Traditionally, the beginning of May is College Signing Day, a time when high school seniors are encouraged to share and celebrate their post-secondary plans, especially on social media.
However, with COVID-19 disproportionately impacting low-income communities, the path towards higher education for the young people we partner with has become even more challenging.
Some students are facing uncertainty over college decisions, as well as the prospect of virtual-only classes during the upcoming fall semester. Many are also worrying about having their basic needs met — necessitating emergency relief funding for essential things like groceries, utilities, and housing.
Despite all of these unprecedented challenges, our young people at Summer Search continue to show the power and resilience within themselves. The power to be unstoppable as they push forward and pursue their dreams. With unwavering support from their mentors, Summer Searchers are finishing high school and taking the next steps on their journeys… and they deserve to celebrate these milestones!
Continue reading 2020 Decisions!
Graduation season may be over, but we can’t stop (and won’t stop) celebrating our Summer Search grads!
For the past couple of months, our mentors have had the honor of cheering on our new graduates, and the rest of our Summer Search family has celebrated them from around the world on social media, through the hashtag #SummerSearchGrad.
So in case you missed it, let’s look back at some remarkable Summer Searchers who completed their high school journeys last month and shared those triumphant moments with us in part 1 of this year’s #SummerSearchGrad blog series!
Tamara and Aminata — New York City Continue reading #SummerSearchGrad Class of 2019: High School Edition
“When I got the call about getting into the Posse program, the first thing I did was cry — but they were not tears of sadness, they were tears of happiness, relief, excitement, and accomplishment. The first person I told was my mother. I told her ‘Mom, I’m going to college!‘ before crying again and hugging her tightly.”
Saira Carreto (left) and her Mother at a ceremony with the Posse Foundation.
Continue reading Teamwork Makes the (College) Dream Work
In our Summer Search Boston office, we have a bell outside of one of the conference rooms. When a student makes a big decision, achieves a milestone, or completes their final check-in before their summer experience, the student announces their accomplishment in front of the entire office, and then rings the bell as a triumphant punctuation.
A few months ago, Boston Latin high school senior Ian Lee rang the bell to announce — in his own quiet, yet confident way — that he had earned a QuestBridge scholarship (a.k.a. a full ride) to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (a.k.a. MIT)!
Ring that bell young man!
Watch Ian’s announcement.
Continue reading I’m Just Me, Doing My Part
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
Welcome to another edition of #Snapshot, where we bring you a glimpse of what’s going on at Summer Search.
May 1 was the official deadline for high school seniors across the country to make their college and post-secondary education decisions. Throughout the beginning of the month, many of those students have been taking to social media to celebrate this important milestone, including Summer Searchers!
We’re so proud of all our students, many of whom will be the first in their families to go to college, for taking the next step in their academic journeys!
Continue reading #Snapshot: College Bound!
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.
Continue reading What If a Degree was Debt-Free?
The following is a guest post written by Chris Long, Defensive End for the Philadelphia Eagles, philanthropist, and supporter of Summer Search.
My name is Chris Long, and I’m playing the entire 2017 NFL season without collecting a paycheck because I believe that education is the best gateway to a better tomorrow for EVERYONE in America.
That’s why I am excited to partner with Summer Search on a couple of important initiatives to make a difference for deserving young people.
First, there is my Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign. In my 10th year playing professional football, I wanted to celebrate the awesome opportunity I’ve had by giving back to the communities that have given me that gift. I committed my first six game checks to fund scholarships in my hometown of Charlottesville, VA, and pledged my last 10 checks to organizations supporting educational equity and opportunity in cities that I’ve called home throughout my NFL career. Continue reading Chris Long Teams Up with Michelle Obama and Summer Search
In a Facebook post showcasing a vibrant photo of herself at the Hawa Mahal palace in Jaipur, India, Chentese Stewart jokingly declared, “I belong on someone’s brochure!”
This Philadelphia Summer Searcher, who recently finished her junior year at Gettysburg College, is no stranger to traveling, and could probably make her own travel brochure with all the photos of the places she’s been.
Chentese Stewart on a semester abroad in India.
Continue reading Chentese Stewart: Globetrotting for Change