Tag Archives: National Mentoring Month

My Mentors; My Mirrors

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.

KishaLynn and JayThe only known photo to exist of Jay and I.

Continue reading My Mentors; My Mirrors

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

Mohamed Abdi: Soaring in Seattle

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.

Mohamed quotePhoto and quote from a feature on Mohamed by WE Charity.

Continue reading Mohamed Abdi: Soaring in Seattle

A Conversation Between Mentor and Mentee

“When I talk about Summer Search, I talk about the whole experience I got both those summers. I talk about the mentoring experience and how I’m able to sit down with someone to talk about my overall life trajectory and experiences; where I stand, and where I hope to be and how I am going to progress.”

That was Summer Search Boston college student Mahdi Mohammed talking to his College Success Mentor, Nate Campbell. The two of them have had many conversations over the years. But this particular one — on a stage and in front of hundreds of people — was a little different.

At last year’s Leadership Dinner in Boston, Mahdi and Nate volunteered to participate in a live question and answer discussion to talk about Summer Search, and give those in attendance an idea of what a mentoring relationship looks like as well as provide a glimpse at both the student and staff perspective. Continue reading A Conversation Between Mentor and Mentee

Why I’m a Mentor, Part 2

As National Mentoring Month comes to a close, we wanted to share a few more stories from our dedicated Summer Search staff about why they do this work: mentoring young people and helping them strengthen the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

In case you missed it, you can read Part One here.

Tolu Oladele, Philadelphia Continue reading Why I’m a Mentor, Part 2

Why I’m a Mentor, Part 1

It’s National Mentoring Month, a time when organizations across the country shine the light on the importance of mentoring relationships in young people’s lives.

At Summer Search, mentoring is our everything! Unlike many other youth organizations, we partner our students with a full-time, professionally-trained staff mentor who builds an authentic and long-lasting relationship. Our mentors work incredibly hard to form honest and trusting relationships with their students, to remind them that their voices matter, and to be there for them in their personal and academic lives.

We are so fortunate to have a team of dedicated mentors doing this work across our five regions, making those real-life impacts, day-in, and day-out. Continue reading Why I’m a Mentor, Part 1

Thanking Your Mentor

At Summer Search, gratitude is part of everything we do. One of our core values is to “say thank you seven times.”

So, while that means we don’t need an excuse to express gratitude, we were beyond excited that yesterday was “Thank Your Mentor Day” (part of National Mentoring Month)!

This was an opportunity for our students, alumni, and staff to reflect on the ways their lives have benefited from a caring, supportive relationship with a mentor, and for them to say thank you. Continue reading Thanking Your Mentor