A letter from Trish: It’s no surprise that we’re celebrating!
Since 1996 when Jill Hull and I decided to leave our corporate and service jobs to create opportunities for students of color in the tech industry and STEM professions, the rest was history.
Over the course of 19 years the organization we built together, Technology Access Foundation (better known as TAF to most), has grown from a small non-profit serving it’s nearby community, to a community-based organization serving the entire Washington State as a pioneer in project-based STEM education.
With over 4,100 students educated through our programs beginning with Technical Teens Internship Program (TTIP) in 1997, to our most recent addition of The Martinez Fellowship in 2015, we’ve experienced great success. We’ve sent around 400 students off to college and proudly boast a 95% graduation rate at TAF Academy (the first school to be co-managed by a public school district and nonprofit in Washington State). That’s not all.
The impact we’ve made in the lives of our students reaches farther than test scores and statistics. Our alumni reengage and come back to serve at TAF as teachers and board members, our students are gaining invaluable leadership skills from in-field experiences at places like Fred Hutch, and administrators and educastors alike are reclaiming the passion they felt so deeply at the start of their careers. We are proving that students of color can and will solve the world’s problems using collaborative work ethics that cross over defined industries. They’re able to do this because they are equipped with the tools necessary for them to succeed. They are doing what we knew they could do all along. So it’s no surprise to us, but it is a celebration.
As we celebrate our 20th year mark, we invite you to join our journey. We’re getting ready to enter another phase of growth and achievement through the expansion of our STEMbyTAF model into public school transformation. If you haven’t heard by now, TAF Academy and Saghalie Middle School with join by 2017 to create a new place called TAF @ Saghalie where more kids will receive the same instruction that has garnered various awards of excellence. More students, more impact, and more achievement.
This is only one step we’re taking to change the landscape in Washington State.
Come along with us as we commit to more.
Join us on October 1st for our 20th anniversary celebration. I hope to see you there!
Trish Milines Dziko
TAF CEO & Co-Founder