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The sky’s the limit

Where do dreams begin? For Jay Fincher, who joined Rainier Scholars last year as a member of Cohort 14, they began in a small apartment in Des Moines where he lived close enough to the airport to see and feel the airplanes coming and going.  Jay recalled thinking, “How crazy is it that we can get these gigantic metal tubes with wings up in the air,” and he knew he wanted to be a pilot.







My goal was to make sure his next 18 years equipped Jay with all he needed to be more successful than me.”


Tyrell Fincher, father of Jay  Fincher, Cohort XIV, Madison Middle School



Musing over his son’s dream, Jay’s father Tyrell remembers the hopes for his child that took shape on the day of Jay’s birth. “My goal was to make sure his next 18 years of life equipped him with all he needed to be more successful than me.”

Dreaming is one thing, doing is another. Fortunately for the Finchers, they were able to combine their commitment to education with Rainier Scholars’ resources to channel Jay’s enthusiasm into academic excellence. During the Academic Enrichment phase, Tyrell saw his son’s maturity take root and “grow five years in that one year.”

Such development, a multiplier effect of learning, doesn’t come easy. As Jay admits, tears were shed over late-night homework, but the camaraderie of his cohort and the support of his teachers helped him excel.

One subject not requiring any additional attention is math. As Jay says, “It’s such a fun subject. I can associate it with the real world!” Take, for example his cooking skills— a talent his family has grown to appreciate. Jay has translated his love for math to a facility for measuring ingredients and combined this with a love of culinary experimentation. The result has given Jay a take-charge attitude in the kitchen. “When I don’t have as much homework, I’ll ask what’s for dinner and, when they tell me, I’ll ask if I can cook it!” His parents rarely say no.

When gauging his enthusiasm, it’s hard to know if he’ll be a chef or pilot or choose another exciting career path when he grows up. The love in his life clearly comes from a supportive family and having dinner together.  At the same time, his eyes are lifted higher, into the sky, where there is no limit to Jay Fincher’s desire.

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