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SUMMER SEARCH is a year-round program all about relationships and opportunities. We use a unique combination of social-emotional mentoring, summer leadership experiences, and post-secondary advising to empower young people who face systemic oppression. Summer Search students grow and succeed in the ways most important to them and become thriving adults.


Interested in applying or nominating a student? Click here:

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 2019–20 school year, students must meet the following criteria:

Contact your local Summer Search office to learn more:

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Here’s How It Works


HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM

We work with partner high schools and community-based organizations to identify high school sophomores who are open to new experiences.

Students are paired with a staff mentor for weekly, one-on-one mentoring conversations while they’re in high school. These conversations are spaces for students to prepare for their summer experiences, navigate the steps toward their post-secondary dreams, discuss their identities, and reflect on everything at school, home and in the community. Mentors partner with students as they make progress towards their goals, manage challenges and celebrate successes.

SCHOLARSHIP TO SUMMER EXPERIENCE / YEAR 1

During the first summer, which is after sophomore year, students participate in a 2-4 week outdoor adventure in their home state or another state. Backpacking, rock climbing, canoeing, cycling, and sailing are some of the most common adventures students experience.

SCHOLARSHIP TO SUMMER EXPERIENCE / YEAR 2

The second summer, which is after junior year, typically involves service learning in the United States or abroad, with a few programs for continued outdoor adventure or post-secondary preparation.

Combined, these summer experiences are opportunities for growth and connection that are both challenging and empowering. Students partner with their mentor to reflect on and learn from their triumphs and setbacks. This process extends the cycle of action and reflection, supporting a young person to develop agency and other skills that will help them succeed in school, work and in life.

POST-SECONDARY SUPPORT, CAREER EXPLORATION / YEARS 4-9

As students transition from high school, they continue to receive individualized support on their journeys toward their long-term goals. Summer Search partners with our students to support them in navigating and challenging systemic barriers to post-secondary education, workforce participation, and financial stability so that every Summer Searcher can thrive.

ALUMNI NETWORK / COLLEGE GRADUATION

The Alumni Network provides alumni with opportunities to advance their career (and help others do the same), support Summer Search through service and philanthropy, and tap into a web of support with Summer Searchers across the country and around the world. Summer Search alumni are a growing network who are leading their families and communities to thrive.

Across our 5 regions last year:

98%

of seniors graduated from high school

90%

of seniors went on to college

94%

were first-generation college students

Supporting Young People to Thrive.