Islander honored for work in STEM education

Trish Millines Dziko - Courtesy Photo
Trish Millines Dziko
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Islander Trish Millines Dziko has been included in a new permanent exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

Dziko is one of five female scientists and inventors featured in “Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science & Technology.”

Dziko is the cofounder and director of the Technology Access Foun-dation (TAF), an award-winning school that equips students of color to succeed in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Dziko traveled to Detroit earlier this month for the unveiling of the new exhibit and to participate in a panel on STEM at the museum.

Dziko said it was an honor to have a place in the museum, which is the largest museum in the world dedicated to the African-American experience.

“To be recognized outside of the state, it was huge,” she said.

Dziko and her parter Jill Dziko founded TAF in 1996. After a 15-year career in technology, which included work at Microsoft, Dziko said she consistently noticed that people of color were underrepresented in every STEM field.

“I think the public schools in general have not provided the opportunity for most kids regardless of socioeconomic status,” she said.

TAF, based in Seattle, includes a sixth through 12th grade school run in partnership with the Federal Way School District, as well as after-school programs and elementary school supplemental programs.

Through TAF, students of color have access to specific technology, training and education they wouldn’t otherwise have and that better prepares them for college and careers. So far, more than 350 students have gone to college through TAF, Dziko said.

“The work we do is not only important, it’s effective,” she said.

Dziko and TAF have received many other honors and awards, and Dziko was recently named one of 100 Women Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector.

Dziko lives on Vashon with her partner Jill, a social worker, and their four children.


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