For Generations to Come.

Thomas and Pearl Martinez started this foundation in the early 1990’s after Tom retired as a Secretary-Treasurer of the National Maritime Union and they relocated from New York to San Diego. The Foundation’s motto is “Keep a Child in School.” Through cash awards to young people (5th and 6th graders in San Diego and National City schools) who are selected by their teachers for outstanding effort and citizenship, Tom and Pearl wanted to encourage young Hispanics, regardless of the grades they receive, to stay in school and work hard to finish their education.

Hundreds of children over the years have received these awards, along with certificates, which are presented at the schools’ culmination ceremonies every June and July.

Last year, the Foundation presented a $50,000 donation to STAR Repertory Theatre in Escondido, to help them purchase a building and continue offering acting and other theatre experiences to school-aged children. Through outreach programs to the Hispanic community, STAR Repertory Theatre will be furthering the goal of the Thomas & Pearl Martinez Foundation as it engages children in activities that will broaden their minds and help them become engaged, well-rounded young adults.

Though Thomas and Pearl Martinez who are no longer with us, they stand as a testament how individuals with determination and proper planning can make changes for generations to come.

(Tom passed away in 2006, and Pearl passed away in 2014), and of me presenting awards to students at Emerson-Bandini Elementary School in San Diego a few years ago.