by Nicole Anthony, Director of Recruitment
As a Tacoma native and an advocate for young people, I am passionate about educational access and the future of this city’s youth.
While Tacoma has a well-networked college access landscape, Rainier Scholars has an exciting opportunity to bring our 20+ years of learning and experience to the already robust work in this community.
One of the things our long history has taught us is that neighborhoods, families and students are unique. To build a program that is contextual and responsive to a community’s needs, listening is key.
To that end, as we build our program here in Tacoma we are hosting a series of Family Focus Groups in an effort to hear things like:
● Cultural attitudes about advanced learning and college
● Barriers experienced or anticipated related to college access
● Attitudes and experiences around how school is preparing their students for college
● Foreseeable barriers and opportunities for students participating in the Rainier Scholars – Tacoma program
Getting firsthand feedback from families has provided rich information for us as we look towards developing a thriving presence here in the city.
To date we have held focus groups with Black and Pacific Islander families and have plans for two additional meetings within the Indigenous and Spanish-speaking communities.
We believe that designing our work around those furthest from opportunity will result in a program model that benefits everyone equitably.
I’m excited about our future and feel grateful to be a part of the work to help Rainier Scholars plant roots in a city that I love so much!