June 2018 William J. Collins

2017 Fellow William J. Collins has accepted the position of Vice President of External Affairs at OneGoal Chicago. In this role, William’s mission is to ensure OneGoal-Chicago maintains its financial stability by maintaining and growing a diversified and sustainable investor base, building efficiencies of scale to keep the revenue goal manageable and increase awareness and the sense of urgency to close the college degree divide within the Chicago as well as build OneGoal’s reputation as a leader in the college access and success movement and elevate the voices and stories of the OneGoal community.

June 2018 Dominique McKoy

2018 Fellow Dominique McKoy has accepted the position of Associate Director at the University of Chicago’s To&Through Project, a project that aims to use research, data, and resources to give every student who aspires to earn a college degree the opportunity and support to do so. In this role, Dominique will lead local partnership strategy and work to deepen the application of To&Through research, data, and resources in different contexts around Chicago.

June 2018 Stephanie Arias

June 2018

2017 Fellow Stephanie Arias has accepted the position of Director of College Initiatives at the Cristo Rey Network. In this role, Stephanie oversees all college-going initiatives at the network level and leads the organization’s 32 member schools across the country in achieving their post-secondary goals. These efforts range from forging partnerships with colleges and universities, developing data systems to help schools track and support their alumni, and facilitating best practice sharing among college counselors and alumni advisors.

June 2018 Iris Dominguez

2018 Fellow Iris Dominguez was awarded as Administrator of the Year from the Chicago Public Schools Office of School Counseling and Post-secondary Advising. She was recognized for her exemplary contribution to school counseling at North-Gand High School.

Featured Fellow: Randal Seriguchi Jr. on Believing in our Children

Randal Seriguchi Jr. is a 2018 Surge Fellow (Oakland). He also wants to compete with the school-to-prison pipeline and believes that every child can learn at high levels when given the right tools, adult leadership, and environment to thrive.

Randy’s Work

As the Executive Director of Urban Ed Academy, Randy has created a strong web of multi-sector partnerships that has resulted in a robust portfolio of funders, deeper relationships with the city, and the pending transformation of a neighborhood liquor store into a technology learning center.

“I believe every child can learn when they are given the right supports,” Randy says his personal mission. “The reason I’m in this work is because that belief is strong. It’s not going away.”

Randy and his team presenting to judges during the 2018 Oakland Shark Tank presentations.

Randy’s Background

Randy Seriguchi, Jr. is the Executive Director of Urban Ed Academy (UEA), a non-profit based in Bayview Hunters Point in San Francisco, CA that serves elementary school boys of color. He believes success for our boys should come by any means necessary. Money, resources, and time should be spent until we get our intended result: focused development of boys who will become productive men.

In another life, Randy is a scratch golfer and has a photographic memory. In this life, he is a hall of fame shower soloist, a mama’s boy, and makes a mean omelet.

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Chicago Leaders of Color Convene for 2018 #LeadTheSurge Reception

On June 7th, 2018, the Surge community packed Loft Lucia in Chicago for an inspiring night in support of expanding diversity in the city’s education leadership pipeline.

Among the guests were prospective Surge Fellows, partner organizations, and a broad community of education leaders connected to the Surge movement. Surge Chicago Executive Director Tamara Prather opened the evening, remarking on the continued growth and evolution of the Surge movement with fellowship being a central key to that growth.

Adding to the story of the evening was 2018 Surge Fellow A.J. Watson, who remarked on the community of like-minded supporters and confidants he’s gained since joining the fellowship. Nina Sanchez, a 2017 Surge Alumna, continued that through-line with her words, painting a vivid picture of the power of the collective.

Closing out the evening was Surge Founder and President Carmita Semaan, who drew on the energy of the room and remarked the importance of seeing so many leaders of color gathered in one place with a shared mission. “We need the skill to navigate systems, to change them,” Carmita said. “We need the will to do something differently, and we need the community. This is not superhero work. This is not the individual unicorn story. This is not Superman. This is Justice League.”

Watch the video below to see highlights from the evening!

Surge Awards Alumni with $60,000 in Venture Funding

Held at Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University, Surge Angels Pitch Night was a celebration of the creative genius of our people and an elevation of ventures primed to make an impact for our youth and communities of color.

The Surge Angels pilot program served our mission of supporting and elevating the continued work of our growing network of Surge Fellowship Alumni. A Walton Family Foundation-funded pilot program, Angels allowed our more entrepreneurial alumni the opportunity to secure funding, guidance, and support in taking their innovative ventures to the next level. The program culminated in Pitch Night, where nine alums pitched their mapped-out venture plan to expert judges in hopes of securing funding.

After seven pitches from nine Surge Alumni, we awarded $60,000 toward the growth and development of their ventures. Our first place winner, Grisel Maldonado, was awarded $15,000 toward her plan to expand the scope of Avanza Strategies, her educational program strategy consulting firm, to serve 20,000 students across 10 cities by 2020.

Overall Placement:

  • Grisel MaldonadoAvanza Strategies – $15,000 – 1st place

  • AJ DeLeon, Fernando DeLeon, Nick FreemanInnovare –  $12,500 – 2nd place

  • DuJuan Smith & Michael Johns – Seven7h Element –  $10,000 – 3rd place

  • Christopher Goins & D. Nigel Green – Black Male Teacher Project – $5,000 investment (and a $2,500 People’s Choice Award)

  • Marilyn RhamesTeachers Who Pray – $5K

  • Shenita Johnson – ElevatEd Spaces – $5K

  • Khadeejah Lasuc-Lewis – Anneal Leadership Strategies – $5K

Among the ventures were education consultancy firms, youth counseling programs, and teacher development initiatives, all with the ultimate goal of improving education for our communities.

Foundations represented at the event included NewSchools Venture Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Camelback Ventures, and the Walton Family Foundation. Surge Alumni from our first three cohorts participated. 2017 Alumna Natalie Neris served as emcee for the evening.

The Surge Angels program consisted of a series of four sessions, in which the participants gathered to engage with experts in business growth and social impact, such as Maslow Development founder and Surge Faculty member Derwin Sisnett and Megan Kashner, an assistant professor and Director of Social Impact at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

This was truly a celebration of our movement and we are proud to support our alumni in turning their dreams into impact.

June 2018 Janine Franklin

2018 Fellow Janine Franklin has accepted the position of Associate Director of Pipeline Programs at the University of Chicago. In this role, Janine will oversee initiatives that train and mentor underrepresented students toward academic pathways.

June 2018 William J. Collins, Ashlie Tyler and A.J. Watson

  

2017 Surge Fellows William J. Collins and Ashlie Tyler and 2018 Surge Fellow A.J. Watson were named Agents of Change by Education Pioneers. Agents of Change are Education Pioneers alumni who work on behalf of underserved students and demonstrate results toward achieving educational equity and opportunities in many ways, including innovation, entrepreneurship and community advocacy and empowerment.