(Speaking Engagements, Published Works, etc.)

November 2021 Ashley N. Leonard

Ashley N. Leonard (CHI’17) served as a panelist for Forefront’s monthly Philanthropy Club convening titled “Black Philanthropy: Money, Mentoring, and More” in her role as a co-chair of the South Side Giving Circle at the Chicago Foundation of Women.

This session was an opportunity to hear from Black philanthropists who support people, causes, and institutions through giving circles, donor-advised funds, alumni programs, and other vehicles. Other panelists included: G. Sequane Lawrence – Fathers, Families, and Healthy Communities, Nicole Layton – Chicago Community Trust; and Rodney Reid – President, RLR Associates, Inc., CEO, NXG Youth Motorsports, Inc., and Team Principal, Force Indy, LLC

Watch a replay of the entire session here.

August 2021 Jessica Sullivan-Wilson

Jessica Sullivan-Wilson (CHI’21) has transitioned into her new role as Director, Community Affairs at Teach For America – Greater Chicago – Northwest Indiana.

August 2021 Michelle Bess

Michelle Y. Bess (CHI’16) was quoted in Crain’s Chicago Business‘s recent article on tackling the access/support gap within the technology sector. “I’m thrilled about the work I get to do because it helps me live my passion to connect more people of color to opportunity.” Read what she had to say here.

June 2021 Randal Seriguchi, Jr

For his work in starting Man the Bay, a four-year fellowship program that trains and supports Black men to become teachers, CBS SF Bay Area presented the Jefferson Award for Public Service to Executive Director of Urban Ed Academy to Randal Seriguchi, Jr. (OAK’18). See here for the full highlight of his impactful work.

Jayo Miko Macasaquit

May 2021 Jayo Miko Macasaquit

Jayo Miko Macasaquit (OAK’19) is The 19th’s new Chief People Officer. The 19th is an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. Learn more about Jayo’s new role here.

April 2021 Diego Báez

On Wednesday, April 14th, Truman College (in partnership with Poetry Foundation & Poetry Magazine) will host a virtual poetry reading with Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley!

This gathering is the final culmination of Surge Alumnus Diego Báez’s (CHI’19) capstone project and is also in celebration of National Poetry Month. Register to attend: https://tinyurl.com/2rj4zzs5

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York and is an assistant professor of poetry and nonfiction in Old Dominion University’s MFA program. He is most recognized for his collections: Colonize Me and Not Your Mama’s Melting Pot.

April 2021 India Johnson and Keeanna Warren

March 2021

For #WomensHistoryMonth, Citizen Education asked readers on social media to nominate the women who are changing education for the better. Congratulations to all those a part of the #21in21 campaign, and a special shoutout to Surge’s own India Johnson (INDY’21) and Keeanna Warren (INDY’21) for an incredible recognition.

April 2021 Natalie Neris

Natalie Neris (CHI’17) was a part of a recent panel titled, Equity in Education for All: Closing the Gap. This virtual conversation was moderated by Kate Grossman, a Senior Education Editor for WBEZ.

Guest speakers included Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez (LGC Fellow since 2015), Chief of Network 8 for Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Janice K. Jackson (LGC Fellow since 2007), Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools, and Natalie Neris, Chief of Community Engagement for Kids First Chicago.

April 2021 Cheryl Flores

Cheryl Flores (CHI’19) was elected as a new board member for Telpochcalli Community Education Project (Tcep), a grassroots organization in the Little Village community. She is part of the Donor Stewardship & Cultivation Committee, and she is currently working on developing a strategy for donor cultivation to leverage for the organization’s 20 year anniversary next year.

April 2021 Charles Cole, III

April 2021

Charles Cole, III, Ed.D., MPA (OAK’18) has officially released the audiobook for his dissertation titled, “Beyond Grit & Resilience.” Give it a listen today on Audible or Apple Books.

April 2021

AJ DeLeón (CHI’15) was featured on an episode of LatinxAmerica’s Podcast. Click here to give it a listen and learn about AJ’s journey within education, tech and entrepreneurship as well as co-founding Innovare – Social Innovation Partners.