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Alexandra believes every person has an equal right to an affordable education. Her passion for educational equity stems from a desire to do justice to her parents’ example and sacrifice. Alexandra sees the best in others: their humanity, beauty, talents and courage. It’s her aim to help others notice, develop and unleash their gifts to impact Summer Search’s mission. Alexandra started serving others when she was a brace-faced, bi-focal wearing 14-year-old. She has been an AmeriCorps volunteer, secretary of a Board of Directors for an organization serving survivors of domestic violence, and a staff aid to a Member of Congress. For the past six years, she’s been a Big Sister to young man named David.
Alexandra graduated summa cum laude from The Ohio State University. She’s currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration. She considers herself lucky to live in Santa Rosa, California with her husband Billy and their two-year-old Catahoula, Hooly.
Seth is passionate about serving youth, building community, and developing a culture of philanthropy among young people. All of these have come together in his work at Summer Search.
Seth is the chief evangelist for engaging alumni in every facet of our work: as volunteers, as staff members, as donors, and as cheerleaders in their communities. In representing and engaging the voices from the most permanent stakeholders in the Summer Search community, Seth deepens the relationship between Summer Search and nearly 2,500 alumni.
Seth comes to Summer Search with more than six years of experience in alumni relations and development, most recently at his alma mater, UC San Diego.
Seth has volunteered for a number of organizations such as the New Leaders Council, the San Diego LGBT Community Center, the Trevor Project, and I’m From Driftwood.
In his free time, Seth loves to cook, practice yoga, sail the waters of San Francisco and San Diego, explore the beauty of San Francisco, and travel to exotic places near and far with his husband, Jared.
Erica believes that all youth are entitled to quality education and personal development opportunities. Her belief in creating equity for the leaders of tomorrow led her to Summer Search.
Erica brings four years of experience at Bay Area non-profits serving local youth. She first worked at Seneca Center as a mental health counselor for foster kids of all ages. She then moved from direct care to support staff, and joined HR/Talent team at Reading Partners, a national literacy program. Joining the Talent Team at Summer Search, Erica works to attract and retain the excellent talent through talent acquisition, onboarding, training, and more. She is proud to act as a resource and partner for staff throughout the organization.
When she is not working, you can find Erica spending time in the great outdoors hiking, camping, and discovering the best hidden swimming holes in California. She also travels frequently to Chile to visit her in-laws.
Erica obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Hispanic Studies from Oberlin College. She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their scruffy terrier.
Brendan believes that everyone should have access to higher education, which is why he feels so honored to join the Summer Search team. He is excited to bring his creativity and passion to help promote the organization’s mission, and to tell the many inspiring stories of Summer Search’s students. Brendan’s passion for higher education comes in part from his own college experience at the University of Miami. Go Canes! He developed an enthusiasm for summer educational programs in high school after spending four weeks away from home studying ancient Greek culture and literature. To this day, Brendan says that this summer program was one of the most enriching and inspiring experiences of his life.
Brendan also loves to explore the world. He has lived and studied in New England, South Florida, “Old” England, and now the Bay Area. He has backpacked through Australia and most of Western Europe, including Greece, of course. In his free time, Brendan enjoys playing basketball, watching English soccer, and performing with The Freeze, an improvisational-comedy-hip-hop band.
Shelby grew up in a household that fostered a passion for politics and social awareness. This interest, strengthened by working with youth during her high school and college years, led her to develop a strong belief in education and social justice. Prior to moving to San Francisco in 2008 to join the Summer Search National team, Shelby spent six years at the Western Divisional Headquarters of The Salvation Army in Omaha, Nebraska. It was here that she first worked in development and began her career in data management.
In her role as the Senior Development Database Administrator, Shelby leads the overarching strategy and optimization of Summer Search’s development data. She supports all development staff to increasingly leverage the database to improve fundraising strategy and donor stewardship.
In 2013, Shelby was among the very first users to become Blackbaud Certified in The Raiser’s Edge (bCRE) and now holds a Professional level certification.
Shelby is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she majored in English with minors in Biology, History and Political Science. She also holds an A.A. in Web Support Technology. Outside of the office, she can often be found cheering for Nebraska football (Go Huskers!), experimenting with vegan cooking, enjoying all of San Francisco’s best concert venues, or exploring Golden Gate Park with her bull terrier, Penny.
