What a year we’ve had! Since this time last year, with your donations, TAF directly educated over 1,200 students during the 2016-2017 academic year; 306 were enrolled at TAF Academy, 409 at Boze Elementary, and 491 at Saghalie Middle School. But, that’s not all. We also impacted an additional 10,000 students through our Martinez Fellowship program!
The biggest news of all is that the TAF Academy merger with Saghalie Middle School went live this September, resulting in 700 students entering our new school TAF@Saghalie. We know that you were rallying for this expansion with us, and we’re happy to report that it is allowing our students greater access to opportunities. Our original TAF Academy students (who were very happy to move out of portables), now have a gym, cafeteria, and opportunities to participate in sports. And for original Saghalie students, they have access to engineering and design, college and career readiness, in-class academic support, and STEM industry experiences.
TAF Academy Alumni are graduating college! Now that the first TAF Academy classes are starting to graduate college, we’re seeing the seeds we planted in our students bear fruit and contribute to society. For example, class of 2012 alumni Cameron Sharpe recently received his degree from The University of British Columbia. As a sophomore in high school, Cameron was in the inaugural program started by TAF and Fred Hutch, which enabled him to learn about being a research scientist and intern during the summer for three consecutive years. He subsequently interned every year during college until graduation and has now been hired as a full-time Science Research Data Coordinator at Fred Hutch! He and many others prove early investment in students works and has the potential to change futures dramatically.
Boze Elementary is proving our model can work in existing public schools. Upon completing their second year of school transformation using our STEMbyTAF model, it became very clear that contrary to the naysayers, a full school culture can be changed with the right players participating. With your support of the program, we’ve been able to help Boze improve student, teacher and family engagement, and reach record-setting family and community participation.
And, here’s the proof: Boze was one of seven organizations across the nation to receive the Kinder Morgan grant to launch a Makerspace; the school was recognized as a tech initiative school allowing for additional teacher professional development in classroom technology and funding for technology hardware in the school; and, finally for the second summer in a row, Boze was able to send 18 students University of Washington’s Alexa Café (an all-girls summer camp aimed at skill development in coding, web design, leadership, and entrepreneurship).
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Our Martinez Fellowship program welcomed 17 members of cohort 9 to the team, giving us a total of 121 teachers of color addressing the minority educator representation deficit in Washington state. Aside from working through typical challenges of teaching in public schools, our Fellows of color are usually underrepresented in their buildings, yet placed in unofficial roles to handle issues concerning students of color, educating colleagues about race, and serving on numerous committees on discipline.
That’s why it’s so important for TAF to provide ongoing support, professional development, and a community network they can stay connected to. Your gift helps us deliver supports and programs so that 95% of our fellows can combat burnout and stay in the classroom beyond 3 years of service – which is over 20% above the national average.
This is the Work, Our Work
We’ve been fortunate to have incredible allies like you who are helping us increase access to STEM opportunities for more students, year after year. In fact, next year we take our first step toward regional scaling by adding the three elementary schools that feed into TAF@Saghalie to our portfolio. Imagine 2,300 students in one area having the benefit of a quality education that will enable them to create the world they envision – personally, communally, nationally and globally!
This is the work – our work – which is the result of dedicated students, educators, corporate and community partners, donors and supporters, like you, who believe in our mission and improving educational outcomes for students of color. The work isn’t always an easy path to pave, but it is well worth the journey to ensure students and teachers receive fair and equitable opportunities to impact the world around them, through STEM or other ways.
Match the Million
With your donation, we can meet our goal of educating an additional 4,000 students through all our programs next year. To do this, we have been generously challenged with a $1M match goal! Here’s how it works: If you give 20% more than your last cumulative annual gift to TAF, your entire gift will be matched!
Will you give a gift to provide new and continued STEM experiences and equitable educational opportunities to over 15,000 students in underserved communities? I hope you will consider increasing your gift, so we can make our giant step toward scaling our programs a successful one!
Trish Millines Dziko
Co-founder and Executive Director