Category Archives: Staff

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

Going the Distance for Summer Search

We’re grateful for all of our supporters at Summer Search. No matter how they show their support — from making a donation, to volunteering their time, or simply following us on social media — they are helping us provide the opportunities and resources needed for our young people to succeed.

Well, in just a few weeks, a handful of active supporters will be running in the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon and raising money for Summer Search!

In fact, for the first time, Summer Search New York City is an official charity partner of this prestigious race, which takes place Sunday, November 4. The 26.2 mile course goes through all five of NYC’S boroughs and includes more than 50,000 runners from around the world!

2018 TCS New York City Marathon Continue reading Going the Distance for Summer Search

Cesar Cortorreal – A Spark Ignited

“[Summer Search] has taught me that I can do anything that I set my mind to. I believe in paying it forward, so I want to mentor others and give back. This program changed me and I want to give that same opportunity to someone else.”

That was Summer Search Philadelphia college student Cesar Cortorreal speaking to the The Philadelphia Tribune in a recent article about the impact Summer Search has had on young people in Philly.

Cesar at Franklin and Marshall CollegeCesar on the Franklin and Marshall College campus.

Continue reading Cesar Cortorreal – A Spark Ignited

What If a Degree was Debt-Free?

The following is an op-ed co-written by Summer Search Philadelphia staff members Sylvia Watts McKinney, Executive Director, and Kaitlin Irvine, College Access and Success Manager.


Earlier this week, high school seniors in Philadelphia and across the U.S. celebrated College Signing Day, the official deadline for most students to make their final decisions about where they’ll be going to college. While those decisions are milestones worth celebrating, it’s important that we as a city, state, and country address the fact that they also come with a significant price tag, which is a challenge for most.

Higher education is a public good, but currently, financial aid, family income, and government support cannot keep up with the rising costs of a post-secondary degree. Imagine if a college education came without crippling costs or long-term debt.

college_debt-FB Continue reading What If a Degree was Debt-Free?

Renewal Award Winners!

Last month, we announced that Summer Search was a finalist in the third annual Renewal Awards, a national competition recognizing local organizations driving positive change in their communities.

Thanks to Allstate, The Atlantic, and everyone in our community who voted for Summer Search, we won the runner-up prize of a $10,000 grant!

Runners UpOn stage at the Renewal Awards ceremony. From left to right: Jillian Hishaw, Esquire from F.A.R.M.S.; Ron Brownstein from The Atlantic; Dominique Stone from Profound Gentlemen; Cynthia Whitfield-Story from Allstate; Sharon de Oliveira from Summer Search; Jeremy Collins from Fugees Family.

Continue reading Renewal Award Winners!