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SVP International

Summer Search

Summer Search’s mission is to find resilient low-income high school students and inspire them to become responsible and altruistic leaders by providing year-round mentoring, life-changing summer experiences, college advising, and a lasting support network.

SVP supported Summer Search from 2009-2014.

Total Giving: $243,000
Total Volunteer Hours: 910

Executive Director: Deidre McCormack Martin
SVP Lead Partner:
Christie Snyder (LinkedIn)

Strengthening Summer Search

In partnership with SVP, Summer Search tackled projects like:

  • Leadership Development: Provided leadership coaching (SVP Partner Pam Robbins and Paid Consultant)
  • Fund Development: Developed a more structured and effective major gifts program and increased donor retention (SVP Partners Emily Anthony, Megan Smiley, and Chris Cooper)
  • Marketing and Communications:  Helped identify clear messages and created a training for staff and board (SVP Partners Samantha Neukom, and Community Volunteer Deb Agrin)
  • Marketing and Communications:  Worked with staff and board to identify audiences and groups Summer Search should be reaching out to and assisted in developing an outreach plan (SVP Partners Sam Neukom, Megan Smiley, Bernadette Merikle, and Lexi Winkles)
  • Video Editing: Helped edit short 2 minute videos of Summer Search students (SVP Partner Erik Hanisch)
  • School Selection Strategy: Helped create a strategy framework that helps Summer Search target additional schools for outreach (SVP Partners Chris Enslein, Roseanne Jantzi and Ray Makela)
  • Board Development:   Two projects in progress to improve board orientation/on-boarding process and assist with revising a self-evaluation process for the board  (SVP Partner Linda Hendrickson)

In Their Words

“Sam Temple Neukom and Deb Agrin led us in honing our message, and training our board and staff on how to talk about Summer Search in more compelling and effectual ways. When we shared this work with the other Summer Search sites at our national annual meeting last October, all of the sites were excited to see the clarity we had developed and were anxious to use the messaging themselves.”

—Deidre McCormack Martin, Executive Director

Stories about Summer Search

Keeping Great Crew on Board: SVP Partner Lends her Skills to Summer Search

A few years ago, Summer Search was struggling with staff retention and they were concerned about the impact it was having on the students they serve. Mentorship is core to their program and turnover interrupted the relationships between students and staff, not to mention the general productivity loss associated with churn. They wanted to change this and reached out to SVP for help. Two years later, they are still reaping the benefits of a single volunteer project.

Read More »

Learning to Soar

"I was trying so hard to be invisible ... I was just the quiet kid in the back -- always."

Regina shares her journey and how Summer Search helped her break out of her shell. Find out more below and learn how SVP partnered with Summer Search to strengthen their organization and DOUBLE the number of students they serve.

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Changing the Odds for Kids

Discover how SVP Investees are knocking down barriers for kids in our community in this 3 minute video! It features the great work of our graduating Investees Powerful Schools, Vietnamese Friendship Association, Thrive by Five Washington, Summer Search and Communities In Schools of Washington.

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Summer Search Proven to Increase College Readiness for Low-Income Students

SVP Investee, Summer Search recently announced a study that proves its character-based education program is putting low-income youth on track for college. The study found that 89 percent of Seattle public school students who enrolled in Summer Search for one year were ready for college, compared to 64 percent of their peers.

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Finding the Right Words

Executive Director, Deidre Martin McCormack is a passionate advocate for Summer Search’s mission, but last year she found herself frustrated by its lack of visibility. Very few people had heard the name Summer Search, and even if they had, they didn’t really know what the organization was about.

That’s where SVP volunteer Sam Neukom came in.

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What It Means to Give Back: One High School Senior’s Life Changing Journey

“I used to think of community service as hours that I needed to complete, but now I think of it as people’s lives I get to be a part of,” says Sugarsuren, a Senior at Roosevelt High School. Sugarsuren spent a month with a group of orphans, coaching them in baseball and teaching them basic skills. Learn about Sugarsuren’s journey through Summer Search.

Read More »

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