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Martinez Fellowship Program

The Martinez Fellowship is a program established by Holli and Edgar Martinez and managed by the Technology Access Foundation (TAF) that supports teachers of color through graduate-level scholarships, early career coaching, and ongoing professional development in an effort to close the achievement gap by improving teacher diversity and the retention of teachers of color in Washington state.

There are currently 120 Martinez Fellows working in 24 school districts and positively influencing more than 8,500 students from some of the most diverse and high-needs schools in Washington. TAF is the only non-profit organization in the state committed to improving teacher diversity and retaining teachers of color in their profession. TAF does this by providing Fellows with the opportunity to network and collaborate with other teachers of color in a trusted community, along with providing high-quality professional development designed to complement their university instruction and other district or state supports.

Benefits of Becoming a Martinez Fellow

  • Graduate-level scholarships toward Masters in Teaching degrees
  • Opportunities to network and collaborate with other teachers of color in a trusted community
  • Three-day Martinez Fellows Summer Conference
  • Five Saturday professional-development seminars throughout the school year
  • Early career coaching and support
  • Leadership opportunities within and outside of the program

The Martinez Fellowship scholarship is an annual, nonrecurring award for students of color admitted to a graduate-level teacher-preparation program at SPU. Scholarship recipients may receive different award amounts (the average award is $5,000). There is no set number of awards given each year. In cooperation with partner universities, some of the scholarship funds awarded to Martinez Fellows come from other sources.

Criteria for Selecting Martinez Fellows

  • Admission to one of SPU’s graduate teacher-preparation programs
  • Identify ethnicity as a person of color (other than Caucasian)
  • Willingness to sign a contract agreeing to (1) teach for 3 years in a Washington public school (preferably in a diverse high-needs school) and (2) participate in program professional-development opportunities
  • Experience with school-age youth, education, youth development, social services, or related field
  • Demonstration of financial need (preferred)

Martinez Fellows Agree to the Following

  • Work as educators in Washington state K–12 public schools immediately upon graduation from their program. Fellows must commit to teaching for at least three years, preferably longer. If a Fellow does not teach for a minimum of three years, he or she will pay the scholarship back in its entirety.
  • Attend and participate in the annual Martinez Fellowship Summer Conference. Attendance is mandatory for first-year Fellows (graduate students). Attendance in the second and third year is strongly encouraged, and beyond is voluntary.
  • Participate in the Saturday Professional-Development Seminars, which are held 5 times over the course of the school year. Attendance is mandatory for first- and second-year Fellows (graduate students and first-year teachers). Attendance in the third year and beyond is strongly encouraged; opportunities are available for Fellows to lead Seminar workshops and discussions.
  • Be a role model as a professional educator and agree to help mentor and collaborate with other Fellows to improve K–12 teaching.
  • Participate in program surveys and/or research inquiries to help TAF learn more about teacher education, teacher effectiveness, and how to shape the Martinez Fellows program to recruit and retain future teacher candidates.
  • Give permission to TAF to promote award recipients’ names and bios on TAF’s website, in press releases, print brochures, video clips, and by introducing them at TAF sponsored events.
  • Participate in opportunities for community volunteer projects and in social events provided by TAF.

Potential applicants may wish to review a summary of selection criteria, scholarship commitments, and application requirements.


To apply, complete the online application by March 31. Part of the application includes an essay (two-page limit, equivalent to 570 words per page) addressing the following questions:

  1. What would becoming a Martinez Fellow mean to you personally and professionally?
  2. How will your cultural background benefit and/or impact you as a professional educator?

The application also requires a current resume and a brief description of financial need (the description of financial need should not exceed 250 words). The essay, resume, and brief description of financial need should be prepared using word-processing software and then copied and pasted to text fields within the online application.

Qualified applicants will be invited for 30-minute interviews with Technology Access Foundation staff, current Martinez Fellows, and SPU program faculty by April 9. Interviews will take place April 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 on the SPU campus in Peterson Hall.