Firstmark Credit Union Joins CAST Teach in Unveiling of Model Classroom and Resource Library


Marisa Pérez-Díaz | Firstmark Credit Union | [email protected]

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas (October 18, 2023) – CAST Teach High School unveiled their new innovative model classroom and professional resource library on Wednesday, October 18, made possible by the Firstmark Foundation and the members of Firstmark Credit Union. The Firstmark Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the credit union, awarded CAST Teach High School an $80,000 grant in 2022 to help support the school’s early infrastructure costs.

“This innovative classroom, built with student input, will provide our students and future educators invaluable hands-on experience,” said Ericka Olivarez, principal at CAST Teach. “The classroom will be a cornerstone of the student experience at CAST Teach. We’re tremendously thankful for the support of Firstmark Credit Union and the Firstmark Foundation.”

Designed to prepare high school students pursuing a career in education, the classroom and resource library provide them with a state-of-the-art, hands-on learning experience, which includes the opportunity to teach in front of other students, work in an innovative environment where they can cultivate their skills, and inspire future generations. The enhanced collaborative amenities are expected to have a lasting positive impact on future educators and will help them to foster a love for teaching at an early age.

“It is heartening to see this vision come to fruition,” said Marisa Pérez-Díaz, executive director of the Firstmark Foundation. “Investing in concepts like CAST Teach will have reverberating effects on our community and the state of education for many years to come. The Firstmark Foundation, on behalf of our members, is happy to play a small part in this good and necessary work.”

This marked the first high impact grant the Firstmark Foundation has awarded in our community since it was established in 2021. None of this would be possible without the members enrolled in Power of the Dollar® Checking, the credit union’s suite of products tailored to support innovative and sustainable programs and initiatives within our education community.

To learn more about the Firstmark Foundation and the ways Firstmark Credit Union supports the education community on behalf of its members, please visit the Foundation tab at

ABOUT The Firstmark Foundation

The FIRSTMARK FOUNDATION is a non-profit, public charity focused on making a tangible, positive impact in the education community through the collective giving of the membership. Firstmark Credit Union offers the Power of the Dollar® Checking that includes a $1 monthly impact fee that goes directly to the Firstmark Foundation. On behalf of the members of Firstmark, the Foundation will fund significant needs across our school districts, such as constructing new facilities, improving existing amenities, enhancing learning spaces, and providing education grants and student scholarships. Founded on the philosophy of people helping people, ten teachers made the best use of their resources, established a credit union to serve educators, and 91 years later, Firstmark continues to build upon their legacy, supporting the vital work of our schools.

ABOUT THE CAST Schools Network

The Centers for Applied Science & Technology (CAST) is a San Antonio-based network of tuition-free, public schools with a mission to reinvent schooling in order to maximize options for students while preparing them for college, career, and life. Open to all Bexar County students, the network includes high schools CAST Tech, CAST Teach, CAST STEM, CAST Med, CAST Lead and the Advanced Learning Academy. Schools are co-created with industry, and partner with area public school districts, including Northside, San Antonio, Southwest, and East Central ISDs. For more information, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.