Seattle Leadership Directory
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David is a first-generation college graduate and a Summer Search Seattle Alumni. He went to Western Washington University and graduated with a B.S in Psychology in 2020. David has a strong passion for working with and helping youth of color and youth from lower-income families. His passion stems from personal experience and the understanding of the importance of having a solid support system. His previous work includes mentoring young adults, and supervising mentors for youth mentoring and development.
When not working, he is typically either cooking, playing music, drawing, playing mystery games, or having a cup of coffee with his loved ones.
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.
Jasper grew up on Vashon Island and ventured to Massachusetts to receive a B.A. in Education and History from Smith College. Since then, he has been a teacher and advocate for youth in Oakland, Nepal, and Seattle. He has managed school gardens in Elementary schools and taught students the magic of growing food and importance of nutrition. Most recently, Jasper worked for a non-profit that provides education to girls from underserved regions of Nepal. He travelled to a boarding school in the Himalayas and supported the students and staff there as well as the students in Kathmandu. Here, he became even more aware of the systemic barriers that keep communities in poverty and how pivotal education is to break these cycles. Jasper loves teaching, connecting, and learning with young people and he is so excited to be working at Summer Search.
Jasper loves to play music, play pickleball, hike, swim, and cook delicious vegan food during his free time!
Jaylin is a Renton High School Summer Search Alum that grew up in South Seattle, WA. After graduating he successfully ran his own business where he produced several thousand pieces of clothing for local brands, non-profits, and entrepreneurs for 5+ years. He currently studies Business Management at Bellevue College and is dedicated to providing opportunities to underserved youth through outreach and mentorship.
Prior to onboarding at Summer Search, Jaylin spent four months traveling across Asia to build a deeper cultural understanding, broadening his perspective and developing an elevated ideology behind existence and the power of manifestation.
When Jaylin is not working, he enjoys a skilled game of dominoes, playing modern warfare, spray-painting or attending comedy shows
Lakesha Knatt, Executive Director of Summer Search Seattle, is a native of the Seattle area and lives with her family in South King County.
Prior to joining the Summer Search community, Lakesha served as the Regional Director at the College Success Foundation Seattle/King County, where she supported college and career readiness programs starting in middle school through college completion for BIPOC students from low-income households. Lakesha managed a team of 40 professional staff, including school-based staff in 6 middle schools, 12 high schools and 5 college/university campuses across King County. Lakesha is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Work and Field Education at Seattle University and has been teaching in higher education for the past 6 years. Before that, Lakesha worked as a social worker in various Seattle-based nonprofits including Habitat for Humanity, where she served as their Family Services Director. Lakesha is a graduate of Arizona State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She then received her Master of Social Work degree from University of Washington.
In her spare time, Lakesha enjoys engaging in community work, parenting her 10-year-old daughter, traveling as often as possible, and spending time with family and friends. Lakesha is excited to learn from her colleagues at Summer Search and build on the successes of the previous leadership while leading the Seattle team into a new era of success for the organization.
Logan is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but has been on the move ever since. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Science, Logan joined AmeriCorps as a Team Lead, where he led a team of young people across the country working with different nonprofits and community development organizations. It’s here that he found his passion of team building and mentorship and is very excited to continue this work with Summer Search.
Logan is an avid hiker and runner, with a love of travel and geeking out over nerdy things. In his free time, you can find Logan trying new restaurants, hanging out with family and friends, or spending time with his one-eyed cat, Keiki.
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.
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.
Philip Watkins is a dedicated professional with years serving and improving the lives of all people through programming, volunteerism, partnerships, and philanthropy. Most of his career was built upon his time working in the outdoor recreation / environmental sector in the San Francisco Bay Area. Summer Search has rekindled his first passions in life of supporting the next generation and helping to create a more just society. Philip resides in Gig Harbor WA and is an avid outdoor lover and family man always dreaming up the next adventure whether by bike, boat, or on foot.
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.
Thea is a first-generation student born and raised in Greece. She attended high school in Southern California, transferred from 2-year colleges to graduate from Seattle University, and recently completed her Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of San Francisco. Her passion for working with students began after becoming a teacher’s assistant in the afterschool program at Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA) in South Seattle. Following this experience, she served for 3 years as an Americorps member at College Access Now and College Possible in the college access and success space. After supporting students through education nonprofits and at higher education institutions, she is excited to begin building relationships with students at Summer Search! In her free time, you can find her at shows, going to the movies (she has a monthly pass!), or travelling to see her friends and family.
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.
Trisha is a Pacific Islander American who grew up in Federal Way, WA and proud of her Chamorro roots. She is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Washington where she was active in building Pacific Islander community on campus as well as bringing awareness to Pacific Islander representation in higher education to high school students.
After graduating college Trisha served two years as an AmeriCorps member for Community In Schools of Federal Way the same elementary she attended when she was younger. In that role she was able to support underserved students and families beyond the classroom. Trisha has become passionate about helping others become the best version of themselves and enjoys the connections she’s able to make through relationship building. After some time working outside of youth engagement, she is excited and ready to get back to it as she joins Summer Search.
Outside of work Trisha likes to unwind by going hiking, painting, taking care of her plants and hanging out with her family and friends.
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.