A garden can truly brighten any day. Whether the sky is clear or grey, seeing a blooming collection of healthy flowers adds a wonderful burst of color and life.
But that garden takes time, energy and effort to produce beauty. A seed can be planted and, with proper love and care, grow and bloom into a thing of magnificent beauty. Another seed could be planted in the same soil with the same love and care, and it could grow to produce something completely different - still breathtaking, but with its own unique vibrance and beauty.
The Surge movement started with that first seed, the one planted in Chicago. It has grown and flourished with the gorgeous colors and brilliance for which I’d long hoped and prayed.
Then we planted a new seed. All the way over on the west coast in Oakland California. That new seed has broken through the soil and is beginning to bloom with a new collection of colors and a vibrance unique to the Bay Area’s passionate culture of progress and revolution.
More recently we’ve planted a third seed. A different kind of flower. This one is in Kansas City, addressing the mission in a new way. We’re loving that seed, watering it and shining light on it. And it’s working its way toward the surface.
Surge is not just a national nonprofit organization for emerging education leaders of color. It is a growing force of nature, breaking new ground and revealing the power and strength of voices too often ignored.
As you explore this report, understand not just the beauty of this growing movement from a local one to a national one, but the determination and heart behind what is quickly growing into an incubator for change agents shaping the education experience for our kids and our communities.
Thank you for engaging with us. Enjoy this learning experience.
LETTER FROM THE BOARD CHAIR
Several years ago, Carmita Semaan shared an idea. She wanted to develop and elevate leaders of color in education so that collectively we could have greater impact. Back then, I had the privilege of being one of Carmita’s early cheerleaders urging her to launch what would become the Surge Institute, I knew that her idea had the power to transform the lives of leaders, students, and communities. I knew the work was critical.
This work is critical for the futures of millions of young people who benefit from engaging with educators and leaders who share their backgrounds, critical for communities that desire leaders who understand their unique perspectives and experiences, critical for educators who need to see and live into their full potential. Four years, two cities, 80+ successful fellows later, I am sure of three things – Surge is elevating the trajectories of leaders of color in this sector and its fellows are transforming communities…I also know for sure that this work is more critical than ever.
What I didn’t recognize at the beginning, but is clear to me now is that I was becoming part of a movement. The Surge Fellowship is four cohorts strong in Chicago and we just graduated our first cohort in Oakland. Our Fellows are equipped with executive skills, connections and opportunities. They are re-writing the playbooks for their organizations and starting new ones. Surge Fellows are leading schools, helping first generation students achieve postsecondary success, changing the way we meet the needs of our teaching force, and launching catalytic new organizations that are galvanizing communities. They are creating new and powerful narratives of transformation and impact.
I am privileged and beyond proud to be part of the Surge family. We have come a long way, but there is much more to do. I recently sat with the Surge leadership team, and I shared a simple truth from one of my favorite children’s books. We are no longer “The Little Engine That Could.” We have moved beyond the start-up phase. We are now the bullet train, traveling new roads and powering with intention toward massive impact. Impact that is critical.
Sincerely, Darryl Cobb Board Chair
OUR ELEVATED FLAGSHIP
“In the beginning, I thought Surge would guide me on a path toward greatness. I had no idea that my fellowship experience would be the greatness I was in search of. Surge is an institution of healing and ascending to one’s brilliance while simultaneously celebrating the power of the collective. This movement has transformed my confidence, leadership style and how I share my story.”
— Paul Morgan
2018 Surge Alum, Chicago
Surge began in Chicago.
While our work was never designed to remain solely focused on the education landscape of the Windy City, it is forever the birth place and original catalyst for this movement.
In 2018, the Ascendants, our largest graduating cohort to date unveiled a powerful array of capstone projects, all designed to transform the educational experience for youth and communities throughout their city.
Unparralleled and widespread change is on the horizon in Chicago, and it’s happening with a passionate and brilliant collective of leaders.
OUR RISING IMPACT
Surge develops, connects and empowers leaders of color, primarily through our signature program, the Surge Fellowship. But is it effective? Are we getting results?
Our 2018 study—in which we surveyed every single alumnus of the fellowship program—says it all.
In the last year, of Surge alumni have begun system-level change that impacts many students, teachers, and schools, up from 44%, and attribute that difference to support from Surge.
of Surge alumni are directly involved in determining the strategic direction of their organization or school district, up from 65% last year.
In the past year, of Surge Alumni earned a promotion, giving them greater potential for change/impact.
more than half
of Surge alumni have proactively sought challenging leadership responsibilities, up from 67% last year.
