We’re Glad You’re Here!

All the students are here, and we’re having lots of fun getting to know each other during orientation.  The students are exploring the Yale Campus with their RA group We are looking forward an exciting 3 weeks!


RAs working hard during opening day and getting students settled in Davenport College!

Students getting to bond and getting to know their RA group!

Students learning more about Summerfuel at Yale!


Students are enjoying their first evening activity! They are playing Minute to Win it, they have one minute to complete the task and then they rotate and move on to the next station!

Welcome to Summerfuel at Yale!

Welcome to Summerfuel Yale!

We’re less than a day away from the launch of a great Social Entrepreneurship program in lovely New Haven, Connecticut!

As we start to move towards the start of our program, I wanted to make some introductions so you can meet this year’s Summerfuel Yale team.  We have a terrific group of senior staff, faculty, and student staff dedicated to making your Summerfuel experience engaging, fun, and successful.

Senior Staff are live-in, full time experienced educators with collegiate residence life experience.  Each member has a specific focus area, while the overall team works together to ensure all aspects of student academic and co-curricular life run smoothly.

  • Our team 2015 Summerfuel Yale team includes:
  • Jessica Adams, Director
  • Katie Thomas, Assistant Director
  • Cristian Biviano, Student Services Coordinator
  • Christine Matos, Activities Director


Faculty lead the curriculum and create a meaningful classroom experience as students explore pressing global concerns and create their own full-fledged social enterprise to address them.

  • This year’s faculty are:
  • Miriam Mehdi
  • Emiliano Villanueva
  • Sundas Liaqat
  • Samatha Riley


Our Resident Advisors (RAs) are campus leaders from around the United States dedicated to sharing their knowledge and collegiate experience to support program participants academically and socially. Each RA will work closely with a group of approximately twelve high school students during the program.

yale ra

Our RA team are having a great time during training and bonding over bowling:


  • Wolf Cramer
  • Christian Hernandez
  • Brianna Sahagun
  • Jannet Rios
  • Josephine Amos
  • Jennifer Garcia
  • Isaiah Fariel


During the summer, this blog will be a place that you can check for the latest updates on activities, excursions, and academic information.  Visit us often!

Looking forward to meeting you soon!


Jessica Adams. Director

The Art of Public Speaking

Students were treated to a workshop on Public Speaking, lead by guest speaker and career coach, Katie Volz (bio below). Ms. Volz focused on important presentation techniques that will be beneficial for students as they head into their final social enterprise presentations.

Students will be presenting their plans beginning on Thursday and will be hosting an open “marketplace” to allow all groups to present the details of their plan, including their ventures’  business plans, marketing materials, and financial modelings on Friday.



Katie Volz

Formerly the Director of Career Counseling and Operations for NYU’s Stern School of Business, Katie Rayhawk Volz is a career coach with SixFigureStart, working with individuals to assess their career interests and prepare them for the job market. She works with students and alumni pursuing careers in the area of finance, consulting, government and social enterprise, among others.  Katie has developed and led numerous career-related workshops and programs on topics such as networking, résumé writing, interviewing, and self-assessment, and a host of other leadership skills.

Prior to joining Stern, Ms. Volz was an Assistant Vice President at Merrill Lynch, where she led the campus recruiting efforts at more than 20 undergraduate and graduate business schools across the country, including Columbia University, MIT, University of Michigan and Stanford. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she assisted with Partner Development Programs and recruited for PwC’s Management Consulting Services.

Ms. Volz received a BA in Psychology from the University of Dayton and an MA in Counseling from New York University.

Summerfuel at Yale Welcomes Students!

Students relax and get to know each other in Timothy Dwight College, known to them as just “TD!” This home away from home is the hub of where most of the action takes place and includes our fabulously equipped game room called The Buttery. This unique hang out spot connects all the Summerfuel team and was the home to our very first event, “The Ice Cream Social!”
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Students  then took over the Yale Campus with a high energy scavenger hunt and strategic planning!
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Countdown to Summerfuel Yale 2013

Only 37 days until Summerfuel at Yale officially begins! Until then, there are a couple of deadlines, events and updates that you should be aware of:

–  JUNE 1st (Saturday): All final paperwork, travel details and payment due to the NYC office. Please upload documents directly to my.summerfuel.com or email them to info@summerfuel.com.

– JUNE 4th (Tuesday) at 4PM EDT: Pre-program conference call for all families participating in Summerfuel at Yale. Common pre-program details, questions and concerns will be addressed, but if you would like to discuss something specific, please send an email to mbates@summerfuel.com with the subject line: Yale Conference Call.

