All posts by Summer Search

Summer Search is a national youth development organization that helps low-income students develop the skills and character traits they need to become college-educated leaders.

What Altruism Means to Me: a Reflection of a Boston Alumnus

The following is an excerpt of an email written by Summer Search Boston alumnus Francisco Rodriguez after a meeting with Summer Search staff, Ines Ariceta and Seth James Ellis. Lightly edited and shared with permission.


Ines and Seth,

I always relish those opportunities in which I can reconnect with Summer Search. You mentioned to me that Summer Search recruits its alumni (for staff roles) differently than it would other people. You said that the approach is one that must be different because to alumni, Summer Search feels like a family business. Continue reading What Altruism Means to Me: a Reflection of a Boston Alumnus

Black Girl Magic in the Fashion Industry

Last week we shared a story about Justin Bethune, a Summer Search Bay Area alumnus who created an empowering photo project aimed countering the negative stereotypes surrounding Black men often shown by the media.

While Justin is behind the camera in his work challenging racial biases and perceptions, Summer Search Seattle alumna and fashion model Ebonee Davis is using her platform in front of the camera to speak up against racial injustice.

Ebonee Davis passionately sharing her story at a recent TEDx Talk event at the University of Nevada.

Continue reading Black Girl Magic in the Fashion Industry

Black Male Voices Inspire Bay Area Alumnus Justin Bethune

“I’ve decided to dedicate my life to taking positive images of Black men and creating a platform for their voices to be heard.”

Those are the determined words of Summer Search Bay Area alumnus Justin Bethune. At the start of Black History Month this year, Justin announced in a post on Medium that he was launching The Bethune Project, a photo campaign on Instagram.

Justin-BethuneSummer Search Bay Area alumnus Justin Bethune.

Continue reading Black Male Voices Inspire Bay Area Alumnus Justin Bethune

Ivan Lopez: An Artist’s Inspiration

If you walk into our Summer Search office in Oakland, one thing you’ll see, along with our mentors and students buzzing around, is a large, colorful mural that adorns the wall of our glass-enclosed conference room.

Not only a beautiful addition to our office space, this work of art has significant meaning behind it — it was conceived of and painted specifically for Summer Search by Bay Area alumnus, and local artist, Ivan Lopez. Continue reading Ivan Lopez: An Artist’s Inspiration

Group Mentoring: Benefitting Students and Mentors Alike

The student-mentor relationship is the heart of the Summer Search experience.

In our traditional one-on-one mentoring model, high school students talk with their individual mentor by phone about once per week, beginning in their sophomore year and continuing through college matriculation. During these calls, students and mentors build a foundation of trust and support that helps students achieve their dreams of becoming college graduates and socially-responsible leaders.

However, this journey looks a little different for one group of about 60 Summer Searchers. Continue reading Group Mentoring: Benefitting Students and Mentors Alike

Brackets For Good

FINAL UPDATE (3/24/17): Unfortunately, Summer Search’s winning streak in Brackets For Good ended today. We fell to Urban Teachers in the Engaged Eight round at the very last second with a score of 12,372 to 12,261.

Thank you to AT&T for sponsoring such an exciting tournament, and to everyone who contributed during our Cinderella run. Thanks to you, we made it so much farther than we expected and raised more than $32,000 for Summer Search!


We’re going to the Big Dance! Philanthropy’s big dance, that is.

Brackets for Good is an online fundraising tournament where 64 national nonprofits compete for donations. The winning organization will receive a grand prize of a $100,000 grant courtesy of AT&T, the tournament’s presenting sponsor. #BFGUSA #BFG17

And Summer Search made the field of 64! Here’s how you can support us in this competitive giving contest. Continue reading Brackets For Good

Summer Search Signs Open Letter to President

Today, Summer Search joined a coalition of more than 180 nonprofit organizations in an open letter to President Donald Trump.

The letter, published by the Skoll Foundation, respectfully disagrees with the Executive Order banning individuals from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.

Here are a few particularly powerful excerpts: Continue reading Summer Search Signs Open Letter to President