Reflections from the Executive Director, Summer 2022

Summer showcases the best of Rainier Scholars, with the juxtaposition of new beginnings and milestone celebrations. It’s a happy, busy time for our scholars, staff and faculty, as we celebrate our recent graduates and engage in our summer academic enrichment programs, with high school and college scholars experiencing internships at a wide array of organizations in a variety of fields.

This year’s summer joys were even sweeter, with the launch of Rainier Scholars-Tacoma, which welcomed the first cohort to its Summer Stretch Academy.

I have had the privilege of attending various celebrations this summer. Rites of Passage marks the end of the 14-month Academic Enrichment Phase, and we have celebratory milestones after high school and college graduation. Yes, our long-term and comprehensive support may be key to our success, but that speech by a peer who says “you can do it,” is invaluable.

This special summer edition of e-News is largely written by RS alum Zoe Hardwick, who many of you may remember being featured at luncheons with her mother, both of them 2021 college graduates. Zoe now attends graduate school at Columbia University.

In addition to sharing what she’s been reading and a guide to internship best practices, Zoe will introduce you to two staff members worth knowing – Janelle Blakely, our Director of Development and Rachel Tolano, our Seattle Director of Recruitment & Community Engagement. She’ll also share her reflections on Rainier Scholars’ effect on her life.

Please enjoy these highlights of a memorable summer. We are gearing up for a busy fall, as Seattle Cohort 21 passes the baton to Cohort 22 and in Tacoma, Cohort 1 prepares to welcome Cohort 2.

Thank you for supporting us along the way!


Rafael del Castillo