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Taking control

by Tom Moore

Miles Welsh (Cohort IV) is a Lakeside School and Marist College graduate who currently works as an IT Analyst in the Technical Development Department of Liberty Mutual / Safeco Insurance. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, he loves computer programming and plans to start his own video game company.

Miles’s passion for technology can, in part, be traced back to the triumvirate of an oratory, The Odyssey, and Mr. Drego Little, a Literature teacher at Rainier Scholars.  It is an association not as unusual as it might appear. Every Rainier Scholar reads, and reflects on, The Odyssey taught by Mr. Little in the Academic Enrichment phase. Each scholar also delivers oratories by memory from a text of their choosing in front of an audience. Miles chose a section from The Odyssey and remembers it as one of his best experiences at Rainier Scholars.




           “If you work hard, there’s nothing you cannot accomplish.”

                    Miles Welsh, Cohort IV

                    Lakeside School, Marist College, class of 2016, Liberty Mutual/Safeco Insurance

“When you memorize something, you’re able to ruminate on it, and really understand. And then, during my presentation, I could see the audience was really listening. That is a powerful feeling.” Fast forward a decade and Miles has found a connection with programming that is not dissimilar. He reflects, “When you’re coding it is very meticulous and detail oriented. You see the functionality the user wants, and you make it work. It is a great sense of accomplishment and control.”

Self-control and accountability to yourself and to those around you, are standards that Miles learned from his family, Rainier Scholars, and life experience. He takes ownership for times when he underperformed, when he wasn’t motivated to do the work. “Those times are on me,” he says. “I wasn’t doing what I needed to do to be successful. I was kind of lost at one point.”  

Every student, everybody, has times when they feel out of control. For Miles, the network of support created by Rainier Scholars through the years was critical in keeping him moving forward. “When I didn’t want to continue, I had mentors surrounding me – Bob, Jolenta, Pedro, Ms. Smith, Doug – who motivated me. So, I kept pushing myself and, ultimately, was rewarded for the work I put in. If you work hard, there’s nothing you cannot accomplish.”

Now, at the ripe old age of 22, Miles dreams of giving back. When he starts that video game company he is going to be looking for interns and employees from the cohort ranks of Rainier Scholars. As he says, “How can you not help another kid coming up? That is totally exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens.”

Neither can we, Miles, neither can we.

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