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.
Summer Search Bay Area alumnus Zachary Norris.
Continue reading Fighting for Restorative Justice in Oakland
“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).”
Summer Search Boston high school senior Phuong Nhat Nguyen (left) with a local Tibetan family.
Continue reading Reclaiming Her Identity
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
A few weeks ago, the last of our students returned home from their summer programs, bringing a close to our 2017 travel season. We CONGRATULATE all of our young leaders on their incredible accomplishments this summer, and THANK all of our summer partners and our staff (mentors, program managers, on-call specialists, and many more) for making these life-changing experiences possible for our students.
Earlier this summer, we introduced you to Bay Area alumna and outdoor enthusiast Jessie Holtz, who works for one of those summer partners, Sierra Nevada Journeys (SNJ). She had the exciting opportunity to lead one of SNJ’s special Summer-Search-only wilderness programs in late July. Continue reading 2017 Summer Leaders, Part 2
As the calendar turns from summer to fall, many students across the country are preparing to step onto college campuses. For many, it will be their first time. For others, this will be a familiar experience. In either case, it’s one step in what can be a long, challenging journey towards earning a degree.
Luckily, there are people like Summer Search Seattle alumna Marie Angeles who are working hard to make sure these young people are entering a welcoming and supportive campus environment.
Marie after graduating with her Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan in 2016.
Continue reading Marie Angeles: Building Stronger Communities
As our name suggests, we believe that summer is a big deal.
Upon enrolling in Summer Search, our students participate in unique experiential opportunities during the summers following their sophomore and junior years of high school. These experiences help our young leaders (in partnership with their mentors) reflect on and learn from their triumphs and setbacks, which serves to strengthen the skills and mindsets needed for the journey to and through college.
But what about the summer after high school graduation, right before stepping onto a college campus? In addition to supporting our students as they make that huge transition, Summer Search Boston has been partnering with John Hancock in order to provide additional summer opportunities for our college-bound grads. Continue reading Supporting Summer Scholars
“For over 20 years, I witnessed the power that came from telling your story. For the person brave enough to share their story, and for the people who are fortunate enough to be in their presence.”
In the story of Summer Search, Katherine Kennedy has played many important roles. She was our founder Linda Mornell’s first hire in 1995, she was a mentor, an executive director, a fundraising guru, and a speech coach—helping students and alumni tell their story in front of hundreds of people at Summer Search signature events.
Katherine left Summer Search at the end of 2015 to start a new chapter in her professional career. Now, nearly two years later, we caught up with her to see what she has been up to, and how she is staying connected to Summer Search. Continue reading Storytelling with Katherine Kennedy