As the calendar turns from summer to fall, many students across the country are preparing to step onto college campuses. For many, it will be their first time. For others, this will be a familiar experience. In either case, it’s one step in what can be a long, challenging journey towards earning a degree.
Luckily, there are people like Summer Search Seattle alumna Marie Angeles who are working hard to make sure these young people are entering a welcoming and supportive campus environment.
Marie after graduating with her Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan in 2016.
After receiving her Master’s Degree in Higher Education at the University of Michigan, Marie is coming home to Seattle to start her new job at the University of Washington, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. She will be an Admissions and Student Inclusion Counselor, which she describes as a role that “focuses on equity and inclusion with an emphasis on recruitment and supporting current students as they work to build a stronger community.”
This career opportunity aligns with what she had been working on while completing her Master’s Degree. “I studied student access and success, and learned so much about how campuses can support first-generation students, students of color, LGBTQ students, and all marginalized voices,” she explains.
Marie is proud to be at the forefront of this groundbreaking work at the Evans School, saying “Roles like mine are just starting to become part of institutions and it’s exciting to be a part of that start and watch as these types of roles grow over time.”
Marie says that her supportive spirit was something that she developed during her time in the Summer Search program.
“Summer Search taught me a lot. First, the importance of mentorship. I never knew the value of mentorship until Summer Search and how much it is needed at every step of a person’s path. And second, the commitment to service. If there is any string that is constantly weaving its way through my life, it’s the value I place in serving others.”
Marie (left) on her first summer experience with Longacre Farms in 2008, with Summer Search Bay Area alumna Samantha Lee.
Her commitment to service was solidified during her second summer program in Costa Rica, an experience that she said, “showed me so much about myself and the world,” as well as provided her with a new perspective on privilege.
“Two moments stand out from that trip. The first was discussing this speech called ‘To Hell with Good Intentions‘ that essentially scolded Americans and their misguided desires to ‘help’ others. I still talk about that speech. The second was seeing a young girl, who was no older than me at the time, help her siblings get to school while she went to work. We asked where her parents were and why she wasn’t in school. We were told that her parents died recently and she had to take responsibility for everything. Watching her made me realize just how much privilege shows up even when you don’t think you have any. It was then that I decided that serving others needed to be a part of my core values.”
She continued, “Now, when I think of my career and how I shape it, at the heart will always be this commitment to help others find their success and do it in a way that creates a stronger community.”
Marie enjoying the outdoors at Mt. Zion National Park in 2017.
The Summer Search community has also been on her mind, due to the recent political and racial turmoil going on in the country. She wanted to pass on a message to her fellow Summer Searchers, saying “I want them to find their joy, their moments of peace, through everything that has happened and will happen. I want to name Summer Search as a community they can lean on.”
We’re so proud to have alumni leaders like Marie out in the world right now working on creating greater equity through building stronger and more inclusive communities that support young people to succeed in the classroom, on campus, and beyond. UW is lucky to have someone like Marie as part of their community, and so are we.