ABOUT SUMMER SEARCH

Summer Search is a 7-year mentorship program for promising students facing unjust obstacles. Students join the program in their Sophomore year of High School and are supported through College or other Post-Secondary pursuits. 


We provide comprehensive support through one on one mentorship from trained staff, peer-led group mentorship , career development, goal setting, and adventurous summer experiences.

CONTACT SUMMER SEARCH

  • T 415.362.5225
  • F 415.362.5274
  • info@summersearch.org
  • 101 Howard, SF, CA 94105

OUR VIDEOS

Supporting Young People

Voices of Summer Search 2018

Deer Hill Summer Experience

CEO, Dr. Mark Spencer

Our Team

Jacob Urena

Program Associate

Pronouns: He/Him/His Jacob has a passion for working with young...

De’Andre Jones

De’Andre identifies as a queer, first-generation, Afro-Latinx student development practitioner...

Elissa Fink

Elissa Fink serves on several not-for-profit and corporate boards, including...

LeTia Green

Alumni Board Member

LeTia is passionate about challenging inequity and advocating for marginalized...

Duron Jones

High School Program Manager

Pronouns: He/Him/His Duron joined the Summer Search team in 2023,...

Jane Barker

Jane is a Senior Research Scientist at Amazon, where she leads...

Alexandra Martinez

Post-Secondary Program Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers Alexandra, a first-generation college graduate from the Dominican...

Adriana Salse

Post-Secondary Program Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers Adriana is passionate about supporting the sustainability and...

Melany Cortes Mederos

Program Associate

Melany is a Summer Search Alumna from the class of...

Jacob Urena

Position: Program Associate
Email: jurena@summersearch.org

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Jacob has a passion for working with young adults and assisting in their social and emotional development during their formative years. At Summer Search he works as a Program Associate and enjoys the opportunity to help guide young students through their High School years.

Prior to coming to Summer Search, Jacob worked as the Director of Social Services for The Salvation Army in the South End of Boston, and as Canon Missioner for The Order of St. Martin de Porres. Additionally, Jacob formerly ran for City Council in the 4th district of Boston where he focused on addressing the challenges he faced growing up within a Low-Income Immigrant household in the city of Boston. Jacob is an alumnus of New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) where he participated in various certificate programs, and where he has since returned to complete a Masters in Divinity.

Jacob now resides in Providence, RI where he continues to advocate and support young adults and their families through extensive community/civic engagement work locally and nationwide. Outside of work you can find Jacob at the gym, traveling around to new destinations, or binge-watching the latest movies or series.

De’Andre Jones

Director of Alumni Engagement, Seattle University:

De’Andre identifies as a queer, first-generation, Afro-Latinx student development practitioner and advancement professional with a focus on social justice, equity, mentorship, and community & leadership development. He currently serves as the Director of Alumni Engagement at Seattle University and has a strong affinity for Summer Search. De’Andre was introduced to Summer Search in 2017 during his Summer Fellow internship. He eventually joined the Summer Search Seattle staff as a Program Associate & Leadership Advisor. De’Andre is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and holds an MEd in Student Development Administration from Seattle University and a B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences Education with a minor in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Stout. In his free time, De’Andre is a foodie that enjoys bowling and exploring the pacific northwest with his dog, Koda.

Inducted – Term End: November 2022 – Sept 2026

Elissa Fink

Retired CMO, Tableau:

Elissa Fink serves on several not-for-profit and corporate boards, including Summer Search, Dataiku, Qumulo and Pantheon. Retired from Tableau Software in 2019 after 11+ years as their CMO, she helped grow the company from ~$5 million to over $1 billion in revenue. She earned a BA in English and an MBA in Marketing. Fink is the daughter of two immigrants who highly valued post-secondary education for all 6 of their children, despite their not being able to have that privilege. She now enjoys time with her husband, teenaged daughter and 9-year-old son.

