Tag Archives: Financial Aid

Mentors Changed the Course of My Life

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.

anna-brittain-fieldsAnna Brittain.

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What If a Degree was Debt-Free?

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.

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Chris Long Teams Up with Michelle Obama and Summer Search

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

Chentese Stewart: Globetrotting for Change

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.

ChenteseChentese Stewart on a semester abroad in India.

Continue reading Chentese Stewart: Globetrotting for Change