2022 Applications Are Closed
May 3, 2021
Applications Open
June 21, 2021
Applications Close


May 13, 2021 – 5:30pm-7:30pm CDT

June 10 2021 – 5:30pm-7:30pm CDT
Fireside Chat with Bettina Love


Surge Chicago Connection Hub

Our Surge Chicago Connection Hubs are spaces where potential applicants can connect with our team and community to learn more about the application process and ask any questions related to the Fellowship program and Surge Institute. Registration is required for each date, and you are not required to be present for the entire session.

Time: 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm CDT
Location: Etta Bucktown (West Town)
1840 W. North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622

Thursday, May 6, 2021
Thursday, May 27, 2021

Time: 4:30 – 6:30 pm CDT
Thursday, June 3, 2021


May 3, 2021
2022 Surge Chicago Fellowship Applications Open

June 21, 2021
2022 Surge Chicago Fellowship Application Deadline

August 9-10th 2021 & August 12-13th 2021
2022 Chicago Cohort Selection Days

September 2021
2022 Chicago Cohort Announcement

September 2021
2022 Welcome Mixer

Disclaimer: Our intended audience for our virtual gatherings are African-American and Latinx leaders in the Chicago education and youth-serving space.

Surge Chicago 2022 Fellowship Session Dates

Session 1 & Opening Retreat
October 14-16, 2021

Session 2:
November 19, 2021

Session 3:
December 17, 2021

Session 4:
January 21, 2022

Session 5:
February 18, 2022

Session 6:
March 18, 2022

Session 7:
April 22, 2022

Session 8:
May 20, 2022

Session 9:
June 17, 2022

Session 10:
July 14-16, 2022

During this time, due to COVID-19, all Surge sessions are being held virtually to ensure the safety of our community. Sessions have also been modified to allow fellows more flexibility to manage the new demands on their time and energies. And, while we are very hopeful for the time when we can all be together again physically, we will continue to follow all federal, state, and local government policies, in addition to following the wisdom of the community, regarding social distancing. Our priority is the well-being and safety of our people.

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 roughly 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

Fellows 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.

If you have specific questions, contact Surge at chicago@surgeinstitute.org.