OUR NEW FELLOWSHIP
“The Surge Fellowship is changing the face of leadership in education by arming us with the tools we need to unapologetically represent our students' voices at the decision-making table. During these divisive times, to be part of this movement will stimulate a ripple effect needed to further the mission toward a more inclusive and equitable society.”
— Marielle Narcisa
2018 Surge Alumna, Oakland
With its launch in February of 2018, the Oakland Surge Fellowship officially transformed this movement into a national one. Eleven Bay Area emerging education leaders of color went on a journey together, exploring the impact they seek to make in their communities and with their communities.
As they graduated in August, the Alchemists solidified their eternal connection as the inaugural Oakland Fellows and continue to build for the future of the Bay Area.
Surge is fueled by a powerful collective.
Our work is made possible by people who care deeply about the movement to transform education for the most underserved youth and communities in America.
The community of Surge investors is as diverse, brilliant and passionate as many of the emerging leaders we serve.
Greg Gunn and Lisette Nieves have been a part of this movement for years, giving in large amounts to support programming for Surge Fellows in their journey to grow as leaders and agents of change.
“When I think about the Surge movement in general,” Lisette said. “All of the alums understand the power that they have to make structural impact.”
These are just two of the many inspiring voices lifting up this work with their dollars and continued support.
To all of our donors, you are loved and appreciated.
SURGE PRINCIPALS ————————————
John P. & Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation Darryl & Angela Cobb Lindmor Foundation Fund Greg Gunn & Lisette Nieves Nneka Rimmer Paula A. Sneed & Lawrence P. Bass The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation David Vitale Michelle Russell
SURGE SHARKS ————————————
Thomas Burnette Connie Casson Stacy Gibbons Kaya Henderson Marene Jennings Halleemah Nash* Natalie Neris* Network for Good Deborah Quazzo Barbara Scott Carmita & George Semaan Sherina Smith Judith & Alexander Toland
SURGE ADVOCATES ————————————
Erica Bauer* Roslind Blasingame-Buford Kim Buckley Jonathan Chaparro* Stephanie Davis Michelman Kevin Hall Aaron Lieberman Daphne Morgan Althea Parker Kimberly M. Foxx Ashley Richardson* Heidi Rudolph Sandra Rush Varsha Vig
Investments of $5,000 or more
Funds full tuition for a Surge Fellow
Investments of $1,000 to $2,999
Supports key fellowship program components,
such as Shark Tank.
Investments of $500 to $999
Supports a monthly session for a Surge
* Surge Fellowship Alumni
SURGE COLLABORATORS ———————————— Up to $499
Supports 360 assessment for a fellow
Sara Allan Angie Alleman Becky Altman Erin Amico Heather Anichini Anonymous Anonymous Jackie Arias Juan Arias Juan Sebastian Arias Stephanie Arias* Andres Avila* Luis Avila Jeremy Babcock Marche Barney Jocelyn Basley Nicole Beechum* Chanelle Bell Fran Bell Rachel Bennett Sarah Berghorst Michelle Bess* Swati Bharteey-Buck Liam Bird* Jaclyn Bivins Andrea Black* Zulmarie Bosques
Elisa Botello* Kelley Bottoms Julianne Boulware* Becca Bracy Knight Christina Brandt Angela Brizant Layne* Anne Brown Chaneice Brown Mary Anne Buckman Jennifer Burrowes Otto Burston Kathleen Caliento Caitrin Cardosi Thaddeus Chavez Tania Clerisme Jose Collazo Christian Collins* William Collins* Allen Connelly Melissa Connelly* Claudia Corral Nathalie Cuevas-Rosa Florence Culpepper Laura Cummings Paula Dawning Megan Delaney Adrian DeLeon*
Aarti Dhupelia Christine Diaz* Cesar Dominguez* Lildella Douglas* Tosha Downey Sasha Dzubay Michelle Edmonds Imah Effiong Susan Ellis Alejandro Espinoza Olazaba* Mario Estrada Earnest* Charlesnika Evans Tom & Sue Fangmann Emily Feltes Kaleya Ferguson Amanda Fernandez Maggie Fernelius Bodee Kittikamron & Iliana Mora Kyla Fletcher Aurora Flores Garcia* Sylvia Flowers Wendell Fortson Tanya Foucher Janine Franklin Christopher Frazier Carly Friedman Selene Garcia
