2017 Summer Leaders

Get ready world, the Summer Searchers are coming!

Earlier this month, amidst rain showers in the east and sunshine in the west, our first students headed out on their summer experiences. For all of us at Summer Search, this time of year creates a mixture of excitement, nervousness, anticipation, and intensity as it’s a seasonal marker of all the months of hard work and investment in the incredible young people we get to work with.

This summer, we’re sending 1,027 young leaders all over the country and the globe, where they’ll participate in challenging experiential programs to help them strengthen the skills needed to succeed in school and in life.

Here’s a look at where our Summer Searchers are going, and what they’ll be doing.

Top Domestic and International Destinations

Service Group

State # of Students Country # of Students
Arizona 111 Costa Rica 98
California 108 Dominican Republic 79
Colorado 95 Mexico 20
Washington 54 Nicaragua 52
Maine 52 Belize 4

What Will Our Students Be Doing This Summer?

Wilderness Hiking Group

Program Type # of Students % of Total
Wilderness 543 53%
Community Service and Cultural Immersion 309 30%
Academic 107 10%
Art, Music, and Literature 13 1.3%
Internship 12 1.2%

Popular Partners

Our world-traveling young leaders would not have these challenging experiences without the support of our summer program partners. Deer Hill Expeditions, Outward Bound, Amigos de las Americas, Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC), National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Global Glimpse, Global Leadership Adventures (GLA), and Summer@Brown are just a few of those partners providing transformative opportunities for our students.

From Summer Searcher to Summer Program Leader

Our 10th and 11th graders aren’t the only Summer Searchers preparing for challenging experiences this summer.

For a few years now, Bay Area alumna and avid outdoor enthusiast Jessie Holtz has been working with one of our summer partners, Sierra Nevada Journeys (SNJ). She recently received some exciting news that this summer she will get to be a trip leader for one of SNJ’s Summer-Search-specific wilderness programs (a trip with only Summer Search students), which she proudly shared in an email to some of her former mentors.

“I am happy to say that I will be leading a Summer Search trip this summer! I am so excited about this, and wanted to share this with you all because it really is a dream come true for me. Since my Summer Search trip with Outward Bound, a huge goal of mine has been to lead a similar trip. I am so excited I am finally able to be on the other side as an instructor and to make my path and relationship with Summer Search come full circle!”

Jessie HoltzBay Area alumna Jessie Holtz. Photo courtesy of Sierra Nevada Journeys.

In hearing this exciting update, one of Jessie’s former mentors, Lindsey Roark Yee (who is now Summer Search’s National Program Performance Manager), said “I can’t imagine a more empathetic, energetic, and all-around incredible instructor for our students.”

Join us in wishing Jessie good luck as a summer program leader, and stay tuned for more photos and updates as our students return from their life-changing summer adventures.


View our 2016 summer program stats »

Summer program student numbers as of June 20, 2017.

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