At a time when social and racial inequities require urgent action, many are asking the question — how can we make a more just world? For the last 20 years, Rainier Scholars has offered answers to that question through education, providing academic access and leadership development to BIPOC and underserved youth. Now with newly-selected Executive Director Rafael del Castillo, Rainier Scholars looks to expand their impact with a greater emphasis on racial justice.
The Renton Innovation Zone Partnership (RIZP) has emerged as an amazing community collective that works to support families in Skyway, West Hill, and the Renton Highlands with basic needs, early learning opportunities, and community and family engagement resources.
RIZP started in 2017 when Renton School District Superintendent Dr. Damien Pattenaude began looking for community involvement to help support students living within the Renton Innovation Zone, where 5,023 students currently live.
“He [Dr. Pattenaude], along with a couple other organizations, convened a bunch of providers, nonprofits, and city government, and was like, ‘schools can’t do it alone,’” said Ryan Quigtar, Executive Director of RIZP. Quigtar is excited about the prospective partnership, but acknowledged that partnerships like this have been tried in the past.