September 24, 2015

With SAT season getting underway next week (the first test of the new academic year is Oct. 3!!), high school students across the country are preparing to take the nation’s most widely used college admission test.
For those of us who have already taken the SATs, each year we breathe a sigh of relief for the fact that we no longer have to spend time memorizing formidable (causing fear or apprehension) lists of vocabulary words.

However, since it’s our 25th anniversary here at Summer Search, we thought it would be fun to dust off our old vocabulary books and thesauruses to reminisce over some of our favorite (and least favorite) SAT words. And we’ll try to explain them using Summer Search terminology.
It’s always fun to learn new words, right? Hooray for erudition (impressive knowledge)!
1. Plethora
Noun: a large or excessive amount of something
“Summer Search has a plethora of resources available to help our students succeed.”
While we wouldn’t quite say our resources are “excessive,” we do have a thorough program, which offers low-income high school students summer trip experiences, professional mentoring, scholarships, college and career support, a vast alumni network and more.
2. Intrepid
Adjective: fearless, adventurous
“Our summer trips turn our students into intrepid travelers.”
A cornerstone of the Summer Search program is, of course, our summer wilderness expeditions. For many of our students, this is the first opportunity to travel and see a broader view of the world. This transformative (life-changing) experience helps students develop a stronger sense of self and discover “that the power to chart their own course has been inside them all along.”
3. Munificent
Adjective: very generous

“Summer Search is fortunate to have so many munificent people who support our organization.”
Everybody gets a… Summer Trip!

Not to be confused with Maleficent
None of Summer Search’s scholarships, mentoring programs and even this blog, would exist without the time, resources and largess (money or gifts given generously) contributed by so many.
By the way, if YOU are feeling munificent, altruistic (unselfish) or just want to help, there are many ways you can get involved with Summer Search!
4. Esoteric
Adjective: only understood by a few, hard to understand

“While college applications and financial aid might seem esoteric to many, Summer Search’s college counselors are here to help.”
We offer college and financial aid advising to all students in our program. Our experienced and assiduous (hard-working) College Success Team works directly with students and their families to help them navigate the labyrinth (maze) of applications and financial aid, helping our kids find the best possible college match.
5. Ameliorate
Verb: to make or become better, improve

“We seek to ameliorate our students’ chances of success, regardless of their circumstances.”
Unfortunately, for young people in low-income areas in the United States, the graduation rates are abhorrent (disgusting): 51% graduate from high school, and only 10% graduate from college.*
However, thanks to the perennial (continuing without interruption) mentorship and support that our program offers (beginning sophomore year in high school, through college and beyond), 98% of Summer Search students finish high school, and 71% complete college!*
So, in conclusion…
For 25 years, Summer Search’s plethora of resources and munificent supporters have helped ameliorate the chances that our intrepid young leaders will become high school and college graduates, turning higher education from an esoteric dream into a reality.
Ok, time to put away our thesaurus.
*Statistical Notes:

  • Low income graduation rate courtesy of National Center for Education Statistics, 2012 Digest of Educational Statistics.
  • Summer Search High School and College completion stats as of 9/21/15.

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