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A future full of promise and possibility

When he was just 12 years old, Kevin Martinez already knew how to inspire an audience. “I’m a hard worker, a friend to everyone, and a Rainier Scholar,” he said bravely to a room filled with more than 600 people gathered for the organization’s annual fundraising luncheon. “My family has always told me that education is super important and that without a good education, you cannot get the job of your dreams.”

“I learned I can succeed in an academically challenging environment.”

Kevin Martinez, Cohort VIII, The Bush School, University of Rochester, class of 2017

All our scholars have a personal story to tell. Each has taken a journey that demands commitment and dedication. Kevin earned placement as a seventh grader at The Bush School, one of Seattle’s highly regarded independent schools. In high school he put his leadership skills to work as an officer in school government and volunteered with Team Feed, an organization focused on providing meals for the homeless. Kevin also pursued professional working experience, including an internship at the Seattle Aquarium and as a customer engineer intern at Seattle City Light.

Early on Kevin discovered an important insight. “You can come from this completely different place – being of color and from a different socio-economic level – and still succeed and feel comfortable in an academically challenging environment,” he said.

Finding empowerment as a scholar, Kevin has traveled across the country to attend the University of Rochester to pursue the “job of his dreams” – to become a neurologist or neuroscientist. He is the same fearless and determined 12-year-old who said: “I see a difference in myself and I am excited to see what the future will hold.”

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