Amplifying the voices of Summer Search
June 13, 2018 by Shvéta Ahuja
It might have been the way she carried herself but I thought she was very tall. Her sari was always perfect and she had thick-rimmed black glasses that lived on the tip of her nose. She was quick-witted and worldly and might have read every book in the library. I felt honored when Shobha ma’am, my high school English teacher, took a special interest in me and imparted her life lessons and suggestions for new books. She was my first official mentor and she filled my mind with the possibilities of different careers.
In helping Summer Search promote their annual luncheon gala recently, these memories of my high school role model came flooding back. Summer Search provides professional mentoring for students from low-income communities throughout the U.S. High school can be tough. It’s even harder to make it to graduation if certain factors create a disadvantage and contribute to higher rates of dropping out. Through Summer Search Seattle, students in South King County are paired with mentors, and given guidance and support to help them finish school.
For nonprofits such as Summer Search, storytelling plays a significant role in helping them garner interest and attract donors. Summer Search is full of stories of students braving adverse situations and succeeding with help from their mentors and summer experiences. At the gala this year, the team wanted to share students’ stories and showcase the unique bond between mentors and mentees. We helped them put together a presentation and three-minute audio recording that played during the luncheon. In a dark room of about 600 people, students’ and mentors’ voices took the audience through their Summer Search journeys.
I am proud that we support Summer Search and all the work that they do. And I’m grateful for my English teacher and other mentors like her who are there at the right time to listen, guide, and support students to become the best versions of themselves!