About TAF

From after-school programs to public school districts.

About Us

TAF is a nonprofit leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. We use STEM as a tool for realizing social change and educational equality in communities of color and those with low income. Our targeted approach leverages in-school and out-of-school learning to address longstanding historical inequities for students of color, yet cultivates leadership and citizenship in ALL students toward equity.

Our Mission

TAF aims to equip students of color for success in college and in life through the power of an interdisciplinary STEM education and supportive relationships.

Our History

In 1996, TAF’s co-founder Trish Millines Dziko left her 15-year career in the technology industry to start TAF in an effort to ensure students of color had access to the skills needed to participate as inventors and creators in the growing field of technology. The first programs launched in 1997 were designed to prepare teenagers for tech-focused summer internships (programming, network engineering, web development and media production) and college preparation. By 2001, TAF programs reached down through middle and elementary schools, included science and math, thereby creating a continuous year-over-year K-12 STEM education.

Recognizing the limitation of out of school time programming, TAF built a five-year strategy in 2004 to reach as many students as possible by partnering with public school districts. In 2008, TAF created the only public school in Washington State (TAF Academy) that is co-managed by a nonprofit and a school district. Using the best practices from the award-winning TAF Academy, TAF opened the STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute to prepare our public school teachers to deliver an equitable student-centered 21st-century education in 2013, and in 2014 launched the STEMbyTAF School Transformation program to fully transform public schools to operate like TAF Academy. In 2015, TAF was asked to take over the Martinez Fellowship Program which provides and supports multiple pathways to teaching, early career coaching, and ongoing professional development, in order to improve teacher diversity and the retention of teachers of color in Washington State.

Today, TAF is a thought leader and valuable asset to our students and teachers in our public school system. In our 20+ year history we have impacted over 19,000 students resulting in a 95% on-time high school graduation rate and a 100% college acceptance rate. We are building capacity to scale our programs throughout Washington State.

Values

  • Commitment to Students
  • Support for Authentic, Lasting Education Reform Work with Impact
  • Continuous Improvement and Learning
  • Strategic and Collaborative Leadership and Partnerships
  • Fiscal Responsibility and Sound Business Ethics

Strategic Goals

  • Develop TAF Academy into a national model of excellence in public education whose graduates are sought after by colleges nationwide
  • Build STEMbyTAF into a preferred public school academic model
  • Increase the number of teachers of color in Washington State by 45%
  • Influence public education policy in the areas of STEM education, school leadership, educator diversity, quality pedagogy and expanding the learning environment.

Our Core Programs

In an effort to address equity in education for students of color, TAF approaches this problem in a variety of ways because we understand that it takes the work of many to affect change and that change will be a result stemming from various levels of impact.

We started out by simply teaching students how to code and the basics of working a computer. Today, we offer professional development training, teacher education, public school system curriculum infrastructure transformations, corporate partnerships and more.

It is through the combination of these approaches, that we are able to better serve our students and prepare them for success and for a self-driven and gratifying future.

Explore Our Impact

TAF Academy
TAF Academy is an innovative 6th-12th grade STEM-focused neighborhood school created in partnership with the Federal Way Public School district that prepares students for colleges and careers through a project-based curriculum. 

Teacher Institute
The STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute provides professional development and training for teachers and schools that want to integrate STEM into their instruction.

School Transformation
STEMbyTAF School Transformation involves scaling our best practices in leadership, teaching and learning used at TAF Academy to partner with existing public school districts.

Martinez Fellowship
The Martinez Fellowship is a program with a mission to improve teacher diversity in Washington State public schools.

Our Leadership

Leadership within education reform is vital to the success of innovative programs and improving trajectories for disadvantaged students and educators committed to making a difference. We take our leadership at TAF so serious and scout out the best to take the charge.

Our Team

TAF selects the most qualified individuals who share the same passion and commitment that TAF was built upon. Our organization, comprised of Executive, Education, Operations, and Development teams work in tandem with one another to ensure we provide the best programs possible to impact student learning and excellence.

Our Board

In addition to our primary staff members, TAF enlists various figures within the community that represent corporations and neighborhoods to serve on our Board of Directors. Not only does our board members provide helpful insight as we strategically plan for the future, they are also invested in the success of TAF and committed to assisting us with our goals.

Get Involved

TAF is doing something never done before. We’re in uncharted waters, building key relationships with individuals and organizations that believe in the same things that we do.

We’re working hard to build the capacity of each student to position themselves and create the world they envision – personally, communally, nationally, and globally.

That’s why it’s so important that we expose young minds to STEM opportunities now, and connect them with leaders in the industries that they will one day become a part of. Our supporters, donors, and corporate partners are directly assisting us in transforming public education in Washington State and beyond for ALL students.

Donate

Help us change the face of public education.
 Donate to equal access to STEM education for all students.

Partner

Invest in the future of innovation STEM innovation.
Visit our Corporate Partners page to start making a difference.

Volunteer

Lend your expertise to the foundation or in a classroom.
Email development@techaccess.org to learn more.

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