Program Updates

Earlier Start

Learn about our Earlier Start Initiative!

A Rewarding Career Path

A scholar with a passion for photography finds a rewarding career!

College Support for Scholar Success

College visits freshmen year provide scholars essential, in-person support from their counselors.

Colleges and Universities with 2015 Rainier Scholars Graduates

Rainier Scholars is proud to celebrate the upcoming graduation of scholars from 25 colleges across the nation!

High School Scholars Tackle Tough Issues at Leadership Retreat

Rainier Scholars students analyze and present findings on obstacles to educational equity.

Colleges and universities attended by Cohorts I - VI 2014 - 2015

We currently serve 176 scholars at 73 different colleges and universities in 22 states.

Cohort VI transitioning to college

Summer retreat to prepare rising college freshmen.

High School Senior Scholars headed to college this fall

Congratulations to Cohort VI on their college decisions!

Cohort I and II scholars are college graduates and career professionals

Rainier Scholars first graduates emerged, spring of 2013.

The Staff of Rainier Scholars is a hardworking group of professionals that is dedicated to the success of our students. 

Our Leadership Team:

Sarah Smith
Executive Director
Email or call 206-407-2143

Sarah Smith 

M.A. Education, Stanford University
Certificate in Teaching, Stanford University
B.A. History, University of Virginia

"At the end of the day, it is ultimately a privilege because by working together, the belief in what is possible for all children, can become a reality."

Monica R. Parker, Esq.
Associate Executive Director
Email or call 206-838-6677

Served as Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
J.D. Harvard Law School
B.A. English and American Literature, cum laude, Harvard College

"I am inspired by what our scholars achieve through the intersection of rigorous academics, a supportive community and a vision to achieve excellence."

Mary Bristow
Director of Development
Email or call 206-407-2115


B.A. Child and Family Studies, Washington State University

"Rainier Scholars brings together people who believe education and opportunity are worthy investments for future leaders."

Fred Capestany
Director of College Support
Email or call 206-407-2148

M.A. Education, Seattle University, Class of 1999
B.A. Psychology, Whitman College, Class of 1986

"I love having the opportunity to help young people reach their full potential in life. I find it very rewarding to accompany a young person as they walk along their path toward success."

Sumiko Huff
Academic Director
Email or call 206-407-2118

Doctoral Candidate, Leadership for Learning Program, University of Washington
Master's in Teaching, Seattle University
Principal Certification, City University
B.A. Studio Art, Willamette University

"It's an honor to serve the families of Rainier Scholars, and to be part of a visionary learning community that is willing to do the hard work of finding real solutions to education's most persistent problems." 

Kaila Davis Nsimbi
Director of Academic Counseling and Support Services
Email or call 206-407-2145

B.A. History, Seattle University

"I have seen the transformative power of a family's commitment to education in my own life, and I am honored to partner with our families as they do the challenging work of changing their own lives, and the world around them."

Susie Wu
Director of Leadership Development
Email or call 206-407-2142

Susie Wu

M.A. Education, Stanford University
B.A. English, Stanford University
Credentials in Physical Science and English from Stanford University

"As scholars explore their college options, it draws into focus their goals, their hopes and their dreams.  We are honored to walk beside them on this journey."

Rainier Scholars' Staff:

Darian Brooks, Academic Counselor, ACSS
Email or call 206 407-8739  

Michaela Johnson Blanchard, Americops Tutor Coordinator
Email 206-838-6625

Aisha Cathcart, Academic Counselor for College Support
Email or call 206 838-6647

Dominique Daba, Director of Placement
Email or call 206-407-2114

Kimberly Davis, Marketing & Communications Manager
Email or call 206-422-5602

Chrissie Drape, Finance Manager
Email or call 206-407-2117

Roy Fisher, Mental Health Clinician/Counselor
Email or call 206 838-6648

Bethany Furubayashi, Development Officer - Corporate Giving and Major Gifts
Email or call 206-407-2181

Maurice Jones, Academic Counselor, Leadership Development (LD)
Email or call 206-407-2111

Vincent Kwan, ACSS/LD Program Assistant 
Email or call 206-407-2149

Drego Little, Learning Support Specialist/Literature-Writing Teacher
Email or call 206-235-0409

Marilyn Lopez, Academic Counselor, Academic Counseling and Support Services (ACSS)
Email or call 832-692-4293

Karen Merz, Career Programs Manager
Email or call 206-407-2116

Giovanni Milan, Academic Counselor, College Support
Email 206-407-2141

Rosida Mohamathno, Program Assistant/ Dean of Students for AEP and Recruitment
Email 206-838-6673
Kevin Nguyen, Database Administrator
Email or call 206-838-6672

Kathryn Pienta, Social Worker/Family Services Coordinator
Email or call 206-303-9588

Liz Sadler, Interim Academic Director
Email or call 206-407-2118

Ray Roberts, Retention and Recruitment Specialist
Email or call 206-838-6680

Diana Robinson, Office Manager/Program Assistant, College Support (CS)
Email or call 206-407-2147

Derek Rogers, Director of College Counseling
Email or call 206-407-2146

Jessie Schreiber, Development Associate
Email or call 206-838-6678

Julie Siegel, Americorps /Recruitment team
Email or call 603-714 4651

Viche Thomas, Academic Counselor, Leadership Development (LD)
Email or call 206-602-8984

Kasey Walker, Academic Counselor (ACSS)
Email or call 206-310-5088

Jonthomas (JT) Williams, Director of Recruitment
Email or call 206-407-2144

R. Thomas Wilson, Internship and Networking Manager, College Support 
Email or call 206-838-6675