Summer Search




Students served


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Median household income


First-generation college students



1528 Walnut Street, Ste 1006 Philadelphia, PA 19102 MAP

T (215) 399-4906

F (215) 399-4935

Latest News and Events

Philadelphia Inquirer
JOIN US! - 2017 Endless Summer Party: Eagles Edition!

Join us on April 20th at Lincoln Financial Field where we will be honoring the Philadelphia Eagles for their generous support of Summer Search Philadelphia. Expect a fun night of food, cocktails, appearances from the Eagles and more, all while supporting our amazing Summer Searchers. Join in on the excitement and RSVP today!

Philadelphia Inquirer
The Philadelphia Eagles are Helping Summer Searchers SOAR!

 This year, Summer Search Philadelphia is honored to have been selected as one of five nonprofit organizations to be a Philadelphia Eagles Care Partner for the 2016-2017 season! Eagles Care aims to help build stronger communities through the support of local non-profits, and they have been very generous in that support: from their participation in our office makeover, to their inspirational words at student events, it has been a joy, a pleasure and an adventure building this amazing partnership with our home team!

Be sure to join us as we honor the Eagles on April 20th at our signature Endless Summer Party!

Philadelphia Inquirer
Congratulations, Jailene Rodriguez!

 On November 17th Summer Searcher Jailene Rodriguez was honored as a “Rising Star” at the Philadelphia Education Fund’s 2016 EDDY Awards. The EDDY awards recognize outstanding commitment to public education by individuals, organizations and business. Representing Olney Charter High School, Jailene’s strength, scholarship and determination comes as no surprise to her Summer Search family, and we could not be more proud of her! Jailene spent this past summer at Ithaca College taking a health sciences and careers course; she plans to pursue a health sciences degree and ultimately become a surgeon. Read more about Jailene’s triumphs here.

Philadelphia Inquirer
After First Summer Wilderness Expedition, Student Opens Up

Last July, the Philadelphia Inquirer shone a light on Summer Search Philadelphia student, Christian Joynes, Jr., highlighting his growth after two experiential summer excursions. Chris, a recent graduate of Boys’ Latin Charter School, backpacked Wyoming’s Wind River Range for his first trip last July. He recently returned from his second trip, a three-week community service program in Peru. Chris's first summer experience taught him to be himself, allowing him to be open and make great new friends on his second experience in Peru. The entire Summer Search Philadelphia staff is proud of his growth! 

Read the whole article here.

Philadelphia Inquirer
EITC: PA Companies Can Receive Tax Credits for Donating to Summer Search Philadelphia

Your company can join other PA corporations making a transformative impact on the lives of Philadelphia’s Summer Searchers through PA’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. In fiscal year 2013-2014, Philadelphia county companies made contributions exceeding $10 million through this program, affecting countless lives. Your company could obtain PA tax credits for up to 90% of a donation made to Summer Search using these special funds. Companies supporting either scholarship organizations or pre-K scholarship organizations in their first year of a two-year EITC commitment can elect to designate their EITC contribution to educational improvement organizations like Summer Search in their second year of funding.

Priority applications open on May 15, 2016, so plan now to support Summer Search Philadelphia through EITC. To learn more, please contact Summer Search Philadelphia's Director of Development Michelle Liberatore at 215-399-9134 or


Lori Espe

Lori Espe, Summer Search Philadelphia Board Chair

See all Philadelphia Board



Erin Callison

Program Associate

Erin is deeply passionate about helping young people transform what they believe is possible for themselves. Erin’s journey to Summer Search began as an Outward Bound Instructor for an expedition of all Summer Searchers inspired her with their self-reflection, resilience, and willingness to step out of their comfort zone.

Erin, a first-generation college student, received her B.A from Clark University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching program at Clark University. During her fieldwork in South Africa and rural Haiti, Erin experienced the transformative power of being outside of her comfort zone. Erin has taught 8th grade World history and was an Lead Wilderness Instructor at Outward Bound.

In her free time, Erin finds herself scheming new outdoor adventures, mountain biking, and throwing homemade pizza parties.


Kaitlin Irvine

College Access & Success Coordinator

Kaitlin has a deep belief in providing access to opportunities for all. At Summer Search, she loves connecting with students and empowering them to find the best opportunities for their big third trip -- college!

Kaitlin holds a B.A. from Dickinson College and a Masters in Education from the College of William & Mary. During college, she studied in Cameroon, Africa, where she became a true member of her host family, spoke French, and ate her weight in fresh mangoes. Kaitlin worked for an Upward Bound program during college summers.

Kaitlin has been a college adviser in a rural public high school and is a recent transplant to Philly.

She can be found at the dog park, reading books, discovering hidden culinary gems, or scheming about where her passport will take her next.


Michelle Liberatore

Director of Development

Michelle holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Villanova University and a MBA in Public and Nonprofit Management from Boston University.

Prior to Summer Search, Michelle held positions at CSFP and the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C. where she worked on several reports for Congress, including a review focused on homeless women veterans. Additionally, Michelle has several years of experience in data analytics, while working for organizations including Cephalon (now part of Teva Pharmaceuticals), Grameen Foundation, and Boston University School of Management.

She enjoys volunteering, especially playing sports with Special Olympics athletes.


Colin Marlowe

Program Director

Colin is driven by a deep commitment to others, and an unyielding longing for the world to be a better place. Growing up in Cairo, Egypt, Colin finds home amid change and transition. 

Prior to Summer Search, Colin was a high school English teacher, a corps member for Teach for America, and a founding faculty member of Arise Academy Charter High School. 

Colin’s formal education is a BA from Wheaton College and a MS in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, but he loves learning and experiencing the richness of life wherever he can. Often this means spending time in the woods, on the side of a cliff, enjoying a meal with good friends, or perhaps in transit to a new place. 

He and his wife love their church and community in West Philadelphia.


Tolulope Oladele

Program Associate

Tolulope’s passion, obsession, and ambition is to empower undeserved youth to be the best version of themselves.  Ultimately, what drives Tolulope is helping youth be what people said they couldn’t. Tolulope hopes to bring a unique background of engaging youth in various roles: mentor, coach, and advocate to Summer Search.

Before Summer Search, Tolulope served as a Heinz Fellow for the Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Heinz Fellowship placed ten recent African American college graduates in high-needs high schools in the Pittsburgh school district to serve as mentors, tutors and role models for high school African American males. Along with working at a school full-time, Tolulope pursued graduate studies and received a Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Robert Morris University in 2015. 

Tolulope, a Questbridge Scholar received a B.A. in Religion from Haverford College in 2013. Tolulope likes to spend his free time coaching a middle school track and field team, playing chess, and debating about why every single New York City sports team is the best. 


Sherella Williams

Development Associate

Sherella is excited to share her passion for development that is deeply intertwined with her passion for her vibrant home city of Philadelphia. Sherella’s goal is to ensure that the wonderful opportunities that Philadelphia has to offer are accessible to all communities across the city.  

Sherella holds a B.A. from Byrn Mawr College, and has studied at Berlin’s Humboldt University, an experience that sealed her commitment to the German language (including its dialects!) and inspired her to teach in two Austrian high schools after college through Fulbright and the Austrian-American Educational Commission. Aside from her time oversees, Sherella previously worked at Public Health Management Corporation on the Out-of-School Time Project, where she supported quality after-school programing in over a hundred sites across Philadelphia.

Sherella can often be found redefining her limits in Muay Thai class, thinking of interesting new ways to maintain her German fluency, or searching for the best pancake spot in West Philly.