Each summer, our students receive scholarships at the end of their sophomore and junior years in high school to embark on experiential education programs — ranging from wilderness expeditions, to college stays, to international service trips — in order to help broaden their world view and expand what they believe is possible for themselves.
In fact this summer, we are sending more than 1,000 students all over the world! That adds up to a lot of airfare.
That’s why were are so grateful to our signature airline partner, Alaska Airlines, for supporting Summer Search Seattle with a $25,000 commitment, allowing us to send twenty students on summer programs outside of Washington state.
So, with summer in full swing, we’d like to introduce you to three Seattle high school juniors who will be using Alaska Airlines flight coupons to travel to their second transformative summer experiences.
Madison spent her first summer cycling and exploring all over the Pacific Northwest with Bike Works. This experience taught her a lot, especially about how important it was to work together with her fellow cyclists.
“I did not think I was going to make it during my first summer trip. It was intense, and I thought I was going to give up, but I finished it. That trip taught me about the power of teamwork.”
Madison on her 2015 summer program with Bike Works.
As she looks ahead to this summer, she will be shifting gears and taking on a different set of challenges as she travels from Seattle, Washington to Rhode Island for an academic program at Brown University (which she will depart for this week).
“This summer, though I am thankful for the teamwork on my last trip, I want to learn how to really be alone. I won’t know anyone when I go away to Brown, and this is a chance for me to learn complete independence.”
Family is important to Angel. Last year, he spent his first summer in the wilderness with Northwest Outward Bound School, and while it was difficult to be away from his family for the first time, it was an experience he felt was important.
“The most powerful thing about my first trip was leaving my family for so long. I am used to having them around. Being independent was a new thing for me, and it was something that I really appreciated. The trip also taught me to appreciate my family even more.”
Angel on his 2015 summer program with Northwest Outward Bound School.
This summer, before leaving this past weekend for his journey to Utah with Wasatch Academy, Angel told his mentor that he hopes to get more practice being on his own and away from his family, this time through the lens of looking ahead to next year when he will head off to college.
“I think this trip will help me learn to be away from my family while going to school. It’ll allow me to take some of that fear away. It’s important because I’m slowly preparing to become an independent individual for when I go to college.”
Faviola is passionate about her education. Heading into her first summer experience last year, a camping and outdoor leadership program with the YMCA, she told her mentor that she was “excited about going out in the woods and exploring new things and getting new opportunities.”
Afterwards, she reflected on the lessons she learned in the Washington state wilderness. “I learned that in order to be a good leader you have to also be a follower. I learned to be grateful.”
Faviola (right) on her 2015 summer program with the YMCA.
This summer she is excited to take that gratitude and those leadership skills to a small community in Costa Rica, where she will be doing service work with Global Leadership Adventures.
“I’m really just looking forward to everything. Knowing that I’ll look at everything from other perspectives – being out of the country, around different people. I’m excited to do community service and make a change.”
Stay tuned later this summer when we check in on Madison, Angel and Faviola to see how their second summer experiences went!