Category Archives: College

Arsel Perez: Finding His Path

There’s a popular saying that “the path to success is not a straight line.” At Summer Search, we support our young people on their journeys to success, which can indeed take many different pathways, twists, and turns.

Arsel Perez is deeply committed to helping his family, while also striving to find his “dream career” and securing his own successful future.

Arsel-2016-NB-DinnerArsel Perez speaking at the 2016 Summer Search North Bay Dinner.

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Your Mental Health Matters

The following is a guest post written by Antonio Morales Jr. — blogger, poet, photographer, and Summer Search Philadelphia student — for Mental Health Awareness Month.

Antonio, who currently attends Community College of Philadelphia, describes himself as “a creative, who loves to spread positivity and inspire. I aspire to change negative narratives and stereotypes of black men, while making it look good.”

Antonio Morales JrAntonio Morales Jr.

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I’m Just Me, Doing My Part

In our Summer Search Boston office, we have a bell outside of one of the conference rooms. When a student makes a big decision, achieves a milestone, or completes their final check-in before their summer experience, the student announces their accomplishment in front of the entire office, and then rings the bell as a triumphant punctuation.

A few months ago, Boston Latin high school senior Ian Lee rang the bell to announce — in his own quiet, yet confident way — that he had earned a QuestBridge scholarship (a.k.a. a full ride) to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (a.k.a. MIT)!

Ring that bell young man!

Ian MIT AnnouncementWatch Ian’s announcement.

Continue reading I’m Just Me, Doing My Part

Special Delivery: Care Packages for Students

“Thank you so much for the care package! Each card gave me more and more motivation and support. I love and miss all of you and thank you Pitcairn for putting this together.”

That was Malachi, Lincoln University freshman, expressing his gratitude for receiving a surprise care package from Summer Search Philadelphia and their partners at Pitcairn, an innovator and leader in the family office and wealth management industry.

Malachi was one of 22 Philly Summer Searchers in our post-secondary program to receive a gift like this last semester. The packages included encouraging notes from Pitcairn and Summer Search staff, as well as goodies like Post-it notes, hot cocoa, toothpaste, and more.

2018 Care PackagesSummer Searcher Philadelphia students showing off their care packages.

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Mohamed Abdi: Soaring in Seattle

The following is a guest post co-written by Summer Search Seattle mentors Therese Williams and De’Andre Jones, showcasing the accomplishments of one of their students for National Mentoring Month.


Mohamed Abdi, College Success Year 3 Student, is soaring to new heights!

Mohamed has been actively engaged in the Seattle community for most of his life. He understands the importance of advocacy, not only for himself but for others in his community, to successfully navigate through systemic barriers. His awareness of his own intersectional identities as first-generation, Somali, Muslim, male, eldest son, entrepreneur, and mentor are just a few of the many reasons he is serving as a trailblazer for his family.

Mohamed quotePhoto and quote from a feature on Mohamed by WE Charity.

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Partners in Professional Development

At Summer Search, our work is all about creating opportunities. We offer our students exposure to many different experiences they might not otherwise have, which we’re able to do thanks in large part to the generous support from our many partners. Donors, summer program partners, and corporate partners are all critical to our young people’s success.

Speaking of corporate partners, Summer Search teams up with outstanding companies to provide our students with internships and professional development opportunities. In fact, several hire our alumni! In this post, we’re proud to highlight four of our partners that hosted Summer Search student interns this summer. Continue reading Partners in Professional Development

Podcast: A Conversation on Identity

Welcome to Summer Search’s first podcast!

For our pilot episode, five Summer Search Bay Area college students sat down for a lively and candid discussion about identity (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and more) and the challenges of navigating between many different “bubbles” in their hometowns, on summer trips, on their college campuses, and out in the world.

The podcast episode, entitled “A Conversation on Identity,” was created and hosted by college Summer Searcher Kenny Mai, who worked as a summer fellow in our Bay Area office.

Listen here:

Or listen on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

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#SummerSearchGrad: College & More, Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of our #SummerSearchGrad series, where we are celebrating the post-secondary milestones of the students in our College Success program.

While many of these moments happened a few months ago, it gives us such joy and inspiration to look back on them now, and to give each deserving Summer Searcher who shared their photos a chance to be in the spotlight!

Chentese, Philadelphia

Chentese Continue reading #SummerSearchGrad: College & More, Part 2

Voices of Summer Search 2018

“Imagine a world where every single person gets to be their best selves. Would that not be the best world to live in?”

At Summer Search, we are all about changing narratives and helping young people find their voices so that they can — as Summer Search Seattle alumna Marie refers to above — become their best selves.

Watch Marie, Justin, Elebetel, Jahlil, and Cynthia share about their journeys toward success in our new Voices of Summer Search video:

Continue reading Voices of Summer Search 2018

Cesar Cortorreal – A Spark Ignited

“[Summer Search] has taught me that I can do anything that I set my mind to. I believe in paying it forward, so I want to mentor others and give back. This program changed me and I want to give that same opportunity to someone else.”

That was Summer Search Philadelphia college student Cesar Cortorreal speaking to the The Philadelphia Tribune in a recent article about the impact Summer Search has had on young people in Philly.

Cesar at Franklin and Marshall CollegeCesar on the Franklin and Marshall College campus.

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