Building Bridges and Bonds

A social support system refers to a network of people—friends, family, peers that we can turn to for emotional or practical support. 

 When we welcome a student to Rainier Scholars, we welcome the whole family. With a cohort model, students quickly meld together to form a special bond, but what about their families? In Tacoma, the staff have developed regular opportunities for families to create connections with one another, just like their students! 

Once a month, students and families come together to share a meal and learn at community dinners. The goal of these community dinners is for families to meaningfully connect with each other around relevant topics that will help them support their child through this developmental phase.  This year’s workshops cover the adolescent brain, developing a growth mindset, resilience, and an alumni panel on how to use artificial intelligence with integrity. 

“Through these community dinners we are hoping that our families get to know each other and build a support system for themselves as well as their kids. We see these dinners as a way to reduce barriers for kids and keep them engaged in the program. For example, if a parent is sick or working and they cannot come, they can ask another family to bring their scholar,” said Stephanie Wright, Director of Programs, Rainier Scholars – Tacoma. 

Establishing a strong support system is a catalyst for increasing student outcomes. Community dinners provide a space for the intentional combination of academic and interpersonal connection with both families and students. 

You’re invited to join a community dinner this fall at an in-person program tour. Reserve your space today!