Summer Search




Students served


Partner schools


Race of students served











Median household income


First-generation college students



635 Andover Park West
Building 8 Suite 200
Tukwila, WA 98188

T (206) 729-0911

F (206) 729-7303

Latest News and Events

Photos Courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks
Black Girl Magic in the Fashion Industry

Summer Search Seattle alumna Ebonee
is using her platform as a fashion model to speak up against racial injustice. This past summer, in the wake of multiple Black men being killed by the police, Ebonee penned a powerful open letter calling on everyone in the fashion industry to stand up against the systemic racism in
America and to use their influence to spur change. Ebonee’s fight for social justice was covered by Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and she was also featured in a TEDx Talk.

Get inspired by reading Ebonee's open letter.




Melanie Lyons

Melanie Lyons, Summer Search Seattle Executive Director

Melanie Lyons

Erik Toth, Summer Search Seattle Board Chair

See all Seattle Board


Therese Williams

College Access Manager

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

Program Director

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.

Allie Denny

Donor Relations Manager

Allie is deeply passionate about youth mentorship, political engagement, and intersectionality. Her ongoing commitment to these issues is a direct result of her upbringing — Allie grew up in the labor movement and was taken under the wing of a supportive and dedicated mentor during her high school years and beyond.

After graduating from Washington State University with a  bachelor's degree in Political Science, Allie worked in political campaigns and finance, raising money and organizing for a variety of progressive causes and candidates. Coming to Summer Search was a natural next step for Allie due to her strong belief in the transformative power of mentorship and shared experience.

Allie is a lifelong Pacific Northwest resident, originally from the Portland area. In her spare time she enjoys serving on the board of the Washington Bus, seeing live music, hanging out with her adorable dog Chewy, and spending time outside.

Macaria Dove

Development Associate

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.

Regina Dove

Program Associate

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

De'Andre Jones

Program Associate

De’Andre is thrilled to be returning to the Seattle Team! He first joined Summer Search during the Summer of 2017, where he served as the Summer Fellow. His personal experience as a first-generation student has ignited his passion for supporting students at Summer Search. De’Andre demonstrated his commitment to the development and mentorship that can occur within college access programming. His breadth of experiences within higher education include Admissions, Housing & Residence Life, Orientation, LGBTQIA+ services, Multicultural Affairs, Greek Life, and Advising. As one of the new Program Associates, he hopes to support the transition from high school to post-secondary pathways and continue assisting Summer Searchers in recognizing the value of their experiences and how those experiences can serve as the catalyst for their overall success.A native of Austin, Texas, De’Andre relocated to the Midwest to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Family & Consumer Sciences Education from the University of Wisconsin – Stout in 2016. Through his involvement in the Ronald E. McNair scholars program, presentations at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research & National McNair Scholars Conference, and publication in the UW-Stout Journal of Student Research, De’Andre decided to pursue a master’s degree. De’Andre will be completing his masters of education in Student Development Administration at Seattle University in June 2018.De’Andre lives in the Central District of Seattle and when he is not working, he enjoys traveling, trying/cooking new foods, spending time with friends, and working out.

Lexi Keeler

Interim Development Director

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, she's 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.

Monica Manzo

Operations Assistant

Mónica is a strong believer of inspiring self-confidence and empowering youth into higher education. She has devoted countless hours in supporting young women of color with programs like La Voz de E.L.L.A., Rain City Rock Camp for Girls and Project Luangwa. Making Summer Search the perfect place to expend her work and efforts in improving access into higher education.

Mónica comes from a migrant family in central Washington that worked multiples seasons harvesting fruit. In 2011 she transferred into UW and as a first generation woman of color she quickly learned to identify institutional inequalities and has since dedicated her efforts to advocating for social justice.

Colin Petkus

Program Associate

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.

Rebecca Sullivan

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.

Alma Villegas

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 Williams

Program Associate

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.