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Summer Search Bay Area

  • Summer Search Bay Area
  • 500 Sansome St.
    Suite 350
  • San Francisco, CA 94111
  • 415-362-5225
  • 1990
  • Cristina Perez
  • Bay Area Director of College Success & Alumni Relations

Program Description

We envision a world where every young person has the opportunity to develop the confidence, character, and skills to complete college and to become leaders who transform communities.

The mission of Summer Search 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.

Low-income youth face tremendous obstacles to completing college and achieving their full potential. They often live in neighborhoods where poverty and crime rates are extremely high, while job and education opportunities are poor. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 50% of low-income students graduate high school. Only 11% complete a four-year college within six years (Pell Institute, 2008 Report: Moving Beyond Access). This puts students from low-income communities at a serious disadvantage when it comes to having a chance at economic self-sufficiency, full civic participation, and to become leaders.

Each piece of the Summer Search model builds upon the others to provide opportunities and support that few low-income youth would otherwise receive:

  • Year-round mentoring by full-time trained staff builds students' resilience, helping them learn to cultivate relationships, become self-reflective, and navigate challenges.
  • Full scholarships to summer experiential education programs like Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School strengthen student follow-through, leadership, and problem solving, all of which translates to success in high school and college.
  • Individualized college and financial aid advising helps students pursue post-secondary school.
  • Resources for students in and after college support strong academic performance, college persistence, and career exploration.

Services Provided

  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring


Race & Ethnicity

  • White: 4%
  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 18%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 44%
  • Other: 10%
  • African American: 24%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 1300
  • Middle School: 0
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 800
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students


  • More than 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Bowdoin College
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Brown University
  • Colgate University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Northeastern University
  • San Francisco State University
  • San Jose State University
  • Sonoma State University
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of California-Davis
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • University of California-San Diego
  • University of California-Santa Cruz
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts-Boston
  • University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Washington-Seattle Campus
  • Western Washington University

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 76%