Summer Search




Students served


Partner schools


Race of students served











Median household income


First-generation college students



3840 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 MAP

T (617) 524-9911

F (617) 524-9988



Latest News and Events

Francisco_SS blog_2You're Invited! Summer Search Boston's 2018 Leadership Dinner

Join us on Thursday, March 29th, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel for our signature event.

Register here today! 
If you are an alumnus, register
If you are a corporation, register

bo annual meeting 2017Thank you for joining Summer Search Boston's 2017 Annual Meeting!

Thank you for joining fellow members of the Boston Summer Search community to celebrate a year of success and learnings from 2017. We look forward to even more successes in 2018!


elsySummer Search Boston in the Globe North!

The Globe North recently sat down with Summer Search Boston students Elsy and Manny, their mentor Claire, and Chelsea City Councilor Judith Garcia. This article spotlights the impact of Summer Search on greater Boston's next generation of leaders.

Click HERE to read the full article!

Francisco_SS blog_2Summer Search Boston: Promoting Diversity Through Nonprofit and Corporate Partnerships

Summer Search Boston Executive Director Hermese Velasquez and Board member Meg Clough cowrote an article featured in the Boston Business Journal.

Click here to read the full article! 



Liz Marino

Hermese Velasquez, Summer Search Boston Executive Director


Leslie Riedel

Leslie Riedel, Summer Search Boston Board Chair

See all Boston board




Jonathan Ausubel

Program Associate

Jonny is a dedicated mentor and cares deeply about cultivating positive relationships with young people.

Before coming to Summer Search, Jonny worked as a Therapeutic Mentor on Martha's Vineyard, where he spent nearly two years working with local youth in a community mental health setting. In this role, he discovered how rewarding it is to build trust and work individually with young people. He also worked as a writing tutor while an undergraduate at Skidmore College and relished the opportunity to help his peers become more confident writers.

Jonny is an avid music lover and musician. When he is not working, he is likely to be found listening to music, playing his guitar, or committing himself (a bit excessively) to baking homemade bread.

Kathleen Buckingham

Senior Development Associate

Kathleen believes that all persons have the right to forge their own path in life, regardless of economic status. She sees the power in telling the story of self and seeks to provide underprivileged youth a chance to explore and unpack their stories in safe spaces, with mentors who believe in them.

Prior to joining Summer Search, Kathleen worked for the Boston-based NGO South Africa Partners as a program assistant. She also previously worked for the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM). She graduated from UMass Amherst with a BA in Social Thought and Political Economy.

Outside of the office, Kathleen can be found running, biking around Boston, singing, and eating too much Thai food.

Nathan Campbell

Program Manager

Nate is motivated by the belief that everyone has a right to a life they choose for themselves. 

As a College Success Associate at Summer Search Boston, Nate strives to be a person in his students’ lives that they want to bring both their accomplishments and defeats to with no hesitation.

Nate has been an Americorps member with Peace First and a Program Director with 4-H Camp Overlook. 

Nate attained a B.A. in International Relations from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Away from the office, he spends as much time as he can outdoors, hiking, camping, traveling, and playing sports.

Christie Capone

Donor Relations Manager

Christie firmly believes that each person, regardless of their socioeconomic status, deserves a shot at greatness. She also recognizes that few people reach greatness without a bit of guidance. Summer Search is a perfect combination of those two philosophies, and Christie is so proud to be a part of this work. 

After receiving a B.A. in History and German Studies from Smith College, Christie spent time living abroad in Germany. There she had the opportunity to conduct preliminary research for a career as a history professor, which she quickly realized was not the right path for her! She moved back to Boston to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration at Northeastern University.  While completing this degree, she began working for NU in student affairs and event planning, and eventually moved into development, which she loves. 

Christie lives North of Boston with her partner and looks forward to one day having a puppy. She loves to sing, cook, and spend time with her very large, loud, and loving family.

Teyana Curran

Program Manager

Teyana believes that everyone should have opportunities and is passionate about counseling and education.

Teyana’s career has been dedicated to serving Boston youth and their families. She has been a summer camp counselor, a substitute teacher, and has provided outpatient therapy services for children, teens, adults, and families.

While earning her Bachelor’s degree at Bridgewater State University, Teyana held an internship position at a charter school where she observed the difference supportive adults make in the lives of students. Teyana holds a Master’s degree from University of Massachusetts.

Teyana volunteers at the Boston Central Adult High School and participates on a research team focusing on the lives of emerging and young adults. Teyana enjoys spending time with her family and pets, traveling with friends, and practicing Pilates.

