Believe in Me, Believe in Them: Illuminating Paths with Rainier Athletes’ Mentorship Program

Championing Change with Rainier Athletes and Believe in Me 

In the heart of Bellevue, Rainier Athletes stands as a beacon of hope, walking alongside countless children on their journeys to self-discovery. Beyond traditional academic support, this remarkable organization empowers marginalized youth through personalized mentorship and year-round sponsorship for extracurricular activities. Rainier Athletes bridges opportunity gaps by removing participation barriers, and affirming a sense of belonging and purpose. With a $5,000 grant from Believe in Me, Rainier Athletes continues to weave a tapestry of opportunity, connection, and boundless potential for the youth it serves, ensuring that every child can realize their dreams and reach their full potential.

Rainier Athletes

A Chronicle of Empowerment 

The genesis of Rainier Athletes traces back to the spring of 2013 when Jesse Franklin, fueled by a vision of equity and opportunity, embarked on a mission to bridge the opportunity gap within Bellevue’s community. Armed with little more than a seed donation and a heart full of determination, Franklin launched the program’s pilot season at Lake Hills Elementary, laying the foundation for what would soon become a transformative force in the lives of marginalized youth.


Over the years, Rainier Athletes has evolved from a modest initiative into a thriving 501(c)3 organization guided by an independent board and supported by a dedicated team of mentors and educators. Yet, amidst its growth and evolution, the core ethos of Rainier Athletes remains unwavering: to affirm every child’s sense of purpose and belonging in the classroom, on the field, and throughout their communities. 

Rainier Athletes

Nurturing Potential, Fostering Belonging 

At the heart of Rainier Athletes’ approach lies a commitment to long-term, holistic support. Through a unique partnership with the Bellevue School District, students are welcomed into the RA community in 4th or 5th grade, embarking on a transformative journey of growth and self-discovery. Central to this journey is self-advocacy, wherein students, alongside their mentors and families, craft an Identity Statement—a powerful affirmation of their unique qualities, perspectives, and cultural heritage.


The weekly rituals of reflection and dialogue, facilitated by mentors and supported by the students’ core community, create a nurturing ecosystem wherein every voice is heard and every achievement is celebrated. Rainier Athletes’ mentors instill in their students a “growth mindset,” teaching them resilience and perseverance are the cornerstones of success. 

Rainier Athletes
“Rainier Athletes is honored to partner with Believe in Me to unlock connection and build an enduring sense of belonging for RA students."
Jesse Franklin
Founding Mentor and Executive Director, Rainier Athletes

Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges 

Rainier Athletes’ commitment to equity extends beyond rhetoric; it manifests in tangible support and resources provided to students facing systemic barriers. By fully sponsoring students year-round to participate in extracurricular activities, Rainier Athletes ensures that financial constraints do not hinder a child’s ability to explore their passions and talents.

Moreover, the program’s wraparound approach to mentorship transcends traditional boundaries, creating a network of support that extends beyond the confines of the classroom or playing field. Through partnerships with community organizations, businesses, and the Bellevue School District, Rainier Athletes leverages data and resources to identify students needing support, tailoring interventions to address their unique challenges and aspirations. 

The Power of Partnership 

Believe in Me’s grant to Rainier Athletes is a testament to the transformative impact of collaboration. By investing in mentor recruitment, equipment, and technology, Believe in Me has provided vital resources and reaffirmed its commitment to empowering marginalized youth. 


With the support of organizations like Believe in Me, Rainier Athletes is poised to expand its reach and impact, matching more students with dedicated mentors and fostering a sense of purpose and belonging within every child it serves. Together, we can build a future where every child can thrive, barriers are replaced with bridges, and the promise of tomorrow shines bright for all. 

Rainier Athletes

Together We Rise: Empowering Youth, Transforming Communities 

Rainier Athletes stands as a beacon of hope in a world often marred by inequality and adversity—a testament to the transformative power of mentorship, community, and unwavering dedication. As we look towards the future, let us remember the guiding principle of Rainier Athletes: Together, we are ONE  team.


Join us in our journey towards a brighter, more equitable tomorrow, where every child’s potential knows no bounds. 


Discover the remarkable nonprofits we support on our website: Your time is a valuable asset, and we welcome your involvement, whether through volunteering, sharing this story to amplify their mission, or making thoughtful donations that play a crucial role in sustaining and expanding the positive impact on the lives of children in need. Join us in making a lasting difference!

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