Category Archives: Mentoring

Connecting Our Community

At Summer Search, we’re all about relationships and opportunities, providing our young people with mentoring, opportunities for growth, and access to professional networks. At the same time, our community of staff and supporters also benefit tremendously from the connections made with Summer Searchers.

As we continue to evolve to better meet the needs of our students, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re launching a brand new tool that will connect our entire community like never before.

It’s called Summer Search CONNECT.

Summer Search CONNECT logo designed by Summer Search alumna, Molly Inglish.

This is a new digital portal for Summer Search students, alumni, staff, board members, and our external partners. CONNECT will be a place for:

Continue reading Connecting Our Community

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

Jessica Par: Sharing My Story

The following is a guest post and reflection from Seattle Summer Searcher Jessica Par, a junior at University of Washington Seattle pursuing Education. This was originally shared as part of Summer Search Seattle’s Unstoppable Campaign.


Being a part of Summer Search has changed my life. As a first-generation college student, and coming from a refugee background, I was so lost during high school. But Summer Search was able to provide me structure, while supporting me with resources and authentic mentorship. My Summer Search mentor plays such a critical role in my life that I’m not sure where I’d be without her. From talking about academic issues to professional development to personal matters, she has always been there for me.

Jessica ParJessica Par.

Continue reading Jessica Par: Sharing My Story

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

Resources: Taking Care of Community

We’re all in this together.

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is creating rippling repercussions for so many across the country and the world, especially for Summer Search’s students and families — such as loss of school lunches, loss of hourly-wage jobs, lack of paid sick leave, uncertainty for students returning home from college, and shuttering of small family businesses.

Even while social distancing, our Summer Search community continues to show up (via phone calls, text messages, and video chats) for each other to provide much-needed spaces to process, explore, and relate to what is happening in the world.

Summer Search Alumni Board Zoom ChatSummer Search alumni and staff staying connected in a Bay Area Alumni Board meeting, via Zoom. Originally shared by Bay Area alumna Melissa Nop.

Continue reading Resources: Taking Care of Community

Debuting Our Depth Mentoring Institute

It’s National Mentoring Month — a time when organizations across the country highlight the powerful and positive effects that mentoring relationships can have on young people’s lives.

It’s also a chance to shine the light on (and express our profound gratitude towards) Summer Search’s dedicated, professionally-trained mentors — the ones who take tremendous care to build and maintain those authentic and long-lasting relationships with our students!

Summer Search Mentoring Workshop Continue reading Debuting Our Depth Mentoring Institute

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

This is Summer Search (Video)

Has anyone ever asked you, ‘What is Summer Search?’

If so, our brand new student recruitment video offers an authentic, first-hand look at what it’s like to be a Summer Searcher!

From empowering summer opportunities, to strong mentoring relationships and friendships, to impactful post-secondary support, you’ll hear about it all! Continue reading This is Summer Search (Video)