staff

Deidre McCormack Martin, Executive Director
Melanie Lyons, Associate Director
Rebecca Sullivan, Post-Secondary Program Director
Alexandra Wakeman Rouse, Outreach & Events Director
Eliza Arai Carrington, Program Director
Sarah Beahan, Senior Program Associate
Aaron Stanton, Program Associate
Helen Nesbitt, Program and Administrative Assistant
Andrea Smith, Development Associate
Jennifer Hahn McCoy, College Advisor
Colin Petkus, Program Associate
Emily Wolfkiel, Program Associate
Therese Anderson, Program Associate
Catie Holker, Seattle Fellow
Lexi Keeler, Development Manager

Deidre McCormack Martin, Executive Director
dmccormack@summersearch.org
Deidre is originally from California, where she attended Santa Clara University and received her B.A. in History and Ancient Studies. In search of her life work, she moved to Seattle in 1999 and joined an AmeriCorps program called City Year. Her City Year placement was in a high-need elementary school where she witnessed firsthand the inequities in our educational system. Since then she has held positions in non-profit fundraising, operations and program management in the youth development and educational fields. She joined Summer Search in September 2008 as Associate Director and stepped into the role of Executive Director in July of 2010. Deidre lives in West Seattle with her husband and three daughters.

Melanie Lyons, Associate Director
mlyons@summersearch.org
Melanie began mentoring and investing in the power of young people when she was in her teens and has never looked back. Over the last 14 years she has been working in nonprofit organizations that support young people to use their power, potential and talent in personal, local and global leadership. She received her BA in Community, Environment and Planning, and subsequently a concurrent Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Administration – all at the University of Washington. She craves outdoor adventures and can often be seen rolling by on her light green bicycle named Sweet Pea. Although originally a transplant from the East Coast she looks forward to growing old in Seattle, where she has made a fun-filled and friend-filled home with her partner Tina and her beloved puggle Theo. She will however forever be a double Husky – go UCONN and UW!

Rebecca Sullivan, Post-Secondary Program Director
rsullivan@summersearch.org
Rebecca hails from Vancouver, WA, and recently returned to the Northwest after receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Leadership and Dance from Chapman University in Orange County, California. Most recently, she has attended Seattle University, earning her Master's Degree in Student Development Administration, a program that reinforced her commitment to making educational attainment accessible to all young students. While at SU, Rebecca worked with New Student and Family Programs,helping coordinate summer orientation and new student orientation. Rebecca continues to enjoy dancing with Chimera Dance Theatre and teaching dance at Garfield Community Center.

Alexandra Wakeman Rouse, Outreach & Events Director
awakeman@summersearch.org
Alex hails from Seattle and is a product of the Seattle Public Schools. After graduating from Ballard High School, she attended Pomona College where she was active in student government and varsity sports. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis and Politics, focusing her studies on educational policy and reform. After college, she spent two years teaching high school in the Mississippi Delta through Teach for America. During her time as a teacher, she also coached cross country, advised student groups and volunteered with a girl’s empowerment organization. In June 2008, Alex returned home and joined Summer Search where she now coordinates outreach efforts and strategy, and mentors students by helping them develop into insightful, confident and altruistic leaders!

Eliza Arai Carrington, Program Director
eliza@summersearch.org
A South Seattle native, Eliza returned home in 2011 and rejoined the Summer Search team after two years living and teaching in New Zealand and Japan. Having graduated from Franklin High School in 2001, her world expanded as she continued her studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. The combination of strong community support, her interest in cultural exploration, and commitment to meaningful relationships led her to play NCAA III basketball, participate in an expedition to the Galapagos Islands, and study abroad in Japan. Upon completing her B.A. in Biology in 2005 she went back to Japan to teach English with the JET Program before first joining Summer Search as a Program Associate from 2006 to 2009. Encouraged and inspired by the Summer Search family, she bid a temporary good bye and grew further during her most recent overseas experience, but couldn’t be more thrilled to be back and partnering with Summer Search’s next student leaders.

Sarah Beahan, Senior Program Associate
sbeahan@summersearch.org
Sarah is a writer, runner, rabble-rouser, educator and foodstuff consumption specialist. She is also a dedicated non-profit professional with a BA in creative writing from Webster University and an MS in rural sociology and sustainable community development from the University of Missouri. Sarah is driven by a passion for big ideas, thinking outside of the box, community conversations and the power of storytelling. Her eclectic resume includes time spent teaching creative writing and storytelling to inner-city fifth and sixth graders and cancer-survivor support groups, managing a network of national service corps members with LIFT-Missouri, working as an enrollment specialist with Big Brothers Big Sisters and writing a dining and nightlife column. Sarah relocated to Seattle in 2012 after spending a few years closer to her family in the Midwest and looks forward to bringing her passions to her work with Summer Search students. When she isn't mentoring, you can find Sarah marveling at the mountains and water in her newfound home in Seattle, sniffing out the newest local bakery, pizzeria, or taco truck with her husband Brian and jogging clumsily with her big, brown mutt Emmett.

Aaron Stanton, Program Associate
astanton@summersearch.org
Aaron is originally from a small, rural town in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Having a teacher for a mother and a large supportive family have helped shape Aaron’s views on education and community. He continued this philosophy as a student athlete at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History, a Master’s Degree in Education, and a California Teaching Credential. After college, Aaron coached high school football in Los Angeles and worked at a group home for abused and Special Needs children, which helped affirm his desire to work with at-risk and disadvantaged youth. He moved to Seattle in August 2012 and joined Summer Search as a Program Associate in October 2012. Outside of work, he enjoys exercising, reading, and being outdoors.

