Category Archives: High School

#SummerSearchGrad Class of 2019: High School Edition

Graduation season may be over, but we can’t stop (and won’t stop) celebrating our Summer Search grads!

For the past couple of months, our mentors have had the honor of cheering on our new graduates, and the rest of our Summer Search family has celebrated them from around the world on social media, through the hashtag #SummerSearchGrad.

So in case you missed it, let’s look back at some remarkable Summer Searchers who completed their high school journeys last month and shared those triumphant moments with us in part 1 of this year’s #SummerSearchGrad blog series!

Tamara and Aminata - NYC

Tamara and Aminata — New York City Continue reading #SummerSearchGrad Class of 2019: High School Edition

Making Summer Transformative – A Mentor’s Perspective

The following is a guest post written by members of our Summer Search Bay Area team, as part of their Summer Experience Challenge campaign.


Summer 2019 is off and running! At Summer Search, this means we’ve got 1,000 young people scattered across the country and the world on powerful experiential journeys.

It’s not only an exciting time for our students, but also for our staff! We sat down with a few members of our Summer Search Bay Area team to learn what goes into preparing for a summer experience, and what makes these trips truly transformative for our young people.

In our conversation, we explore how mentors and summer programs staff work together to equip students with agency, efficacy, and a sense of expansiveness from the moment they join Summer Search and through the years of mentorship that follow. Read more to see powerful examples of each and learn how Summer Search’s mentoring supports our students in integrating these profound experiences into their lives.

Introduce yourself!

Bay Area Summer Program MentorsFrom left to right, top to bottom: Summer Search mentors Brian Mertens, Yining Chiu, Mira Fielding, and Nicol Gaffney.

Continue reading Making Summer Transformative – A Mentor’s Perspective

Teamwork Makes the (College) Dream Work

“When I got the call about getting into the Posse program, the first thing I did was cry — but they were not tears of sadness, they were tears of happiness, relief, excitement, and accomplishment. The first person I told was my mother. I told her ‘Mom, I’m going to college!‘ before crying again and hugging her tightly.”

Saira-and-MomSaira Carreto (left) and her Mother at a ceremony with the Posse Foundation.

Continue reading Teamwork Makes the (College) Dream Work

Summer 2019: Now Departing

Summer is calling and we must go!

Earlier this month, our first wave of students departed for their summer adventures — the first of 1,000 Summer Searchers* that will be taking on the world this summer!

A signature component of the Summer Search program, all sophomore and junior high school students receive full scholarships to attend experiential education programs, ranging from wilderness expeditions, to academic programs, to international service trips.

Deer Hill BackpacksStudents on a wilderness and service trip with Deer Hill Expeditions.

Continue reading Summer 2019: Now Departing

Sophomore Season 2019

It’s the heart of spring, and summer is around the corner… and our Summer Search family just got a whole lot bigger!

Summer Search SophomoresSummer Search Seattle students at their Sophomore Orientation Workshop.

For the past several months, our staff has worked diligently to make preparations to welcome a new class of high school sophomores, the Class of 2021, into our program.

Across the network, Summer Search accepted more than 600* amazing young people! Continue reading Sophomore Season 2019

The Oakland Teachers Strike Hits Home

“Both personally and professionally, the strike has been challenging. All I want is what is best for my students. I am hopeful that organizing efforts like this will make change in the future because it is critical that our district, city, state, and nation prioritizes public education more.”

Nina Portugal is an English Teacher at Life Academy Oakland, one of Summer Search Bay Area’s partner high schools. She is one of thousands of Oakland teachers, counselors, nurses, and other educators who participated in the Oakland Teachers Strike.

The strike raised national headlines, as Oakland joined a growing list of cities, including Los Angeles and Denver, where educators have exercised the power of protest to fight for our public schools. Continue reading The Oakland Teachers Strike Hits Home

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