Tag Archives: Seattle

Change is Coming

Last week, Summer Search students, alumni, staff, and supporters gathered together digitally for the second installment in our Black Lives Matter Community Series.

As Summer Search CEO Marc Spencer stated at the opening of the program, “Our purpose in this three-part Black Lives Matter series is to come together during this important moment to heal, learn together, and discuss how we can take action to create a world where all young people can thrive.”

Education and learning was the focus of this event, holding space to discuss how systemic racism shows up in the many facets of our lives.

Continue reading Change is Coming

A Vigil For Healing

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

— excerpt from Lift Every Voice & Sing


In recent weeks, our community, like so many others, has been mourning, taking action, and trying to heal.

This inspired an idea to truly bring the Summer Search community together, offering a space to honor George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, James Scurlock, and the ever-growing list of Black and Brown people who have died because of violence and racism.

Envisioned by Sylvia Watts McKinney, Summer Search Philadelphia Executive Director, and supported by Hermese Velasquez (Boston ED and alumna), Kris Leja (Bay Area ED), and many others across our network, our team moved quickly to create a Community Vigil Series — a three-part series of virtual events to come together focusing on healing, education, and action. Continue reading A Vigil For Healing

Jessica Par: Sharing My Story

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.

Jessica ParJessica Par.

Continue reading Jessica Par: Sharing My Story

Being a Nurse on the Front Lines of COVID-19

Summer Search reached out to Seattle alumna Lisa Blechschmidt, a registered nurse working in the Pacific Northwest. She reflects on her role as a nurse, what’s changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and offers advice to help the community stay safe.

Name: Lisa Blechschmidt

Site: Summer Search Seattle

Summer Search Trips:
1) Outward Bound in Moab, Utah.
2) VISIONS on the Blackfoot Reservation in Montana.

Current Position: Registered Nurse

Lisa_NurseLisa Blechschmidt (right), registered nurse and Summer Search Seattle alumna.

Continue reading Being a Nurse on the Front Lines of COVID-19

Resources: Taking Care of Community

We’re all in this together.

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is creating rippling repercussions for so many across the country and the world, especially for Summer Search’s students and families — such as loss of school lunches, loss of hourly-wage jobs, lack of paid sick leave, uncertainty for students returning home from college, and shuttering of small family businesses.

Even while social distancing, our Summer Search community continues to show up (via phone calls, text messages, and video chats) for each other to provide much-needed spaces to process, explore, and relate to what is happening in the world.

Summer Search Alumni Board Zoom ChatSummer Search alumni and staff staying connected in a Bay Area Alumni Board meeting, via Zoom. Originally shared by Bay Area alumna Melissa Nop.

Continue reading Resources: Taking Care of Community

Ren: A Story of Identity and Resiliency

Before I met you,
I went through so many scars that left invisible wounds
And moments that forever stayed in the back of my mind.
I questioned who I was and where I came from.
I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror.

Every young person that comes to Summer Search faces unique circumstances and challenges — and Ren Peredo has certainly faced his fair share of both.

Ren with Mentors Regina and MonicaRen (center), with Summer Search Seattle mentors Monica (left) and Regina (right, former mentor).

A Challenging Road
Continue reading Ren: A Story of Identity and Resiliency

This is Summer Search (Video)

Has anyone ever asked you, ‘What is Summer Search?’

If so, our brand new student recruitment video offers an authentic, first-hand look at what it’s like to be a Summer Searcher!

From empowering summer opportunities, to strong mentoring relationships and friendships, to impactful post-secondary support, you’ll hear about it all! Continue reading This is Summer Search (Video)

A Summer Searcher’s Guide to Maximize College & Career

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.

Lorraine and Marie Continue reading A Summer Searcher’s Guide to Maximize College & Career

Behind The Scenes: Intern Edition

The following is a guest post written by Yarelie Magallon, an intern on the Summer Search National Marketing team.


Hi everyone! My name is Yarelie Magallon and I’ve spent my summer as a Marketing Intern working at Summer Search’s national office in San Francisco. Throughout the course of the summer, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with a number of Summer Search staff, including two other Summer Search interns, and I noticed something: all three of us (interns) have a similar background and had no previous affiliation with Summer Search, yet we were drawn to join this organization.

Why? I find that within communities of shared experiences, there is some sense to give back to those who have gone through the same thing. Each of our histories led us to where we are today. Here is just a little bit about who we are, why we chose Summer Search, and what we do!

Who We Are

2019 Summer Interns

From left to right:
Monique Taylor – Student Development Administration (M. Ed), Seattle University Continue reading Behind The Scenes: Intern Edition

#SummerSearchGrad Class of 2019: College, Grad School, and Beyond!

Oh we’re not done celebrating our Summer Searchers yet! Last week we featured some remarkable students who completed their high school journeys. Now, it’s time for round 2 of our #SummerSearchGrad series where we spotlight the accomplishments of our inspiring post-secondary students and alumni.

Salomon graduating from East Stroudsburg University

Salomon — Philadelphia

“Never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” Continue reading #SummerSearchGrad Class of 2019: College, Grad School, and Beyond!