Gates Foundation and Rainier Scholars
Relationships matter. Relationships take time. The best relationships are built to last.
Fifteen years ago Rainier Scholars was born. Fifteen years ago the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation came into being. Then a conversation over a meal between friends started a new relationship. And dreams became a reality.
Fifteen years later we are grateful that Bill Gates, Sr. said YES to lunch and a significant investment by Gates Foundation in Rainier Scholars. Gates Foundation has been instrumental in our growth and success, providing critical funding as we were building our program, one phase at a time.
With our first cohorts now emerging with college degrees, Gates Foundation's involvement continues to grow. Its Black Philanthropic Partnership group recently selected Rainier Scholars as a Community Partner - sponsoring our signature luncheon, supporting our scholars and families via The Give Effect, and providing guidance in specific areas to raise awareness of our mission and work.
Just last week, Gates showcased Rainier Scholars in their Impatient Optimists blog, crediting us with "inspiring the next generation of leaders." Featured is an interview with Executive Director Sarah Smith and stories of two scholars, Danait Yemane, a senior at Johns Hopkins University, and Abe Bui, a 2014 graduate of University of Pennsylvania and analyst at Cascadia Capital. Inspiring leadership indeed.
The Gates Foundation, like Rainier Scholars, believes in nurturing relationships. Each year, they introduce their newest employees to Rainier Scholars by touring our Academic Enrichment program. In this way and others our circle of support expands, with many Gates employees honoring us with personal gifts - gifts generously matched by the Foundation.
Thank you, Gates, for walking with us on this journey and for your unwavering commitment to equitable access to education. We are proud to have you by our side.