Category Archives: High School

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

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