2018 Surge Fellows Graduate!

The Surge Institute reaches a powerful milestone in the history of our movement as thirty-five 2018 Surge Fellows across two cities graduate!

On August 18, 2018, we celebrated the Ascendants, our 2018 Chicago Surge Fellows, as they matriculated to alumni in a beautiful ceremony at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, Illinois. Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice K. Jackson Ed.D provided the keynote remarks, sharing the powerful story of her leadership journey.

Following Jackson was 2018 Surge Fellow Erica Bauer, Director of Student Engagement at Walter Payton College Preparatory Academy, who was chosen by her fellow Ascendants to be the voice of the graduating cohort at the ceremony. Erica was vulnerable, honest and deeply thoughtful about the importance of her role in the lives of youth of color.

Providing a charge to the Ascendants was 2017 Surge Alumna Halleemah Nash, Chief Partnerships Officer at The Academy Group, who pushed the graduates to continue giving back to the movement that connected and further developed them as leaders.

See more photos from the event.

On August 25, 2018, the inaugural Oakland Surge Fellowship cohort, the Alchemists, continued the moment with a moving graduation ceremony on the top floor of the Oakland Marriott.

Jim Shelton, Former Deputy Secretary of Education and President of Education for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, provided the keynote remarks, sharing with the Alchemists the importance of the Surge movement and why he believes so deeply in the power of leaders of color.

Providing a charge to his fellow Alchemists was 2018 Surge Fellow Harold Pearson, Executive Director of SPAAT, who spoke about the collective power of the Surge community. Harold was selected by the Oakland graduating cohort to be the voice of the Alchemists during the ceremony.

See more photos from the event.

The two ceremonies represented a major shift in the Surge narrative, signifying the true emergence of a national network of mission-driven education leaders of color, all tied together by an unforgettably transformative fellowship experience.

See the full list of 2018 Surge Fellowship Graduates below:

Chicago

Oakland