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

Dreams of a Grandmother, Travels of a Scholar

Less than two years ago, at the Rainier Scholars Annual Luncheon, Kelabe Tewolde stood in front of nearly 1,000 people and told his story. He introduced us to his mother and his grandmother and shared their hopes for his future. Kelabe now attends Colgate University, a top liberal arts school nestled in the Chenango Valley in upstate New York. "It's a totally different game in college when it comes to the volume and depth of work," Kelabe says about the inevitable challenges he faced freshmen year. He's is settling in as a sophomore, enjoying not only the relaxed and calm rural environment, but also the intellectual and emotional space that college allows. "I love the independence here. It's my choice of what, and how much, I want to be involved in an activity. I also like being out in the middle of nowhere - it lets me focus on myself." This opportunity for self-introspection and growth is, arguably, one of the most compelling reasons to go away to college. Kelabe has thrived in the open space, finding friends he respects and trusts. He is close to declaring a double major in political science and education and maybe most importantly, following a passion that may well fuel his future.

During his junior year at University Prep, Kelabe was selected to attend the School for Ethics and Global Leadership in Washington, D.C. where he was introduced to global service learning and the Mamelodi Township in South Africa. Kelabe has spent the last two summers abroad working with the Mamelodi Initiative, a non-profit that seeks to improve the lives of its youth through education and community engagement. Kelabe's responsibilities have included working in the after school programs helping coach soccer and teaching photography. While the work has been a significant learning experience for him, deepening his appreciation for the skills involved in being a good teacher, his ongoing relationship with the town and its people goes much deeper. The cultural exchange is one that enriches him and is very timely in terms of his maturation. It has, as he says, "helped me grow as a person."

Kelabe plans to spend two months in Mamelodi in 2015. He believes this commitment comes with responsibility. He thoughtfully reflects, "All too often volunteers come to towns like Mamelodi for a couple of weeks, donate some things and then never come back. It makes the townspeople wary of their intentions." For Kelabe, this lack of consistency is irksome. "For me, to be able to come back here is important. It gives the kids a consistency of relationship that is powerful." He tells the story of one boy in the township, too young last summer to attend classes, coming up to him, taking his hand and walking Kelabe to his house where he announced "When you come back next year, if I am not in enrolled in class, you come here, to this house, and knock on my door and I will come to class."

As Kelabe reflected on his own story at the 2013 luncheon and revealed his gratitude for the support surrounding him, he also reflected on his family legacy. He proudly affirmed, "Today I stand on the shoulders of my grandmother, as the keeper of her hopes and dreams, knowing she imagined a life of choice and opportunity for me and the ability to determine my own destiny." Now across the world in a township in South Africa, Kelabe has found at least one aspiring student who in a few years may well say he stands on the shoulders of Kelabe Tewolde.

By Tom Moore