Christina is a first-generation college graduate whose parents instilled in her a strong belief in the power of education. Her passion for driving social change by addressing systemic inequities has taken her from her home state of Arizona to Washington, D.C., Sweden, and finally New York, where she now calls home.
Christina brings to Summer Search several years of experience supporting and being a thought leader to executive leadership and boards of directors. Prior to Summer Search, she was with a small but mighty development team at Partnership with Children (PWC). At PWC, Christina led strategic year-end giving campaigns, managed fundraising and cultivation events, and served as the go-to person for her team and the board of directors. She has also worked with an international healthcare think tank, ACCESS Health International to support the creation of organization-wide policies and procedures.
Christina holds a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Arizona (beardown!). She had the incredible opportunity to study alongside students from all over the world when she specialized her MPA in international health policy at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. In her spare time, Christina enjoys training for her next race, weekend walks to the farmer’s market with her boyfriend and their pup, Pretzel, and planning the next Catan night/adventure with her loved ones.
Raquel Mata is an Oakland native that has spent much of her career dedicated to addressing the equity and achievement gap among underrepresented communities, particularly young people who are the most vulnerable to challenging community conditions, and more limited in educational and economic opportunities. She has joined Summer Search because she believes mentorship carries a lasting impact on young people that can positively change the trajectory of their lives.
Raquel brings over 10 years of experience in development and relationship management to her role at Summer Search. Before joining the team, she served as Head of Institutional Development at REDF where she developed and implemented key strategies that secured major partnerships against a $75 million campaign. After graduating from the University of California San Diego, Raquel moved to Washington, DC, and worked for various national organizations focused on youth development. After several years on the east coast, Raquel returned to Oakland where she enjoys spending time with her husband and pup; practicing yoga and following futbol, (Visca el Barca!).
Amanda Sayre is committed to addressing the inequalities within our communities and world. In college, she participated in global fieldwork and cultural exchanges in several countries such as Brazil, South Africa, Kenya and China. Amanda assisted local communities address challenges including hunger prevention, family planning and wildlife preservation. These experiences bolstered Amanda’s interest in a career to help others.
Amanda joined Summer Search in 2007 to support organization-wide development efforts. Amanda was our first dedicated development staff member and is the glue of our development teams. Today Amanda is responsible for the behind the scenes fundraising work that advances Summer Search’s long-term development work and overall strategy.
Amanda graduated from The George Washington University in Washington, DC with a BA in Business with a concentration in Marketing. When Amanda isn’t working, you can find her hiking or camping in Southern California, enjoying a meal with family, or reading a book quietly on her balcony.
Sylvia entertained being an Archeologist or Anthropologist studying ancient artifacts and societies in some remote part of the world, but instead has spent the past 20 years working in Accounts Payable at companies like Cost Plus World Market, and Petco Animal Supplies.
Working at Summer Search allows Sylvia to satisfy her desire to give back to her community, and attain personal value through her job. Sylvia is a great team player and works on many project teams.
Sylvia attended San Diego State University and the University of Phoenix in the ongoing pursuit of a BA degree in Accounting.
Along with her husband of 31 years, Sylvia has raised 3 children. When Sylvia is not working, she devotes most of her time with her family. Her passions include reading, watching movies, and planning the next trip to a white sand beach.
Stacey has Summer Search in her DNA. An alumna of our San Francisco program, she credits her experience as a Summer Searcher for her drive to help others use their unique gifts towards growth and positive change. Stacey graces our training program with her true insight and understanding about how and what makes Summer Search work.
Stacey spent three years as Program Director helping launch our New York office, before rejoining our team in her hometown of San Francisco. During her college years, she taught environmental education in Ecuador and served as one of our best interns ever, worked as a Project Manager with our North Bay team before graduating and being snapped up by our New York team.
The first in her family to graduate from college, Stacey holds a BA in Women and gender studies from Sonoma State University. When she is not serving as a shining example of the grit and determination we see in our alumni, Stacey is immersed in reading, exploring with her husband and children and scheming in the sunshine about rejoining the world of long-distance running and learning to build beautiful handmade furniture. Stacey and her family live in San Francisco.
