Year after year, the young people we partner with work tremendously hard to complete their goals and take the next steps in their journeys. They’re studying and passing exams, graduating and matriculating to new campuses and cities, and starting or advancing their careers… all while navigating systemic barriers and inequity.
In 2020, add a global pandemic and repeated, very public, reminders of racial violence and injustice to that list of obstacles.
But Summer Searchers persevere and thrive!
Recent grad and Seattle alumna Ehler Tha Win took some time to answer a few questions about her experience transitioning from college to career and shares how she believes people can support each other during these unprecedented times.
As part of its “California Today” column, The New York Times profiled four members of this historic freshman class — discussing being part of a major shift in UC system and about starting college during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And two of those featured students are Summer Searchers — Mariana and Dora from the Bay Area!
Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
While the last few months have truly been confusing and heartbreaking, we remain inspired by the hope embodied by our young people, as they quickly adapt to a pandemic and stand up against social injustice. Again and again, Summer Search students show resilience and determination as they pursue their education and seek new opportunities to grow, thrive, and become the next generation of purpose-driven leaders.
Last month, we shined a light on a handful of Summer Searchers in the Class of 2020 who were celebrating their post-secondary decisions. Today we’re checking in with three more high school seniors: Anjaliyah, Jason, and Rasmee.
Social injustice and racial inequalities must come to an end. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, James Scurlock and too many other Black people are acts of terror.
We know these senseless deaths have caused great pain and angst for all Summer Searchers and have had an especially traumatic impact on our black-identifying students, staff, and community members.
In times of crisis, everyone reacts differently — from speaking out, to reflecting inward, and everything in between. We wanted to spotlight how a few folks in our Summer Search family have responded publicly — from expressing their emotions, rallying their communities, sharing resources, and much more.
Despite all of these unprecedented challenges, our young people at Summer Search continue to show the power and resilience within themselves. The power to be unstoppable as they push forward and pursue their dreams. With unwavering support from their mentors, Summer Searchers are finishing high school and taking the next steps on their journeys… and they deserve to celebrate these milestones!
The following is a guest post and reflection from Seattle Summer Searcher Jessica Par, a junior at University of Washington Seattle pursuing Education. This was originally shared as part of Summer Search Seattle’s Unstoppable Campaign.
Being a part of Summer Search has changed my life. As a first-generation college student, and coming from a refugee background, I was so lost during high school. But Summer Search was able to provide me structure, while supporting me with resources and authentic mentorship. My Summer Search mentor plays such a critical role in my life that I’m not sure where I’d be without her. From talking about academic issues to professional development to personal matters, she has always been there for me.
The following is a message from Dr. Marc Spencer, Summer Search CEO.
Dear Summer Search Community,
Our world is changing quickly. Just last week I was in New York City meeting with our National Board, attending our gala in NYC, and participating in a staff retreat. The coronavirus events were beginning to occupy much of our attention but had not yet completely taken over our daily reality.
Today our staff is working remotely and watching as more and more people are being affected by the virus along with seeing the response from the markets, school districts, community leaders, and politicians. We are entering a public health challenge that will impact all of us in a myriad of ways. Continue reading Health & Commitment→
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.
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.”
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.
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.