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Surge Institute Newsletter
Spring 2016
Table of Contents
  
Upcoming Events

 
Chicago Scholars
UnTied Gala 
 
Friday, April 29, 2016 Chicago Scholars will host a fun, urban-chic anti-gala to help Chicago's talented, under-resourced, and first generation students get into and through college.
 
 
Night in the Stacks 
 
The annual fundraiser hosted by the Chicago Public Library will take place on Friday, April 8 at the Harold Washington Library.
 
 
ASU/GSV Summit

Surge Fellows will attend the 2016 ASU/GSV Summit in San Diego from April 18-20. The Summit brings together the most impactful people from diverse constituencies to shape the future of learning. This year's event will feature speakers Kaya HendersonDarryl Cobb, Carmita Vaughan and many more. 
 

 
NewSchools Venture Fund Summit
 
NSVF Summit will take place May 10-11, 2016 in San Francisco. Summit is an invitation-only event for education leaders who bring important and diverse perspectives in K-12 education innovation.
 

 
2017 Cohort Applications Available June 1, 2016

The Surge Fellowship will be accepting applications for 2017 Cohort beginning June 1st. For more information on eligibility, visit here
Greetings!
 
Spring is almost in the air and Surge continues to thrive – growing in size and prominence! Most importantly, we continue our efforts to elevate the voices and great works of emerging leaders who are positively impacting the lives of young people. We’ve been honored with great opportunities to bring new and diverse voices to the national conversation about education reform and diversity and inclusion in leadership. I kicked off our new partnership with EducationPost with my very first blog, "The Stories We Miss by Having Too Few Leaders of Color at the Table." Be on the lookout for additional EducationPost blog contributions from our Surge Fellows and Alumni!

I am also proud to announce a feature in our first national news outlet, the Black Enterprise Women of Power issue, which hit newsstands this month. The article highlights the stories of two Surge Alums and articulates the necessity of preparing and elevating voices that mirror those of our young people and communities.
 
I remain humbled by the opportunity to lead this movement and am energized to Surge on as we expand our impact!
 
 
 
 
 
~Carmita Vaughan, Founder and President
 
Recent News 

 
 Social Justice Career Fair 
Butler College Prep Career Day
Last Month, 2016 Surge Fellow and Founding Principal of Butler College Prep, Christopher Goins, hosted Butler's 2nd Annual Social Justice Career Fair, " Success Looks Like Me." Angela Brizant Layne, Marilyn Rhames and Erica Harris were among 20 leaders who shared their stories of community impact, engagement and leadership. 
Summit Scholarship Awardees
 
Surge Logo
The Surge team is proud to announce the scholarship attendees for the ASU GSV Summit in April. Congratulations to Surge Alumni Grisel Maldonado, DuJuan Smith, Cassie Williams and 2016 Fellows Elisa Botello, Ceddrick Hunter, Nche Onyema, and Marilyn Rhames.
 
Given our mission to provide continued access and support to emerging leaders of color, we are also proud to announce the scholarship opportunity for Surge Fellows to attend the invite-only NewSchools Venture Fund Summit in May. Awardees are Alumni Melissa Connelly, Angela Brizant Layne, Ana Martinez, LeShonne Segura and 2016 Fellows Nicole Beechum, Michelle Bess, Chris Goins, Erica Hines, Ariel Johnson, Khadeejah Lasuc-Lewis, Nche Onyema, Marilyn Rhames, and TaMikka Sykes.
 
A special thanks to ASU/GSV, NSVF and our committed donors for their continued support of the work we do!
Second Cohort Approaches Midpoint

Surge Fellows completed Session 4 at Marwen, which educates and inspires under-served young people through the visual arts. Liz Dozier, Former Principal of Christian Fenger HS, addressed the group with "Lessons from the Ground" and Surge Alum, Melissa Connelly conducted Part I of the Race and Equity in Education Seminar. The day concluded with an Alumni and Cohort 2 social hour for continued fellowship and networking.
TFA 25th Anniversary Summit
 
Erica Harris and several Surge alums and current Fellows were among the 15,000 alumni attendees at Teach for America's 25th anniversary celebration in February. It was an inspiring opportunity for alums to recommit to the vision that drew them together at the start. "It was inspiring to participate in TFA's landmark celebration and think about the impact Surge will have had a quarter-century from now," said Harris. 
 
Featured Fellow 

 
 
Get to Know
Michael Johns
Director of Mentors, Volunteers, and Interns, Chicago Scholars
 
 
1. As an emerging leader with a time machine, what is one piece of leadership advice you would share with your childhood self?
 
I would tell my childhood self, your current situation is not your final destination. Keep pushing toward your goals!
 
2. Education is frequently referred to as the "civil rights issue of our time." What does this mean to you as an educator and current Surge Fellow?
 
Access to quality education is a right of all citizens. Unfortunately, access is denied to many children throughout the nation where schools are dilapidated, lacking resources and technology, as well as access to rigorous coursework. Under these circumstances, there is no way we can say education is the greatest equalizer. As an educator and as a Surge Fellow, it is my obligation to advocate for positive change in the educational system.  I am charged with leading conversations and creating innovative systems that will better prepare our youth to become productive citizens and leaders. Those of us who are/have been affected by this inequity and inequality, need to be at the forefront of the movement to create the necessary change.
 
3. Leadership stories can be a powerful tool that shows who we are today. Share an aspect of your story that defines the way you lead.
 
As a leader, I always want to provide a supportive and encouraging environment to those I serve since this was an area where I lacked for some time. During my early years of college, I didn’t perform as well as I could have academically, and as a result I was temporarily dismissed from school. Fortunately, I persevered and was ultimately able to graduate. Through this process, I learned a valuable lesson realizing the power of a supportive and encouraging environment, along with the necessity of a village of people to hold you up.  In my leadership, I find it is important for us not to forget the moments and tools that allowed us to thrive and be where we are today. In leading, I strive to take those lessons and pass them along to others.
 
Leadership Lighthouse 

 
 
The Leadership Lighthouse is a regular Surge newsletter feature that highlights leaders catalyzing transformative change. 

Rebeca Nieves Huffman is this issue’s Leadership Lighthouse Keeper.  
 
Rebeca Nieves Huffman
 
Chicago Humboldt Park native, Rebeca Nieves Huffman is the Executive Director of City Year Chicago and Vice President of City Year, Inc. City Year Chicago reaches more than 15,000 students per day by deploying 206 AmeriCorps members into 24 of Chicago’s highest-need schools. Rebeca has a long track record of passionate advocacy for public education and educational equity and is deeply committed to developing the next generation of leaders within her community. Leading City Year Chicago is much like coming home for Rebeca: she served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Chicago in 1998-1999, then later joined the City Year Chicago Board. Rebeca, thank you for returning home to City Year to ensure that every Chicago student has the opportunity to succeed!
 
 
Fellow and Alumni Recognition 

 
In the past few months, Surge Fellows and Alumni have been making waves to transform education.
 
Surge Alum Ana Martinez was accepted to the National Institute for Latino School Leaders Fellowship. Current Fellow Nicole Beechum was awarded the Hymen Milgrom Supporting Organization (HMSO) grant, which will enable her to continue her work on "Exploring Academic Engagement for African American Boys Following the Transition to High School." Additionally, Michelle Bess--current Surge Fellow--was elected as the Vice President Elect for the Chicago Public Library Foundation's Junior Board.
 
Visit the Fellow and Alumni Recognition page for full details.
The Surge Institute

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