Category Archives: Staff

Pitch Your Peers: Joining Together for Greater Impact in Seattle

“Our motto is ‘Together, we can do more’​ and we all truly felt this when we were able to hand over such a large check to Summer Search! Alone, nobody in the group could have made this impact. Our members are all motivated, smart, and accomplished women who all want to help make our community better.”

That was Erin Krawiec speaking about her organization called Pitch Your Peers (or PYP, pronounced “pipe”), which she cofounded in Seattle with fellow philanthropist Aly Burks. At a PYP event in December, they presented Summer Search Seattle with a $25,000 grant — a very large check indeed!

PYP and Summer SearchFrom left to right: Aly Burks, Robyn Hsu, Lexi Keeler, Macaria Dove, Erin Krawiec, Eliza Arai Carrington.

Continue reading Pitch Your Peers: Joining Together for Greater Impact in Seattle

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

Meet Nick and Ching

January was an exciting month at Summer Search.

Our high school mentors have been busy deepening their relationships with our students, helping them integrate the reflections from their summer experiences into their lives, while also placing juniors on their second summer programs and preparing to welcome a whole new class of sophomores to Summer Search. Our College Access and Success mentors were also hard at work supporting students with college applications, financial aid, and their pursuits of their bachelor’s degrees. Plus, we announced a cool partnership with Chris Long and Michelle Obama, and we celebrated National Mentoring Month!

We were also excited to welcome two new senior leaders to the organization: Nick Hutchinson, our Chief Operating Officer, and Ching Tao, Vice President of Finance.

Nick and Ching have definitely hit the ground running to start the new year, and while the two of them have been busy getting to know Summer Search, they were kind enough to answer a few questions to help our Summer Search community get to know them. Continue reading Meet Nick and Ching

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

Introducing Dr. Marc Spencer, CEO

After months of anticipation, the time has come to welcome our new CEO, Dr. Marc Spencer, as he officially steps into his role.

He can’t wait to get started.


“This is an exciting time at Summer Search. We have an incredible opportunity to think strategically about scaling for the future to serve more young people. I’m honored to have the chance to lead Summer Search’s next phase of growth and impact.” – Dr. Marc Spencer. Continue reading Introducing Dr. Marc Spencer, CEO

Community Matters: Rallying Support After the Wildfires

Our hearts are still heavy about the devastating wildfires in the North Bay that have affected so many people.

Fires-SF-ChroniclePhoto courtesy of Peter DaSilva, SF Chronicle.

In difficult times like these, turning to community is more important than ever. At Summer Search, our Bay Area team has been all-hands-on-deck reaching out to our students — many of whom live in the affected areas of Santa Rosa, Napa, and St. Helena — to ensure they and their families are safe, connected to resources, and have space to process together. Continue reading Community Matters: Rallying Support After the Wildfires