Cheers to 20 years!
On Saturday, October 1st, 2016, over 140 people filled TAF’s headquarters to celebrate twenty years of TAF and the impact we’ve made providing students of color opportunities in tech and STEM industries, pushing for equity in education, and redefining what student success looks like.
As 6 o’clock came, guests began to flood Bethaday Community Learning Center to reunite with old friends and connect with others. By the time the evening was in full swing, it seemed like every kind of TAF supporter was present. Former board members, staff, volunteers, parents, company partners, and sponsors made appearances – some who came to know TAF in the early years.
The night began with drinks and music before moving into the meat of the evening – free flowing opportunities to listen to community narratives, look at a variety of student projects and TAF videos, divulge in an assortment of delicious eats from local chefs, view artwork by Tony Taj and more. The TAF timeline and other elements throughout the night were enhanced using the app, Layar, which offers an augmented reality experience to users who wanted to “uncover” additional information to include videos, images and slideshows.
The celebratory evening turned emotional for some as TAF Co-Founder and Executive Director Trish Millines Dziko gave her evening address, which included heartfelt comments to her spouse and TAF Co-Founder Jill Hull Dziko, and staff members Sherry Williams, Zithri Ahmed Saleem, Troy Hilton, and Chris Alejano who’ve served TAF for the majority of our operating years.
After Trish gave a look into TAF’s next 20 years, October 1st was proclaimed Technology Access Foundation Day by Ed Murray and the City of Seattle. Then, all who wanted to shared a special shot of tequila provided by Edgar and Holli Martinez, and Trish was presented with a surprise birthday cake before the audience was released to continue the evening experiences.
The night ended with smiles, laughter and a lot of dancing. It appeared that there was a renewed sense of commitment and stronger forward momentum among leadership, guests, and partners as everyone realized the significance of the night. TAF, now recognized by many as a pioneer in STEM education, has successfully set the tone of what 360-degree education, community impact, and industry partnerships looks like when serving students.
As TAF looks to the future of expanding its reach to more students through public school transformation, we can clearly say that we’ve got a formula, coined the STEMbyTAF model, that works.
Check out some of the evening’s highlights: