Micah Wilson

Micah Wilson is Dean of Students at CB Community School and Program Director of Horizons at Greene Street Friends School.

Surge means to me liberation through collective education. Ensuring excellence through restoration, accountability, growth, and development. my contribution will be to remind others of their greatness and to encourage each member to aspire to be more, do more, and dream more.

Nicholas Wilson

Nicholas Wilson is the Assistant Principal of Instruction at Hardy Williams Academy

“I am in a unique time in my career where I desire to go further and deeper with my impact on students. In order to do that, I’m clear that I need to be sharp in my craft and as equipped as possible to be an effective leader and change agent. Surge provides me the opportunity to develop in those areas in a way that is culturally responsive and led by experienced professionals who look like me and face some of the same challenges I do as a Black educator. I’m excited to have an environment that affirms me, pushes me, and gives me opportunities to try and fail and learn in order to get better.”

Isaiah Walker

Isaiah Walker is Chief Program Officer at Common Ground Foundation.

“I have been a part of the education reform movement for years and my experiences have been life changing. I believe that the Surge Academy’s strong belief in adult development as a focal point for people of color, coupled with their relentless spirit toward providing an excellent as well as intensive leadership experience, packed with powerful content will open my mind and my eyes as a seasoned leader. I believe that the development around executive skills such as finance, strategic planning, and change management is great perpetration for me to strengthen my work in serving, providing access, and educating students from low-income communities. As an leader, I want to continue to provide myself with the opportunity to grow professionally and personally in hopes that my experiences and knowledge will ensure every child I come into contact with directly or indirectly have access to a high-quality education. Surge will support me in these efforts! Over the years, I have dedicated myself whole-heartedly to the mission of service. This work has always been vocation for me and I want to be able to utilize my own personal life lessons and experiences as a torch to build a place that leader, teacher, mentors, and students can would only dream of. I feel strongly this program will help me obtain this goal.”

Star Taylor

Star Taylor is Program Manager at Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders.

“I can’t do the work alone. I want to be challenged and pushed in a unique way and learn from those around me. I seek to build community with those seeking to be agents of change.”

Latanya Simmons

Latanya Simmons is Program Director at Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders.

“Being part of affinity spaces of like-minded individuals provides a sense of healing and comfort from racial stress and/or trauma experienced from the past and present for all participants. I want to be part of Surge to reaffirm my sense of self and identity that drives my personal and professional work which is focused on advancing equity for my community. Having the support of a collective is important to be successful and supports my ability to lead. I hope to share ideas with, reaffirm other colleagues in this work, and provide intentional supports to help their plans to drive equity and liberation in their respective spaces.”

Biridiana Rodriguez

Biridiana Rodriguez is the Director of Quality & Accountability at the School District of Philadelphia’s Charter Schools Office.

“Surge’s vision is to dramatically and urgently transform the lives and educational outcomes of low-income, first-generation students of color by changing the face of leadership in education reform. I firmly believe that the solutions for transforming the educational ecosystem will be built from the lived experiences of people of color. And thus, as a Surge Fellow, I’ve joined a community of other like-minded and brilliant educators in Philadelphia who are bold and daring enough to take on this arduous work.”

Ashley Pollard

Ashley Pollard is Digital Inclusion Manager at City of Philadelphia.

“Since moving to Philly in 2020, I’ve sought to build relationships with my neighbors and root myself in my community. I’m thrilled to join a group of thoughtful young educators of color who care as deeply for students as I do.”

Malia Neal

Malia Neal is Executive Director at Artwell.

“As an educational leader and an aspiring Head of School, I want to continue to create nurturing, progressive spaces for young people with marginalized identities (including, but not limited to, students who identify as female, non-white, LGBTQ, immigrant, and neurodiverse). My goal is to ensure that children and young people have access that spaces that center healing, character development, community and integration of academic and social-emotional learning. As a Surge Fellow, I look forward to building beloved community with like-minded educators and sharing my experiences as a Black woman fundraiser for the betterment of others.”

Mandisa John

Mandisa John is Director of Program and Partnerships at Urban Teachers – Philadelphia

“With my current role, I have reached a turning point in my career where I am stepping into my power, broadening my impact, developing my brand as an advocate and leader, and am starting to have opportunities come to me that will push me to be bold. With the Surge experience, I want to combine all of the knowledge and insights I’ve gained to truly impact change and transform education for the youth of Philadelphia while taking my leadership to the next level. I am looking forward to connecting with other educational leaders of color who are as passionate about this work for our youth and communities who bring various experiences and can push my thinking through deep and honest dialogue. I am also excited about the opportunity to develop skills in finance, strategic planning, and change management in ways I have not previously.”

Malarie Grace

Malarie Grace is a manager at Elevate 215.

“Through Surge, I hope to gain community, safe spaces to build vital skills, and gain truths unwillingly shared in Philadelphia. I hope to elevate my healing and move into the next phase of my journey – the opening of the boil, the surfacing of the tension and the eventual healing of my city. (King, 1963)”