The following is a guest post and reflection from Seattle Summer Searcher Jessica Par, a junior at University of Washington Seattle pursuing Education. This was originally shared as part of Summer Search Seattle’s Unstoppable Campaign.
Being a part of Summer Search has changed my life. As a first-generation college student, and coming from a refugee background, I was so lost during high school. But Summer Search was able to provide me structure, while supporting me with resources and authentic mentorship. My Summer Search mentor plays such a critical role in my life that I’m not sure where I’d be without her. From talking about academic issues to professional development to personal matters, she has always been there for me.
Fall is a season of change, and a time of firsts. Students are taking their first steps away from home onto college campuses, and young professionals are deciding how to begin their careers.
Two Summer Search alumnae – Lorraine and Marie – have generously shared their advice on tackling these exciting and challenging transitions: how to make the most of the post-secondary experience and how to best prepare to start a new job or career path.
“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.
“Thank you so much for the care package! Each card gave me more and more motivation and support. I love and miss all of you and thank you Pitcairn for putting this together.”
That was Malachi, Lincoln University freshman, expressing his gratitude for receiving a surprise care package from Summer Search Philadelphia and their partners at Pitcairn, an innovator and leader in the family office and wealth management industry.
Malachi was one of 22 Philly Summer Searchers in our post-secondary program to receive a gift like this last semester. The packages included encouraging notes from Pitcairn and Summer Search staff, as well as goodies like Post-it notes, hot cocoa, toothpaste, and more.
Summer Searcher Philadelphia students showing off their care packages.
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.
For our pilot episode, five Summer Search Bay Area college students sat down for a lively and candid discussion about identity (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and more) and the challenges of navigating between many different “bubbles” in their hometowns, on summer trips, on their college campuses, and out in the world.
The podcast episode, entitled “A Conversation on Identity,” was created and hosted by college Summer Searcher Kenny Mai, who worked as a summer fellow in our Bay Area office.
Welcome to the second installment of our #SummerSearchGrad series, where we are celebrating the post-secondary milestones of the students in our College Success program.
While many of these moments happened a few months ago, it gives us such joy and inspiration to look back on them now, and to give each deserving Summer Searcher who shared their photos a chance to be in the spotlight!
“[Summer Search] has taught me that I can do anything that I set my mind to. I believe in paying it forward, so I want to mentor others and give back. This program changed me and I want to give that same opportunity to someone else.”
That was Summer Search Philadelphia college student Cesar Cortorreal speaking to the The Philadelphia Tribune in a recent article about the impact Summer Search has had on young people in Philly.
Cesar on the Franklin and Marshall College campus.
It’s graduation season and we’re celebrating our Summer Searchers!
Over the past two months, the students in our College Success program have been sharing their post-secondary milestones — from college graduations, to certificate completions, to transfer plans, and more — on social media using the hashtag #SummerSearchGrad.
Here are a few of those stories from our amazing — and likely very tired, yet relieved — graduates.
Our high school mentors have been busy deepening their relationships with our students, helping them integrate the reflections from their summer experiences into their lives, while also placing juniors on their second summer programs and preparing to welcome a whole new class of sophomores to Summer Search. Our College Access and Success mentors were also hard at work supporting students with college applications, financial aid, and their pursuits of their bachelor’s degrees. Plus, we announced a cool partnership with Chris Long and Michelle Obama, and we celebrated NationalMentoringMonth!
We were also excited to welcome two new senior leaders to the organization: Nick Hutchinson, our Chief Operating Officer, and Ching Tao, Vice President of Finance.
Nick and Ching have definitely hit the ground running to start the new year, and while the two of them have been busy getting to know Summer Search, they were kind enough to answer a few questions to help our Summer Search community get to know them. Continue reading Meet Nick and Ching→