Summer Search successfully mentors high school students through high school and into college. Many students are the first in their families to complete high school and enter college.
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.
Summer Search has expanded my horizons well beyond my own. It allowed me to see the potential in me and what I could achieve.
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.
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.
I think that Summer Search does a good job of providing kids a chance to see what their potential is.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My experience with SS has so much impact on me that I want to pay it forward by helping young adults.
Summer Search helped me realize how important I am and to keep fighting for what I believe what the rest of the world has gone out.
Summer Search has helped me live a more fulfilling life. *This review was collected on a site visit and entered by GreatNonprofits staff
They were my emotional outlet; I don't like to talk about myself, so it was good to let it all out and grow from feeling like a victim to feeling super empowered.
Though my trip was a very difficult emotional experience, my life as an alumni changes me ever day. I have learned so much about myself and giving and I OWE so much to SS and my mentor, Jay Jacobs.
Summer Search allowed me to explore things I would have never done. Before Summer Search my outlook on life was negative and I lacked something, something in which I never thought I would get from this program. This program helped me find a more positive outlook on many things.
Summer Search was and still is helping me to become who I am destined to be. They never doubted me and never turned their backs on me. They are everything they can be or you want them to be.
Summer Search changed my life! They helped me grow in my relationships with everyone around me and most of all to grow as a person. It is hard to find words to describe how much Summer Search has meant to me.
Summer Search has been the catalyst of my change. It has opened my eyes to the tremendous amount of opportunities out there. I give Summer Search a 4 only because no one is perfect and there is always room for improvement.
Summer Search helped me realize my anger issues, become more confident and feel comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. It connected me with my current job at an investment firm. It helped me express myself! Changed my life!
Summer Search is an amazing program with amazing individuals. To be in Summer Search is to gain a second family, a family that inspires, motivates, and emboldens every action you take. Even if you lose touch they are always there to catch you, heal you, and make you the leader that the work needs.
S.S. helped me through a turbulent time in my life with the help and mentoring and two phenomenal readership enrichment trips. Something that S.S. did for me to help me to be what I am today! I graduated in 2003 but continue to donate to and volunteer with Summer Search and I also serve on the alumni board.
Actually, the star rating is a 4.5, only because it's not easy! I've learned and grown a lot since being a Summer Searcher. I was a sophomore in high school. Things sucked and I believed that one day they would get better but I didn't know how that was going to happen. To make a long story short, Summer Search has been one of my many pittstops on the road to healing and happiness.
My experience with Summer Search has been great and has helped in developing my life. I am currently studying to become a Civil Engineer at UMass Dartmouth. My first Summer Search experience was in 2003 where I took my first plane ride to San Francisco; the program that I went on was the Environmental Traveling Companions. I kayaked, went water rafting, as well as other activities which helped me build character, courage, and strength. The second trip that I went on was to Pennsylvania, where I met a large amount of people at the Longacre Farm.
Well I must say that Summer Search had an immense impact in my life. I went to Oregon with Outward Bound on my first trip and then to Ghana on my second one. It was an amazing experience
Summer search has been a life changing experience for me. When I first heard about summer search I thought that it would just be a free trip during the summer, doing some outdoor stuff and traveling to another country. Little did I know that these trips and summer search as a whole would change my life, and turn me into the person that I have become. Talking with a mentor every week at summer search was hard in the beginning but it gave me an outlet to start talking about my feelings that I was keeping inside. For the first time I started to realize things about myself and I started understand how I was feeling. I kept things inside for so long that I did not even know how what was going on with myself. As I started to get a better understanding of myself I went on my first trip. During this trip I met an amazing group of people who had similar stories as mine, as we continued to talk I was able to confide in them things I was not able to confide in others and I was able to form a family with them. For the first time in my life I was actually happy. I look forward to doing all the activities and each day. I made friends that would last me to this day. With my second summer trip it was the same. I was able to form a bond with different people in a different country. Summer Search has helped me open up more and find out who I am as a person. To this day I am still trying to figure that out but with the help of summer search I have been able to have an idea. I have found out things I like , like being in the outdoors, and making that a part of my life. I decided to leave a big city, Boston, and go to school in a small town in Upstate New York and I love it. And if it was not for summer search I would not have even considered it.
I became a Summer Search student during my sophomore year of high school and just finished my first year in college. Summer Search served and continues to serve me..whenever I'm in need of some extra support or someone to talk to. They sent me to B.C. for fifteen days on an outdoor excursion trip and then to Costa Rica my second year. Summer Search is still a huge part of my life as it helps and supports me.
In m past 3 years with summer search i have discovered my self, my light and my joy. Back in high school i was a difficult, stubborn, ass hole of a person walking down a dark road. When i was discovered by Emily on our first meeting i just gave up and told her about my life. the bumpy road to my life like depression, family problems, and what i wanted to do in my life. after being accepted to Sumer search i was able to let go of things, understand more about myself, and find joy in my life. Currently i am a Summer Search Alumi, i have grown, found joy and satisfaction in my life.