Helen Nesbitt, Program and Administrative Assistant
hnesbitt@summersearch.org
Helen cultivated a passion for empowering at-risk youth during an internship working with the Hill Tribe communities in Northern Thailand while pursuing her degree in non-profit development at The Evergreen State College. After graduation she served as the Volunteer Director with a Seattle homeless youth outreach organization and gained exposure to the needs of low income and homeless youth in the Pacific Northwest. Recently she took a year to travel through Central America and the Western US with her fiancée. Now, with feet firmly planted back in Seattle, she looks forward sharing her love of travel with Summer Search students as they set out on their big adventures.

Andrea Smith, Development Associate
asmith@summersearch.org
Andrea grew up in Issaquah, Washington. She attended Holy Names Academy in Seattle and graduated from Western Washington University with a bachelors degree in Anthropology and minors in Political Science and International Studies. While in college, she worked as a summer camp counselor for middle and high school students, playing in the woods and sailing on Puget Sound. Her passion for education and creating opportunities for teens to thrive has led her to work in fundraising and development for several youth focused non-profits in the Seattle area. Andrea is inspired by Summer Search’s ability to facilitate lasting change for low-income students and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the broader community in support of Summer Search students.

Jennifer Hahn McCoy, College Advisor
jennifer@summersearch.org
Jennifer is an Austin, Texas native and has lived in the Seattle area for seventeen years. She first met Summer Search as a Referral Partner from Chief Sealth High School in 2004 and joined the staff as College Advisor in 2005. Jennifer went on to help grow the program in various roles, including Director of College Access and Alumni Relations and Program Director. In June of 2012, she created her own consulting practice and is currently the part-time College Advisor for Summer Search Seattle, coming full circle and back to her true passion of helping Summer Searchers reach their college goals.

Colin Petkus, Program Associate
cpetkus@summersearch.org
Colin is a Seattle native who spent his formative years on the Eastside, where he attended Bellevue Public Schools. After high school, Colin headed east, where he completed a B.A. in English at Boston College. While in Boston, Colin worked and volunteered with several outreach and shelter programs serving homeless youth and adults. Defeated by the frigid New England winters, Colin returned to Seattle in 2011, where he continued to develop a passion for working with young people. Before joining Summer Search in June 2013, Colin spent two years providing street outreach and case management services to homeless youth in rural and suburban King County. Outside of work, Colin enjoys loud music, cycling, and exploring the local scenery, sometimes all at once.

Emily Wolfkiel, Program Associate
ewolfkiel@summersearch.org
Emily grew up outside of Chicago, Illinois and completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Psychology and Art History. While in college, Emily engaged with her local and global community by volunteering her time as a tutor at a local elementary school and traveling abroad to Cape Town, South Africa. Emily made the cross-country move to the Pacific Northwest to earn her Master’s degree in Student Development Administration at Seattle University, where she further cultivated her commitment to education equity and college access through her role with the Seattle University Youth Initiative. Now part of the Summer Search team, Emily is thrilled to continue developing meaningful relationships with students on their path to success!

Therese Anderson, Program Associate
tanderson@summersearch.org
Therese is a Sacramento, California native that enjoys dancing, poetry, and basketball. She graduated as a part of the first inaugural class at the University of California, Merced (Go Bobcats!) and received her BA in Psychology, with a minor in Cognitive Science in 2009. In pursuit of a higher learning, Therese moved to the Pacific Northwest to complete her graduate studies in Student Development Administration (M.Ed) at Seattle University in 2013. Joining the Summer Search Seattle team couldn’t be a more perfect fit because she was a product of mentoring and college preparation program called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) during her high school experience. Since Therese’s AVID experience, serving students has been a vocational calling that she is truly passionate about. Her background in education spans from work in admissions, academic advising, career advising, and new student orientation within college institutions in both California and Washington State. Therese is sincerely committed towards positively contributing to students’ development while helping students understand that they were born with the ability to succeed!

Catie Holker, Seattle Fellow
SEFellow@summersearch.org
Born and raisednear Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Catie moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota to attend college at St. Cloud State University when she was 18 years old.Five years later she finds herself in Seattle, Washington on a wild adventure called graduate school at Seattle University in the Student Development Administration master's program. Here she continues to discover and develop her passion for college-access initiatives and working with both high school and college students through graduate assistantships, internships, and classes. A yoga addict and budding painter, in her free time she also enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her husband of 2 years.

Lexi Keeler, Development Manager
lkeeler@summersearch.org
Born and raised primarily in Los Angeles, Lexi had lived in or visited five of the seven continents before she started high school. She spent the year following high school graduation on an exchange program in a small, rural town in France. These early experiences taught her the transformative power of overcoming challenges in unfamiliar environments. Lexi went on to earn her B.A. in French Studies at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. For the past decade, she has supported young people through development work at innovative, holistic, culturally-relevant organizations. Most recently Lexi worked as a grant writer and fundraising consultant for Seattle-area, primarily youth-focused nonprofits. Previously, she was the inaugural Development Director at Bike Works, helping more than double their individual and foundation support, as well as significantly grow the number of youth they serve. She is passionate about connecting donors to their values through philanthropy, and is excited to bring her extensive experience to the Summer Search team. She lives in Columbia City with her wife and son. She loves farmers’ markets, making art, her family and her community.

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