April 26, 2023

Welcoming New Summer Searchers

Brendan Hill

Brendan is the National Marketing & Communications Manager at Summer Search.

Spring is here; Summer is near. We’re overjoyed to welcome more than 600* new students to the Summer Search family!

As of April 26, 2023, our incoming Class of 2025 features: 

  • 163 Bay Area Summer Searchers.
  • 149 Boston Summer Searchers.
  • 142 NYC Summer Searchers.
  • 64 Philadelphia Summer Searchers.
  • 86 Seattle Summer Searchers.

Students and staff at Boston's Sophomore Orientation

Students and staff at Boston’s New Sophomore Orientation.

Welcoming Spaces

Across our communities, our teams have organized New Sophomore Orientations and Welcome Events. Each offer our new Summer Searchers and their families chances to connect in-person with their mentors and peers, learn more about our program, and celebrate one another.

A Note on Food: Our teams strive to ensure these events feature food for the whole family and from local businesses in the communities we serve, many of which are BIPOC-owned. In Seattle, their go-to spot is the Renton Deli, which is owned by the family of a Summer Searcher!

Since their acceptance into the program, students have been having conversations with their mentors, planning for their first summer experiences, and setting goals for their futures. During this time, Summer Search mentors are also introducing themselves to all of our students’ parents / guardians and answering any questions to ensure our families have an understanding of our program and know who we are.

Through high school, graduation, and beyond, our mentors create a space for our young people to be themselves and support them on their journey to realizing their dreams.

Bay Area staff welcoming new sophomores in our Oakland office.

Bay Area staff welcoming new sophomores in our Oakland office.

Summer Excitement

For Summer Searchers, the “reveal” of their first summer experience is a special moment.

As @summersearchphilly shares, “You can feel the joy coming from Nosirrah, one of our newest mentees, sharing about how she will be in participating in POBS this summer.”

“I feel happy about it because it’s different – different experiences, new places, I get to experience new things. Why not?!” ~ Nosirrah, Summer Search Philly

Nosirrah, Summer Search Philly student

Nosirrah at our Philly Sophomore Orientation.

Philly students Yerica, Justice, and Aniyahlee at their Sophomore Orientation.

Our sophomores who experience the outdoors will learn social-emotional skills as they camp, hike, raft, and immerse themselves in nature and the new memories waiting to be created.

As many of us can attestnew experiences can bring both excitement and anxiety. Summer Searchers will work with their mentors, teams, and communities to prepare themselves for success — from getting all the right gear, to orienting for outdoor adventures, to understanding safety measures, and more

Students at Seattle's Sophomore Orientation Workshop looking at Camping Gear

Seattle students and staff at their Sophomore Orientation Workshop (SOW), with a station to get familiar with the gear needed for summer experiences. 

Our Village

Our staff puts in tremendous effort to welcome each new class of high school sophomores. Just as much care and energy goes into Outreach — when we engage our partner high schools and introduce ourselves to prospective Summer Searchers and their families.

During 2022-23 recruitment, our teams utilized a hybrid approach of virtual and in-person gatherings, based on local health and safety guidelines.

This included:

  • Holding presentations to students and families in schools and via Zoom, often in multiple languages;
  • Improving the online application process for better accessibility for students/families;
  • Encouraging current Summer Searchers to nominate sophomores, increasing our pool of applicants;
  • Utilizing social media to share perspectives about the benefits of joining and keeping prospective students engaged and informed.
  • Expanding some of our recruiting efforts into the spring to connect with high school freshmen.

Outreach Presentations: (Above) Bay Area mentors LeAna and Jason presenting to students. (Below) Pedro and Diane at their Summer Search table in a Boston high school. 

Alongside the steadfast work of Summer Search Program teams, we partner with staff members at our local schools and community organizations. These relationships are crucial to supporting our mentors in connecting with prospective students.

We are so grateful to our staffand community for their evolution and innovation. Leave a comment below to welcome our newest Summer Searchers and show some love for our staff!

Seattle mentors Michael and Logan doing a ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ contest during Seattle’s SOW.

*This number (604) represents the number of new sophomores who have enrolled into Summer Search, as of April 26, 2023. Some students are still in the process of completing their enrollment.

NYC sophomores during an orientation workshop.

Welcome to the NEW summersearch.org!

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