Category Archives: Summer Trips

Summer Reimagined: 2020 Highlights

“Although we may not have been able to go on our trips, I still did a lot of self-discovery and completed my goals.”


Thanks to the dedication, imagination, and innovation of our entire Summer Search community, we were able to completely change our 2020 summer plans to keep our community safe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This summer, across our entire network, our young people were able to choose from a wide variety of online programs that promoted some of the same outcomes as our traditional in-person/travel-based summer experiences — agency and educational attainment.

Continue reading Summer Reimagined: 2020 Highlights

Stories From A Historic Class

For the first time in the University of California (UC) system’s history, Chicano or Latino students made up the greatest share of Californians admitted to the freshman class, at 36%.

As part of its “California Today” column, The New York Times profiled four members of this historic freshman class — discussing being part of a major shift in UC system and about starting college during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And two of those featured students are Summer Searchers — Mariana and Dora from the Bay Area!

Screenshots of two Summer Searchers featured in The New York Times.

Continue reading Stories From A Historic Class

Summer Reimagined: Global Glimpse

At the outset of the summer, as it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic would mean that travel wasn’t going to be possible, we made the decision that we would not send our young people on our traditional summer experiences in 2020.

So, while the coronavirus may have changed our summer plans, it hasn’t stopped us from finding ways to provide our students opportunities for connection, reflection, and growth.

Thanks to the hard work and creativity of our incredible staff, dedicated volunteers, and summer partners, we are offering online/digital programming that connects students to internships, post-secondary exploration, cultural exchange, as well as workshops on financial well-being and more.

And summer is already underway!

Continue reading Summer Reimagined: Global Glimpse

One Chance to Make Change

The following is a guest post written by Niles Xi’an Lichtenstein, entrepreneur and Summer Search Bay Area alumnus. It was originally shared at a Summer Search fundraising event. Lightly edited and shared with permission.


Hi everyone, I’m Niles Lichtenstein, a Summer Search Bay Area alum.

Niles Lichtenstein

While ‘Summer Search Alum’ is an amazing title to have, perhaps the best title I’ve recently received was the title of ‘Dad’ to my wonderful daughter Genevieve, who we call ‘Evie’.

Evie was born 11 months ago and upon her birth, my mother, as she smiled at a future generation strong female, said something profound to me. She said that “having a granddaughter felt like having a second chance.”

“A second chance for what?” I asked her.

“A second chance to give Evie all the things I couldn’t always give you,” she replied. Continue reading One Chance to Make Change

This is Summer Search (Video)

Has anyone ever asked you, ‘What is Summer Search?’

If so, our brand new student recruitment video offers an authentic, first-hand look at what it’s like to be a Summer Searcher!

From empowering summer opportunities, to strong mentoring relationships and friendships, to impactful post-secondary support, you’ll hear about it all! Continue reading This is Summer Search (Video)

Summer 2019: A Look Back

Summer Search has officially closed our 2019 summer travel season, with our last group of students returning home from their challenging and empowering summer experiences last month.

In the end, nearly 900 high school Summer Searchers received full scholarships to attend experiential education programs all over the world – ranging from wilderness expeditions, to academic programs, to international cultural and service trips.

2019 Summer Programs and ExperiencesStudents (and a few staff members) on summer experiences in Thailand and Ghana with The Fuller Center for Housing, in Tahoe with the Gateway Mountain Center, and at the University of Delaware’s Edge Summer College Program.

Congratulations to every single Summer Search student who embarked on a summer adventure, took risks, and achieved incredible accomplishments! Continue reading Summer 2019: A Look Back

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

Summer 2019: Now Departing

Summer is calling and we must go!

Earlier this month, our first wave of students departed for their summer adventures — the first of 1,000 Summer Searchers* that will be taking on the world this summer!

A signature component of the Summer Search program, all sophomore and junior high school students receive full scholarships to attend experiential education programs, ranging from wilderness expeditions, to academic programs, to international service trips.

Deer Hill BackpacksStudents on a wilderness and service trip with Deer Hill Expeditions.

Continue reading Summer 2019: Now Departing

Arsel Perez: Finding His Path

There’s a popular saying that “the path to success is not a straight line.” At Summer Search, we support our young people on their journeys to success, which can indeed take many different pathways, twists, and turns.

Arsel Perez is deeply committed to helping his family, while also striving to find his “dream career” and securing his own successful future.

Arsel-2016-NB-DinnerArsel Perez speaking at the 2016 Summer Search North Bay Dinner.

Continue reading Arsel Perez: Finding His Path

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