Category Archives: High School

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

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.

Continue reading Mohamed Abdi: Soaring in Seattle

#ICYMI: Summer 2018

Even though it’s officially fall, we wanted to throw it back to a few (of so many) great moments from our 2018 summer travel season.

So, in case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some photos of our Summer Searchers who traveled all over the country and world to participate in empowering and inspiring experiences. Thanks to all of our amazing Summer Partners and supporters for making these opportunities possible. Continue reading #ICYMI: Summer 2018

2018 Summer Reflections

Meet Anh, Daniela, and Jennifer — three Summer Search Bay Area students who completed their first summer experiences this summer!

This is a particularly important milestone because students embark on their first summer experiences shortly after joining Summer Search as sophomores, sometimes unsure of what to expect. The challenges they face and the growth they experience sets the foundation for intensive mentoring when they return.

Anh, Daniela and JenniferFrom left to right: Anh, Daniela, and Jennifer.

Now as high school juniors, they have been partnering with their mentor to reflect on and learn from their triumphs and setbacks… and were kind enough to share some of their personal reflections with us. Continue reading 2018 Summer Reflections

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

Now Departing: 2018 Summer Travelers

Summer is here!

While the longest day of the year officially marks the beginning of the season, our summer started two weeks ago when our first group of amazing young people began embarking on their summer adventures.

Go Adventure Summer ExperienceSummer Search students on a summer experience with Go Adventure.

But these trips are hardly a “day at the beach,” despite what the wonderful moment captured above might indicate. These are challenging, learning-filled, and transformative journeys that test our students mentally and physically to help them develop the skills needed to succeed in school and in life. Continue reading Now Departing: 2018 Summer Travelers

An Illustrated Summer Experience

The following is a guest post written by Summer Search New York City high school student Chris R. These words and illustrations were originally given at NYC’s Summer Sendoff Event, celebrating new sophomores before they depart on their summer experiences.


My name is Chris and I’m currently a junior at Bronx Collegiate Academy. I’m also an illustrator and these are my drawings.

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing went your way? Where every time someone asked you a question, you froze? Where you avoided eye contact, where you’d daydream in class, drawing on the side of your paper to pass the time? Well, that was me all the time.

Chris-Cartoons-1-2aClick all images to enlarge.

Every day was one of those days where I beat myself up by calling myself stupid and hating things I did. Continue reading An Illustrated Summer Experience