We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019 Surge Fellowship. Thank you to all who applied.

Applications for the 2020 Surge Fellowship will open in May of 2019!


August 8-9, 2018: Cohort Selection Interviews


These are the dates for all sessions during the 2019 Fellowship.

Opening Retreat: October 18-20, 2018

Session 2: November 16, 2018

Session 3: December 21, 2018

Session 4: January 18, 2019

Session 5: February 15, 2019

Session 6: March 15, 2019

Session 7: April 12, 2019

Session 8: May 17, 2019

Session 9: June 21, 2019

Session 10: July 19, 2019

Graduation Retreat:  August 22-24, 2019

As a fellow you will leave the program having developed an understanding of competency in organizational management, relationship management, strategic planning and problem solving, navigating complex environments, and expertise in the history and structure of public education.Each fellow will have demonstrated an ability to achieve and lead better, learning how to have a tremendous impact on the broad landscape of leadership and education.

Surge Innovates Through…

IDENTIFICATION. Identifying promising leaders already active within the education sector—instead of focusing on attracting talent from other fields—thus ensuring impressive ROI

TRAINING. Adapting leadership development best practices—full-spectrum support of a carefully selected cohort—to nurture bold leaders committed to building social and racial justice

CHAMPIONING. Providing executive skills training and critical coaching support to high-potential leaders who rarely have access to accelerated learning opportunities

Chicago Surge Fellows are…

CONNECTED. African-American or Latinx emerging leaders working in systems of schools, public policy, education philanthropy and advocacy organizations

ELITE. Proven high-potential trailblazers with track records of professional success

EXPERIENCED. Minimum of six years of relevant working experience and at least a bachelor’s degree.

PASSIONATE. Serving high-need communities, preferably with connections to these communities.


  • Chicago-based African-American or Latinx leader between the ages of 28 to 40
  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • Minimum of six years of work experience
  • Employed in education or youth-serving role (district, charter, public policy, philanthropy or advocacy/non profit) at the initiation of and for the duration of the fellowship
  • Passion for positively impacting the lives of young people and their communities


Sponsoring organizations are expected to pay a tuition of $5,000 per fellow for the year-long program. Limited scholarships are available for accepted candidates with financial needs.


  • Two letters of recommendation; one must be from current organization
  • Résumé
  • Completed memorandum of understanding
  • Interview with three selection committee members
  • Ability to attend all sessions and participate for the duration of the program

If you have specific questions, contact Surge at