Category Archives: Mentoring

Observations from the Summit: The Evolution of Mentoring

Last month, we sent a team of Summer Search staff to the 2018 National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC. Our National Director of Research and Evaluation, Salem Valentino, Ph.D., shared her reflections from the conference in this guest blog post.


This is my sixth year as a researcher in the field of mentoring and also my sixth year attending the National Mentoring Summit. While that may not seem like an extensive period in anyone’s professional career, the field of mentoring has rapidly evolved during those six years.

SS-staff-group-MENTORSummer Search staff at the 2018 National Mentoring Summit. From left to right: Seth James Ellis, Antonio Brown, Stacey Thompson, and Salem Valentino.

Continue reading Observations from the Summit: The Evolution of Mentoring

A Conversation Between Mentor and Mentee

“When I talk about Summer Search, I talk about the whole experience I got both those summers. I talk about the mentoring experience and how I’m able to sit down with someone to talk about my overall life trajectory and experiences; where I stand, and where I hope to be and how I am going to progress.”

That was Summer Search Boston college student Mahdi Mohammed talking to his College Success Mentor, Nate Campbell. The two of them have had many conversations over the years. But this particular one — on a stage and in front of hundreds of people — was a little different.

At last year’s Leadership Dinner in Boston, Mahdi and Nate volunteered to participate in a live question and answer discussion to talk about Summer Search, and give those in attendance an idea of what a mentoring relationship looks like as well as provide a glimpse at both the student and staff perspective. Continue reading A Conversation Between Mentor and Mentee

Why I’m a Mentor, Part 2

As National Mentoring Month comes to a close, we wanted to share a few more stories from our dedicated Summer Search staff about why they do this work: mentoring young people and helping them strengthen the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

In case you missed it, you can read Part One here.

Tolu Oladele, Philadelphia Continue reading Why I’m a Mentor, Part 2

Why I’m a Mentor, Part 1

It’s National Mentoring Month, a time when organizations across the country shine the light on the importance of mentoring relationships in young people’s lives.

At Summer Search, mentoring is our everything! Unlike many other youth organizations, we partner our students with a full-time, professionally-trained staff mentor who builds an authentic and long-lasting relationship. Our mentors work incredibly hard to form honest and trusting relationships with their students, to remind them that their voices matter, and to be there for them in their personal and academic lives.

We are so fortunate to have a team of dedicated mentors doing this work across our five regions, making those real-life impacts, day-in, and day-out. Continue reading Why I’m a Mentor, Part 1

Marie Angeles: Building Stronger Communities

As the calendar turns from summer to fall, many students across the country are preparing to step onto college campuses. For many, it will be their first time. For others, this will be a familiar experience. In either case, it’s one step in what can be a long, challenging journey towards earning a degree.

Luckily, there are people like Summer Search Seattle alumna Marie Angeles who are working hard to make sure these young people are entering a welcoming and supportive campus environment.

Marie Angeles 2016 Master's DegreeMarie after graduating with her Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan in 2016.

Continue reading Marie Angeles: Building Stronger Communities

Partnerships to Honor Our Young Men and Women

Here at Summer Search, we are fortunate to have partners that generously support the work that we do, creating greater equity by increasing the number of students from low-income backgrounds who successfully enter and complete college.

Recently, Summer Search New York City received two significant public funding grants totaling $140,000 to support college access services for the young men and women in our NYC high school program. Continue reading Partnerships to Honor Our Young Men and Women

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