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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Summer Search

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August 28, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Guest: Educators must do more to reach young men of color

Amy Saxton

Amy Saxton

It’s my first time at the New Schools Venture Fund conference, and I’m excited to exchange ideas with entrepreneurs, educators and policymakers. The day will be brimming with innovative approaches to transforming public education for underserved students. But what strikes me first is that, for once, my reflexive search of the room for brown and black faces comes up full.

The conference won’t necessarily be better or worse, the discussions more or less fruitful, but that simple moment of recognition, the feeling of an invisible but meaningful weight lifted off of my shoulders — that I don’t have to represent, and I can, just a little more than usual, simply be— gives me a powerful moment of connection with a subject never far from our minds at Summer Search: reaching and serving more young men of color.

Despite our best efforts, Summer Search, a national non-profit focused on creating opportunity for low-income and underserved students, has enrolled only three males of color out of every 10 students. Over the last two years, we have focused on recruiting and retaining more of these young men through pilot programs and innovative strategies, but it remains an uphill battle.


Comments | More in Guest opinion, Opinion | Topics: Amy Saxton, Summer Search

May 13, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Young men wanted: Summer program seeks better balance

Nonprofit groups in education are dependent on success to maintain their funding. So it’s refreshing when one takes a hard look at itself and announces  loudly, and in public  that it needs to do better.

This was the case for Summer Search, a national group with an impressive record of getting low-income students into and through college. The problem was, the vast majority were young women.

“This is very common with youth-development programs,” said Deidre McCormack Martin, executive director of the Seattle office. “But we really want to crack this nut because national education statistics for males  especially black and Latino males  are abysmal.”

The Summer Search approach identifies low-income students early in high school  not top scholars or stragglers, but what the group calls “the invisible middle.”


Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, Summer Search