As the summer days come to an end, we are reflecting on a season of inspiring transformation at Surge. I am proud to celebrate the graduation of the 2016 Surge Fellows and welcome the Vanguards
into the Surge alumni family
. Turning our attention to fall, we enthusiastically invite the new 2017 Surge Fellows to join our movement. It was heartening and thrilling to choose this new class of amazing leaders, and we look forward to supporting their collective journey to dramatically improve outcomes for Chicago's young people through their innovation and impact.
I hope this issue of our newsletter connects you meaningfully with Surge’s mission and inspires you to join in the conversation.
I continue to be genuinely moved by your support as we strive for equity in education.
Carmita (Vaughan) Semaan, Founder and President
Our 2016 Surge Fellows have graduated! Their final session, held at the McDonald's Hamburger University campus, began on August 18 with a fireside chat with Monica Haslip, visionary founder and executive director of Little Black Pearl. Fellows remained in esteemed company throughout graduation weekend, as we welcomed Dr. Howard L. Fuller, Andre Perry, Terra Winston, Swati Bharteey-Buck, Juan Salgado, Surge alum Melissa Connelly, and Surge Board Member Darryl Cobb. Fellows presented their capstone projects, and then enjoyed a private graduation luncheon celebrating their achievements. Congratulations, Vanguards — we are excited to see you #LeadTheSurge!
2017 Fellowship Cohort Announced
We are proud to welcome the 2017 Surge Fellows
! The final cohort of 22 of highly motivated and inspiring leaders was selected from 45 excellent candidates, and announced on September 6, 2016. Special thanks to our selection panel: Lincoln Chandler, Forrest Moore, Sarah Duncan, Jose Rico, Terra Winston, Grisel Maldonado, Nicholas A. Pearce, Andrea Saenz,
and Melissa Connelly
. Thank you to all of our supporters for connecting us with an outstanding group of applicants. The best referrals often come through personal connections with amazing leaders — like you
Fellows Engage With Community Leaders and Distinguished Alumni
On June 17, Fellowship Session 9 welcomed Kim Foxx, Democratic candidate for Cook County State's Attorney, to the Lawndale Christian Development Center to meet with Fellows to discuss her shared passion for education equity. Surge alum Candace Moore then delivered a powerful presentation on unconscious bias.
Farewell to Our Education Pioneers Fellow
Madeline King joined the Surge team this summer as the organization's first Education Pioneers Fellow
. She is currently pursuing her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. This summer, Madeline worked closely with the Surge Institute team to design a strategic expansion framework to guide Surge's first launch process beyond Chicago in 2017. Many friends of Surge contributed to this research by sharing the best practices from their organizations. "My experience working with Surge has been incredibly powerful — from having the opportunity to observe Fellowship sessions and keynote speakers, to collaborating with the Surge staff and senior advisors." Madeline has been a tremendous asset to the Surge team, and we wish her well.