Category Archives: Summer Trips

#ICYMI: Summer 2018

Even though it’s officially fall, we wanted to throw it back to a few (of so many) great moments from our 2018 summer travel season.

So, in case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some photos of our Summer Searchers who traveled all over the country and world to participate in empowering and inspiring experiences. Thanks to all of our amazing Summer Partners and supporters for making these opportunities possible. Continue reading #ICYMI: Summer 2018

2018 Summer Reflections

Meet Anh, Daniela, and Jennifer — three Summer Search Bay Area students who completed their first summer experiences this summer!

This is a particularly important milestone because students embark on their first summer experiences shortly after joining Summer Search as sophomores, sometimes unsure of what to expect. The challenges they face and the growth they experience sets the foundation for intensive mentoring when they return.

Anh, Daniela and JenniferFrom left to right: Anh, Daniela, and Jennifer.

Now as high school juniors, they have been partnering with their mentor to reflect on and learn from their triumphs and setbacks… and were kind enough to share some of their personal reflections with us. Continue reading 2018 Summer Reflections

Now Departing: 2018 Summer Travelers

Summer is here!

While the longest day of the year officially marks the beginning of the season, our summer started two weeks ago when our first group of amazing young people began embarking on their summer adventures.

Go Adventure Summer ExperienceSummer Search students on a summer experience with Go Adventure.

But these trips are hardly a “day at the beach,” despite what the wonderful moment captured above might indicate. These are challenging, learning-filled, and transformative journeys that test our students mentally and physically to help them develop the skills needed to succeed in school and in life. Continue reading Now Departing: 2018 Summer Travelers

An Illustrated Summer Experience

The following is a guest post written by Summer Search New York City high school student Chris R. These words and illustrations were originally given at NYC’s Summer Sendoff Event, celebrating new sophomores before they depart on their summer experiences.


My name is Chris and I’m currently a junior at Bronx Collegiate Academy. I’m also an illustrator and these are my drawings.

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing went your way? Where every time someone asked you a question, you froze? Where you avoided eye contact, where you’d daydream in class, drawing on the side of your paper to pass the time? Well, that was me all the time.

Chris-Cartoons-1-2aClick all images to enlarge.

Every day was one of those days where I beat myself up by calling myself stupid and hating things I did. Continue reading An Illustrated Summer Experience

Fighting for Restorative Justice in Oakland

Oakland native and Summer Search Bay Area alumnus Zachary Norris believes that in order to have a strong community, “we need strong community-centered institutions.” And that is exactly what he is trying to do.

As the Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Zachary is working with a collaborative of nonprofits to launch Restore Oakland, a new center and effort to begin reinvestment in East Oakland, California.

Zachary NorrisSummer Search Bay Area alumnus Zachary Norris.

Continue reading Fighting for Restorative Justice in Oakland

Reclaiming Her Identity

“By middle school, I was ashamed of speaking my native tongue. I studied English meticulously, careful to get rid of my accent. I wanted a new name, one my teachers could pronounce; as if a white name could conceal my yellow skin. I didn’t even want to identify as an Asian, forget an Asian American.”

During her second summer experience with an international program in China called Where There Be Dragons last year, Summer Search Boston student Phuong Nhat Nguyen wrote a poignant and honest blog post reflecting on the internal struggles she’s faced regarding her cultural identity as an Asian American, which she titled “Yellow (Not the Coldplay Song).”

Phuong-w-local-familySummer Search Boston high school senior Phuong Nhat Nguyen (left) with a local Tibetan family.

Continue reading Reclaiming Her Identity

A Summer Reflection… 10 Years Later

Reflecting on their lives is a key part of every Summer Searcher’s journey. After our high school sophomores complete their first summer program, they write a reflection letter to process their Summer Search experience thus far.

This is an opportunity to put into words who they are, and to take an honest look back at the challenges, triumphs, and growth that has happened since joining Summer Search. It’s a practice that, alongside their weekly conversations with their mentors, helps students integrate these profound summer experiences into their lives, as well as a chance to practice writing a personal statement for college.

These pieces are generally composed after the summer programs are completed during the start of the students’ junior years. Not everyone writes a reflection ten years later… but that’s just what Bay Area alumnus Alvin Sng did! Continue reading A Summer Reflection… 10 Years Later