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Martinez Foundation Scholarship Program

Seattle Pacific University is privileged to partner with the Martinez Foundation and the Barney Foundation to offer scholarships to graduate students of color who wish to become teachers and help eliminate the achievement gap in Washington public schools. The Martinez Foundation, under the leadership of President of the Board of Directors Holli Martinez, an SPU alumna, is doing groundbreaking work in making long-term, positive impacts on student academic achievement.

The Martinez Foundation Scholarship is an annual, nonrecurring award of $5,000 for incoming students of color enrolled in one of SPU's graduate teacher education programs. A limited number of scholarships are awarded to qualified students each year.

The successful candidate will show promise as an effective educator, demonstrate leadership ability, come from an under-represented minority background, and have financial need. Additional desired characteristics include: 

  • Commitment to helping eliminate the achievement gap in Washington state.
  • Belief that all students can succeed.
  • Demonstrated leadership potential.
  • Desire to participate in a cohort of Fellows committed to lifelong professional development and excellence in teaching.

Criteria for Selection

If you are passionate about teaching in an underserved area and making a difference in the lives of your students, this scholarship is for you. Criteria for selection as a Martinez Fellow include:

  • Admission to one of SPU’s graduate teacher certification programs.
  • Evidence of excellence or potential for excellence in teaching, scholarship, or leadership in professional education.
  • Expressed commitment to The Martinez Foundation Fellows program.
  • Ethnicity identified as a person of color.
  • Demonstration of financial need (preferred).

Scholarship Process and Timeline

The School of Education is responsible for submitting qualified candidates to the Martinez Foundation for consideration to become a Martinez Fellow. Applications and interviews will take place during Spring Quarter each year.

Martinez Foundation Scholarship recipients agree to:

  • Work as educators in Washington state K–12 public schools for at least three years, preferably longer. If the educator does not teach for a minimum of three years, the recipient will pay back the scholarship in its entirety.
  • Attend and participate in the annual Martinez Foundation Fellows Summer Conference. First year Fellows (i.e., those beginning their graduate program) are required to attend; attendance in the second and third years is strongly encouraged, and beyond is voluntary.
  • Participate in Saturday professional development seminars occurring four to five times during the school year. Attendance is mandatory for graduate students. For first-year teachers, attendance is strongly encouraged, and beyond is voluntary.
  • Give permission to the Foundation to promote scholarship recipient names and biographical information on The Martinez Foundation website, in press releases, brochures, video clips, and by introduction at Foundation-sponsored events.

How to Apply

Martinez Foundation Scholarships are awarded annually to qualified candidates who meet the requirements outlined above. The application process for the successful candidate includes filling out an application form, submitting a brief essay, and participating in an interview with Martinez Foundation representatives. For additional details on the Martinez Foundation Scholarship offered through Seattle Pacific University, see this page. Applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will open in mid-February and must be submitted by by April 10 for the ARC-MTMS program, or May 10 for the MAT program.

Takiyah Jackson

The Martinez Foundation

Teachers are at the heart of our society and play a central role in addressing the widening achievement gap in Washington and across the nation. Through the Martinez Fellows Scholarship Program, the Martinez Foundation prepares and supports diverse and highly qualified teachers who will raise expectations, accelerate learning, and work to close this opportunity gap.