August 20, 2018

Welcome to the second installment of our #SummerSearchGrad series, where we are celebrating the post-secondary milestones of the students in our College Success program.

While many of these moments happened a few months ago, it gives us such joy and inspiration to look back on them now, and to give each deserving Summer Searcher who shared their photos a chance to be in the spotlight!

Chentese, Philadelphia

To celebrate her graduation from Gettysburg College, Chentese shared an incredible note of gratitude to everyone who supported her on her journey to get her degree.

They say it takes a village. This post is dedicated to my village. Without the support of family, friends, mentors, advisors, former teachers and professors, there is no way that I would have made it through these past four years. Being a first-generation student is an experience like no other – we carry the world on our shoulders and put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. To defy the odds and make our families proud, because this degree isn’t just for us, it’s for every person that came before us and weren’t afforded the privilege of higher education for whatever reason that may be. This degree is for my family, who are always so sure of my capabilities to excel even when I am unsure of myself. This degree is for my grandmother and father who I know were shining down on me from the clouds, sending me all their love and well wishes as I crossed that stage. This degree is for all the little girls and boys growing up in North Philly, who were told that they would never amount to anything. And last but not least, this degree is for my future students – you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. Don’t let society’s standards be a deciding factor on your success. You are strong, mighty and capable. Your adversities are only a testament to how far you will go. Until next time Gettysburg.

The “future students” Chentese is referring to are the young people she will be teaching once she completes her three-year teaching residency program sponsored by KIPP Schools. Chentese also spent her summer as an intern on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as part of the KIPP Schools Federal Policy Fellowship.

Monserrat, Bay Area

She Believed
She Could
So She Did.

Monserrat, who goes by Monse, shared a few photos of her inspiring graduation cap decoration, adding that “Hard work pays off.” It sure did, because Monse earned two Associate’s Degrees from Santa Rosa Junior College, one in Sociology and the other one in Social & Behavioral Sciences, and both with honors! She plans to transfer to Sonoma State University in the fall.

Miryam, Bay Area

Miryam completed her Associate’s Degree from Napa Valley College! And to commemorate the milestone, she had some wonderful pictures taken by fellow Bay Area Summer Searcher and local photographer Malika Lewis!

Thalia, Seattle

Thalia UW Bothell
Thalia celebrated her graduation from the University of Washington Bothell with a photo shoot as well! She earned a Double Major in Community Psychology and Society, Ethics & Human Behavior, a Minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, and graduated cum laude!

George, New York City

During his junior year at Binghamton University, George was featured in Binghamton’s School of Management Magazine. A year later, during his graduation ceremony for his Bachelor’s Degree, George posed in his cap and gown in front of one of those magazine photos!

Mehnaz, New York City

Mehnaz graduated from Purchase College in the spring and is headed off to grad school this fall to pursue a Master’s in Social Work at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. She also interned this summer with Deva Healing Center, one of Summer Search’s summer program partners in northern Arizona. This photo was taken when she stopped by the NYC office in June to check in with her College Success mentor!

Destiny, New York City

Like Myriam and Monse, Destiny crushed it with her graduation cap decoration. She used a quote from Professor Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series, which says “Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” Destiny earned her Associate’s from Bronx Community College and is taking her magic to Lehman College this fall to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree!

Once again, please join us in congratulating all of our graduating, matriculating, and next-step-taking Summer Searchers!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see all of our #SummerSearchGrad stories.

Check out #SummerSearchGrad Part 1 »

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