Martina Durant

Program School & Community Engagement Coordinator

Martina comes to Summer Search with the mantra of “each one, teach one” guiding her.  As an alumna of the Steppingstone Scholars Program, she seeks to give back to the youth development community that profoundly impacted her life.  She is driven by a responsibility to connect youth with access to opportunities that encourage self-awareness, empowerment, leadership, and diversity.
Before joining the Summer Search team as a Program Associate, she worked at Community Academy supporting students’ re-entry into the classroom and community from the Department of Youth Services.
Martina holds a BA in Political Science from Hampton University and Master of Public Administration from The Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Outside of Summer Search, you can find Martina entranced in a book, traveling and binge watching movies and documentaries on Netflix.

Ashley Dean

Program Manager

Always fascinated by the human experience, Ashley’s keen observation of the world around her led her to Summer Search, where her knack for learning from people, has been met with the opportunity to take part in young people’s learning. A perfect match! 

Ashley relishes in the “ah-hah” moments in mentoring; that magic when students make a connection that can support their personal growth. Ashley’s youth development experience includes internship experiences shadowing School Adjustment Counselors, and her position as Cognitive Development Therapist. 

The first in her family to graduate from college, Ashley holds a BA in psychology from Stonehill College, where in the liberal arts school’s tradition she met the man she would marry. A Maine native, Ashley and her family, including her beloved husky pup, Maya, live in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts.


Madelaine Eulich

Program Associate

Madelaine is driven by the belief that experiential education paired with mentoring offers young people the challenge and support necessary to grow into self-aware, compassionate leaders. She also believes that - if we are to create a more equitable future - these opportunities must be made available to more youth.

Madelaine has spent much of her career leading students on experiential learning programs in Europe, Africa, and North America. She is excited to continue to support student growth at Summer Search.

Madelaine has a B.A. in Art History and Anthropology from Northwestern University, an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, and is a certified Gestalt Coach.

Outside of Summer Search, you can likely find Madelaine traveling, soaking up nature, hanging out with friends, or eating stinky cheese.


Krysten FernandezBO_krysten

Site Innovation Pilot Specialist

Krysten is committed to cultivating spiritual resilience in youth by seeing and supporting the fullness of their identities. At Summer Search, she strives to offer holistic support to her mentees as they move through the program and develop the skills they need to overcome adversity and succeed.

Krysten earned her B.A. in Sociology from Williams College and recently completed her Master's degree at Harvard Divinity School where she focused on Spiritual Caregiving and the Sociology of Religion. She has a range of experience working in education including: teaching ESL, serving as an adjunct faculty member at a local college, and mentoring students of all ages. Outside of work, Krysten enjoys all things Sci-Fi, doing art projects, and chasing experiences that are both spiritually fulfilling and fun - like dancing!


Dwayne Fontenette

Director of School and Community Engagement

Dwayne is fueled by the belief that educational equity is urgently needed and achievable.

At Summer Search, Dwayne leads the school and community engagement team, which is responsible for student recruitment and partner relationships. Prior to joining Summer Search, Dwayne was a K-8 school administrator in Boston Public Schools. The son of an educator, Dwayne began his career teaching high school math in Philadelphia.

Dwayne earned his B.A. in political science and public relations from Loyola University New Orleans and a M.S.Ed. in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Outside of the office, Dwayne spends his time reading nonfiction, camping, hiking and traveling.


Jay Lapin

Program Associate

Jay comes to Summer Search with an unwaivering belief in the power of young people. As someone who has worked alongside youth at the schoolhouse level, as well as in summer programs across the country, Jay has seen the power that any moment can have on a young person's development. He aspires to be the mentor that not only supports his student's growth, but one that is consistently learning alongside his mentees.

Prior to becoming a program associate, Jay served two AmeriCorps terms, one with City Year Boston and the other with the St. Bernard Project in New Orleans. Before that, Jay began committing himself to youth development through Camp Sunshine, a camp for terminally ill children and their families, and Camp Wekeela, an overnight summer camp in Maine.  

Jay has a B.A. in English with a minor in Music from St. John's University. Outside of work he can be found playing music with his friends or walking his dog, Brandi, around the city.


Ana Maria Medina

Corporate Relations Manager

Ana Maria is inspired by individuals who want to ensure that another human being thrives. Ana Maria finds no greater purpose than helping to support other individuals, because she understands and appreciates the impact such support has had on her life. 

