College Access & Success Associate
Therese is committed to positively contributing to students’ development and helping them understand that they were born with the ability to succeed. Joining Summer Search is a perfect fit because Therese was a product of mentoring and college preparation program called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) during high school.
Therese 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. Therese completed her graduate studies in Student Development Administration (M.Ed) at Seattle University.
Therese is a Sacramento, California native that enjoys dancing, poetry, and basketball.
Eliza Arai Carrington
Eliza is a strong believer in the power of deep relationships. Through her own personal journey, she’s seen that with the right support young people can overcome self-doubt and find strengths they already possess.
Eliza first joined Summer Search as a mentor from 2006 to 2009. After two years living and teaching in New Zealand and Japan, she rejoined the Summer Search team in 2012 in her current role as Program Director.
A South Seattle native and graduate of Franklin High School, Eliza earned her B.A. in Biology from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. The combination of strong community support, her interest in cultural exploration, and commitment to developing profound relationships led her to seek out new opportunities like playing college basketball and studying and volunteering abroad. As she continued to travel widely she met her future husband and the father of her two children, Percy and Ada, with whom she has discovered the most important relationships thus far.
Belief fuels passion, and Macaria’s belief in the Summer Search’s mission to help students find their potential has fueled her long journey with the program. As an alumna of Summer Search, she has a deep appreciation for the far-reaching effects it has on all those involved.
Macaria was born to the polarizing, harsh desert of Southern California, but raised in the trees of the Northwest. She is invigorated by reaching mountain peaks and energized through fresh temperate forest air. She embraces her Northwest home as life-giving.
Macaria earned her BA from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where she soaked in the eternal, blazing sun, and is glad to return to her Seattle and Summer Search community. She enjoys eating, watching football, and long drives in her car.
Born in the stark and beautiful tumbleweed infested Mojave Desert, Regina's family relocated to the Evergreen state when she was 10, where she got her first taste of city life.
She went on to graduate from Seattle University in 2011 with a double major in Anthropology and Spanish Language. After college, Regina spent time volunteering as a farm hand across the country and decided to pursue her passion in sustainable living and environmental education. In 2014, she received a graduate certificate in Education for Environment and Community from IslandWood/University of Washington.
Regina is a Summer Search Seattle alumna who is honored to be putting her years of experience in holistic education back in to her Summer Search community. In her spare time, she can be found at local music venues, art galleries, or in the backcountry of the North Cascades or the Olympic Coast when weather permits.
Jamila has known for years that she was going to dedicate her life to helping people, and now she’s found the perfect organization to do it.
Jamila fell in love with the idea of counseling and mentoring during her high school years, which led her to a position of co-mentoring middle school support groups while attending the University of Washington.
After graduating the UW with a BA in Community Psychology and a minor in Education & Society, Jamila attended the University of Puget Sound majoring in Education and Mental Health Counseling. At UPS, Jamila counseled students from kindergarten up to senior year of college using a mixture of cognitive behavioral and humanistic therapies.
Jamila has always worked with very diverse student populations and has found a passion for supporting 1st generation college students in navigating the changes and challenges that come along with their new school environments, while maintaining a balance that strives to respect their roots and traditions.
As a proud Moroccan-American whose father immigrated to the U.S., Jamila is also passionate about doing what she can to make students and their families’ transitions to life in a new country as smooth as possible.
In her free time she loves learning about other cultures, trying new foods, traveling, taking road trips, being with loved ones, and watching stand up comedies.
Lexi is committed to using her privilege to stand for equity in her community and in the world.
For the past decade, Lexi has supported young people through development work at innovative community organizations. Most recently, she was the Development Director at Bike Works, one of Summer Search’s summer program partners.
Lexi holds a B.A. in French Studies from Wesleyan University and a certificate in Writing for Children from the University of Washington.
When she isn’t at Summer Search, tromping around the Pacific NW with her wife and three kids, hanging out with neighbors on Seattle's most awesome block, reading speculative fiction or making negligible progress on her first novel.
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 Melanie has been working in nonprofit organizations that support young people to use their power, potential and talent in personal, local and global leadership.
Melanie received her BA and subsequently, a Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Administration – all at the University of Washington.
She craves outdoor adventures and can often be seen on her light green bicycle named Sweet Pea. She has made a fun-filled and friend-filled home with her partner Tina and her beloved puggle Theo. She will forever be a double Husky – go UCONN and UW!
Colin is a Seattle native who has a passion for working with young people.
He 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.
Dalisha is dedicated to giving back to youth what was once offered to her: the chance to succeed despite circumstance. She believes that every young person projected to become another gloomy statistic has the power to change their trajectory and realize their potential. However, such an undertaking can rarely happen alone. Young people need and deserve authenticity, support, guidance, advocates, coaches and much more. Dalisha strives to embody those characteristics and fulfill those roles with the hope of promoting growth and positive transformation within the youth she engages.
Formerly a referral partner, Dalisha brings to Summer Search a myriad of experience serving youth and her community in various capacities.
A Seattle area native, Dalisha has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Counseling with a focus in Art Therapy.
Director of College Success & Alumni Relations
Two strong beliefs guide Rebecca's personal and professional life: the power of arts as an outlet for self-expression, and the potential in us all to achieve great things. These beliefs have been reinforced by the many students she has had the privilege of working with over the years.
Rebecca joined the Summer Search as a high school mentor, has since guided the evolution of our College Success Program and now supports Summer Searchers during the crucial college years.
She received a M.A. in Education from Seattle University and a B.A. in Dance and Leadership Studies from Chapman University.When Rebecca's away from work, she can be found participating in a local dance company, taking a modern/yoga/theater class or spending quality time with family and friends.
Outreach and Engagement Manager
Alma Villegas born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico where she lived until the age of 18. She received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from San Diego State University in 1991.
After moving to Seattle she served as Operations and Finance Manager for several organizations such as Social Justice Fund, Partnership for Learning and Seattle Arts and Lectures. In 2006, she transitioned into program management as Community Outreach Manager for Community Schools Collaboration. There, she developed and supervised the first community outreach and parent engagement liaison program for Latino, Somali, Bosnian, Russian, Burmese and East African Communities in partnership with the local schools. She has held leadership positions with Stand for Children and Global to Local.
Alma joined Summer Search in August 2015. She lives in Seattle and in her spare time is the lead singer and band manager for her Latin music ensemble Alma y Azúcar.
Jonathen is driven by a deep purpose and a call to action. Jonathen believes that every student possesses the power of change and can break down the walls that stand in their way.
Jonathen earned his B.A. from Washington State University, where he majored in Social Sciences with a minor in Human Development. His path to Summer Search began as a Resident Advisor and as a College Young Life Peer Mentor, where he learned that every person has a purpose and a story.
From breakdancing on the recess playground to now breaking down barriers, Jonathen aspires to be a beacon of hope and a bridge of change in the lives of all students from all walks of life. When Jonathen is not in the office, he can be found spending quality time with family and friends, telling corny jokes, and watching cat videos on YouTube.