– JUNE 23rd (Sunday): Staff arrives at Yale to start final preparations for your arrival

– JUNE 30th (Sunday): ARRIVAL DAY!

 I can’t wait to meet you all on June 30th! Finish the school year strong and we’ll see you this summer.


Marissa Bates

Program Coordinator / Yale Assistant Director





Goodbye from the “Sawa Sawa Lady”

There is a popular Swahili phrase that we use in Kenya (the country where I grew up). It is “sawa sawa” which means it is all good or everything is well.  Every year I teach my students this phrase.  As a result, I have come to be known as Ms. Sawa Sawa, Dr. Sawa Sawa, or the Sawa Sawa Lady.

As the Academic Director of the program, I had the opportunity to supervise the academic team made up of five amazing faculty (college professors and experts in media, public policy, communications,  and geography) who dedicated many hours to make sure that the 2012 Leaders for Social Change program was a life changing experience for our students. After three weeks of teaching, mentoring, and training we have come to the end of what was a very important leadership journey for our students. We have pushed our students hard, stretched them beyond their comfort zones, and challenged them to think critically about themselves and the world around them; this is because we see the leadership potential in each one of them.

One of my favorite quotes is by American educator, Daniel J. Boorstin who says, “Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.” I wish our future leaders the very best as they continue to pursue their educational goals! I urge them to remember, “The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action!” (Herbert Spencer).

Kwaheri ya kuonana (goodbye until we meet again)!

-Dr. Anyango Reggy, Academic Director

Talent Show Extravaganza!

Hello from Yale!

At 8pm last night, students and staff filled up Sudler Hall to watch their friends show off their skills. We couldn’t believe the talent and we were so glad they shared! Congratulations to our winners – Amanda Fazio, Joe Manuel, Alessandro Zito, and David Li!! Please check Flickr later today for all of the pictures from the talent show and have fun watching the videos below!

Alessandro and David – Party Rock

Joe – Juggling

Jimena – Flamenco

David – I’m Yours/Pricetag

Alessandro & Megan – Hamlet

Amanda – Acapella

Megan, Araceli and Amanda – RA Impersonations

Amanda & RA Kyle – Adele

Megan – Teach me how to Dougie

Jeronimo – Original Song

RA Kyle – Backflip!


Until next time!

Marissa Bates, Residential Life Director


ASA Yale Program Director Interview with Professor Moitoso

How is the class experience?

The class experience for the students (and for me) is enlightening.  We are applying and learning important leadership and business concepts that I have learned in my life and in my work, as a teacher and an Executive Director of a non-profit organization.  For instance, I am teaching the students about strategic planning, leadership styles, and management.  What I appreciate about my role as their teacher is that I make sure that I have done all the exercises that I am asking them to do.  We are learning together.

What really engages the students?

I think they’re really engaged by working in groups.  Also, they like the give and take conversation style we have in the classroom.  They want to learn about their strengths and weaknesses. We recently did the Lakota Wheel exercise, which is a way for the students to begin to think about their different leadership styles and to begin to learn that diversity can be good for teamwork.

Do high school students need leadership training at this stage in their lives?

In a perfect or ideal world, everyone would have access to this kind of training.  There are constant messages that youth do not have a voice, that they are not empowered to actually get involved in a meaningful way, and that big issues are something adults take care of as part of their adult responsibilities.  However, students do have a voice and a right to use it to make a change in the world.  We, at Summerfuel, are providing some strategies and skills to make sure they go about using their voice effectively.

What do you think about the students’ experience being on a college campus?

This is what you and this team, as representatives of ASA, really care about, which is giving them practice at being responsible before they head off to college.  Here, they learn how to balance social and academic responsibilities.  It also doesn’t hurt that they are attending one the most prestigious universities in the world.  ASA at Yale is a great place for them to learn leadership tools that I only learned as an adult in my work as Executive Director of a nonprofit.

Tell me something you’ve learned from your students.

I have learned that the ‘high school experience’ is very similar for most students, regardless of where they come from in the world.  Many of them report that high school can be challenging because students are often boxed into categories — ‘jocks’, ‘nerds,’ etc.  All of them find these categories restricting.

Tell me a random fun fact about yourself, Lenny.

Well, I had a mouse sushi last week at a New Haven restaurant.  I think it says a lot about my willingness and openness to trying new things.

How was the mouse sushi?

Mousey, let’s say.  I probably won’t have it again.

Tell me one value a leader must have.

Dedication.  There is nothing more important than being committed to your work or your cause.