Tag Archives: Innovation

The Power of Peer Mentoring

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

Renewal Award Winners!

Last month, we announced that Summer Search was a finalist in the third annual Renewal Awards, a national competition recognizing local organizations driving positive change in their communities.

Thanks to Allstate, The Atlantic, and everyone in our community who voted for Summer Search, we won the runner-up prize of a $10,000 grant!

Runners UpOn stage at the Renewal Awards ceremony. From left to right: Jillian Hishaw, Esquire from F.A.R.M.S.; Ron Brownstein from The Atlantic; Dominique Stone from Profound Gentlemen; Cynthia Whitfield-Story from Allstate; Sharon de Oliveira from Summer Search; Jeremy Collins from Fugees Family.

Continue reading Renewal Award Winners!

Observations from the Summit: The Evolution of Mentoring

Last month, we sent a team of Summer Search staff to the 2018 National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC. Our National Director of Research and Evaluation, Salem Valentino, Ph.D., shared her reflections from the conference in this guest blog post.


This is my sixth year as a researcher in the field of mentoring and also my sixth year attending the National Mentoring Summit. While that may not seem like an extensive period in anyone’s professional career, the field of mentoring has rapidly evolved during those six years.

SS-staff-group-MENTORSummer Search staff at the 2018 National Mentoring Summit. From left to right: Seth James Ellis, Antonio Brown, Stacey Thompson, and Salem Valentino.

Continue reading Observations from the Summit: The Evolution of Mentoring

Group Mentoring: Benefitting Students and Mentors Alike

The student-mentor relationship is the heart of the Summer Search experience.

In our traditional one-on-one mentoring model, high school students talk with their individual mentor by phone about once per week, beginning in their sophomore year and continuing through college matriculation. During these calls, students and mentors build a foundation of trust and support that helps students achieve their dreams of becoming college graduates and socially-responsible leaders.

However, this journey looks a little different for one group of about 60 Summer Searchers. Continue reading Group Mentoring: Benefitting Students and Mentors Alike