Tag Archives: Napa

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.

Continue reading Mentors Changed the Course of My Life

Community Matters: Rallying Support After the Wildfires

Our hearts are still heavy about the devastating wildfires in the North Bay that have affected so many people.

Fires-SF-ChroniclePhoto courtesy of Peter DaSilva, SF Chronicle.

In difficult times like these, turning to community is more important than ever. At Summer Search, our Bay Area team has been all-hands-on-deck reaching out to our students — many of whom live in the affected areas of Santa Rosa, Napa, and St. Helena — to ensure they and their families are safe, connected to resources, and have space to process together. Continue reading Community Matters: Rallying Support After the Wildfires

Alexis: Game Changer

In 2015, Summer Search became a proud recipient of the Super Bowl 50 Fund’s “Game Changer” Award, a $500,000 grant over three years to support our Bay Area students. As the name suggests, this grant is a real game changer for our Bay Area sites, as it will allow us to serve even more students who are, in turn, changing the game and the status quo for their own lives and their communities.

One such game changer is Alexis Flores.

When we first met Alexis, he was as a self-conscious 15 year-old who was buried in his schoolwork and chores, unaware of the opportunities around him and unsure of his own leadership potential. Continue reading Alexis: Game Changer