Perseverance Pays Off

L. Virginia Martinez, IRT ’21

I will preface by saying that this is my experience and my journey, and everyone will have their own set of challenges and good and bad moments. While this journey was very long and often resulted in many tears, it was one of my most rewarding journeys. I joined IRT during my first gap year while an AmeriCorps Fellow. If I didn’t join in 2021, my gap year might extend more than two years.

My Journey

After my service year ended in July, I applied for my first “big girl job’, and I got it. While I thought this would be the most exciting time of my career, I was sadly mistaken. There is a long list of things that were red flags, even from my first day there. I had a weird feeling in my stomach on my first day, but I figured it was jitters, the rainy weather, or a mix of anxiety and excitement to have my first real job. Months later, I realized my instincts were trying to warn me. Shortly after I started, I was miserable, overworked, underrepresented, and depressed. I didn’t have much support at the job, except for three co-workers who I still communicate with. (Spoiler: I left after three months). I couldn’t take any PTO until my third month working there —I had to bill a certain number of units per week, I drove over 2k miles in my short time there, and I was frequently vocal about the lack of diversity in the organization and how my position as one of the few women of color there affected me.

Continue reading “Perseverance Pays Off”


For the past several years, PA Giving Day – Phillips Academy’s annual community fundraising effort – has been very impactful for the IRT. Significant funds have been raised on this day in years past in support of our scholars and their critical work. When this event was last held, in March of 2019, over 100 gifts were designated to our program in a single day, many from IRT alumni.

On Wednesday, April 28, we will once again celebrate Giving Day, and hope that you might consider making a contribution. Gifts of any size are greatly appreciated, and will play a major role in unlocking $50,000 in match funds!

Our program is fueled by philanthropy, and we are most grateful for your consideration of support. Please save the date!

Teaching and Mental Health Resources

Teaching and Mental Health Resources

There is so much one could say about the events of the last few months. We need to act and tell the truth about race, power, politics, and education in our country. That said, it grounds and reaffirms us to know that we are all in this together. It is particularly humbling to take a step back and realize that many of you have put your professional careers on the line or have been at risk, to tell the truth in your respective fields.

Being a teacher is tough. In a typical year, we all experience difficulties that can rattle our foundations or alter our classrooms. We continuously learn and imagine new ways to support our communities. But this year is already not a typical one.

We recognize that it can be stressful and tiresome. For our students who are applying to graduate schools, you are doing an incredible job. We are proud of how you can rise above and remain hopeful for our future and your role in it. If you are currently teaching, please know that we are here for you and your students.

We’ve gathered a list of mental health resources and teaching resources. Please feel free to add and share your own with us in the reply/comment section below.

~Mental Health Resources~

~Teaching Resources~





Write a post for the IRT Blog!

We invite all IRT alumni and partners to participate as guest authors and encourage you to submit articles that you wish to share with the IRT community. Contribution submissions are flexible and can vary in length. Some topic ideas are included below, but we welcome new ideas for the blog, so please reach out!

    • commentary on your work and/or research
    • an editorial on an educational issue of interest
    • news and milestones on your IRT cohort and its members
    • insight from participation in a recent conference
    • how you develop curriculum in your classroom
    • thoughts on a published work – your own or others
    • any news that you think is valuable and would be of interest to the IRT community

We hope you will consider contributing a piece to the IRT blog, if interested, please contact Janelle Bonasera  –





Call for Submissions!

Help us Curate Content for a Black History Series on the IRT Blog

The IRT is interested in learning how educators recognize the history, events, and individuals that shape Black History not only in February but year-round. We will be working on publishing a series of posts on the blog and need your help!
Continue reading “Call for Submissions!”