Surge Institute Newsletter
Summer 2016
Table of Contents
Upcoming News

2017 Surge Fellowship Application Period Open
Calling all African American and Latino emerging Chicago education leaders. Apply to become a Surge Fellow and change the face of education leadership today. Deadline to apply is July 21, 2016.
Surge Fellows in Crain’s Chicago Business

Look out for our ad feauturing faces of Surge Fellows and Alumni in the June 20th and June 27th issues of Crain's Chicago Business.

2016 Fellowship Graduation

On August 20, 2016, the 2016 Surge Fellows will complete their program and join the Surge Alumni family. Lunch will be hosted for 2016 Fellows and their families.  

2017 Cohort Announcement 
The 2017 Surge Fellowship Cohort will be announced on September 6, 2016.

8th Annual ASU GSV Summit
Registration is now open for the 2017 ASU GSV Summit.
May 8th to May 10th, 2017
Grand America Hotel
Salt Lake City, Utah
Candace Moore on The Blog
In her inaugural blog post on Surge Speaks, Surge Alumna Candace Moore details the challenges achieving wins in education advocacy for all involved. She explains that invoking an adversarial framework often pits the interests of students as individuals against the interest of the large bureacracy of the public school system. Taking the time to understand and reflect on the competing interests is critical to being the effective and authentic advocates that our children deserve.(Read more)
Summer is in full swing and things are heating up at Surge! I am still moved and grateful for the success of #LeadTheSurge 6.7.16. It was an inspired and inspiring evening. The next few months will be rife with activity as we continue to receive applications for the 2017 Surge Fellowship. And if you're interested in my insight on everything from comic books, education equity and tea vs. coffee as a beverage of choice, check out this week's EducationPost Coffee Break feature.
Please enjoy this issue of our newsletter, which showcases the impressive impact that Surge Fellows and Alumni are having both locally and nationally.  
This movement continues to inspire me - day after day, season after season. 
In Community,
Carmita Vaughan, Founder and President
Recent News 

Support for #LeadTheSurge 6.7.16 
More than 120 attendees, 49 of whom self-identified as prospective Surge Fellows, came out for this year's recruitment reception. Special thanks to Surge Alum Ana Martinez Surge Fellows Nicole Beechum and Michael Johns and Chancellor of DC Public Schools, Kaya Henderson, for your insights about how Surge is changing the face of Chicago education leadership, and the opportunities we have together to make things better for Chicago students. Together we raised over $10,000 in support of changing the face of Chicago education leadership.
 NSVF Summit in San Francisco
Thirteen Surge Fellows and Alumni received scholarships to attend the NewSchools Venture Summit in San Francisco from May 10-11th. The annual invitation-only gathering for education innovation thought leaders brings important and diverse perspectives in PreK-12 education. 
“I was inspired to see NewSchools modeling the challenging conversation we desperately need to have around equity in education.  It is a conversation we cannot ignore if the education reform movement is honest about its intentions for the "next America." -Nicole Beechum, 2016 Surge Fellow.
Attending NSVF was such an incredible experience! I left the summit inspired to make impact and change in my own city through relationships I built locally and nationally. I'm so appreciative of The Surge Institute and NSVF for making it possible for me to interact and and act as a peer with some of the most influential people in the space.” -Michelle Bess, 2016 Surge Fellow.
Fellow's Blog Makes Waves In Ed-World
2016 Fellow Marilyn Rhames blew up the education blogosphere with her post about the diverse perspectives present at this year’s New School Venture Fund Summit. It catalyzed commentary and a targeted rebuttal from Robert Pondiscio, Vice President for External Affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute - suggesting that NSVF was being taken over by “left wing reformers.” There were many responses, including those from Justin Cohen , Citizen Stewart and Marilyn’s bold and compelling rebuttal, An Open Letter to White Conservative Education ReformersFollow the twitter conversation at #LeadTheSurge.
 "Shark Tank" Pitch Feedback
2016 Fellows received feedback from the outstanding Surge Shark Panel during the April "Shark Tank" exercise. Thank you to panelists Manny Flores, Partner, Arnstein & Lehr LLP; Rebeca Nieves Huffman, Executive Director, City Year Chicago; Jean-Claude Brizard, Partner & Vice-President Cross & Joftus; Dr. Nicholas Pearce, Clinical Assistant Professor of Management &
Organizations, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management; and Angelique Power, President, The Field Foundation.
Featured Fellow 

Get to Know
Bianca Piaz
Director of Alumni Counseling, Rauner College Prep
1.Why do you do the work you do?
Last May I witnessed 21 Rauner Alumni change their families’ lives by graduating from college. Seeing first generation students walk across the stage was wonderful. Seeing them reach mom and dad shortly after was one of the highlights of my career. At the end of the day, that is why I do the work I do. I work to help produce more moments like these for first generation families across our city.
2. What is your top learning priority for 2016?
For this next year, I am doubling down on learning how to authentically engage our school’s community and our parents, so they are driving the college access and college persistence conversation. As a bridge to my Capstone Project, I am standing on the shoulders of giants who have engaged parents at my school. I am learning from them and then having conversations with the parents whose children successfully navigated the college process.
3. What is one piece of leadership advice you would share with your "childhood self"?
“Bianca, share your truth. Share your story – to re-write the narrative for yourself and others. It will demystify, expose and awaken people to the complexities of our community.”
When I started college and began to navigate the social circles of peers who grew up differently, I stayed quiet about my life experiences growing up in inner city Chicago. I learned that the details of violence and poverty weren’t things people of affluence wanted to hear. I was afraid to be tied to the narrative we are continually pushed into when tagged with “poor” “minority” “inner city.” So I’d push that part of my story aside. It has taken a long time for me to open up and get comfortable with my personal leadership story.
4. Who is a Surge Fellow to watch? 
Marilyn Rhames!! She is the not so quiet storm that takes on education reform boldly and beautifully in her Education Post blog. I feel so grateful to have her as fellow Vanguard. She is inspirational beyond words. Keep an eye out for her and her blogs!
Fellow and Alumni Recognition 

Join us in congratulating Surge Fellows and Alumni on recent successes.
LeShonne Segura (2015) will be the new Manager of Family and Community Engagement for Rowe Elementary and Middle Schools on July 1stMelissa Connelly (2015) was promoted to Managing Director of College Persistence at OneGoal and she is a newly appointed Board Member for College Ready Now. Surge Alum Ana Martinez (2015) is one of Negocios Now’s “2016 Who’s Who in Hispanic Chicago.” Nicole Beechum (2016) has accepted a new position as a Senior Research Analyst at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research and Bianca Paiz (2016) was promoted to Founding Director of College Counseling for The Noble Academy a campus of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, effective August 1, 2016. DuJuan Smith (2015) and Christopher Goins (2016) were selected as Finalists for the TNTP Bridge Fellowship.
The Surge Institute

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