Category Archives: High School

2020 Decisions – Part 2

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.

Summer Search Boston Student AmbassadorsFrom left to right: Jason, Anjaliyah, and Rasmee.

Continue reading 2020 Decisions – Part 2

Our Community Responds

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.

Continue reading Our Community Responds

Black Lives Matter

The following is a message co-authored by Summer Search’s Alumni Board Chairs, our Alumni Staff Cohort, and CEO Dr. Marc Spencer.


Dear Summer Search Students and Alumni,

We are thinking of you, your families, and all our communities right now. We wish you safety and health, and hope to see you again very soon. We have much work to do ahead.

These past few weeks have been especially difficult, as our nation has watched the continued assault, police brutality, and murdering of black people. It’s frightening, it’s infuriating, and it’s exhausting.

Black and Brown people, including many in our own community of students, alumni, their families, our staff, and our boards, are living an existential crisis: murdered, exposed disproportionately to COVID-19, terminated from employment and benefits, denied access to healthcare, housing, and financial systems, and backed up hard against the wall. It’s no wonder the result has been anger and protest.

Continue reading Black Lives Matter

Optimism and Resilience

The following is a message from Dr. Marc Spencer, Summer Search CEO.


Dear Summer Search Community,

I hope you and your family are doing well. Thank you for your support and encouragement over these past few months — and thank you to the Summer Search staff for supporting our students during this pandemic with compassion, creativity, and care.

These are truly confusing times. On the one hand, the brutality we are experiencing with the ongoing killing of black males coupled with the significant impact of the pandemic and recession is both frightening and infuriating.

On the other hand, as our Summer Search community continues to adapt to change, we are also starting to look ahead to next year with a spirit of optimism and resilience. Here are some organizational updates:

Continue reading Optimism and Resilience

2020 Decisions!

Traditionally, the beginning of May is College Signing Day, a time when high school seniors are encouraged to share and celebrate their post-secondary plans, especially on social media.

However, with COVID-19 disproportionately impacting low-income communities, the path towards higher education for the young people we partner with has become even more challenging.

Some students are facing uncertainty over college decisions, as well as the prospect of virtual-only classes during the upcoming fall semester. Many are also worrying about having their basic needs met — necessitating emergency relief funding for essential things like groceries, utilities, and housing.

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!

Summer Searchers Decisions Continue reading 2020 Decisions!

Adapting to Support Our Community

The following is a message from Dr. Marc Spencer, Summer Search CEO.


Dear Summer Search Community,

I hope this note finds you and yours healthy and doing well. I’m writing to share what is happening in our network and how the talented and committed Summer Search team is responding to the needs of our students, alumni, and staff.

Since our last community message in March, our students and their families have experienced lost jobs, food insecurity, and housing crises, in addition to a sense of isolation that comes from sheltering in place.

Now more than ever, students need to know they are not alone. Continue reading Adapting to Support Our Community

Quarantine Bingo: Summer Search Edition

Looking for a fun way to take part in some well-being activities while social distancing? Check out Summer Search’s Survive & Thrive Bingo!

Summer Search Bingo cardSee full-sized Bingo card and instructions below.

This game was developed by Zavi Smith, Summer Search Bay Area Program Manager, in collaboration with several other mentors on the Bay Area and National teams. It’s one of the many ways our mentors have been getting creative as they continue to support our students while working remotely. Continue reading Quarantine Bingo: Summer Search Edition

Mentoring During a Pandemic

A month ago, it was business as usual.

Across our five regions, our staff mentors were busy welcoming new sophomores into Summer Search and supporting our juniors and seniors with their post-secondary planning, while our communities celebrated together in the Bay Area and New York City.

Then everything changed. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the world and is disproportionately affecting our most under-resourced communities.

In these vulnerable and unpredictable times, Summer Search remains committed to supporting our young people and their families. Our staff is finding innovative ways to continue to provide mentoring — offering a much-needed safe space for our students to process, explore, and relate to what is happening in the world.

Staying Connected

BA_Zoom_Group_logoBay Area students on a Group Mentoring video chat, led by mentor Gabrielle.

Continue reading Mentoring During a Pandemic

Health & Commitment

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

Ren: A Story of Identity and Resiliency

Before I met you,
I went through so many scars that left invisible wounds
And moments that forever stayed in the back of my mind.
I questioned who I was and where I came from.
I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror.

Every young person that comes to Summer Search faces unique circumstances and challenges — and Ren Peredo has certainly faced his fair share of both.

Ren with Mentors Regina and MonicaRen (center), with Summer Search Seattle mentors Monica (left) and Regina (right, former mentor).

A Challenging Road
Continue reading Ren: A Story of Identity and Resiliency