Category Archives: Mentoring

Best of the Class, Part 2

Recently, we introduced you to Summer Search Philadelphia star Shakya Geiger, the valedictorian of the Mariana Bracetti Academy (MBA) class of 2017.

Her speech at the MBA graduation ceremony last month was full of inspiration, humor, and gratitude, thanking her family, classmates, teachers, and Summer Search mentors for their support in her journey. She also encouraged her fellow graduates to follow her lead and not be afraid to take a chance on their dreams.

Shakya Valedictorian SpeechShakya delivering her valedictorian speech at the Mariana Bracetti Academy graduation.

Continue reading Best of the Class, Part 2

Storytelling with Katherine Kennedy

“For over 20 years, I witnessed the power that came from telling your story. For the person brave enough to share their story, and for the people who are fortunate enough to be in their presence.”

In the story of Summer Search, Katherine Kennedy has played many important roles. She was our founder Linda Mornell’s first hire in 1995, she was a mentor, an executive director, a fundraising guru, and a speech coach—helping students and alumni tell their story in front of hundreds of people at Summer Search signature events.

Katherine left Summer Search at the end of 2015 to start a new chapter in her professional career. Now, nearly two years later, we caught up with her to see what she has been up to, and how she is staying connected to Summer Search. Continue reading Storytelling with Katherine Kennedy

Chentese Stewart: Globetrotting for Change

In a Facebook post showcasing a vibrant photo of herself at the Hawa Mahal palace in Jaipur, India, Chentese Stewart jokingly declared, “I belong on someone’s brochure!”

This Philadelphia Summer Searcher, who recently finished her junior year at Gettysburg College, is no stranger to traveling, and could probably make her own travel brochure with all the photos of the places she’s been.

ChenteseChentese Stewart on a semester abroad in India.

Continue reading Chentese Stewart: Globetrotting for Change

Shakya: Best of the Class

“I just love to help people.”

That’s one of the things Philadelphia Summer Searcher Shakya Geiger told reporters from Channel 6 ABC during the taping of a special program called “Best of the Class for 2017,” which honored academic achievement among high school valedictorians from Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and Northern Delaware.

Shakya 6ABCMembers of the “Best of the Class for 2017” discuss their future goals. Shakya comes in around 2:20.

Continue reading Shakya: Best of the Class

Reflections from the 2017 Mentoring Summit

In February, we sent a team of Summer Search staff to the 2017 National Mentoring Summit. Two members of our team, Boston mentor Claire Marian and Bay Area mentor Alysa Delgado shared what they learned in this co-authored guest blog post.


This year, we (Claire Marian and Alysa Delgado) had the opportunity to represent Summer Search alongside our colleagues Salem Valentino, Stacey Thompson, Alex Bartz, Stacy Barr, and Eliza Arai Carrington at the National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC.

SS-last-dayFrom left to right: Alysa Delgado, Claire Marian, Alex Bartz, Stacy Barr, Salem Valentino, and Stacey Thompson.

Continue reading Reflections from the 2017 Mentoring Summit

Group Mentoring: Benefitting Students and Mentors Alike

The student-mentor relationship is the heart of the Summer Search experience.

In our traditional one-on-one mentoring model, high school students talk with their individual mentor by phone about once per week, beginning in their sophomore year and continuing through college matriculation. During these calls, students and mentors build a foundation of trust and support that helps students achieve their dreams of becoming college graduates and socially-responsible leaders.

However, this journey looks a little different for one group of about 60 Summer Searchers. Continue reading Group Mentoring: Benefitting Students and Mentors Alike

Thanking Your Mentor

At Summer Search, gratitude is part of everything we do. One of our core values is to “say thank you seven times.”

So, while that means we don’t need an excuse to express gratitude, we were beyond excited that yesterday was “Thank Your Mentor Day” (part of National Mentoring Month)!

This was an opportunity for our students, alumni, and staff to reflect on the ways their lives have benefited from a caring, supportive relationship with a mentor, and for them to say thank you. Continue reading Thanking Your Mentor