OUR TEAM

Choose a Category below to see team members across all locations

Melanie Lyons

Melanie Lyons

Seattle Executive Director

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers Melanie began mentoring and investing in the power...

 
Melanie Lyons

Melanie Lyons

Position: Seattle Executive Director
Email: mlyons@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Melanie began mentoring and investing in the power of young people when she was in her teens and has never looked back. Over the last 14 years Melanie has been working in nonprofit organizations that support young people to use their power, potential and talent in personal, local and global leadership.

Melanie received her BA and subsequently, a Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Administration – all at the University of Washington.

She craves outdoor adventures and can often be seen on her light green bicycle named Sweet Pea. She has made a fun-filled and friend-filled home with her partner Tina and her beloved puggle Theo. She will forever be a double Husky – go UCONN and UW!

Allie Denny

Senior Donor Relations Manager

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Allie came to Summer Search in 2017, fueled...

 

Allie Denny

Position: Senior Donor Relations Manager
Email: adenny@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

Allie came to Summer Search in 2017, fueled by her strong belief in the transformative power of mentorship and life-changing experiences. As a first-generation college graduate and member of Summer Search Seattle’s development team, Allie finds joy in building meaningful relationships within the Summer Search community and creating opportunities for rewarding partnerships.
Outside of work, Allie enjoys taking care of her houseplants, running in her neighborhood, meditating, rollerskating, and spending time outside.

Susan Huynh

Post-Secondary Access Coordinator

Pronouns: She/her/hers Susan is a first-generation college graduate born and...

 

Susan Huynh

Position: Post-Secondary Access Coordinator
Email: shuynh@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Susan is a first-generation college graduate born and raised in South King County, who graduated in 2013 from the University of Washington with a B.A. in International Studies-Southeast Asia with a minor in Global Health.

 

When she was an undergraduate, she mentored high school seniors on college access at Federal Way High School (where she graduated from) which sparked her deep passion and career in supporting low-income, first-generation and underrepresented groups in achieving their post-secondary goals.  Prior to Summer Search, she was supporting students with their post-secondary pathways as a College & Career Specialist in the Renton School District

 

When Susan is not working, she likes to spend time with friends and family, travel, hang out with her dog Benji the Frenchie, try out new restaurants, and binge watch Netflix TV shows and movies.

Monica Manzo

Senior Program Associate

Pronouns: She/They/Theirs Mónica is a strong believer of inspiring self-confidence,...

 

Monica Manzo

Position: Senior Program Associate
Email: mmanzo@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/They/Theirs

Mónica is a strong believer of inspiring self-confidence, empowering youth and supporting youth as they achieve their highest potential. She has devoted countless hours in supporting young women of color with programs like La Voz de E.L.L.A. and Project Luangwa. Making Summer Search the perfect place to expend her work and efforts in improving access into higher education.

Mónica comes from a migrant family in central Washington that worked multiples seasons harvesting fruit. In 2011 she transferred into UW and as a first-generation woman of color she quickly learned to identify institutional inequalities and has since dedicated her efforts to advocating for social justice. She is very connected to her Mexican roots and enjoys spending time with family and dancing Banda. She also enjoys trying out new restaurants and bars in Seattle and meeting up with friends.

Colin Petkus

Program Manager

Pronouns: He/him/his Colin brought his passion for working with young...

 

Colin Petkus

Position: Program Manager
Email: cpetkus@summersearch.org

Pronouns: He/him/his

Colin brought his passion for working with young people to Summer Search when he joined the Seattle team as a mentor in 2013. Since then, Colin has been continually inspired and motivated by the incredible students, families, counselors, and teammates who are part of the Summer Search community.

Born in Seattle and raised in the foothills of the Cascades, Colin attended Boston College where he received a B.A. in English, then quickly returned home to escape the frigid New England winters. Before joining Summer Search, Colin worked as an advocate for young people experiencing homelessness in rural and suburban King County.

Outside of work, Colin enjoys cycling long distances, exploring the lush wildernesses of the Pacific Northwest, and loud music. Sometimes all at once.

Sergey Smirnov

Director of Development

Pronouns: He/him/his Dedicated to social change, service, and healthy communities,...

 

Sergey Smirnov

Position: Director of Development
Email: ssmirnov@summersearch.org

Pronouns: He/him/his

Dedicated to social change, service, and healthy communities, Sergey is inspired by how Summer Searchers stretch themselves, get out of their comfort zone, and create impact far beyond themselves. He works with the community of individuals and institutions who invest in our students and with volunteer leadership to grow the program to serve more students.

Sergey grew up in Russia before immigrating to Seattle at the age of eleven. He is a proud University of Washington and Bellevue College alumnus, where he participated in student government and too many clubs. Prior to joining Summer Search, Sergey has worked in resource development in healthcare and education at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the American Cancer Society, University of Washington, and the Hamlin Robinson School.

When not at Summer Search, you can find Sergey running, practicing yoga, seeing live music, reading or checking out new restaurants.

Viche' Thomas

Viche’ Thomas

School and Community Engagement Coordinator

Pronouns: She/her/hers Viche’ is native to Seattle, WA born and...

