Welcome the newest Surge Chicago Alumni!

We are proud to announce the graduation of our fifth Surge Chicago cohort and welcome them into our National Surge Alumni community!

On August 24th, 2019, The Surge community gathered to celebrate the collective brilliance of the 2019 Surge Chicago Fellows, the Emergents, at their graduation ceremony.  The event was held at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort in Oak Brook, IL. This final chapter of the cohort’s fellowship journey served as a signal for another transformational beginning: the intentional, purposeful and daily work to continue leading authentically and in their full power as Surge Alumni!

Tamara Prather, Executive Director for the Chicago branch of the Surge Fellowship, kicked off the afternoon with words and acknowledgments that opened the space as one of community, love, and collectivism. She then welcomed the graduation keynote speaker, Chief Executive Officer for OneGoal and 2015 Surge Fellowship Alumna, Melissa Connelly. Melissa shared her story of being one of the inaugural members of the Surge Fellowship program and the continuous impact it has had on her leadership and her personal journey today.

Afterward, Erica Bauer, 2018 Surge Fellowship Alumna and Director of Student Engagement at Walter Payton College Prep took the stage to share what the first year after completing the fellowship entailed for her and the rest of her cohort family. “Though one graduates from the fellowship, the growth and work of authentic, heartfelt leadership is ongoing.” Erica Bauer then introduced the afternoon’s next speaker, Terrence Pruitt.

Terrence was selected by his fellow cohort members as the 2019 fellow speaker. He used the space to craft a beautiful story, comparing the collective work of his fellow Emergents as part of a larger ecological circle, needing everyone’s brilliance to thrive and to “just be.”

Cecily Relucio Hensler, Program Director for the Surge Chicago Fellowship, then transitioned the space to the Circle of Affirmation. Through this ceremony, the Emergents introduced one another through the exchanging of familial and supportive words, marking the conclusion of their fellowship. It has truly been amazing to see the transformations that have taken place within the 2019 Surge Chicago cohort, and we are excited to see the Emergents’ impact and reach continue throughout the city of Chicago and beyond!

See the full list of the Surge Chicago 2019 Graduates below and click HERE to view photos from the ceremony!: