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Regina was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Growing up in the liberal melting pot that is the Bay, Regina had an inclination toward social and racial justice at an early age, attending rallies and protests as young as 7 years old. She went to CSU Monterey Bay where she got her B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences. After spending several soul crushing years in the corporate world, Regina found Summer Search and was inspired by the mission of empowering young people to thrive through meaningful mentorships and experiences. Now as the Talent Manager, she loves enabling people to join in on that mission.
In her free time, she loves reading, karaoke, live music, tending to her dozens of plants and being the fun auntie.
Eunice Dunham, our VP of Talent, has spent the bulk of her career working in youth development. She finds inspiration from and is committed to working with others that are trying to create a better, more equitable world for all students and families. Eunice comes to Summer Search from a national non-profit, Playworks, where she was the Chief People Officer. Building strong teams, developing empathic leaders and creating an environment where employees feel empowered to be their authentic selves are just some of what Eunice considers her “super powers.”
When she’s not at work, you can find Eunice in the kitchen cooking for friends and family, hiking with her dog or joining her wife, Kira in a good game of chase with their daughter.
Malika brings with her a 20+ year functional leadership skillset informed by collaboration with organizations that partner with urban school districts to support positive student outcomes. She joins us from Duke University, where she led operations for the Talent Identification Program, which supported 100,000 students across nine states and 3 countries. Reinforced with a unique systems-level change perspective, Malika’s leadership and lived experience have shaped her focus on the efficacy and sustainability of supplemental education initiatives so critical to thriving post-secondary life outcomes for our under-resourced youth.
Malika obtained dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Carolina in Sociology and Black Studies and spent four years as a classroom teacher while pursuing an M.A. in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Michigan. After her experiences as a Teach for America corps member in the Bay Area and with classroom teaching in a district faced with challenges in quality assurance, compliance, and sustainability, Malika went from Detroit Public Schools to law and management school, focusing on strategic planning and systems-driven organizational development of social enterprises in the education reform/equity arena. In grad school, Malika was a Public Interest Law Fellow focused on McKinney-Vento Regulations for houseless students, and spent a year at the University of the Western Cape Law Faculty in South Africa researching the right to education and its implementation provisions included in the South African Constitution (1996).
Armed with a unique operational and compliance perspective and barred as an Attorney in the state of Illinois, post-grad school Malika applied her practical knowledge as a management consultant in Chicago for a public sector development firm supporting city-wide Public Schools and Park District initiatives, before shifting into organizational leadership. Regional leadership roles afforded her the opportunity to drive public-private projects and implementation plans with school management organizations, local colleges/universities, and governing state and local agencies.
In administrative and regulatory leadership, she served as a Detroit School Administrator and a compliance specialist with the Council on Foundations. And in Chicago, she helped lead scale efforts as a KIPP Board member and a Director of Programs at Youth Guidance, an organization that — like Summer Search — helps young people to overcome obstacles, focus on education and, ultimately, succeed in school and in life. Malika holds a JD/MBA from Indiana University, and as a member of the Illinois Bar, volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litem for foster youth dually-involved with justice; builds capacity and impact as an executive trainer for the woman-founded, women-led firm Raise for Good; and protects Black and Brown Genius as a member of the Village of Wisdom Board of Directors.
Nick served as the Chief Operating and Financial Officer at Summer Search from 2018-2022 before stepping into the Interim CEO role. Prior to joining Summer Search, Nick was Vice President of Public Policy at Citizen Schools and Executive Director of US2020, a national initiative to help close the opportunity gap in STEM education for girls, students of color, and children from low-income households. Launched by President Obama at the National Science Fair, US2020 served 22,000 students in thirteen cities, creating moments of discovery for the next generation of STEM professionals.
Prior to US2020, Nick served as COO at Juma Ventures, an award-winning social enterprise that provides employment and workforce development training to low-income students. During his tenure, Nick led fund development efforts to scale Juma’s model to New Orleans, New York City, San Diego, Santa Clara and Seattle, more than doubling the agency’s annual budget and quadrupling the size of Juma’s youth workforce. Before Juma, Nick served as Managing Director of the Arusha Project, a microfinance institution based in East Africa. His development background includes national political campaigns and public arts projects. He has served on the Education Committee at Opportunity Nation, the Governance Committee at Voices for National Service, and the K–12 Policy Committee at the Center for American Progress. Nick graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.
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!
Following a number of years running his own business, Peter began his journey in the nonprofit sector after deciding he wanted to do work with a more permanent impact on the world around him. Now, more than a decade into his career in youth development, Peter is motivated by the trajectory shift that can occur in a young person’s life as a result of intentional, high quality programming. The belief that the most profound impact of this work is that the benefits will continue to reveal themselves over years, lifetimes and even generations of families is a critical driver to what we get to do in this field.
Prior to Summer Search Peter led Community for Youth, a life-skills and mentoring program in Seattle where he lived for many years. In Seattle Peter also did extensive work with Youth Development Executives of King County, The Weikert Center’s Youth Program Quality Assessment tool, and Washington State Mentors Quality Mentoring Assessment Pathway Taskforce all of which worked to elevate the impact of mentoring young people. That work, seeing the incredible results that uncommonly intentional and professionalized mentoring yield, elevated the type of program that he wanted to work with. A move back home to the east coast brought him eagerly to Summer Search NYC.
Peter’s commitment to social justice extends beyond the workplace to a number of Boards and other volunteer opportunities including Fremont Community Therapy Project, Providence Hospitality House and work in King County Jail and Monroe State Prison. Now in NJ/NY after more than 20 years out west, Peter is looking forward to getting re-engaged in the local community. And in the days between there is always more live music to check out, more books to read, and more movies to see.
Megan is inspired by the courage and bravery that Summer Search students show in stepping outside of their comfort zone and pushing themselves to make impact in the world. She has the gift of sharing the hard work, joys and challenges of our students with our community of investors in NYC and working closely with volunteer leadership to grow the program to serve more students.
Megan grew up in Colorado and graduated from Cherry Creek High School and the University of Washington (Go Huskies!). After College she stepped out of HER comfort zone and moved to London and worked in event planning.
Megan lives in NYC with her husband and loves everything the city has to offer. She is an aging-but-still avid soccer player and enjoys drinking coffee with too much cream, traveling, adventuring and laughing with family and friends.
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.
Whitney supports Summer Search’s development teams, focusing on institutional giving and development operations. After working for Summer Search for many years, she remains inspired by the students she has been able to meet and committed to ending educational inequity across the country.
Whitney earned her bachelor’s degree from New York University. In addition to her work with Summer Search, Whitney has worked in international development, managing institutional fundraising for a women’s university in Rwanda.
After ten years in New York City, Whitney recently relocated to Denver, Colorado. In her spare time, you can find her testing out hiking trails, exploring her new city or watching reality television – all under the supervision of her two dogs.
Sharonda has a background in Youth Development and Program management and evaluation. She is originally from Texas and spent 7 years in Chicago finishing up her bachelors and earning her Masters in Educational Psychology.
Sharonda is passionate about creating and managing spaces that allows marginalized youth to thrive and explore the world through safe risk taking. She is most at ease when working within a passionate team of collaborators and creatives. She enjoys being in nature and exploring who she is with books, music, and food.
Emily brings decades of work in experiential education and a passion for social justice to her work at Summer Search. She began her relationship with Summer Search while working for Outward Bound, where she had the opportunity to instruct several Summer Searchers on Minnesota Boundary Waters canoeing courses. She went on to become a mentor in Boston for several years and coordinated the local Summer Experiences programming for the site. After leaving to work in study abroad and attain her master’s degree in Social Change, Emily returned to join Summer Search’s National Program Team in identifying/improving/implementing systems to support local sites to best serve students.
Based in Portland, Maine, Emily loves to quilt, read, and get out in nature as much as possible with her partner and young son.
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 every young person, regardless of where they come from, should be able to pursue their dreams. He is grateful to bring his creativity and passion to help promote Summer Search’s mission and to lift up the many incredible stories of Summer Search’s participants and their families.
Brendan’s passion for 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 Northern California. 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 writing/performing comedic hip hop songs.
Most of all, he loves (in partnership with his wonderful wife) playing with his baby daughter, Marlow.
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.
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.
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.