Summer Sun is a senior at Chico High School in Chico, California. Her passion for promoting racial equity in education fueled her to create Read2Rise, a nonprofit organization that provides books and reading programs to underserved youth, cultivating a lifelong love of reading and the next generation of engaged citizens. In some elementary schools in her town, four out of five students did not reach the minimum state requirement for literacy, and among those students, 87 percent come from historically underrepresented groups. Therefore, during the summer of 2022, Summer recruited and organized 30 high school volunteers as reading pals to read books with 200 local elementary students at reading camps. This valuable experience inspired her to extend this reading program to a greater number of students from different races. In collaboration with two other nonprofit organizations, she led efforts in fundraising to purchase books and school supplies to help establish the first book club for 100 students living in poverty in Haiti, and add more new books to two school libraries in mixed-ethnic villages in China serving 2,400 students. In addition, Summer's dedication to cultural understanding led her to join Globe Youth Philanthropy (GYP), where she created and led the Youth for Intercultural Understanding Virtual Symposiums. Born out of a need Summer saw for youth to dissolve stereotypes and familiarize themselves with diverse cultures and traditions among different races, each symposium features a guest speaker presenting a culture followed by a question and answer session. Since May of 2022, she has organized six symposiums featuring nine young speakers from different racial and cultural backgrounds including Pakistani, Haitian, Japanese, Omani, Egyptian and Chinese minority Zhuang cultures. The symposiums have amassed 600 attendees and counting, including students, educators and parents from around the world. The symposium recordings are also posted on GYP's YouTube channel for broader dissemination. Committed to improving the lives of underrepresented groups, Summer is excited to continue to lead and broaden the scope and membership of these programs while attending college, where she plans to major in anthropology and public policy.
2023 - SAN FRANCISCO