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Sylvia is motivated by the belief that all youth should have access to college regardless of their zip code, and is excited to serve this mission as the Executive Director of the Summer Search Philadelphia office.
Prior to joining Summer Search, Sylvia built an exemplary career in education and entrepreneurship. Sylvia started her real estate career with a start-up company, Taylor Properties, where she successfully negotiated and finalized construction, permanent and equity loans with private banks and government agencies to build and sell affordable, fee simple housing as well as commercial properties.
As Executive Director of the Museum of Afro American History in Boston and the Philadelphia chapter of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, she provided leadership on key strategic plans and implemented fundraising programs with staff and stakeholders, collaborated with the members of the media to promote the missions of these organizations, resulting in various articles, live television coverage and the creation of videos/films.
While as the director of the MAAH, the late Senator Edward Kennedy introduced her to First Lady Hilary Clinton. Senator Kennedy also invited her to witness the late President Nelson Mandela be presented with a Congressional Gold Medal from President Bill Clinton. These profound experiences re-ignited her passion to work for organizations to alleviate poverty in this country.
Sylvia holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of South Carolina and Masters of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her hobbies include travel, biking, golfing, and reading tons of comic books, especially the Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur series!
Erin is deeply passionate about helping young people transform what they believe is possible for themselves. Erin’s journey to Summer Search began as an Outward Bound Instructor for an expedition of all Summer Searchers inspired her with their self-reflection, resilience, and willingness to step out of their comfort zone.
Erin, a first-generation college student, received her B.A from Clark University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching program at Clark University. During her fieldwork in South Africa and rural Haiti, Erin experienced the transformative power of being outside of her comfort zone. Erin has taught 8th grade World history and was an Lead Wilderness Instructor at Outward Bound.
In her free time, Erin finds herself scheming new outdoor adventures, mountain biking, and throwing homemade pizza parties.
Carlos supports the idea that everyone is a teacher and a student simultaneously. He believes in untapped potential that sits inside every individual and lives to see people achieve their truth by overcoming their fears. He is passionate about cultural exchanges and believes that diversity makes the collective stronger.
Carlos understands well the process of adaptability because as a kid he moved often – immigrating to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 2006.
Carlos graduated from Temple University with a BA in Political Science and Latin American Studies. During his university years he was involved with the Boys and Girls Club of America and worked closely with the immigrant community of El Paso, TX. His thirst for learning about other cultures encouraged him to join the Peace Corps. This was an opportunity for him to live and work in a foreign country, put into practice the skills he had learned in prior years and bring back new strategies to the developing communities of Philadelphia.
During his free time he likes to paint, code and polish his Sign Language skills.
Alex is passionate about seeing those around her truly believe in their worth and abilities. She is driven by the narrative of empowerment and seeing underserved populations have abundant resources. Alex is attracted to the framework in which Summer Search serves students because of the thoughtful, holistic approach, and the high emphasis on equity.
Alex holds a B.A. in psychology, with a minor in sociology, from Eastern University. While in college she was deeply changed by mentoring high school girls in navigating spirituality and was also shaped by her time abroad in Uganda. Quickly, Alex was culturally immersed and taught to think beyond her own socialization and community. Pairing time abroad with interning for Outward Bound, she began to see the value of good questions, living in the tension, and seeking real adventure. Alex worked in Philadelphia as a social worker, serving single mothers, before landing at Summer Search.
Seeking the fullest life possible, Alex can be found outside. Whether its bungee jumping, caving, or a road trip to a National Park, Alex is someone who pursues the wild things in life.
Kaitlin has a deep belief in providing access to opportunities for all. At Summer Search, she loves connecting with students and empowering them to find the best opportunities for their big third trip — college!
Kaitlin holds a B.A. from Dickinson College and a Masters in Education from the College of William & Mary. During college, she studied in Cameroon, Africa, where she became a true member of her host family, spoke French, and ate her weight in fresh mangoes. Kaitlin worked for an Upward Bound program during college summers.
Kaitlin has been a college adviser in a rural public high school and is a recent transplant to Philly.
She can be found at the dog park, reading books, discovering hidden culinary gems, or scheming about where her passport will take her next.
Tolulope’s passion, obsession, and ambition is to empower underserved youth to be the best version of themselves. Ultimately, what drives Tolulope is helping youth be what people said they couldn’t. Tolulope hopes to bring a unique background of engaging youth in various roles: mentor, coach, and advocate to Summer Search.
Before Summer Search, Tolulope served as a Heinz Fellow for the Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Heinz Fellowship placed ten recent African American college graduates in high-needs high schools in the Pittsburgh school district to serve as mentors, tutors and role models for high school African American males. Along with working at a school full-time, Tolulope pursued graduate studies and received a Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Robert Morris University in 2015.
Tolulope, a Questbridge Scholar received a B.A. in Religion from Haverford College in 2013. Tolulope likes to spend his free time coaching a middle school track and field team, playing chess, and debating about why every single New York City sports team is the best.
Annie holds the strong belief that equal access to opportunities within education is a key lever to addressing the many inequities in our country, and she is honored to be contributing to the great work of Summer Search on the development team.
Annie is an entrepreneurial leader who recently transitioned to nonprofit management when she moved to the Philadelphia area in 2015. As the sole manager of programs for the Philadelphia office of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), she contributed to tripling the number of partner schools, strengthening the professional development and support of teachers and increasing their volunteer base by 50 percent.
Formerly, she spent nearly a decade in schools-based roles. Her can-do spirit has helped to found or turn around three middle schools and one high school in her tenure as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal and district leader.
Annie attained her Master of Education from Christian Brothers University while in her first years teaching middle school science in Memphis, TN. She also has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an experiential summer trip to the Chesapeake Bay as a middle schooler is what instilled in her a deep passion for the environment and environmental justice issues.
When not at work, Annie is an avid reader, Philadelphia restaurant frequenter and considers walking her two dogs, Eddie and Nala, an acceptable form of exercise.
Avere is passionate about young people knowing their options, seeing the value in their story and their support system. Avere’s journey to Summer Search began as a 10th grader nominated for Summer Search by a History teacher who saw her potential. She is a proud Summer Search Philly Alum and now, employee and mentor.
Avere, a first-generation college graduate and Progressive Scholar received a B.A. in Multidisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and Project Management from Colby-Sawyer College in 2016. In college, Avere took full advantage of embracing transformative life events by completing three internships including re-entry studies through AmeriCorps and completing an Alternative Spring Break trip supporting Veterans. She was deeply impacted by involvement in educational leadership, dance club, and rugby.
Bound to the city of Brotherly Love, Avere returned to Philadelphia after undergrad with a better understanding of self. She has since completed two full-terms of service with AmeriCorps, and received the Mayor’s Award for Distinguished National Service, pursued graduate level Education courses and has continued to deep-dive into her love for the arts as a form of self-expression.