We're looking for students who, although might be short on opportunity, have a willingness and desire to learn.

They have the potential to attain a college degree, but they face systemic inequities that could get in the way of their journey to higher education.

During our 7–9 years together, we provide a circle of support customized for every student, including a combination of mentoring, summer experiential opportunities, and start-to-finish college advising.

Along the way, our students begin to tell a new story for themselves, rooted in the emerging discovery that the power to chart their own course has been inside them all along.

Here's how our program works:

(Hover over each step below to learn more.)

Full-Time Mentoring

High School Sophomore

Nominated by partner school

Year 1

Full scholarship to summer experience

Year 2

2nd full scholarship to summer experience

Year 3

College & financial aid advising

Years 4–9

College support & career exploration

College Graduate

Alumni network

Full-Time Staff Mentoring

We partner each student with a staff mentor who builds an authentic and long-lasting relationship in order to provide support for many facets of a student’s life, including preparing for the summer experiences, navigating the complex college processes, discussing their identity, and everything in between at school, at home and in the community.

Full-Time Staff Mentoring

Years 1-9

We partner each student with a staff mentor who builds an authentic and long-lasting relationship in order to provide support for many facets of a student’s life, including preparing for the summer experiences, navigating the complex college processes, discussing their identity, and everything in between at school, at home and in the community.

Nominated by a Partner School

High School Sophomore

We partner with high schools in underserved communities to identify sophomores who demonstrate a willingness to learn, self-awareness, and empathy—the seeds for success in school and life—which are cultivated throughout the program.

Full Scholarship to Summer Experience

Year 1

In the summer after sophomore year, we provide students with challenging wilderness experiential opportunities that broaden their view of the world and provide the opportunity to discover their strengths.

Full Scholarship to Summer Experience

Year 2

The second summer experience takes place between junior and senior year and can range from a second outdoor wilderness expedition, to an academic program, to a community service opportunity—depending on the student’s interests and needs. These experiences allow students to partner with their mentor to learn from their triumphs and setbacks, which serves to strengthen the skills and mindsets needed for the journey to and through college.

College and Financial Aid Advising

Year 3

Our college advisors work individually with our students, most of whom are the first in their family to go to college. The advisors walk through every step of the college and financial aid process, helping students find the best possible college match based on the student's interests, academic achievements, scholarships and financial aid packages.

College Support

Years 4-9

Students continue to receive support all the way through to earning their bachelor's degree. We work most actively with students during their first two years of college, which are the most vulnerable for first-generation students from low-income backgrounds.

Alumni Network

College Graduation

Upon earning a college degree, our students join the ranks of our Alumni Network—a growing network of leaders who give back to their families and communities. The Alumni Network provides alumni with opportunities to advance their careers, support Summer Search through service and philanthropy, and stay connected with Summer Searchers.