Prior to taking on the CRM role, Ana Maria served children and families in various child advocacy centers in New York city, a middle school, in Boston, and a refugee camp in Dzaleka (Malawi). She discovered her desire to fundraise through experiences in the Basque Country, China, Italy, and the United States. Since then, Ana Maria has focused her work on finding other individuals and other organizations who want to help children, adolescents and young adults learn to understand and deal with their circumstances and become sucessful.  

Ana Maria received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Boston University and earned a Master's degree in Clinical Social Work and Global Practice from Boston College. She is also a licensed clinical social worker.

Outside of the office, you will most often find Ana Maria learning new languages, dancing, running marathons and spending time with loved ones.



Beryl Nyamundaberyl short

Program Associate

Beryl believes that young people are capable of so much more than they realize and they need a supportive, inclusive environment in order to thrive and reach their potential.  
Beryl was born in Kenya and came to the United States when she was 9 years old. She is proud to be both a Boston Public Schools and Summer Search Alumna.

Beryl's career path has centered on working with young adults. Before joining the Summer Search team, Beryl was a College Advisor at Boston Day and Evening Academy where she worked with students to help them achieve their long and short term goals. This included supporting students through the college/alternative pathways application process as well as with their post-graduate plans.

Beryl received her degree at Boston College in Applied Psychology and Human Development, as well as a minor in African Diaspora Studies. Outside of Summer Search, Beryl can be found binge watching her favorite shows and movies, styling her hair, painting, or randomly dancing to African music. 

Alison O'Neillalison o'neill

Interim Director of Development

Alison taught middle school and coached high school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Alison received a BA in Political Science from Boston College and earned a Master of Science in Applied Educational Psychology with a focus in Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern University. 

While studying at Northeastern, Alison worked with the Torch Scholars Program, a full-scholarship program for low-income and first generation college students. Through Torch, Alison met her first Summer Search alumni, and soon after, joined Summer Search as a Program Associate.


Miriam Pena-Allen

Program Associate

Miriam believes everyone should have access to learning opportunities and is passionate about mentoring future leaders.

Miriam's professional career has focused on guiding Boston students and families. Before Summer Search, she worked for The Steppingstone Foundation, where she supported low-income families in gaining access to educational opportunities. Miriam was also an AmeriCorps member with Tenacity.

In undergrad, Miriam worked with the Dean of Students office mentoring first year students. She participated in Latinos Unidos, Women of Color, and volunteered in the local community. Miriam holds a BA in Sociology from Bates College and is currently pursuing her Master's in Education at Northeastern University.

Outside of Summer Search, Miriam is dedicated to her faith, family, and pets. She enjoys kickboxing, reading, and going to the movies with her fiance.


Dallas Pride

Director of College Success and Alumni Relations

Dallas believes we all have the capacity to lead and she has dedicated her career to instilling this belief in young people, first-generation students and those from underrepresented communities. She is excited to continue supporting student success while engaging Summer Search's alumni community.

Previously, Dallas worked for the Posse Foundation, helping students transition from being leaders on campus to leaders in the workforce. She has also created and administered development programs for several colleges and universities and managed community relations initiatives for NBA and WNBA teams.

Dallas received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and her Master's degree in education from Northeastern University. Outside of Summer Search, you'll find her spending time with friends and family, bargain shopping or planning her next road trip.

Amalia Quesada Nylen

Program Associate

As a Summer Search alumna, Amalia values Summer Search's belief that all students are capable of becoming socially responsible leaders. Her own experiences have made her realize her potential, and have fueled her dedication to ensure that young people are supported equitably, inclusively, and unconditionally so that they may thrive. 
Amalia has spent much of her career conducting non-profit, social justice work, and looks forward to paving a career with a specific focus on youth development and education. Some of Amalia's most profound job experiences include supporting college students as an Orientation Leader at IES Abroad in Granada, Spain during the year she spent living there. She also worked as a Porter Cleveland Fellow at The Cleveland Leadership Center in Cleveland, Ohio where she connected college-age summer interns to Cleveland networks and activities designed to civically engage interns. Prior to Summer Search, Amalia worked as a Program Assistant for Oxbridge Academic Programs at Harvard University, supporting international high school students as they studied in Boston. 
Amalia earned her B.A. in English Literature and Hispanic Studies from Wheaton College (MA). During her time there, she swam competitvely for Wheaton. Outside of Summer Search, Amalia enjoys exercising, spending time with loved ones, reading, watching (and talking!) about movies, photography, traveling, salsa and merengue, and anxiously waiting for Halloween to arrive.

Amalia is the oldest of four; her siblings, Nico, Lucia, and Manuel are also all Summer Searchers.

Pedro Suncar

Program Associate

Pedro comes to Summer Search with a commitment to helping students succeed, while providing them with tools to use as they navigate their high school careers, and progress into their collegiate careers.

