice doesn’t shake. I want to be part of the Surge Fellowship so that I gain the skills to meaningfully show up for students every day on every project and be part of a community that supports and guides me to build an education system that will change the lives for young people.”





Sasha Peña

Sasha Peña is the Director of Career and Leadership Development at Chicago Scholars.

“Whenever I meet Surge alumni, they always seem so confident in who they are–qualities they attribute to being a part of Surge. I am excited to be a part of this movement because the Surge Fellowship embodies transformative leadership. It’s inspiring to see people of color own their truth and lead authentically in a world that often forces us to conform to self-doubt. The Surge Fellowship is a disrupter that creates a pathway of new possibilities for people of color in Chicago. At this point in my career, where I am now leading a department, and managing others, I want to seek opportunities of disruption that allow me to grow in new ways as I continue on my own leadership journey.”





Tanesha Peeples

Tanesha Peeples is the Deputy Director of Outreach at Education Post.

“To me, Surge is the movement for education liberation, led by the village. Education is the foundation for success and as leaders of color, we are rebuilding that foundation to strengthen our communities and most importantly, prepare our youth to take the reins of leadership. As a member of this village, I am committed to the mission and will forge ahead in the movement to secure a quality education for our students.”





Destiny Ortega

Destiny Ortega is an Associate Principal at Civic Consulting Alliance.

“The Surge movement enables effective, mission-oriented leaders to embed themselves in influential roles inside and outside our education system, agitating and advocating from all sides, to collectively advance educational equity. In my role at Civic Consulting Alliance, I am deliberately seeking to understand and dismantle structural racism by working across the educational, economic, and public safety sectors. While I focus largely on education projects, I know firsthand that achieving educational equity requires the collective transformation of all public systems. As part of the Surge movement, I aim to upend the status quo across the entire education sector and to specifically challenge us to prioritize Latinx communities in a system with few leaders who represent our community.”





Alberto Morales

Alberto Morales is the Associate Director of School Growth and Student Recruitment at Cristo Rey Network.

“I joined Surge to elevate the conversations around equity with a diverse and experienced group of leaders. Surge is the ideal organization to incubate innovation in service of our students of color. We, in many cases, where the Chicago Public School students we are now talking about and intimately understand the urgency to scale high-quality educational opportunities.”





Danny Mason

Danny Mason is the Director of Teacher Support, Year 2 at OneGoal.

“I am extremely humbled and enthusiastic for the opportunity to be part of the Surge Fellowship.”





Celia Gonzalez Lozano

Celia Gonzalez Lozano is the Chief Program Officer at Communities In Schools of Chicago.

“The Surge Fellowship is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to stretch and to shine. There is always an element of urgency in relation to addressing the needs we see in our schools, with our youth, and across our city. And yet sometimes the exact thing we need to do is take a moment to reflect, retool with new strategies, and recharge our souls. As leaders in our communities and our organizations, we each bring this talent and passion to the table. I look forward to learning from my peers, building community, and pushing ourselves and each other to be our best. Together, we create momentum, power and change.”