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Summer Search

The mission of Summer Search is to help low-income teenagers transform what they believe is possible for themselves and develop the skills they need to become college-educated leaders who give back to their families and communities. 

Summer Search began in 1990 when Linda Mornell, an adolescent counselor in private practice, sent 14 low-income students to summer experiential education programs. After seeing the difficulties students faced in reconciling the tremendous experience of personal growth on their summer programs with the roadblocks and isolation of persistent poverty in their home communities, she began to redefine Summer Search. We evolved into an innovative youth development program that works intensively with young people from their sophomore year of high school through college and beyond.

Today, Summer Search is a national nonprofit organization that has served more than 4,700 young people. We work with low-income high school students to transform what they believe is possible for themselves. Summer Search Bay Area supports students from throughout the Bay Area to transform their lives and break the cycle of poverty.  99% of our students graduate from high school and more than 90% matriculate directly to college. 85% of our students have graduated with a college degree or remain on track to do so, compared to 11% of their low-income peers. 93% of Summer Search Bay Area students are the first in their families to attend college.

Photo #1: Summer Search students at the 2013 North Bay Dinner Photo #2: On his first summer trip, William backpacked through Wyoming’s Wind River Range as part of the National Outdoor Leadership School Photo #3: Amanda celebrates her high school graduation with her Summer Search mentor, Alex