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Equity first.

TAF MISSION

We build collaborative relationships with public education
to create access to transformative systems of learning for students and teachers of color
to eliminate race-based disparities in an increasingly diverse society.

The system is broken.

We’re fixing it.

In partnership with educators.

Technology Access Foundation (TAF) is a Seattle-based nonprofit leader redefining K-12 public education throughout Washington State for all students and teachers, particularly those who identify as a person of color and are from traditionally underserved communities.

The current public education system was not designed for everyone to succeed and simply doesn’t work.

We partner with public school districts, universities, community, and corporate partners to improve learning opportunities and academic achievement for underrepresented students. Likewise, we empower emerging teachers and education leaders of color within public education with professional development and a network of support. Through the lens of equity and by using STEM as a tool for social change, our 360-degree approach to public education provides an opportunity to undo systemic oppression and make education a place where everyone wins.

School Partnerships

TAF is the first and only nonprofit in WA state to co-manage public schools in partnership with school districts. Our current Academy is at TAF@Saghalie in Federal Way Public Schools.

Using our success from our co-managed school, we forge strong district partnerships to transform existing public schools across the state, via our TransformED program, into equitable learning communities where everyone thrives

Professional Learning

Through the Martinez Fellowship Program and Education EnCounter, we ensure teachers of color have the support to thrive as teachers in our public school so students of color have teachers and school leaders that have a shared culture and understanding of who they are in the world and how to best educate them.

Our Ally Engagement program provides professional learning opportunities for white school leaders who are interested in creating school environments where educators of color can thrive.

Through the Academy for EDvancement, we provide an array of courses for individual teachers and teacher teams looking to gain actionable tools they can implement in their classrooms right away.

Committed to equity since 1996.

Equity is not just a pillar of our work, it is woven throughout our programs, organization, and the way we operate. While our programs may evolve to make a greater impact, our core mission to improve public education for students of color remains at the root of what we do.

Our Story

In 1996, co-founders Trish Millines Dziko and Jill Hull Dziko opened TAF’s doors. Serving as TAF’s Executive Director, Trish left her 17-year career in the technology industry to start TAF in an effort to ensure students of color had access to the skills needed to compete in the growing technology scene. The first programs launched in 1997 were designed to prepare teenagers for tech-focused summer internships in programming, network engineering, web development, media production, and college preparation.

Recognizing the limitation of after-school programming, TAF built a five-year strategy in 2004 to reach as many students as possible by partnering with public school districts to offer support during school for students. In 2008, TAF Academy (now named TAF@Saghalie) became the only public school in Washington State to be co-managed by a nonprofit and a school district.

In 2014, TAF launched the STEMbyTAF School Transformation (Now known as TransformED) program to fully transform public schools with the STEMbyTAF model. 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 the Washington State public school system and beyond. We impact over 24,000 diverse students and report a 95% on-time high school graduation rate and a 100% college acceptance rate. We are building capacity to scale our programs throughout the state to redefine public education by transforming entire classrooms within schools and supporting educators and administrators to create environments where all students can thrive.

Our Values

  • Commitment to Students– TAF is committed to creating better outcomes for students of color so they may create the world they envision personally, locally, nationally and globally.
  • Equitable Practices– TAF fosters environments with structures and systems that are inclusive and ensure all employees have what they need to succeed while pursuing our mission.
  • Continuous Improvement and Learning– We actively, collectively improve, share knowledge and evolve.
  • Integrity– Carry out all our work with the greatest responsibility and accountability
  • Authenticity– TAF operates from a place of being your authentic self with consideration for the good of the whole.
  • Collaboration– Decisions are not made in silos. All aspects of our work involve collaboration for the good of the whole.

Leadership

TAF is led by a diverse group of individuals who are committed to improving the landscape of public education. With strong leadership, we have been able to forge partnerships with school districts, universities, companies, and the community to empower education leaders and help students succeed in STEM and beyond.

Staff Leadership

  • Trish Millines Dziko
    Trish Millines Dziko Co-founder, Executive Director
  • Sherry Williams
    Sherry Williams Executive Director of Operations
  • Patricia Burgess
    Patricia Burgess Chief of Staff
  • Katherine Figueras
    Katherine Figueras Director, Finance
  • Essence Russ
    Essence Russ Director, TAF@Saghalie
  • Arthur Ross
    Arthur Ross Director, Technology
  • Adam Tageldin
    Adam Tageldin Director, Communications
  • Lynn Juniel
    Lynn Juniel Director, Development
  • Denise McLean
    Denise McLean Director, Professional Learning
  • Malesia Britt
    Malesia Britt Director, TransformED
  • Sung Kim
    Sung Kim Director, Network for EdWork

Board of Directors Officers

  • Mary Beth Canty
    Mary Beth Canty President
  • Steven Kwan
    Steven Kwan Vice President
  • Katie Compton
    Katie Compton
  • Tam Dang
    Tam Dang Treasurer

Our Culture Codes

In order to be the best we can be for our stakeholders and ourselves, our team has committed to the following culture codes:

  • We are stewards of TAF’s mission
  • We work with purpose, passion, integrity and commitment
  • We help each other thrive
  • Our relationships with partners and community are beyond compare
  • We center and elevate student, teacher and family needs and voice

Social Change

TAF is a leader in redefining STEM through its STEMbyTAF academic model to promote social change throughout public education and corporate industries. By examining the root cause of racial disparity in STEM fields, TAF has recognized socioeconomic status and neighborhood to be the largest barriers for students of color to receive a high-quality, industry-relevant public education. Those barriers inhibit many black and brown students from exploring technical careers and seeing them as a viable option post-graduation.

By intentionally working with public schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods and partnering with companies seeking diverse talent, TAF aims to create a bridge between K-12 education and industry. We challenge public school districts, local government, and companies to think outside the box and then we partner with them to provide opportunities where underrepresented students of color can master STEM concepts, explore new career pathways, break stereotypes, and become successful leaders of tomorrow. Additionally, our work in recruiting and supporting early-career educators and education leaders of color allows students to see themselves in school leadership. At the same time, school and district leaders of color are empowered to make systemic changes to abolish anti-racist practices and ensure public education serves all students. ​

#OneStudentInfiniteFutures

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