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28 Reviews
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August 7, 2008
1 person found this review helpful

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August 7, 2008
1 person found this review helpful

I must first answer the question of who I am for you to better understand my essay, but it is who I have become that is important. I believe things happen for a reason. Any obstacles I have faced somehow always turned into a blessing or learning experience, the building blocks for who I am today. In my sophomore year of high school, Summer Search, a leadership development program for low-income teenagers entered my life. Before my acceptance into Summer Search, I was consumed with the constant feeling that I must care for those around me, and I had no outlet for my own emotions. I felt so frenzied by caring for others that I did not have time to care for myself. For example, I kept my anger bottled up inside and rarely talked about my own emotions. That phase of my life ended because Summer Search gave me the opportunity to talk weekly with my mentor about what I am dealing with or what is bothering me. These calls have frequently made me uncomfortable or made me wish I was anywhere but on the phone with my mentor, but they are a necessary part of my week. Summer Search compelled me to be honest with myself and guided me to accept my imperfections. In the summer of 2006, Summer Search sent me on a twenty-four day multi-expedition wilderness program. While mountain biking with my group we lost sight of the trail when it became covered in a snowdrift. We were unprepared for the elements and hunkered together for warmth until we were discovered at 12:30 a.m. by a Search and Rescue helicopter. That was the first time in my life that I felt my life could be in danger and that feeling resonated in me for days after our rescue. From this experience, my wilderness trip taught me how to harness my strength to press on in the most challenging situations. Blisters taught me about endurance, backpacking taught me about patience, mosquitoes taught me about tolerance, Search and Rescue taught me about unrestrained generosity, rock climbing taught me about trust and windsurfing taught me about finding my direction. In addition to the wilderness trip, Summer Search funded my trip to Peru this past summer where I spent a month building a preschool in a small community in the Sacred Valley. Each member of my group came to affect me in beautiful ways, like how misleading my first impressions were. I made assumptions before I knew my group on a deeper level or knew about their background. One of the greatest impressions left on my heart was by a boy named Stuart, who fit the stereotype of a “meathead jock”, complete with a Long Islander accent. After befriending Stuart and learning about his family history, I understood why he has a facade of cockiness and got to see how genuine and caring he was once I made the effort to connect with him. Even after we parted ways, the people on my trip truly amazed me with their diversity of personalities and friendship they offered me. After spending thirty days with the same people, I formed unconditional friendships and whether I see them or not, I love them and appreciate the chance to know them. On the other hand, having made such meaningful relationships and leaving each other so quickly was the most difficult part of my summer. However, with this loss I have learned to let go and readjust to my life in Seattle without forgetting my friendships from Peru. Since the launch of my relationship with Summer Search, I have adopted new qualities and have formed new relationships that positively contribute to my life. I am proud of my accomplishments and my progress with Summer Search, yet also pleased that I have retained the distinctiveness of my personality. Change and growth in my life have not ended, but are really just beginning. I am on a journey with Summer Search that will last throughout the rest high school and will affect how I live my life. Summer Search has blessed my life in countless ways and will continue to be there to lend a hand as I settle into my spirit.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

be Linda

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

compassionate, generous, unconditional love, motivating

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand the number of students it serves by thousands

Ways to make it better...

it was flawless

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the funding to expand and perhaps misleading first impression that Summer Search is a cult

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 5, 2008
3 people found this review helpful

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August 5, 2008
3 people found this review helpful

Summer Search has expanded my horizons well beyond my own. It allowed me to see the potential in me and what I could achieve.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the support network and guidance.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do everything the same and consider myself blessed.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

my trips to the Four Corners and China.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

informative, supportive, convincing, amazing.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

sponsor cutting edge mentorships for college students.

