March 1, 2016

Did you know that on this date one year ago (March 1, 2015), Summer Search Founder Linda Mornell’s book Forever Changed was officially published?
In honor of the anniversary of this book — Linda’s thoughtfully-crafted collection of some of Summer Search’s most inspiring stories, and magnum opus on the benefits that summer programs and insight mentoring have on young people — we’d like to share a powerful and very personal review of Forever Changed.
Summer Search San Francisco alumnus Rogelio Ramirez is one of the many young people whose lives were transformed through Linda and Summer Search. After reading Forever Changed, Rogelio reached out to Linda with his thoughts on the book. Inspired by his unique perspective, Linda suggested that Rogelio turn those thoughts into an official review.
So, Rogelio reworked his feedback into this captivating synopsis of the book, which he entitled, Heroes.
Most books provide the reader with one brave hero… but consider a book bold enough to foster many brave heroes; in fact, a book where every character is a hero. And now consider that this is not a work of fiction, but a document of truth.
There is a hero in each of us. No matter how small or daunting our trials, it is the choice to be courageous that, in the end, defines us.
Our narrator, in the midst of an innovative idea, is the first of our heroes to pursue the vulnerability of the unknown.
A therapist and psychiatric nurse, she discovers the potential that summer experiential education trips have for teenagers coping with the difficulties of adolescence.
She starts a program to find and fund those young people who are courageous enough to part with familiar surroundings and allow themselves to be transported to a foreign environment — a challenging environment where new insights, spurred on by introspection, lead to great growth.
What these students learn, how they persist against daunting odds, the spirit that is evoked to transcend each distinct life obstacle — (this book has) all this and more; tears and anger, forgiveness and compassion as they become forever changed.
This book is a series of honest and heroic stories about kids that defy the odds and go on to become leaders. I know… I was one of them.
Yes he was!! Rogelio has definitely become a leader in his community, working as a Special Education Paraprofessional in the Bay Area, and giving back as a mentor with SF Achievers.
Thanks to the foundation created by Linda, with contributions from so many others along the way (read the book to find out who), we at Summer Search are proud to continue to help young people discover their inner hero.
Stay tuned for more honest and heroic stories on this blog, and keep up with the latest from Linda on her website and blog.

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