Black History Month offers us the opportunity to reflect on our country’s history of racial inequality, honor leaders of color, and continue to drive progress towards a more equitable society. At Summer Search, we keep Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) at the forefront of our conversations and work all year long, so our staff, students, alumni, and board are equipped to be ED&I change-makers in their own communities.
A few months ago, Summer Search held an Industry Leadership Panel on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at our National Alumni Summit and Leadership Conference, a multi-day convening of nearly 300 Summer Search alumni to connect, learn, and network. The panel discussion offered alumni the chance to hear from three industry leaders about the opportunities and challenges in building more equitable and inclusive workplaces.
From left to right: Monica Parham, Bernard Guinyard, Antoine Andrews, and Marie Pierre.
Continue reading Building More Equitable and Inclusive Workplaces
“When we thought about what was most important to us in bringing our family and friends together for our wedding, Summer Search just had to be included.”
Jacqueline Green has been a long-time Summer Search supporter, a champion of corporate responsibility, and a key member of the Summer Search Bay Area Board of Directors. When she and her partner David Newman got married three years ago, they asked their guests to join them in supporting Summer Search by making a donation, in lieu of wedding gifts.
Jacqueline and Dave.
Continue reading A Gift of Love to Summer Search
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
The following is a guest post written by KishaLynn Moore Elliott — certified coach, author, and Summer Search Boston alumna — for National Mentoring Month.
Mentorship is the first of many gifts that every Summer Searcher unwraps on their journey as a student. My Summer Search mentor, Jay Jacobs, interviewed and accepted me into the Boston program in 1997, when I was a junior at Dorchester High School.
At the time, I was desperate to be rescued from my life struggles and sent as far away from home as possible. But Jay knew he wasn’t there to rescue me. Rather, as a mentor his job was to help me access my potential to carve my own path in the world, and to hold me accountable for walking on it. Jay’s tender-tough love helped me mature that summer, and grow in ways that I needed. These days we joke about being “frenemies”, but I take deep pride in claiming Jay as my Summer Search mentor.
The only known photo to exist of Jay and I.
Continue reading My Mentors; My Mirrors
The following is a guest post written by Anna Brittain, Summer Search Bay Area alumna, for National Mentoring Month.
I remember the first time I met Joan McDonald. She had a bouffant of grey-white hair, like she’d never quite made it out of the 1960s, and soft kind eyes. It was 1997. I was 15 years old and a sophomore at St. Helena High School. I was stepping into a small room filled with warm fall light to do an interview with Joan and Linda Mornell (founder of Summer Search). My high school counselor, Bruce Frank, who nominated me for the program, was standing just outside. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I sat down facing these two older women. Linda looked at me intensely and Joan smiled encouragingly. Linda asked something along the lines of, “What is it like to walk in your shoes?” And I broke down.
Continue reading Mentors Changed the Course of My Life
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.
Photo and quote from a feature on Mohamed by WE Charity.
Continue reading Mohamed Abdi: Soaring in Seattle
Through a combination of mentoring and transformative experiences, Summer Search takes a holistic, long-term approach to supporting young people to thrive.
During the summer after sophomore and junior years of high school, our students receive scholarships to go on experiential education programs, ranging from wilderness expeditions, to academic programs, to international service trips. These experiences broaden students’ view of themselves and provide the opportunity to partner with their mentor to learn from their triumphs and setbacks. This reflective process allows Summer Searchers to strengthen the skills and mindsets needed to succeed in school, work, and in life.
Summer Search students participating in experiential education programs this past summer.
Each summer, we send nearly 1,000 students to destinations all over the world, which means we need to book a lot of flights! Continue reading Thank You United