Ways to make it better...

my parents had a greater understanding of what Summer Search was all about

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

keep the alums well connected.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 5, 2008
2 people found this review helpful

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August 5, 2008
2 people found this review helpful

After having 2 interviews to become a Summer Search student I am no longer afraid of the unknown and I am no longer intimidated by uncomfortable situations. Rather I have learned to value them as it has allowed me to grow as a person.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way it supported me, the turnout at events such as the Alumni Summits, in the skills I have learned, especially in articulating and in improving my image of myself.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

inspirational, motivational, supportive, amazing.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give opportunities to more who deserve a chance.

Ways to make it better...

I had remained more connected after graduating.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the growth. I would hate to see the organization lose its intimacy which has made the program so valuable.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 5, 2008
1 person found this review helpful

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August 5, 2008
1 person found this review helpful

Summer Search is a class organization that has done everything with integrity, grace, and gratitude. As we expand, the core values are still present, and still feels intimate.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the ability to connect with people that are really invested in my development.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, hard working, present (mentally, physically)

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 5, 2008

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August 5, 2008

I think that Summer Search does a good job of providing kids a chance to see what their potential is.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the quality of the people that participate.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

bring alumni to talk to the kids in order to foster a network.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with the great people.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

AWESOME!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand and provide more leadership opportunities.

Ways to make it better...

I'd have a bit more mentoring by alumni.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

not communicating with other nonprofits and utilities.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 5, 2008

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August 5, 2008

Summer Search is an amazing organization. It helped me find direction in my life. The staff cares a lot about the students. It changed my life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

they way it supported me. Also organize the alumni base is a smart move. We are movers and shakers and to get us all together, who knows what we can accomplish.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting like-minded individuals.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

encouraging, positive, challenging.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

put offices in all 50 states.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 5, 2008

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August 5, 2008

I arrived in the U.S. in 2000, found Summer Search, went to a summer camp MH in summer between junior and senior year. I learned my English/most of it at least there. I met amazing people and because of Summer Search I was nominated for Posse Foundation full tuition and went to Hamilton College.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I learned how to see an outside world/outside circle, take chances and don't be shy to ask or try. I graduated from a top college! First one in my family!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do very similar activities, just improve the connection among students before they graduate. I also make sure there are more events with current Summer Search students and the alumni.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

going to MH and learning English, making contacts, meeting great students, who ust need to be seen and recognized or given an opportunity.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

sweet, strong, caring, trustworthy, challenging, brave, mentors

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give more opportunities to more students

Ways to make it better...

I could be here for a whole weekend and knew more people, more adventure programs for the first day to break the ice--have a great network with businessmen and organizers.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial need, putting the words out

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 5, 2008

more

August 5, 2008

I was able to travel to Alabama to Dolphin Island Sea Lab and studied marine biology on the Gulf of Mexico. We also traveled to New Orleans and Florida. I was able to scuba dive and snorkel and meet different youth from around the country. Summer Search really showed me a world outside my own and yet one I could be a part of.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the mentorship provided is truly outstanding. They mentor you for life!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

put more people of color in higher positions and mostly hire alums.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the relationships with the alumni and the networking possibilities.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

phenomenal

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

go beyond the U.S. and put offices in Latin America. Especially my country, Guatemala.

Ways to make it better...

I had options of programs. If it continued throughout my college years

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the possibility of pushing its alums to the for profit sector. It should sway them to the not for profit work.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 5, 2008

more

August 5, 2008

I imigrated from Cape Verde to Boston in 1996 when I was twelve. I was sponsored over by my father but my mother stayed back. In Boston, I was the mother to my little brother, and the woman of the house. I never had time for myself and felt like I had no family or support. That's when SS stepped into my life and saved me! Summer Search is the family I did not have in this country.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way it supported and helped me through H.S.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

network (family).

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

my mentors and the family I was looking for.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the lives of more young people like myself.

Ways to make it better...

I stayed in touch after graduation and continued that family relationship

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 5, 2008

more

August 5, 2008

My experience with SS has so much impact on me that I want to pay it forward by helping young adults.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the success of its graduates, the way it supported me and helped me through high school, and the skills I learned in its programs.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they still care--"Once a Summer Searcher, always a Summer Searcher."

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

energetic, passionate

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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