Susan Garr Enrique Garza Christopher Goins* Clifton Goins IV David Gold PuraCarina Gonzalez* David Gordon D. Nigel Green* Brian Greenberg Antonio Gutierrez Mark Haggarty Shayna Hammond Alita Haque Danielle Harbison Michael Harris Vincent Harris Yolanda Harris Elizabeth Hart Walker Monica Haslip Amy Hendricksen Cecily Relucio Hensler Dawn Hicks* Jennifer Hill Matt Hill Erica Hines* Pat Hodo Tamara Hoff*
Darrick Hooker Annie Houston Jeff & Akeshia Howell Ceddrick Hunter Jr.* Adria Husband* Jennifer Husbands Bryan Jackson* Marcia Jeffries Safi Jiroh Michael Johns* Ariel Johnson* Don Johnson Marilyn H. Johnson Shenita Johnson* Sylvia Jordan Kasia Kalata Kimberly Kays Michelle Kemp* Jessica Kim Bodee Kittikamron & Iliana Mora Audrey Lane Khadeejah Lasuc-Lewis* Bridget Lee Christin Lee Gloria Lee Keith Lewis
* Surge Fellowship Alumni
SURGE COLLABORATORS ———————————— Up to $499
Supports 360 assessment for a fellow
Kimberly Lewis Elizabeth Liebovitz Hassahn Liggins Rudy Lozano* Monisha Lozier Ibrahim Majeed Liliahn Majeed Grisel Maldonado* Jesse Marcano Kyra Marcano Elizabeth Marcus Simone Marean Tyra Mariani Pablo Marotta Kara Martin Ana Martinez* Rito Martinez Michael Marzano II Tonya Mayes Stacy McAuliffe Adelric McCain* Sharice McCants Hareder McDowell Dominique McKoy* Anita Mendoza Debbie Merovitz Arthur Mills IV
Margi Miranda Stacey D Mitchell* Liza Mohanty Leonard Mondi Candace Moore* Forrest Moore Raynal Moore Paul Morgan* Donald Moses Larry Moses ángela munguía* Marisa Muñoz Dominique Myles* D Neal Jennifer Niles Maura Oneill Afam Onyema Nche Onyema* Chris Paicely Jamie Paicely Stacey Paicely Bianca Paiz* Kali Patrice Elizabeth Pattara Ashley Patterson Amanda Paz* Ana Paz
Shana Pearson Delilah Perez Kenneth Perkins Jonathan Perry Marco Antonio Pinto Jawann Pollard* Pazazz Pollard Paige Ponder Angela Pope Keyonn Pope Latisha Porter Mark Potter Tamara Prather Abigail Prescott Elsa Prieto Mariel Race Kellee Randle Andrew Rayner Lata Reddy Marilyn Rhames* Henry Ricks Jose Rico Julia Rivero Ferlillia Roberson Alicia Robinson Mónica Rodriguez Kerrien Rollins Suarez
Evan Rudall Sandra Rush Smith Tamiko Saame Khair Sadrud-Din* Maraliz Salgado* Lydia Sanchez Nina Sanchez* Sheila Saremzadeh Adrian Segura LeShonne Segura* Michelle Seijas Jackie Sergi Andrea Serrano* Pete Shulman Sarah Sicher Singla Consulting Inc DuJuan Smith* Jaclyn Smith Preston Smith Sherina Smith Kellie Solliday Nicole Spicer* Mora Spicer II Sara Spivy Jade Stanfield Jacqueline Statum Allen Tina Suh
Brianna Swartz Dana Sweet TaMikka Sykes* Amanda Taft-Pearman Elaine Tarver Chenault Taylor Rhonda Thomas Sharon Thomas Parrott Natalia Torres* Susan Tovar* Amber Tucker Christine Turcuato Gutierrez Ashlie Tyler* Christopher Valentine Susanna Ver Eecke Vatika Vig Rebekah Vossler Gayle Walker Willow Walker* Dafina Ward Miya Warner Tarsa Washington Joycelynn Watkins-Asiyanbi Anthony Watson* Chiquita Watts Tonya Weatherly Vanessa Weathersby
* Surge Fellowship Alumni
SURGE COLLABORATORS ————————————
Cynthia Weiss Megan Wharton Adrianne Wheeler Lakecia Whimper Gail Willett Cassie Williams* DeRonda Williams Valarie Williams-Irons Terra Winston Katie Wise Sam Wong Julie Woolf Michael Wren Lakeshia Wright Kathleen Yoder Jenny Zuluaga
IMPACT COMMUNITY ————————————
Anonymous Andres Avila* Michelle Bess* Becca & Kevin Bracy Knight Kathleen Caliento Jonathan Chaparro* Jennifer Collett Niles William Collins* Florence Culpepper Cesar Dominguez* Alejandro Espinoza Olazaba* Sylvia Flowers D. Nigel Green* Kaya Henderson Jeff & Akeshia Howell Ana Martinez* Arthur Mills IV Donald Moses Halleemah Nash* Chris Paicely Bianca Paiz* Jawann Pollard* Ashley Richardson* Sandra Rush Carmita & George Semaan Swartz-Prasad Family Valarie Williams-Irons
HAMILTON LEADERSHIP CIRCLE ————————————
Roslind Blasingame-Buford Darryl & Angela Cobb Michael Harris Pablo Marotta Rito Martinez Debbie Merovitz Tamara Prather Nneka Rimmer Sandra Rush Paula A. Sneed & Lawrence P. Bass The Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education
Up to $499 Supports 360 assessment for a fellow
Recurring monthly investors in the Surge
Givers who supported the Surge “Power of Us”
Partnership with Hamilton Chicago
GUARDIANS SCHOLARSHIP ————————————
Surge would like to give special thanks to the
2017 Surge Alumni, The Guardians, who
