The Minority Teacher Education Scholarship (MTES) program was created to be Florida’s Answer to Diversity in Teaching. For over 20 years, the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc. has answered the call and continues to provide the great state of Florida with high quality, highly qualified minority teachers. FFMT is governed by a Governor appointed Board of Directors from institutions of higher education and various industries throughout the state.

The mission of FFMT is:

  • To increase the number of minority teachers in Florida to better reflect our state’s diverse population
  • To provide financial awards (Minority Teacher Education Scholarship) and extensive pre-professional development
  • To positively impact public education by expanding knowledge paradigms of learning and teaching in preparing our youth


Senator George Kirkpatrick

The late Florida Senator George Kirkpatrick championed and established the Minority Teacher Education Scholarship Program and the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc. to counteract disturbing trends
in teacher diversity. The MTES program was designed in the Florida legislature to increase the number of minority teachers in the state to reflect the diversity of the state’s student population more accurately.

Senator Kirkpatrick served as a member of the Florida Senate from 1980-2000, representing Gainesville and the communities that surround Alachua County.

Dr. Roderick McDavis

Dr. Roderick McDavis served as the former Dean of the College of Education at the University of Florida and worked alongside Senator Kirkpatrick in establishing the Minority Teacher Education Scholarship and the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc. He has held various academic and administrative positions at the University of Florida, the University of Arkansas, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Ohio University.

Dr. McDavis served as chair of the Inter-University Council of Ohio, The Interlink Alliance, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Committee on Academics. He also was a member of the NCAA Board of Governors, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, and the Ohio Third Frontier Advisory Board. Dr. McDavis was the first African American president of Ohio University and only the second alumnus to lead the university during its 214-year history


  • Over 6,100 individuals have come through the Minority Teacher Education Scholarship program since 1996.
  • As such, over $43 million in scholarships have been awarded by FFMT over the last twenty-one years.
  • Approximately 92% of scholarship recipients met their obligation by teaching in a Florida public school.
  • It costs, on average, $12,000 for a Florida school district to recruit teachers.
  • Greater than 85% of our scholars receive $8,000 or less.


Dr. Glenn E. Good
University of Florida

Dr. Ulysees Gilbert, II
Vice Chair
Federal Emergency Management Agency

William Spiers
Tallahassee Community College

Teri Jones
Melbourne, FL

Dr. Samuel Wright, Sr.
University of South Florida

Dr. Charles P. Ervin, Jr.
Florida A&M University

Yul Anderson
Atlanta, GA

Dr. Piyush Agrawal
APS Technologies, Inc.

Dr. Evelyn Cartright
Retired Barry University

Dr. Benjamin Cowins
Nova Southeastern University

Dr. Linda Hogans
St. Petersburg College

Dr. David Kumar
Florida Atlantic University






Cheryl D. Williams, M.Ed.

Executive Director

Cheryl’s professional career spans over 26 years of experience in education through varied teaching and higher education experiences. Her experiences and research centers around access and opportunities for underrepresented and marginalized communities. She has served as the Program Director and Research Assistant for the Situational Environmental Circumstances Mentoring Research Project, led Florida’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers, TRIO programs, and has served an Education Subject Matter Expert/Consultant for the Renew Group. Her previous professional experiences have provided keen insight into issues and solutions as they pertain to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In addition to the work with FFMT, Cheryl is an Adjunct Professor, a contributing editor and columnist for OnPoint Times, and is the owner and CEO of The Vineyard Consulting, LLC., an educational consulting and leadership firm. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida and a Master of Education from The George Washington University. Cheryl is passionate about inspiring others to discover their talents and gifts.

Her philosophy: “Invest in our teachers, and our children will succeed” – Barack Obama


In a world crying out for equality and justice,
here in the Sunshine State, we believe that
fostering the spirit of diversity and inclusion
begins at the earliest stages of a child’s
development. That’s why we help put
promising teachers of color into
Florida’s classrooms.