Inducted – Term End: January 2023 – Sept 2026

LeTia Green

Position: Alumni Board Member

LeTia is passionate about challenging inequity and advocating for marginalized communities. After graduating from Brown University, she launched a career in admissions at three different highly selective universities, helping to provide access to underrepresented populations. During her time in higher education, she was able to pull from her own experiences as a first-generation limited-income college graduate and native Bronxite to work on projects that supported students from similar backgrounds. Recently, as a Recruiter, LeTia continues to draw from those experiences to support all her candidates, especially those from marginalized backgrounds. She now resides in Atlanta with her husband, Felix.

Duron Jones

Position: High School Program Manager

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Duron joined the Summer Search team in 2023, with a passion for empowering young people to reach their self-defined comfortable life. Over 10-years of his career was built on supporting youth, with a focus on youth who are the global majority, in gaining access to college, career, and entrepreneurial opportunities that would further them in becoming lifelong learners and achieve success. Duron has served as an adjunct faculty member and director in the business school at a private university, advisor to public school districts on college preparedness programs, and a management consultant for corporations building career readiness programs.

Outside of work, Duron enjoys video games and tabletop games, creative writing, the outdoors, anime, taking naps, and educating people about real estate.

Jane Barker

Senior Research Scientist, Amazon:

Jane is a Senior Research Scientist at Amazon, where she leads research investigating the impact of operations on local communities. She previously led research and data science efforts at Seattle Public Schools and McREL International, including the development of risk models to identify students for targeted college and career readiness supports. She holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Colorado Boulder, an MPA in policy analysis from Indiana University, and a BA in Policy Analysis and English from Rice University. She and her husband, Wolfgang, are passionate about skiing, hiking and enjoying the PNW.

Inducted – Term End: November 2022 – Sept 2026

Alexandra Martinez

Position: Post-Secondary Program Coordinator
Email: amartinez@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Alexandra, a first-generation college graduate from the Dominican Republic, knows firsthand the value of education. Alexandra was a Summer Search participant in Boston before joining the staff. She discovered her passion for helping young adults through the contacts and relationships she has made along the way.

In the summer of 2021, Alexandra graduated with a BA in International Relations from the University of Massachusetts Boston and soon after that, she was exposed to the field of education.

Alexandra enjoys working out, cooking famous dishes from around the world, and traveling in her spare time.

Adriana Salse

Position: Post-Secondary Program Coordinator
Email: asalse@summersearch.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Adriana is passionate about supporting the sustainability and resilience of our Earth, particularly centering the importance of people, equity, and justice. Through this, she strives to empower youth of diverse backgrounds, increase access to opportunities, and foster community to support the next generation of joyful, successful leaders. She believes this work is essential for true sustainable spaces in which individuals can grow, communities can strengthen, and all can thrive. 

Adriana comes from a diverse professional background, having graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Biology and certificate in Environmental Studies. She has experience in coordinating outreach and education on various environmental issues such as zero waste, wildlife and habitat conservation. With hopes to work in more direct education and youth empowerment, she most recently supported a cohort of high school students from historically excluded backgrounds to lower college access obstacles with College Possible in Seattle, Washington. Adriana is excited to continue supporting young leaders on their journey of growth and achievement at Summer Search. 

When not working Adriana enjoys cooking, listening to music, enjoying the outdoors, and spending quality time with family and friends.  

Melany Cortes Mederos

Position: Program Associate
Email: mcortesmederos@summersearch.org

Melany is a Summer Search Alumna from the class of 2018! She is now working in Summer Search as a Program Associate in the North Bay. She grew up in the Bay Area and is excited to be working with students from her local counties. Melany is a first-generation college graduate from Santa Clara University where she double majored in Political Science and Communication and was heavily involved with organizations that served and amplified the voices of the multicultural community on and off campus. Aside from working and taking care of her pug Toby in her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, going to music concerts/festivals, and trying out coffee shops and restaurants.