Summer Searchers: YOU DID THAT!!
Over the past few months, our students and alumni have been celebrating their milestones and next steps — from graduations, to certificate completions, to post-grad degrees, to new careers, to new homes, and much more. For many Summer Searchers, they are the firsts in their families to take those next steps. #FirstGen
Our Class of 2022 has overcome so much to get here. Due to the COVID pandemic, most of our high school seniors didn't have a "normal" Summer Search experience, being forced to adapt to quarantines, distanced and hybrid learning, social unrest, and so much uncertainty.
We're honored to share a few of the many wonderful graduations and celebrations from the Summer Search Class of 2022. We are so proud to witness your growth and determination. You deserve every ounce of admiration and recognition!
Top row, from left to right: Nasro & her mentor Susan, Leslie, and Perla & her Mom.
Bottom row: Kira & her sister Dora (also a Summer Searcher),
Eric & Susan, and Monica & her mentor Colin.
Seattle alumnus Van Nguyen (second from right, below) completed his first year at the University of Washington School of Medicine!
Like many of our students and alumni, COVI prevented Van from having a proper graduation ceremony for his Bachelor's Degree. So, he utilized his humor and gratitude in a celebratory post on Summer Search CONNECT:
“Since I have no graduation pictures (thanks, Miss Rona), here's a pic capturing the end of my first year in med school! I'm thankful for Summer Search and our community for being with me every step of the way, even now!”
In Philadelphia, students from the Class of 2022 gathered with their mentors for their Senior Celebration!
This class of seniors started Summer Search in 2020 when the pandemic struck. Unlike most first year participants, they weren't able to have their summer experiences but they handled the change like champs. Pivoting to virtual mentoring and trying on trips their junior year, they made the most of programming and came together.
As their mentors shared on Instagram: "These grads have had their share of obstacles and came up on top. These students deserve every ounce of admiration and recognition - YOU DID THAT!!! PERIOD!"
Cesar "CJ" Cortorreal, alumnus and Philadelphia Board Member, earned his Master's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, the top-ranked Graduate School of Education in the country!
In a post on Summer Search CONNECT, Cesar reflected on his #FirstGen journey:
"From first-generation high school graduate; to first-generation college graduate; to first-generation Master's graduate. What is it that Summer Search says? 'Our world is better when every young person can find their potential.' #CESINGMYMOMENT"
Oh by the way, Cesar will continue his education in London, England as a Fulbright Scholar!
In New York City, mentor Danya (center, below) celebrated with her grads from University Heights High School in the Bronx!
From left to right: Joanna, Tania, Sakura, Zanelle, Andrew, Rafnny, Michelle (the Class Valedictorian!), and George.
Also, the NYC Senior Celebration was full of many warm and wonderful moments between Summer Searchers and their mentors.
In Boston, mentors Stephanie and Darryl showed up to cheer on their Malden High School grads! Check out the clever cap design from Imani below.
Special shout out to Valeria (top left, below) for being Valedictorian of her class at Elsie Allen!
Bay Area alumnae Lucy Fuentes (left, below) and Yesenia Magana-Muñoz (right, with her family) also shared huge milestones with the community on Summer Search CONNECT.
Lucy, who is a Social Worker pursuing a Doctor of Education at SF State, successfully defended her dissertation proposal! She has one more year and hopes to defend her dissertation by May 2023.
As for Yesenia, she shared that she and her family bought a house in Southern California! Yesenia had originally moved from the Bay to SoCal in 2010 to attend UC Riverside.
Finally, Bay Area alumna Janice Andrade earned her Doctorate of Education (in Organizational Change and Leadership) from the University of Southern California... after just having her second child!
In an emotional post on LinkedIn, Janice reflected on her years of hard work and achievement as a working mother:
"I did it! I received my doctorate from USC, 6 weeks postpartum. The past four years have been some of the toughest years I’ve gone through. I almost gave up a few times. The pressure from having a full-time job, raising a toddler, being pregnant, going through the pandemic, on top of school was definitely overwhelming. But I did it and I’m still pushing through. Watch me shine!"
Leave a comment to say congratulations to the entire Summer Search Class of 2022!