The Firstmark Foundation Awards $1,000 Grants to 20 San Antonio-Area Educators


Marisa Pérez-Díaz | Firstmark Credit Union | [email protected] | 210.308.7882

Mary Frances Nino

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (January 3, 2024) – The Firstmark Foundation is pleased to announce it has awarded 20 San Antonio-area school employees $1,000 each, as part of its 2023-24 Education Grant program. This is third-straight year the Foundation has given education grants, and it is the second consecutive year it has provided $1,000 to 20 recipients.

“We know that school employees everywhere are experiencing a lack of resources that could otherwise serve to further engage our students, and because of our members, the Foundation is able to help alleviate some of that scarcity,” said Marisa Pérez-Díaz, executive director of the Firstmark Foundation. “Supporting educators has always been at the core of Firstmark Credit Union. We’re honored to help these 20 inspiring recipients, and we look forward to seeing their projects come to life this spring.”

The Foundation’s Education Grant program is designed to support full-time, K-12 educators and school employees who work directly with students by funding their innovative project ideas, including the materials necessary to successfully bring them to fruition. These project ideas engage students with important content and concepts to make an overall positive impact in the classroom. In most cases, these initiatives inspire other staff members within the school district to replicate those same efforts.

The list of the 2023-24 winners are as follows:

Elizabeth Aguilar | South San Antonio ISD | Robert C. Zamora Middle School
Nathaniel Boyd | Southwest ISD | Southwest High School
Elaine Campos | Judson ISD | Judson Care Academy
Melissa Covarrubia | Edgewood ISD | Las Palmas Leadership School for Girls
Mary Frances Nino | Southwest ISD | Elm Creek Elementary School
Susan Galvez | Southwest ISD | Big Country Elementary School
Jasper Gonzales | Southside ISD | Heritage Elementary School
Brandy Gonzalez-Kee | Northside ISD | Thomas C. Clark High School
Bonnie Harker | La Vernia ISD | La Vernia Intermediate School
Fernando G. Laviada | Northside ISD | John Marshall High School
David Martinez | Southwest ISD | Southwest High School
Leticia McNabb | Northside ISD | Villarreal Elementary School
Delicia Mendez-Villegas | Southwest ISD | Sky Harbour Elementary School
Pamela Ozuna | Northside ISD | J.B. Passmore Elementary School
Leslie Soria | Edgewood ISD | Cardenas Early Childhood Center
Edwina Soto | Schertz, Cibolo, Universal City ISD | O.G. Wiederstein Elementary School
Brooke Taliman | Northside ISD | Elrod Elementary School
Melissa Torres | San Antonio ISD | Riverside Park Elementary School
Peggy Trejo | Harlandale ISD | Collier Elementary School
Melinda Valdez | Northside ISD | Bob Beard Elementary School

To date, the Foundation has provided 55 education grants close to $50,000, and has collectively, alongside the credit union (Firstmark), funded upwards of $125,000 to school employees in San Antonio and the surrounding area. The contributions made by the Foundation would not be possible without members enrolled in Power of the Dollar® Checking, who continue to provide a stream of resources to fund these important initiatives that help create sustainability within the education system.

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 90 years later, Firstmark continues to build upon their legacy, supporting the vital work of our schools.

ABOUT Firstmark Credit Union

In 1932, ten teachers signed a charter to begin San Antonio Teachers Credit Union and served members from the original location at Fox Tech High School. Firstmark has grown the initial $475 investment to almost 100,000 members and over $1 billion in assets and continues to advance a legacy of creating superior member value and inspired service. Today, the Firstmark Foundation, a 501(c)(3) Public Charity, exists to make a tangible, positive impact in the education community through the collective support of the membership. Firstmark has been recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal as a Best Places to Work for the last four years, an achievement made possible by employees who proudly serve one another and the members. For more information about Firstmark Credit Union, please visit