Jason Gines

Jason Gines – Director of Diversity Equity, and Inclusion at Pembroke Hill School

“Surge Academy represents an opportunity to learn leadership through a freedom paradigm, one rarely afforded to ascending leaders of color. I am seeking to join fellow educational professionals who are unapologetic in their pursuit to create freedom and access to the best educational experiences for this and future generations. I hope to solidify the leadership role I will play in ensuring that access and freedom become the norm, and not the exception, for students across the Kansas City metro.”

Harrison Neal Sr.


Harrison Neal Sr.- Principal with Kansas City Public Schools


Jade Smith


Jade Smith – Speech Language Pathologist at Kansas City Public Schools

“Surge is an opportunity to relearn the power and impact of my voice in a safe space. I want to use the skills acquired during the program to encourage and support the staff and students I encounter.”


Jessica Woodson

Jessica Woodson – Elementary School Educator at Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

“I am honored to receive the opportunity to network with individuals as passionate and committed as I am to providing an equitable education to our beautiful and well-deserving black and brown students. I am excited to embark upon this unique journey of self-discovery in the hopes of overcoming personal limitations, in the interest of stepping into or creating positions to better serve the needs of my community. Surge Academy is a powerhouse of leaders already making these moves and I am beyond grateful to be accepted into this space.”


Aisha Truss-Williams

Aisha Truss-Williams – Impact & Evaluation Director at City Year

“There is so much that I want to attain from the Surge experience, as well as contribute. As for what I want to attain, I would like to connect with action-oriented people because I love to find solutions. I enjoy helping people find solutions or help them realize what is within their locus of control. I wish to regain my voice and confidence. Lastly, I want to hone in on my skill set to accelerate my goals. I want to contribute my voice to my Surge experience and my ability to encourage others. I have always had a knack for helping people identify and utilize their strengths. I enjoy helping people realize what they are passionate about and helping them figure out the steps to make to achieve those things. I would love to do this with my cohort.”


Edward Perry


Edward Perry – Advisor at Centriq Training

“An opportunity to be a part of the Surge Fellowship means an opportunity to grow, learn from other amazing leaders, and share my experiences in an unapologetically safe space. For me, it is not a better time to invest in my community and myself than now, so that I can help create the change that I want to see.”


Joel Nkusi Rwabera

Joel Nkusi Rwabera – Manager, Accelerate Program with Teach For America

“I decided to join the Surge family because of the impact I’ve seen the program have on fellow black and brown leaders in Kansas City. I recently made the transition from being a teacher to a coaching role and I believe that this program will empower me as I continue doing my part in the fight for education equity.”


Tara Haskins


Tara Haskins – Founding School Leader at Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy

“A space where African American and Latinx leaders can connect, learn, grow, and be their authentic selves means more to me than words can express. As an Afro-Latina School Leader, I often believe I am in this work alone. Surge is a beautiful reminder that I am not alone and that I have a community to support me through all things. By taking time to connect with myself and others, I am able to lead from a place of love. Love of self and love of the community that I serve.”


Marquis Hall

Marquis Hall – Manager of Student Diversity & Inclusion Programs at Kansas City Public Schools

“Surge will allow me to move the educational landscape for children in my community. More than ever, we must provide opportunities for hope and healing in our schools and communities so that our students will experience the world on their own terms. I hope that Surge provides me with opportunities to better understand my community and the role I play in being a change agent for students. Far too often have BIPOC individuals been left out of decisions that affect BlPOC children. Surge will equip me with the tools to successfully navigate in a world that doesn’t always accept, embrace, and value the perspective people of color bring to the table. Essentially, at its core, I aim to learn more about equitable practices that lead to high student outcomes, meaningful participation and representation for all students.”


Aryiel Everett

Aryiel Everett – Communications and Operations Coordinator at Kansas City Teacher Residency

“What I seek to contribute to the Surge Experience is something that I think oftentimes goes unseen. Growing up I was a Black student in a majority White space, oftentimes being the only one, and academically I excelled but at a great cost to my mental and emotional wellbeing. I worked twice as hard in my pre-college experience to just be seen as equal. My story is like so many others and I truly do aspire to change that narrative for someone that looks like me and has a similar experience to what I have gone through. Being successful as a Black woman in education and working in operations, communications, and tech I believe is uplifting and allows me to showcase a narrative that still to this day is not seen.”