After working in student affairs for several years, Pedro felt a need to help high school students succeed in their high school careers, while also aiding in their goals for higher education selection and retention.

Pedro worked in Providence, as a 1st grade Instructor, providing lessons for learning and enrichment in the Providence school system and surrounding community. Pedro holds a B.A. in Psychology focusing in adolescent development and mental health.

New to Boston, Pedro is taking full advantage of the fast paced city and all its offerings. 

Carmen Tam

Program Operations Coordinator

Growing up, Carmen’s own summer trips led her to discover a passion for social justice and cross-cultural understanding. In her role at Summer Search she works to provide similarly transformative experiences for our Boston students.
In addition to refugee resettlement, she has worked with students in experiential education and is inspired by how these experiences continue to impact their lives. She lived in India working for a study abroad program and coordinated domestic and international service-learning trips for college students before joining Summer Search.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and International Affairs from Gordon College. Outside the office, Carmen spends her time traveling, exploring the outdoors and finding new adventures to go on.

Cassandra Trujillo

Program Associate

As someone lucky enough to have had incredible mentors, Cassandra is driven by the conviction that all people deserve a safe space to explore, take risks, and learn about themselves with someone who believes in them unconditionally.

Cassandra has been an associate teacher at the Nueva School, where she witnessed the benefits of social and emotional learning and outdoor education.

Cassandra graduated cum laude from Yale with her B.A. in English and earned her Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Outside of work, you can find her curled up with a good book, advocating for the needs of gifted children, or debating everything from education policy to the relative talents of 90s pop stars over dinner with friends.


Armani White

Program Associate

Armani White is determined to create the “better world” we dream of in the future, now. As a Boston alumnus, Armani has grown from his experience with Summer Search, and has the chance to support other young people in their development now as a Summer Search mentor.
Armani was born and raised in Bromley Heath, a neighborhood in Boston, and graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in Anthropology. Before Summer Search, Armani worked at Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center developing and directing summer programming for young black and Latino men to become community leaders through learning how racism impacts their everyday health, and creating strategies to both stay healthy and challenge the norms.
Outside of Summer Search, Armani can be found either volunteering, drawing, or practicing Capoeira Angola.


Sam Williams

Senior Program Director

Sam has been committed to educating, empowering, and supporting the social and emotional development of young people in the city of Boston for over two decades. Over the years, he's worked for several local non-profit agencies whose focus ranged from community service learning, workforce and youth development and out-of-school time support. He's a seasoned trainer and public speaker. As an experienced mentor, Sam believes that a healthy and long-standing connection with youth is built on the fundamental principles of trust, reciprocity, transparency, and individuality. 
Prior to joining Summer Search, Sam worked for a quasi-state agency, Commonwealth Corporation, as a Senior Program Manager of a statewide youth initiative. He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's of Liberal Arts degree (with a focus on psychology and sociology), and a Master's degree in City Planning.
Outside of work, Sam has a daughter (17) and is an avid reader of African cultural history and world history. In his leisure time, he practices meditation, fasting, writes poetry, and enjoys volunteer work.

Arien Woodrow

Operations Associate

Arien’s family has always inspired him to want the most out of life, and that started with his education. He believe that a good education is priceless and can take you many different places in life. Arien also attended the Steppingstone Foundation when he was younger, so he has seen firsthand how much of an impact programs such as Summer Search can have. 

During his college years, Arien would occasionally volunteer at the AIDS Action Committee of Boston where he was asked to engage in non-judgmental conversations regarding homelessness, substance use, HIV/AIDS. 

Arien graduated from Boston College with a BA in Sociology, and has always been interested in the sociology of education. Also, he has lived in the Boston area all his life. When Arien is not working, he enjoys going to the gym or replaying episodes of Game of Thrones.


Amy Yu

Program Associate

Amy believes that all students can reach their fullest potential in social-emotional, cognitive, and academic development through one-on-one support and long-term relationship bulding with mentors.

As a Program Associate, Amy uses a person-centered approach to provide empathy and positive regards to students to faciliate positive growth and address the root issues that students have.

Amy graduated from Wheaton College (MA) with a Bachelors in Psychology, and recently graduated with a Master's degree in School Conseling from Purdue University. During her Master's program, Amy provided individual and group counseling sessions to improve marinalized youth's academic engagement and reduce behavior problems. She also facilitated ELL support groups and implemented a mentorship program to fully support student's transition into a new school environment.

Amy enjoys hiking, doing arts and crafts, cooking, and traveling when she is not working.