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By bringing ideas to life, future dreams are born

At only 11 years old, Jose Lopez has a big future ahead of him. He is planning to be an architect or an engineer so he can dedicate himself to bringing ideas to life. “I play Minecraft and you can create anything you want and I find that very cool. That’s what I want to do in real life,” he said with a smile.


“Rainier Scholars has opened my mind.”

Jose Lopez-Bernal, Cohort XV, Rainier Prep 



Before joining Rainier Scholars, this future scenario seemed less likely for Jose. “No one in my family has gone to college.” Once Jose discovered that Rainier Scholars offered a path to college, joining was the clear choice for him.

“My mom wants me to be successful and have a better life and Rainier Scholars is giving me the chance for a different future,” he said.

The idea of adding Rainier Scholars to his regular school schedule was initially quite daunting. “I didn’t know what to expect at first. I heard there was a lot of homework and I was nervous about that.”  And there was a lot of homework.

“The first night, I was up till 11 p.m. and had to get up early the next morning to get it all finished in time.” However, over the next few weeks of the summer, Jose adjusted to the new workload and learned how to manage his time.

After the first summer and now most of the school year in the program, Jose says he is thriving. “My normal school work has gotten a lot easier as we started covering things I had already learned at Rainier Scholars.”

Jose admits he’s realized that not everything is going to come easily and it is important to reach out for support.  “The first days of the summer session were really hard, but we were given the contact information for everyone in the cohort and the teachers,” he said. “If we needed help, we knew who to call.”

“My mom wants to me do a good job and get into college. The fact that my family is helping me and will back me up no matter what, keeps me going.”

When reflecting about his future, Jose explains, “Rainier Scholars has opened my mind. It gives you many more opportunities than you would otherwise have.”

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