Linda Mornell is a psychiatric nurse and the founder of Summer Search. She is a recipient of the Bay Area Jefferson Award and the Unsung Hero of Compassion Award, given by the Dalai Lama.
In 1990, with no experience in the nonprofit sector, Linda started Summer Search, a program commited to creating one of the few opportunities in the country where adolescents from all economic backgrounds are given the chance to work and live together for an extended period of weeks or months in summer experiential education programs. Most programs like this are expensive and not available to low-income youth. Seeing an opportunity to change that, Mornell began Summer Search in San Francisco with 14 students and a budget of $30,000. Her passion and desire to change the path for these 14 students has blossomed into an even larger impact today—to give the life-changing experience to more than 2,200 students in the Bay Area, Boston, New York City, Seattle, and Philadelphia annually.