Category Archives: Staff

Behind The Scenes: Intern Edition

The following is a guest post written by Yarelie Magallon, an intern on the Summer Search National Marketing team.


Hi everyone! My name is Yarelie Magallon and I’ve spent my summer as a Marketing Intern working at Summer Search’s national office in San Francisco. Throughout the course of the summer, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with a number of Summer Search staff, including two other Summer Search interns, and I noticed something: all three of us (interns) have a similar background and had no previous affiliation with Summer Search, yet we were drawn to join this organization.

Why? I find that within communities of shared experiences, there is some sense to give back to those who have gone through the same thing. Each of our histories led us to where we are today. Here is just a little bit about who we are, why we chose Summer Search, and what we do!

Who We Are

2019 Summer Interns

From left to right:
Monique Taylor – Student Development Administration (M. Ed), Seattle University Continue reading Behind The Scenes: Intern Edition

Making Summer Transformative – A Mentor’s Perspective

The following is a guest post written by members of our Summer Search Bay Area team, as part of their Summer Experience Challenge campaign.


Summer 2019 is off and running! At Summer Search, this means we’ve got 1,000 young people scattered across the country and the world on powerful experiential journeys.

It’s not only an exciting time for our students, but also for our staff! We sat down with a few members of our Summer Search Bay Area team to learn what goes into preparing for a summer experience, and what makes these trips truly transformative for our young people.

In our conversation, we explore how mentors and summer programs staff work together to equip students with agency, efficacy, and a sense of expansiveness from the moment they join Summer Search and through the years of mentorship that follow. Read more to see powerful examples of each and learn how Summer Search’s mentoring supports our students in integrating these profound experiences into their lives.

Introduce yourself!

Bay Area Summer Program MentorsFrom left to right, top to bottom: Summer Search mentors Brian Mertens, Yining Chiu, Mira Fielding, and Nicol Gaffney.

Continue reading Making Summer Transformative – A Mentor’s Perspective

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

The Power of Peer Mentoring

The following is a guest post written by Dr. Marc Spencer, Summer Search CEO. It was originally published by our partners at MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.


The benefits of mentoring for young people are significant and well-established – youth development research shows that quality mentoring relationships with a caring adult have powerful positive effects on young people’s educational, personal, and professional situations, especially for young people who face an opportunity gap. For nearly 30 years, Summer Search has provided 1:1 mentoring with trained staff mentors to high school and college students from underserved communities. While our student outcomes have supported the effectiveness of 1:1 mentoring, our students said they wanted more opportunities to build community with each other. Continue reading The Power of Peer Mentoring

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

#Snapshot: Summer Search Bronx Mentoring Center

Welcome to another edition of #Snapshot, where we bring you a glimpse of what’s going on at Summer Search.

Summer Search New York City’s Bronx Mentoring Center is officially open!

Bronx-studentsSummer Search New York City Program Associate Stephanie Zapata (back) with students from the South Bronx in the new Summer Search Bronx Mentoring Center.

Continue reading #Snapshot: Summer Search Bronx Mentoring Center