#ItPaysToPromote: The Martinez Foundation

BonBon Break



We plan to do this again in 2015, so please join us then!


Val-Head2Val’s Choice: The Martinez Foundation

As a teacher, I chose a few students every Fall who I knew were tough cookies. I was relentless with them. The bar was raised and ignoring me or trying to get kicked out of class just didn’t work. My goal? To make them care  about their education. To push them and help them feel success after hard work in the classroom.

These kids weren’t fans of this approach because they were masters at flying under the radar…not on my watch. I knew who I would “click” with after the first week and a plan was created based on their personal interests, issues and needs.

This is not unique. My colleagues did the same in their own way and because of this, the more experiences teachers bring to the table as a staff, the more effective they are as a whole. THIS is how No Child is Left Behind. Diversity.

When we began playing with the concept of It Pays to Promote at BonBon Break, I knew I wanted to bring in a non-profit that was focused on education. Shortly after our first brainstorm session, I was at a meeting with a friend, and she began telling me about The Martinez Foundation. I politely let her finish her story (it was difficult..I was EXCITED) and then I jumped out of my seat and screeched, “They are PERFECT!”

Diverse schools need diverse teachers and The Martinez Foundation is helping to make that need a reality.

Holli and Edgar Martinez (yes, THE Edgar Martinez) established The Martinez Foundation in 2008. The Foundation works with students and teachers of color from all socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Holli & Edgar with FellowsThe Martinez Foundation seeks to address one of the most critical needs in education here in Washington- improving teacher diversity. Washington has close to 65,000 teachers, but only 8% of those teachers are teachers of color (minority teachers). The retention of teachers of color directly impacts the drop-out rate of minority students. Research has shown that teachers of diverse cultural backgrounds can have a positive effect on the success of students of color. The Martinez Foundation is a public nonprofit with a mission to improve teacher diversity and the retention of teachers of color here in Washington State. Through scholarships, ongoing professional development, and early career mentoring, Martinez Fellows receive quality instruction and the community of support needed to be successful working in the teaching profession.

group pic 2014

Martinez Fellows have the opportunity to create a more equitable learning environment in public classrooms, close the gap between disadvantage and achievement, and honor every student’s right to succeed in school—and life. They value this work because our communities need increased equity in the classroom and more role models for our children.

For more information please go to: TheMartinezFoundation.org