Category Archives: Alumni

One Chance to Make Change

The following is a guest post written by Niles Xi’an Lichtenstein, entrepreneur and Summer Search Bay Area alumnus. It was originally shared at a Summer Search fundraising event. Lightly edited and shared with permission.


Hi everyone, I’m Niles Lichtenstein, a Summer Search Bay Area alum.

Niles Lichtenstein

While ‘Summer Search Alum’ is an amazing title to have, perhaps the best title I’ve recently received was the title of ‘Dad’ to my wonderful daughter Genevieve, who we call ‘Evie’.

Evie was born 11 months ago and upon her birth, my mother, as she smiled at a future generation strong female, said something profound to me. She said that “having a granddaughter felt like having a second chance.”

“A second chance for what?” I asked her.

“A second chance to give Evie all the things I couldn’t always give you,” she replied. Continue reading One Chance to Make Change

A Summer Searcher’s Guide to Maximize College & Career

Fall is a season of change, and a time of firsts. Students are taking their first steps away from home onto college campuses, and young professionals are deciding how to begin their careers.

Two Summer Search alumnae – Lorraine and Marie – have generously shared their advice on tackling these exciting and challenging transitions: how to make the most of the post-secondary experience and how to best prepare to start a new job or career path.

Lorraine and Marie Continue reading A Summer Searcher’s Guide to Maximize College & Career

#SummerSearchGrad Class of 2019: College, Grad School, and Beyond!

Oh we’re not done celebrating our Summer Searchers yet! Last week we featured some remarkable students who completed their high school journeys. Now, it’s time for round 2 of our #SummerSearchGrad series where we spotlight the accomplishments of our inspiring post-secondary students and alumni.

Salomon graduating from East Stroudsburg University

Salomon — Philadelphia

“Never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” Continue reading #SummerSearchGrad Class of 2019: College, Grad School, and Beyond!

#Snapshot: Activating Our Network

Welcome to another edition of #Snapshot, where we bring you a glimpse of what’s going on at Summer Search.

Networking-group

As an organization, we are fortunate to be part of a strong and impactful community – a network of our remarkable students and alumni, and our generous partners and supporters. We’re always looking for ways to activate that network and bring these groups together. Continue reading #Snapshot: Activating Our Network

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

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

Mentors Changed the Course of My Life

The following is a guest post written by Anna Brittain, Summer Search Bay Area alumna, for National Mentoring Month.


I remember the first time I met Joan McDonald. She had a bouffant of grey-white hair, like she’d never quite made it out of the 1960s, and soft kind eyes. It was 1997. I was 15 years old and a sophomore at St. Helena High School. I was stepping into a small room filled with warm fall light to do an interview with Joan and Linda Mornell (founder of Summer Search). My high school counselor, Bruce Frank, who nominated me for the program, was standing just outside. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I sat down facing these two older women. Linda looked at me intensely and Joan smiled encouragingly. Linda asked something along the lines of, “What is it like to walk in your shoes?” And I broke down.

anna-brittain-fieldsAnna Brittain.

Continue reading Mentors Changed the Course of My Life