Latest News

Rainier Scholars Welcomes New Associate ED

Rainier Scholars Welcomes New Associate Executive Director

New! Our 2015-2016 Annual Report

Our Annual Report
Where Hope and Hard Work Meet Access and Opportunity

Goods for Grads! Starts Nov. 4!


Turn your gently used books, clothing or household items into support for our SCHOLARS!

Kicking Off Season Two with the Seahawks!

Kicking Off Season 2 with the Seahawks!

Join our Spirit of 12 Partner team!

Looking Back, Looking Forward and Gaining Momentum

Looking Back, Looking Forward and Gaining Momentum 

Gates Foundation and Rainier Scholars

15 years of history with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more, including a blog post featuring two Rainier Scholars!

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

We're proud of our college graduates completing their degrees this spring!

Strengthening Friendships, Exploring New Things

7th-9th grade ACSS scholars stay plugged into the program through Saturday Events.

Juniors Up to the SAT Challenge

Rigorous preparation ensures high school scholars are ready to take college entrance exams.

Scholars expand their horizons with Juma Ventures and Woza Soccer!

Rainier Scholars + Community Partners = A World of Opportunity

Scholars Learn Lessons from Pete Carroll and the Seahawks

The Seahawks and Rainier Scholars know, "If you want to succeed forever, keep trying, never give up!"

Scholars Chosen to Join Seahawks Legion of Youth

Rainier Scholars, the Seahawks and Boeing Make a Winning Team!

Expert Panel Shares Insights on Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion

Education Happy Hour featured an enagaging discussion on what it means to be an inclusive workplace.

New Rainier Scholars Brochure

Check out our new organizational overview brochure!

Success Stories

A Dream of Something Better

Jonatan Castillo, Cohort VIII Scholar and Lakeside Senior with Diego Merlos, Cohort VII

(R) Jonatan Castillo, Cohort VIII, Lakeside Senior, (L) Diego Merlos, Cohort XII

Like so many other students before me, Rainier Scholars has changed my life. I am part of a community of scholars who strive for academic excellence and will defy the odds to earn a college degree. I am surrounded by people who are invested in my success and I have access to opportunities that have changed how I think about my future.

I came to this country in 2005 with my mom and my sister. We moved from Mexico City to join my father who had found a job as a construction worker. My father always told me that education and school would come first no matter what and my father spoke with wisdom. Both he and my mom had to quit school and never earned their high school diploma, but they had a vision for me and my sister, believing that education would be the key to a better future. My mother and father make sacrifices every day to ensure this will happen.

People may remember me as a quiet and scared 7th grader in the academic program, but what I remember is for the first time in my life I was surrounded by other kids like me, kids who liked school and believed in getting a good education. There were times growing up where I had to pretend I didn't like school just to fit in. But at Rainier Scholars it was OK to be smart, however that didn't mean it was easy. It was hard work and there were endless amounts of homework. Even though I liked the challenge, there were times when I wanted to quit. My father would tell me "I know it's hard right now but remember you are working for your future," so I persevered.

Rainier Scholars has helped me build a plan for my future. I am surrounded by powerful role models who help me envision what is possible. My student adviser, Myles Jones, served as a mentor, someone to look up to who understood the struggle. I am now a student adviser in the 14-month program working with 6th graders and I see myself in my boys. They are learning to have confidence in their abilities. They are learning to persevere and work hard and they know I believe in them.

As the son of a construction worker with a 9th grade education, I never imagined attending a school like Lakeside. I never imagined creating my list of college choices and including schools from around the country and I never thought a career in engineering was a possibility. Rainier Scholars has opened new doors and expanded my horizons. My world is bigger. I have also learned I am a Math and Science guy. I like to take things apart, fix things and see how they work. My dad uses his hands to build things, that's important work. I'd like to use my skills and abilities to design things and understand how systems work. I want to help solve problems and take on new challenges. I want to make my mom and dad proud.

When I think back, it all started with two parents who had a dream of something better for their children. Their love and vision combined with the support and opportunities from Rainier Scholars has changed my future.

Jonatan shared his story at Skanska's annual Bricks & Books Auction October 2, 2014.