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.
Continue reading Mentors Changed the Course of My Life
Through a combination of mentoring and transformative experiences, Summer Search takes a holistic, long-term approach to supporting young people to thrive.
During the summer after sophomore and junior years of high school, our students receive scholarships to go on experiential education programs, ranging from wilderness expeditions, to academic programs, to international service trips. These experiences broaden students’ view of themselves and provide the opportunity to partner with their mentor to learn from their triumphs and setbacks. This reflective process allows Summer Searchers to strengthen the skills and mindsets needed to succeed in school, work, and in life.
Summer Search students participating in experiential education programs this past summer.
Each summer, we send nearly 1,000 students to destinations all over the world, which means we need to book a lot of flights! Continue reading Thank You United
Even though it’s officially fall, we wanted to throw it back to a few (of so many) great moments from our 2018 summer travel season.
So, in case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some photos of our Summer Searchers who traveled all over the country and world to participate in empowering and inspiring experiences. Thanks to all of our amazing Summer Partners and supporters for making these opportunities possible. Continue reading #ICYMI: Summer 2018
Meet Anh, Daniela, and Jennifer — three Summer Search Bay Area students who completed their first summer experiences this summer!
This is a particularly important milestone because students embark on their first summer experiences shortly after joining Summer Search as sophomores, sometimes unsure of what to expect. The challenges they face and the growth they experience sets the foundation for intensive mentoring when they return.
From left to right: Anh, Daniela, and Jennifer.
Now as high school juniors, they have been partnering with their mentor to reflect on and learn from their triumphs and setbacks… and were kind enough to share some of their personal reflections with us. Continue reading 2018 Summer Reflections
“Imagine a world where every single person gets to be their best selves. Would that not be the best world to live in?”
At Summer Search, we are all about changing narratives and helping young people find their voices so that they can — as Summer Search Seattle alumna Marie refers to above — become their best selves.
Watch Marie, Justin, Elebetel, Jahlil, and Cynthia share about their journeys toward success in our new Voices of Summer Search video:
Continue reading Voices of Summer Search 2018
“[Summer Search] has taught me that I can do anything that I set my mind to. I believe in paying it forward, so I want to mentor others and give back. This program changed me and I want to give that same opportunity to someone else.”
That was Summer Search Philadelphia college student Cesar Cortorreal speaking to the The Philadelphia Tribune in a recent article about the impact Summer Search has had on young people in Philly.
Cesar on the Franklin and Marshall College campus.
Continue reading Cesar Cortorreal – A Spark Ignited
Summer is here!
While the longest day of the year officially marks the beginning of the season, our summer started two weeks ago when our first group of amazing young people began embarking on their summer adventures.
Summer Search students on a summer experience with Go Adventure.
But these trips are hardly a “day at the beach,” despite what the wonderful moment captured above might indicate. These are challenging, learning-filled, and transformative journeys that test our students mentally and physically to help them develop the skills needed to succeed in school and in life. Continue reading Now Departing: 2018 Summer Travelers