These days, rising high school seniors know that physically visiting colleges can seem just as challenging as applying to them. And once they become undergraduates, students’ budgets only get tighter. That means arranging a family visit or a family’s attendance at graduation is an expense that many students simply cannot afford.
That’s where Summer Search comes in. As a national college success nonprofit organization, Summer Search understands that college visits and graduations are crucial bookends of the educational experience. They recognize that seeing a school in person is often the only way to determine if it will be a good place for a student to call home for the next 4-6 years. And they know that having family present at graduation creates a lifelong memory befitting that accomplishment.
Unfortunately, without financial assistance, too many first generation and low-income students often miss out on experiencing both of these important milestones in their lives.
Some of the biggest costs associated with college visits and graduations that these students face are lodging expenses. Amy Saxton, CEO of Summer Search, saw the Airbnb’s Open Homes program as a perfect solution for students from every background to have a chance to celebrate that they would otherwise not be able to afford.
That’s why Airbnb, through our Open Homes philanthropic program, decided to partner with Summer Search to provide dozens of students and their families with coupons for free accommodations during their upcoming college visits and graduations.
As a result, a Summer Search student and senior at the University of California, San Diego named Angela Thai was one of first students to take advantage of the program and celebrate her recent college graduation with her family, who stayed in a nearby Airbnb. “Being such a close distance was definitely the most memorable part of the whole weekend,” Angela says. “I was able to give my family 3 days of peace and relaxation away from their constantly working and stressed-out selves—thanks to Summer Search and Airbnb.”
For all of us at Airbnb, helping people “Belong Anywhere” isn’t only about vacationers. Thanks to our amazing hosts, we are proud to be uniquely positioned to offer families like Angela’s a place to call home as they experience these transformative moments in their lives.