Mentoring Women Leaders

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In one area of Washington State, nearly half of high school students drop out of school and only a small number of those who do graduate go on to college. That’s not the case for one young woman who hopes her success will help change the future. Kim Riemland has her story. 

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(Locator: White Swan, Washington)

On the Yakama Reservation in Washington, a small church marks a big milestone. Wilbur United Methodist is turning 150. Twenty-two-year old Nancy Donato wouldn’t miss it.

Nancy Donato, College Student: “They’re like my second family, especially MarLu. She’s done so much for me.”

Pastor MarLu Primero Scott made a special connection while Nancy was in high school. In a challenging environment, Nancy avoided the path of some of her peers.

The Rev. MarLu Primero Scott, Wilbur United Methodist Church: “…into drugs, having babies long before they are 18… they don’t seem to have any kind of vision as to what they would really want to be.”

Nancy did have vision. While working at the tribal casino’s day care, she decided she wanted to be a child psychologist.

From encouraging her, to taking her on college visits, Pastor Scott helped Nancy pursue her potential.

Nancy is about to graduate from college, one of only four from her high school class. It’s an accomplishment that will impact Nancy and those around her.

Nancy Donato: “I want them to be able to understand that they have what it takes to go to school because I made it.”

Pastor Scott was mentored while growing up in the Philippines; now she mentors where she is planted. The cycle of leadership continues.

(Nancy at the podium) “Good morning, everyone.”

The Rev. MarLu Primero Scott: “She has touched lives who look at her and say, ‘We would like to be like Nancy who has been able to defy the kind of challenges that we encounter ourselves.’”

There is much to celebrate: a church’s rich history – and its future.


In this 150th year, Wilbur Memorial United Methodist continues to serve its community with an after-school program for children and a food bank which serves 1,300 people a month.

For more information, contact the church at 509-874-2736.

Also, see: Pastor helps tribal member set goals

Posted: May 6, 2009