Tag Archives: Seattle

Connecting Our Community

At Summer Search, we’re all about relationships and opportunities, providing our young people with mentoring, opportunities for growth, and access to professional networks. At the same time, our community of staff and supporters also benefit tremendously from the connections made with Summer Searchers.

As we continue to evolve to better meet the needs of our students, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re launching a brand new tool that will connect our entire community like never before.

It’s called Summer Search CONNECT.

Summer Search CONNECT logo designed by Summer Search alumna, Molly Inglish.

This is a new digital portal for Summer Search students, alumni, staff, board members, and our external partners. CONNECT will be a place for:

Continue reading Connecting Our Community

Alumni Participation Challenge 2020

Summer Search alumni represent a rich tapestry of voices, experiences, and leadership. This growing network of nearly 4,000 leaders is making a positive impact in the world and at Summer Search.

One crucial way they are making an impact is through giving back — whether that’s giving back to their local communities by volunteering, voting, working in the nonprofit sector, or donating.

We are incredibly grateful for our alumni’s generosity. Over the years, Summer Search alumni have graciously given with their dollars to support the young people in our program, with alumni generating revenue topping $200,000 last year.

In 2020, alumni are once again rallying to support Summer Search at a most critical time.

Continue reading Alumni Participation Challenge 2020

Graduating into a Pandemic

Year after year, the young people we partner with work tremendously hard to complete their goals and take the next steps in their journeys. They’re studying and passing exams, graduating and matriculating to new campuses and cities, and starting or advancing their careers… all while navigating systemic barriers and inequity.

In 2020, add a global pandemic and repeated, very public, reminders of racial violence and injustice to that list of obstacles.

But Summer Searchers persevere and thrive!

Recent grad and Seattle alumna Ehler Tha Win took some time to answer a few questions about her experience transitioning from college to career and shares how she believes people can support each other during these unprecedented times.

Continue reading Graduating into a Pandemic

Black Lives Matter: Our Work Has Just Begun

At Summer Search, we designed our Black Lives Matter Community Series to come together to heal, learn together, and discuss how we all can take action to create a world where all young people can thrive.

Our first session, a Community Healing Vigil, filled our hearts with hope.

Our second session focused on education and attracted external experts who provided us with critical answers to poignant questions. 

Our third session offered ideas and strategies from the fields of education and psychology on how to move forward towards a just and equitable society

Watch highlights from our full Black Lives Matter series »

As we conclude the series, we thank each and every one who joined us in community as we came together in this moment. We invite you to read some of the remarks, resources, and highlights from the past few months.

Continue reading Black Lives Matter: Our Work Has Just Begun

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