January 30, 2017

At Summer Search, we unleash the next generation of diverse leaders on the world. We help young people from low-income backgrounds transform what they believe is possible for themselves so they can develop the skills needed to earn a college degree and go on to change the face of leadership in their communities and our country.

Enter Boston alumna Hermese Velasquez.


“I am an example of what is possible when students from low-income backgrounds are encouraged to look beyond their circumstances.”

After making the most of her time as a Summer Search student, Hermese graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since then, she’s been giving back to Summer Search as an Alumni Board Member and Alumni Board Chair in Boston, and has served on the Summer Search Board of Directors.

hermese-2007-alumsHermese Velasquez (left) with fellow Boston alumni Christopher Fitzgerald, Titilayo Fashemi, and Sylvia Warot at an alumni event in 2007.

Hermese has also been a leader in the Boston area for several years, working with a dedicated passion for equity and helping local students pursue college dreams.

Now she gets the chance to take on her biggest role yet, as she steps into her new position as Executive Director of Summer Search Boston!

“I’ve been a voice of Summer Search. Now as Executive Director, I get to do this full time,” Hermese said proudly in her welcome video.

She is now the second alumna to serve as Executive Director of a Summer Search program site (a third alumna leader launched our Philadelphia office).

Over the past several years, Summer Search has made a concerted effort to engage our alumni through a robust National Alumni Network, expanded volunteer and leadership opportunities, and a formal strategy to hire more alumni across the network.

The results speak for themselves: Summer Search alumni now serve on every local and national board, and ten alumni hold staff positions throughout the organization as mentors, fundraisers, administrators, managers, and leaders.

Looking ahead, Hermese says, “I am thrilled to have the chance to lead this organization as it continues to grow to serve more of Greater Boston’s future leaders. My mission as Boston’s Executive Director will be to inspire others to support Summer Search everyday so that many more lives can be transformed.”

Read Hermese’s advice for new Summer Searchers »

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