The Martinez Foundation today announced a unique collaboration with Washington state’s three largest universities to provide scholarships and support networks for students of color to become teachers. The collaboration will focus on scholarships and programs to ensure success for teachers who teach in diverse communities. In support of The Martinez Foundation, the Seattle Mariners will donate a portion of tickets sold for its Salute to Latinos in Beisbol Day on June 6, 2009. Edgar Martinez and a scholarship recipient from each school will throw out the first pitch for the game.
In an unprecedented collaborative effort, the University of Washington, Washington State University and Seattle University have partnered with The Martinez Foundation in an effort to recruit students of color into the teaching profession. While The Martinez Foundation has committed to providing five Masters in Teaching scholarships per year to each university, it is also partnering with the universities to bring support programs to the students in order to support and retain them in the profession. Founded in early 2008 by former Seattle Mariners’ all-star designated hitter Edgar and his wife Holli, the Foundation’s mission is to strengthen communities by providing underserved populations with educational opportunities.
“Edgar and I were personally touched by our own experiences of going back to school and wanted to make an impact on education,” said Holli Martinez, president of The Martinez Foundation. “We believe education is the best way to alleviate poverty and the teachers we support through our scholarships and programs will have an even greater impact on thousands of students and their communities.”
“Teachers are so important to the success of our children, particularly children of color,” said Edgar Martinez. “But our teachers also need support in order for them to succeed. We know that if we can provide our Martinez Fellows with the tools necessary to keep them in the teaching profession and at the top of their game, it will have an immense impact on many lives.”
The Martinez Foundation will work with the three schools to develop a common support system that will help the Martinez Fellows, and eventually all Masters in Teaching students from each of the schools, deal with the challenging issues that can arise in underserved communities.
The Seattle Mariners will be donating $7 from each ticket sold for its Salute to Latinos in Beisbol Day through the www.mariners.com/latinamerica website to The Martinez Foundation to support these scholarships and programs.
The UW College of Education announced the first five recipients of the 2009 Martinez Foundation Fellowships, each of whom will receive a $15,000 fellowship.
Joana Chacon – “Teachers change the world, you know. Through literature and through a million moments, a teacher can change the life of her students. I speak from experience because a teacher did that for me.”
Mariana “Mari” Padilla – “I think that education is a social justice issue. We cannot have a true democracy until all students are receiving an adequate education.”
Ruby O’Connor – “I want to go beyond the basics and teach my students that their race, gender, religion, and economic background will contribute to their journey but will NOT determine their destination…I want to teach because I want to give every child the opportunity to succeed.”
Wade Graves – “The Masters in teaching program has created a support system to help to encourage, motivate, and guide new teachers throughout the critical first years of their teaching careers.”
Founded in early 2008 by Edgar and Holli Martinez, The Martinez Foundation strives to strengthen communities by providing underserved populations with educational opportunities. Based in Bellevue, Washington, the Foundation provides scholarships to students of color in Washington State. Additional information on The Martinez Foundation can be found at www.themartinezfoundation.org.
College of Education, University of Washington
Box 353600 Seattle, WA 98195-3600