The Oakland Teachers Strike Hits Home

“Both personally and professionally, the strike has been challenging. All I want is what is best for my students. I am hopeful that organizing efforts like this will make change in the future because it is critical that our district, city, state, and nation prioritizes public education more.”

Nina Portugal is an English Teacher at Life Academy Oakland, one of Summer Search Bay Area’s partner high schools. She is one of thousands of Oakland teachers, counselors, nurses, and other educators who participated in the Oakland Teachers Strike.

The strike raised national headlines, as Oakland joined a growing list of cities, including Los Angeles and Denver, where educators have exercised the power of protest to fight for our public schools. Continue reading The Oakland Teachers Strike Hits Home

I’m Just Me, Doing My Part

In our Summer Search Boston office, we have a bell outside of one of the conference rooms. When a student makes a big decision, achieves a milestone, or completes their final check-in before their summer experience, the student announces their accomplishment in front of the entire office, and then rings the bell as a triumphant punctuation.

A few months ago, Boston Latin high school senior Ian Lee rang the bell to announce — in his own quiet, yet confident way — that he had earned a QuestBridge scholarship (a.k.a. a full ride) to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (a.k.a. MIT)!

Ring that bell young man!

Ian MIT AnnouncementWatch Ian’s announcement.

Continue reading I’m Just Me, Doing My Part

Special Delivery: Care Packages for Students

“Thank you so much for the care package! Each card gave me more and more motivation and support. I love and miss all of you and thank you Pitcairn for putting this together.”

That was Malachi, Lincoln University freshman, expressing his gratitude for receiving a surprise care package from Summer Search Philadelphia and their partners at Pitcairn, an innovator and leader in the family office and wealth management industry.

Malachi was one of 22 Philly Summer Searchers in our post-secondary program to receive a gift like this last semester. The packages included encouraging notes from Pitcairn and Summer Search staff, as well as goodies like Post-it notes, hot cocoa, toothpaste, and more.

2018 Care PackagesSummer Searcher Philadelphia students showing off their care packages.

Continue reading Special Delivery: Care Packages for Students

Building More Equitable and Inclusive Workplaces

Black History Month offers us the opportunity to reflect on our country’s history of racial inequality, honor leaders of color, and continue to drive progress towards a more equitable society. At Summer Search, we keep Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) at the forefront of our conversations and work all year long, so our staff, students, alumni, and board are equipped to be ED&I change-makers in their own communities.

A few months ago, Summer Search held an Industry Leadership Panel on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at our National Alumni Summit and Leadership Conference, a multi-day convening of nearly 300 Summer Search alumni to connect, learn, and network. The panel discussion offered alumni the chance to hear from three industry leaders about the opportunities and challenges in building more equitable and inclusive workplaces.

EDI PanelistsFrom left to right: Monica Parham, Bernard Guinyard, Antoine Andrews, and Marie Pierre.

Continue reading Building More Equitable and Inclusive Workplaces

A Gift of Love to Summer Search

“When we thought about what was most important to us in bringing our family and friends together for our wedding, Summer Search just had to be included.”

Jacqueline Green has been a long-time Summer Search supporter, a champion of corporate responsibility, and a key member of the Summer Search Bay Area Board of Directors. When she and her partner David Newman got married three years ago, they asked their guests to join them in supporting Summer Search by making a donation, in lieu of wedding gifts.

Jacqueline and DaveJacqueline and Dave.

Continue reading A Gift of Love to Summer Search

The Power of Peer Mentoring

The following is a guest post written by Dr. Marc Spencer, Summer Search CEO. It was originally published by our partners at MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.


The benefits of mentoring for young people are significant and well-established – youth development research shows that quality mentoring relationships with a caring adult have powerful positive effects on young people’s educational, personal, and professional situations, especially for young people who face an opportunity gap. For nearly 30 years, Summer Search has provided 1:1 mentoring with trained staff mentors to high school and college students from underserved communities. While our student outcomes have supported the effectiveness of 1:1 mentoring, our students said they wanted more opportunities to build community with each other. Continue reading The Power of Peer Mentoring

My Mentors; My Mirrors

The following is a guest post written by KishaLynn Moore Elliott — certified coach, author, and Summer Search Boston alumna — for National Mentoring Month.


Mentorship is the first of many gifts that every Summer Searcher unwraps on their journey as a student. My Summer Search mentor, Jay Jacobs, interviewed and accepted me into the Boston program in 1997, when I was a junior at Dorchester High School.

At the time, I was desperate to be rescued from my life struggles and sent as far away from home as possible. But Jay knew he wasn’t there to rescue me. Rather, as a mentor his job was to help me access my potential to carve my own path in the world, and to hold me accountable for walking on it. Jay’s tender-tough love helped me mature that summer, and grow in ways that I needed. These days we joke about being “frenemies”, but I take deep pride in claiming Jay as my Summer Search mentor.

KishaLynn and JayThe only known photo to exist of Jay and I.

Continue reading My Mentors; My Mirrors

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