 
Viche' Thomas

Viche’ Thomas

Position: School and Community Engagement Coordinator
Email: vthomas@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Viche’ is native to Seattle, WA born and raised in the historical black neighborhood known as the Central District. She graduated from Garfield High School and then from the University of Washington with a B.A in Sociology. At the young age of 11 Viche’ joined a rigorous college bound program where she received academic, emotional and career support up until college graduation. Knowing firsthand the impacts education and supportive mentorship can have, Viche’ has always been committed to supporting and developing youth like herself who come from marginalized backgrounds. She has experience working as a High School Academic Counselor and as a Program Facilitator for different organizations focused on social injustices.

Outside of work Viche’ is most likely spending time with her younger sister and/or close friends and family while eating some form of potatoes, which she is borderline infatuated with.

Therese Williams

Director of Post-Secondary Access & Success

Pronouns: She/her/hers Therese is a Sacramento, California native that enjoys...

 

Therese Williams

Position: Director of Post-Secondary Access & Success
Email: twilliams@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Therese is a Sacramento, California native that enjoys dancing, traveling, and quality times with her loved ones. Therese graduated as a part of the first inaugural class at the University of California, Merced (Go Bobcats!) and received her BA in Psychology, with a minor in Cognitive Science in 2009. In pursuit of a higher learning, Therese moved to the Pacific Northwest to complete her graduate studies in Student Development Administration (M.Ed) at Seattle University in 2013. Joining the Summer Search Seattle team couldn’t be more of a perfect fit for Therese because she was a product of mentoring and college preparation program called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) during her high school experience. Since Therese’s high school AVID experience, serving students has been a calling that she is truly passionate about. Her background in education spans from transfer admissions advising, academic advising, career advising, and new student orientation within college institutions in both California and Washington State. In the words of the great Maya Angelou, Therese deeply resonates with the following quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Thus, Therese considers it a privilege to invite students into a safe space where they feel heard, validated, and empowered to use their voice as a catalyst to spark positive change wherever it is needed. Moreover, Therese is deeply committed towards partnering with students in defining their pathway of success while helping them understand that they were born with the ability to succeed!
Therese resides in south King county (Federal Way), and when she is not at Summer Search, she enjoys dance fitness, Marvel superhero movies, live jazz music, eating lavender ice cream at Point Ruston, traveling to different countries with her best friend, fellowship with her church family, and spending quality time with her amazing husband.
Marisol Rivera

Marisol Rivera

Program Associate

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Marisol is a Summer Search Alum who is...

 
Marisol Rivera

Marisol Rivera

Position: Program Associate

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.

Marisol is a Summer Search Alum who is happy to come back full circle to support High School students! Marisol understands the importance of youth having mentors in their life and to support them in reaching their life goals! Marisol’s background in supporting youth has varied but one thing is certain, she loves supporting youth because they are the future!

Marisol was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and comes from a migrant family and her family has been one of her greatest inspirations in life. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as being a listening ear to anyone in need. Marisol also loves trying new things and having new adventures. She loves animals and owns a dog named Ammo who she loves very much.

Michael Davis

Program Associate

Pronouns: He/Him/His. Mike is a native of Seattle, WA. Raised...

 

Michael Davis

Position: Program Associate

Pronouns: He/Him/His.

Mike is a native of Seattle, WA. Raised in the Central District he spent most of his schooling in the Seattle School District, attending Garfield High School but eventually graduating from Kentwood High School. After transferring from University of Houston to be closer to home Mike graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Sociology in hopes to become a Social Worker like his mother.  Coming from an underserved community he has always had a passion to help others succeed and was able to put his passion into practice by working as a College Access and Career Coach in Houston, TX. Like Summer Search he was able to help students combat inequities in their neighborhood and schools by exposing them to new ventures and help prepare them for life after high school. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, comedy shows and listening to new music.

Andrea Diaz

Post-Secondary Program Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her. Andrea is a Seattle Pacific University alum with...

 

Andrea Diaz

Position: Post-Secondary Program Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her.

Andrea is a Seattle Pacific University alum with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Women’s Studies. Her experience attending university as a Queer Puerto Rican led her to quickly immerse herself in student-centered circles advocating for institutional equity. Andrea’s role as the Student Support Coordinator for the UW Dream Project deepened her desire to continue supporting young folx with their post-secondary pathways and to continue advocating for racial and class equity within institutions and communities.

In her free time, Andrea is hoping to take many writing courses to improve her writing skills and to connect with her community in Seattle. She also loves to attend local art shows, explore Duwamish with her partner, and paint outside while watching the sunset.

Habtamu Kabeto

Habtamu Kabeto

Program Associate

Pronouns: He/Him/His My name is Habtamu Kabeto. I was born...

 
Habtamu Kabeto

Habtamu Kabeto

Position: Program Associate

Pronouns: He/Him/His

My name is Habtamu Kabeto. I was born and raised in Ethiopia; moved to the United States in 2013 with my family. I have been a Summer Search mentee throughout my high school and college.

I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Geography, Data Science. I am passionate to work with the youth and I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to mentor at Summer Search, because I know how crucial it is to have a mentor of your own. There were many times I decided to give up on my education and dreams, but it was having someone that listed to me with no judgment that helped me get through those hard times. It is my intention and my goal to be there for the youth in times like that, so that they thrive beyond their obstacles. The youth is the future and the key to a better world.

In my free time, I enjoy learning and trying new things whether it is food or activity. I love biking, hiking, and technology besides spending quality time with my family.