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Do you love to learn?

Are you planning to go to college?

Do you want to meet other hardworking students?

Are you a fourth grader?

If so, Breakthrough San Francisco may be for you! Please read on to learn more.

Application and Timeline

The application process for 2018-19 is now live!


Please see below for important dates and links to the application in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Please contact Annie Giang, Outreach and Recruitment Manager, with any questions.


  • Family Information Nights: Interested families are invited to learn more about Breakthrough at one of the two family information nights. Families will have the opportunity to meet Breakthrough staff, ask questions, and learn about this great opportunity. Attendance at one of these events is highly encouraged. Location: San Francisco Day School - 350 Masonic Avenue in San Francisco (please use Golden Gate Ave. entrance):
    • Wednesday, December 12, 2018, from 6 - 7 pm
    • Wednesday, January 16, 2019, from 7 - 8 pm
  • Application Deadline: Friday, February 8, 2019
  • Selection Day Notification: Applicants will receive notification the first week of March.
  • Selection Days: Saturday, March 9, 2019 or Saturday, March 16, 2019. Selected students will attend a half-day interview with a parent or guardian on one of these days.
  • Final Decision Letters: Mailed by Friday, March 29, 2019
2018-19 Application

*Note: Please keep in mind that we rarely have spots available beyond our traditional point of entry in the 4th grade. Please contact Breakthrough to learn more about any potential openings for current 5th graders. We do not consider current 6th or 7th grade applicants.


Commitment and Details

  • Breakthrough is an out-of-school academic enrichment program for highly motivated, under-served students. During the school year 5th and 6th graders attend Breakthrough Mondays and Wednesdays (3:30pm-5:30 pm), 7th graders attend Tuesdays and Thursdays (4:00pm-6:00pm), and 8th graders attend twice per week (specifics TBA). During our six-week summer program, daily attendance from 8:00am-3:30pm (expected times) is mandatory.  
  • All programming is tuition-free for Breakthrough families, and takes place at San Francisco Day School (350 Masonic Ave, San Francisco, CA, 94118).
  • Breakthrough SF students have a demonstrated need for this tuition-free program.  Students selected for Breakthrough meet at least three out of the five criteria:
    • Qualify for free or reduced lunch at school.
    • Will be the first in their family to attend a four-year college.
    • Speak a language other than English at home.
    • Live in a single-parent household.
    • Attend an under-resourced school in San Francisco.

Summer Program Commitment (through middle school):

  • During the six-week summer program we expect students to come to Breakthrough every day, excited to learn, question, debate, write, experiment, and challenge themselves.
  • Each night, students will have an average of two hours of homework, preparing them for college-preparatory classes in middle and high school.

School Year Program Commitment (through middle school):

  • