'Foley Scholars' honor slain journalist's legacy; James Foley taught at Lowell Elementary in Phoenix

James Foley was killed by ISIS in 2014
Posted at 3:47 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 20:43:44-04

Valley students are keeping James Foley’s legacy alive, two years after he was killed by ISIS. Before he was a journalist, Foley taught at Lowell Elementary School from 1996 to 1999, but his legacy continues to inspire and support young people in that community.

“I would be the first in my family to go to college,” said Jennifer Martinez, a Central High School freshman.

“I’m thinking of being a pediatric counselor and a writer,” said Crystal Diaz, who just started her first year at North High School.

These valley students never knew Foley but they are keeping his memory alive thanks to the Phoenix Foley Alliance.

“That impression he made in those three years is everlasting,” said Co-founder Kristen Martinez. 

She founded the alliance with her husband, Eddie, who knew Foley as a teacher, coach, mentor and friend.

“He didn’t want to let Foley down,” she said.  “It just really blossomed, it was just really awesome to be able to see them together.”

There were only two scholars last year.  Now that number has grown to six.  All are getting financial help and mentorship throughout high school and beyond.

“Makes a big difference,” said Juan Alvarado, who is starting his first year at Brophy College Preparatory. “They can assist me with anything.”

“We hope to be that same Foley for these kids,” said Martinez.  “Yes, we know they’re in that same environment and that same community but that it doesn’t have to stay that way.”