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OurApproach

1 https://belonging.berkeley.edu/targeteduniversalism

Rainier Scholars – Tacoma will serve Multi-Generational African American and other families using a strategy called Targeted Universalism1. This means we will be working towards the larger goal of expanding opportunities for everyone by focusing on the needs of a group facing the most complex set of barriers.  

Institutions have not fully recognized the additional burden placed on students of color as they navigate environments where they are often not represented.

Consequently, in addition to academic excellence, our scholars will develop the following components of resiliency necessary to be successful, empowered leaders in any environment: 

  • Unassailable sense of self  
  • Awareness of inequalities in supremacist systems  
  • Active rejection of dominant culture superiority myths  
  • Understanding of the impacts of racism and negative stereotypes
  • Confidence in skills, tools, and resources  
  • Belief in the utility of school & learning  
  • Intentional cultivation of a supportive community  

The first three summers – what does it look like?

Summer Stretch Academy

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Scholars will…

Attend classes for 6 1/2 weeks, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4pm (between early July and mid-August)

Be exposed to challenging content 1-2 grade levels above their current grade 

Learn and practice skills like time management, organization, accountability, self-advocacy and effort

Be responsible for completing 1-2 hours of homework each night

Build on their foundation of cultural identity and resiliency

Participate in a culture that celebrates both hard work and fun, centered around our core values of Excellence, Perseverance, Integrity and Courage (E.P.I.C.)

Programming Between Summers

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Scholars will…

Be visited once per month during the school day by an Academic Coach who will support them to apply the skills they learned over the summer

Participate in ongoing development of cultural identity and resiliency through weekly remote classes 

Have support in advocating for challenging work to continue to build their skillset

Engage in monthly community dinners and family workshops

Participate in monthly field trips with their Rainier Scholars peers (inner tubing, pumpkin patch, movies, etc.)

Receive additional academic and mental health support as needed

Rainier Scholars – Tacoma will start recruiting students for Cohort 2 in November 2022, with a summer session start scheduled for July 2022. Interested in applying or learning more?