Summer Search is a year-round program that offers mentoring, scholarships to summer experiences, and post-secondary support to students beginning their sophomore year of high school. We partner with schools, community organizations, and families to work with students to strengthen the skills they need to thrive in school and in life. 

Interested in applying or nominating a student?

We are looking for high school sophomores who are open to new experiences, including participating in summer programs, and building a relationship with a mentor. To be eligible for Summer Search during the 2018–19 school year, students must meet the following criteria:


Contact your local Summer Search office to learn more and request an application:


SINCE 1990, we have partnered with high schools, community-based organizations, families, and supporters to provide opportunities for high school students from low-income communities to overcome systemic inequities through mentoring and transformative experiences.


Here’s how it works:
It’s not a program. It’s a partnership.

Full-Time Staff Mentoring

Our students are partnered with staff mentors who build authentic and long-lasting relationships in order to provide support for many facets of a student’s life. This holistic approach includes preparing for the summer experiences, navigating systemic barriers, discussing their identity, and everything in between at school, at home and in the community.

High School Sophomore—Nominated by a Partner School

We partner with high schools in underserved communities to identify sophomores who demonstrate self-reflection, agency, empathy, follow-through, and adaptive skills -- the seeds for success in school and life -- which are cultivated throughout the program.

Year 1—Full Scholarship to Summer Experience

In the summer after sophomore year, we provide students with challenging wilderness experiential opportunities. These experiences broaden our students’ view of themselves and provide the opportunity to partner with their mentor to learn from their triumphs and setbacks, which serves to develop their strengths.

Year 2—2nd Full Scholarship to Summer Experience

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. Students continue to work with their mentors to integrate these experiences into their lives, and to strengthen the skills and mindsets needed to succeed in school, work, and in life.

Years 3–9—Post-Secondary Support and Career Exploration

Students continue to receive support on their journeys towards their long-term goals, which include educational attainment, workforce participation, and financial stability. 

Alumni—Alumni Network

We have a growing network of alumni who are leading their families and communities to thrive. The Alumni Network provides alumni with opportunities to advance their careers, support Summer Search through service and philanthropy, and stay connected with current students.

Once a Summer Searcher, always a Summer Searcher.

Our Impact:


of most recent graduating senior class matriculated to college


of our college students re-enrolled this past year


of most recent classes of college students earned a 4-year college degree within six years

Learn more:

Supporting Young People to Thrive.