The Firstmark Foundation Pledges $100,000 to SAMSAT for Program Helping Teachers in Underserved Communities


Marisa Pérez-Díaz | Firstmark Credit Union | [email protected] | (210) 308-7882

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Firstmark Foundation is pleased to announce its grant award of $100,000 to SAMSAT, the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology, in support of the SAMSAT Educator Fellows Program. This is the first grant the foundation has awarded SAMSAT.

The program will train twelve teachers over one year in methods of project-based learning (PBL), including three teachers with prior experience who will also serve as mentors. With a focus on aiding teachers who serve underrepresented populations via Title I schools, the program is designed to provide professional development and an overall unique experience.

“The Firstmark Foundation believes in giving back to our education community where innovation and creativity lead to access and opportunity, and this program will do just that,” said Marisa Pérez-Díaz, vice president of impact and marketing. “When presented with a chance to support forward-thinking programs that create pathways for educator success, it’s an easy decision to act upon it. We are beyond excited to partner with SAMSAT on this initiative, to play a role in helping this program come to life, and thankful to Power of the Dollar® members for making this all possible.”

Professional development opportunities are limited and, oftentimes, come at an added expense to the educator, which could impact their growth in the field. By merging both practice and training through PBL, it will provide teachers advantages toward their real-world transition. The program will also give each teacher the chance to make two visits to SAMSAT AREA 21® on field trips with their students, where they will receive direct assistance integrating new approaches into daily practice.

“Firstmark’s support for the SAMSAT Educator Fellows Program will further connect us to teachers who are preparing the next generation of scientists, researchers, and STEM professionals,” said David Monroe, founder and CEO of SAMSAT.  Dr. Cliff Zintgraff, chief learning officer at SAMSAT, shared that “the program will build teachers’ capacity to bring 21st century teaching practices into area classrooms, in turn helping students get on pathways to STEM careers that can be transformational for students, families, and communities.”

This new program will launch in late spring, as well as applications for those wanting to participate in the year-long effort.

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

To find more information on how SAMSAT supports schools in our community, please visit 

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 helping members live out the highest vision for themselves. 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


SAMSAT, the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology, unlocks potential for ALL students, families, and communities, with an emphasis on those traditionally underrepresented in STEM. In the process, SAMSAT expands San Antonio as a global technology leader. In the last year, 24,000 students and 15,000 adults were served primarily through the organization’s flagship space, SAMSAT AREA 21® at the Boeing Center at Tech Port, and also at the SAMSAT History Center. SAMSAT hosts field trips, performs school outreach, hosts afterschool classes and camps, runs sponsored programs, and hosts events. Through all its services, SAMSAT helps transform the students, families, and communities we serve.  For more information about SAMSAT, please visit