After years of working with youth in the outdoor education space, Lindsey Roark Yee realized she wanted to make a bigger difference in the lives of young people and Summer Search’s comprehensive program with Depth Mentoring spoke to her.
Lindsey led the North Bay Summer Search program team for five years where she cultivated a spirit of innovation and collaboration before moving to the National Program Team in 2014. For a year and a half Lindsey served as the temporary Regional Program Director while the Bay Area underwent regionalization before coming back to the National Program Team where Lindsey now combines her deep understanding of the Summer Search program model with her management skills in the pursuit of meaningful and high-quality programming for young people.
Lindsey holds a BA in Communication, a Masters in Organization Development, and a National Championship earned while playing collegiate softball for UC Davis. She received the 2013 Summer Search ‘Laugh and Celebrate Success’ award.
Lindsey loves backpacking with her husband, visiting her family in Grass Valley, crunching autumn leaves underfoot, holding a warm mug of tea with both hands, and playing with her two young boys.
Lance Edward Jones has spent his post-secondary career propagating equity in areas of opportunity. Whether tunneled whispers beneath Capitol Hill or shouts amidst the tumult of a Moroccan souk, Lance facilitates conversation and mutual understanding. He believes that unquenchable passion must be met with innovative, insightful action.
Lance enjoys motorcycles, sailing, a rising pulse, and nuance. His Boykin Spaniel, Kobe Bean Jones, pervades both consternation and respite.
Cecilia has spent the past ten years supporting arts and education organizations committed to elevating the voices, perspectives, and experiences of marginalized and under-represented communities.
Prior to joining Summer Search’s national institutional giving team, she honed her fundraising and storytelling skills at 826 National, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and International Center of Photography. Cecilia also spent two years teaching English as a second language to toddlers, scientists, and everyone in between, in Japan and the Czech Republic. She holds a master’s in nonprofit arts administration from New York University and bachelor’s degrees in English and photography from the University of Florida.
In her free time, you’ll find her exploring Golden Gate Park in San Francisco with her husband and toddler.
Chris is a firm believer in the power of community to drive social change.
A Utah native, Chris studied Spanish at Kenyon College before moving to Washington, DC. During his time in DC, he worked at the Latin American Youth Center, volunteered at local nonprofits, and pursued an MFA in poetry at the University of Maryland. In 2016 Chris moved to the Bay Area and worked at a bookstore and a nonprofit magazine before joining the Summer Search team. As a Development Operations Associate at Summer Search, Chris combines his commitment to social justice with his operations experience and, with the rest of the Dev Ops team, ensures that gift data is accurate and up-to-date.
In his spare time, Chris goes to drag shows, makes ice cream, and is a co-publisher of speCt, a small poetry press based in Oakland.
Meaghan has a passion for social justice and creating equal access to education and programming. She was drawn to Summer Search because of the emphasis on relationship building, focus on becoming an anti-racist organization, and their long-term commitment to students.
Prior to joining Summer Search, Meaghan moved to Chicago to complete a year of service with Amate House. After finishing the program, she spent the next 6 years living in Chicago and working at several nonprofits. She gained experience managing volunteers, using Raiser’s Edge database software, team building and donor stewardship. Meaghan is thrilled to join the Development Operations team and utilize her skills and experience in an efficient and effective way to support Summer Search’s mission.
Meaghan is a graduate of La Salle University where she earned her BS in Marketing and International Business. In her spare time, Meaghan loves caring for her many houseplants, listening to podcasts, trying new recipes, and crafting cross stitch and embroidery art.
Bekah strongly believes in the power of opportunity and access to experiences and education that allow young people to imagine possibilities beyond those they see in their day to day lives. This belief drew her to Summer Search. Bekah started her career as a Sign Language Interpreter before pivoting to working in nonprofit spaces. She brings over 10 years of experience working in database and systems management at various nonprofit and educational organizations and is thrilled to use her skill set supporting the mission at Summer Search.
When she’s not working, you can find Bekah watching boxing, trying to sneak away to a boxing gym for a workout, trying out new sewing projects or attempting to entertain her energetic toddler through bike rides and trips to the library. She lives in El Cerrito, CA with her husband, 2 kids, and FMD dog Chica.