collectively gave enough to pay the tuition of a
Surge Fellow! Their continued committment to
this movement is truly beautiful and appreciated.
* Surge Fellowship Alumni
OUR INSTITUTIONAL FUNDERS
OUR POWERFUL PILOT
“My hope for my time in the Surge Academy is to grow my beloved community. I hope to learn what it looks like for me to be empowered, and not just in the workplace. I want to make a change in education on a systemic level and I know that it starts with building myself and Surge is part of that journey.”
— Selina Rios
2019 Surge Academy Fellow, Kansas City
Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Surge Founder and President Carmita Semaan understands first hand the scarcity of leadership development programs for education leaders in mid-size to smaller cities across America.
The mission of the Surge movement has always been to transform education for all our underserved youth and communities. This meant exploring an approach that addresses needs and communities that may be different from those of major metropolises.
With this mission in mind and heart—and thanks to funding from the Kauffman Foundation—Surge Academy was born in Kansas City, a beautifully unique intersection of two states with a community of emerging leaders of color, looking to connect and provoke meaningful change.
OUR POWERFUL PILOT
OUR INNOVATIVE PUSH
“This seed money empowers us to address—through healing—the collateral damage suffered by our youth of color as a result of community violence manifested from hurt people and broken systems in the Chicagoland area. We can’t say thank you enough to the Surge Institute for creating this opportunity.”
— Michael Johns
2016 Surge Alum, Chicago
Our 2018 Walton Family Foundation-funded pilot program, Surge Angels, allowed entrepreneurial Surge Alumni the opportunity to secure funding, guidance, and support in taking their innovative ventures to the next level. Among the ventures were education consultancy firms, youth counseling programs, and teacher development initiatives, all with the ultimate goal of improving education for our communities.
The program culminated in Pitch Night, where nine alums pitched their mapped-out venture plan to expert judges in hopes of securing funding. After seven pitches from nine Surge Alumni, we awarded $60,000 toward the growth and development of their ventures.
Surge Angels supports our alumni in their continued journey toward transforming urban education. As Surge evolves its alumni programming, we will use Surge Angels as a blueprint of how we support leaders of color with their own entrepreneurial vision for impact.
The most influential movements were built with intention and sound strategy. Surge is no different.
As we look to the future, we are thoughtful about our fiscal outlook and how we utilize the financial support we have received from individual investors, foundational grants and program income.
See not only how our work is funded, but how those funds are used toward building programs and space for the growth, development, and unity of the next generation of education leaders.
STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES
These financial statements were abstracted from the Organization’s June 30, 2018 financial statements, which were audited by ICL, LLC. Because the
information does not include all the disclosures required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, it does not purport to
present the Organization’s financial conditions or results of operations. A copy of the audited financial statements will be provided upon request at the
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
As this report has revealed, 2018 was a massive year for the Surge movement. To all who invested their time and energy toward supporting our work and mission, we thank you.
If you’re new to the Surge community and your heart has been moved by the stories of our people all across the nation, please consider joining in this journey by volunteering, donating or just connecting with us for a conversation. We see a bright future.
To learn more about how you can join this movement visit surgeinstitute.org.
All inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to hearing from you!