• Rainier Scholars Rainier Scholars


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Mission Statement

Rainier Scholars cultivates the academic potential and leadership skills of hard-working, low-income students of color. By creating access to transformative educational opportunities and providing comprehensive support to scholars and families, we increase college graduation rates and empower new generations of leaders.


Rainier Scholars serves motivated and hard working low-income students of color who will be the first in their family to earn a college degree. Rainier Scholars works with students in an eleven year program model from 6th grade to college graduation, providing access to educational opportunities, building academic skills for success and creating a framework of comprehensive support for all students. Scholars and families are determined to use education as a pathway to break the generational cycle of poverty.

We agree a quality education is one of the best ways to ensure a strong future for our community. At Rainier Scholars we believe one's education, aspirations, and life possibilities need not be determined by birthright but rather by hard work and determination.

"What many high-achieving low-income students of color face in their daily lives is a complete underestimation of their potential - of what they are capable of and where their lives can go. Our daily work is to reframe, redefine and completely shift people’s perspectives about what students like ours are capable of...and the opportunities that are available to them." -Sarah Smith Executive Director

Rainier Scholars helps to provide a transformational experience that not only builds skills and provides tools for academic success, but also changes perceptions about capabilities and in turn builds resiliency and self-determination.

For a first-hand account the volunteer experience at Rainier Scholars, read this blog post from one of our long-time volunteers: bit.ly/RSVolBlog


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