A life-changing opportunity, a promising future

At Rainier Scholars, we believe all students deserve the chance to go as far as their hard work and talent will take them. That’s why we crafted a comprehensive 12-year program starting in the fifth grade that provides access and opportunity by bringing together academic preparation, leadership development and personalized support for hard-working, low-income students of color. Our program has been designed to increase college graduation rates and empower new generations of leaders who reflect the diversity of our community. Our exceptional teachers and engaging curriculum ensure that our scholars develop skills for academic success and core values so they can excel in our program from elementary school to college, career and leadership.

“Our country is crying out for leaders who represent diverse backgrounds and share common core values of intelligence, integrity, perseverance and wisdom.”

Sarah Smith, Executive Director  

A 12-year journey

The Rainier Scholars program is divided into four distinct phases, and each has been designed to help our scholars discover their true capabilities and access life-changing opportunities for themselves and their families.

Applications to Rainier Scholars begin in 4th grade.


5th Grade



Academic Counseling & Character Development
6th – 8th Grade 


College Counseling & Leadership Development
9th – 12th Grade


Undergraduate Counseling & Career Development 
Freshman – Senior

“The rigor and structure of Rainier Scholars prepared me for a top-tier college.”

Raquel Stratton, Cohort III, Lakeside School, Johns Hopkins University, Research Program Coordinator at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology

Scholar achievements


Scholars in middle and high school enrolled in private, parochial or public Advanced Learning programs


Scholars who have graduated or are on track to graduate from college

Connect with our community

We walk beside our scholars throughout their journey to college graduation and beyond. Your belief in our work and our scholars enriches our region, developing college graduates and leaders who reflect the diversity of our communities and our world.

Make a donation

Rainier Scholars

Read our journal

Rainier Scholars

Meet our team

Rainier Scholars

Hire a scholar

Rainier Scholars