"Here came this light and it was CONNECT. Where it was a chance to do more than just high school... now we're going to connect with life. - Lisander Lopez, Summer Search Alumnus
Since launching Summer Search CONNECT in the fall of 2020, we've been proud to see so many Summer Search alumni, students, and community members making the most of our new, bustling digital hub. As of today (11/16/21), CONNECT is now close to 2,500 users!
But what's most gratifying are the impactful connections being made every day. Summer Searchers are not only looking for (and offering) support in moving forward in their academic and professional lives, but also in building community and finding personal growth.
Lisander Lopez, an entrepreneurial and engaging alumnus from New York City, has been doing all of that.
In the video above, Lisander enthusiastically explains how he used CONNECT during his senior year of college to reach out to fellow Summer Searchers and community members, eventually landing his current job as a Software Engineer at M&T Bank.
As he shared with Lance Jones, Summer Search's Director of Marketing and Communications, the real impact he felt was in the authentic conversations and personal connections that could only be found in this trustworthy, Summer-Search-only space.
"We had this one thing in common, which was: we're Summer Searchers," Lisander explains. "We all have this mindset, of we need to give back and help one another. Because there needs to be more of us out in the world."
Lisander also reflected on how CONNECT can be a powerful "upgrade" to his, and other Summer Searchers', experiences after high school.
"When you go from high school to college, it's like an upgrade.
Your networking, your connections, it gets bigger, your pool gets bigger.
So then with Summer Search [CONNECT], I feel like it's kind of the same, you upgrade because you get access to a pool of alums, and from other sites as well."
Lisander not only has bold visions for his own future, but also for the future of Summer Search CONNECT.
"I need CONNECT to be bigger than LinkedIn. That's all I'm saying!"
Hey, why not?!?!
Inspired by the support he received from his fellow Summer Searchers, Lisander is returning the favor. If you search his name in the CONNECT Directory, you'll see he's "Willing to Help".
"Summer Search had a big impact in my life," Lisander adds. "And there's a reason I'm here right now, trying to give back as much as I can, because the way [Summer Search] affected me, I know it can affect others, positively of course."
Please consider making a gift to Summer Search to support young people like Lisander who are making real connections, accessing helpful resources, and boldly pursuing their futures.