January 7, 2016

It’s the new year, and here at Summer Search that means we are getting ready to interview and enroll new students into our program.

January is also National Mentoring Month, as proclaimed by President Obama, where many different organizations shine the light on the importance of mentoring relationships in young people’s lives. #NationalMentoringMonth

We asked a few of our alumni and current college students if they had any advice for our new Summer Searchers as they begin their journeys creating foundational relationships with their mentors, and one theme kept “reaching out” at us…

“When in doubt, reach out.”

Zeshan, Philadelphia College Student:

Zeshan-Amanda-PHL Photo: Zeshan (right), with Philadelphia Executive Director Amanda Jefferson (left)

“We usually have the solution to our (own) problems, but by keeping everything in, it is extremely difficult to find the answer. As we talk to someone else about it, we grab the answer as it leaves our mouths. Talking to my mentors helped me discover this.”

Hermese, Boston Alumna:


“On a daily basis, remind yourself that you are not your circumstances. By this I mean that you should not limit yourself because of where you are today, or how far your family and those around you have reached. Life is all about attitude. We all have control over how we look at things. View your obstacles as opportunities and tackle them with a positive attitude. Continue to believe that all things are possible for you, and always seek help from others.

Alvaro, San Francisco Alumnus:


“My piece of advice is one that I vividly remember one of my mentors engraving in my head: ‘When in doubt, reach out!’ It’s important to remember that not only is Summer Search always there as a resource, but teachers, friends or family are often very willing to help during difficult times. I remind myself of the phrase every day because, whether it be at work or in my personal life, there is someone who I can reach out to for help.”

Elizabeth, Seattle College Student:


“If life is getting you down, the first thing to do is to tell someone about it. It is dangerously unhealthy to keep so many frustrations and/or worries bottled up inside of you without expressing your innermost feelings. Perhaps you may not feel comfortable speaking with your family or with your friends about what is troubling you, but as a Summer Searcher, you have a mentor, an entire staff and a whole community of other Summer Searchers coming from a similar background as you that you can always refer to in order to receive the help that you need. Establishing connections with a supportive network such as Summer Search provides you with the safe space and resources to discover what you value most and to get through even the worst of times.”

As you can see, this idea of not being afraid to ask for help from a mentor is so important, especially for young people who might not be used to having stable support systems in their lives.

“When in doubt, reach out” has turned into an unofficial slogan for our students and mentors. And if you need any help remembering it, here are several San Francisco Summer Searchers, led by high school senior Anthony, to help remind you

Stay tuned for more mentoring stories!

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