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Welcome to Surge Chicago.

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Empowering leaders. Connecting voices.
Inspiring transformation.

The Chicago Surge Fellowship identifies and accelerates promising African-American and Latinx education talent to enhance their expertise and aptitude, empowering them to transform the education ecosystem. Fellows hone:

  • Executive Skills

  • Problem Solving

  • Team-Building Techniques

  • Navigating Education History & Politics

  • Proclaiming Your Authentic Story/Background

  • Strategic Relationship Management

Surge Chicago Leadership

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Tamara Prather

Executive Director

A mission-driven leader with a history of building effective teams and delivering top-tier results, Chicago Executive Director Tamara Prather is the chief brand ambassador for the Surge Institute in Chicago, responsible for building and maintaining relationships with partners and funders while ensuring exceptional delivery of the Surge Fellowship program. Tamara brings over 17 years of combined experience in the private sector and education through her past work at GE Capital, Kraft Foods, Chicago Public Schools and most recently, A Better Chicago.

Cecily Relucio Hensler

Program Manager

Cecily Relucio Hensler is an accomplished professional educator with nearly two decades of professional experience working in, with, and outside the Chicago Public Schools.She brings her lived experience of the barriers that educators of color face on a daily basis and difficult lessons learned about leadership, as well as clarity about how her experiences and knowledge as a woman of color are an asset and strength that she brings to her work. As Program Manager for Surge Chicago, Cecily is instrumental in the design, management and execution the curriculum for our Chicago Fellowship.

Sandra Rush

Program and Development Coordinator

Before deciding to bring her expertise to the nonprofit sector, Sandra Rush held numerous management positions, both in academia and at Fortune 500 companies, gaining valuable experience in talent acquisition, project management, training and development, compliance and governance, and management and supervision in human resources. Sandra now coordinates Surge Chicago’s programming and development efforts through logistics management and operations support.

To learn more about Surge Chicago, send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!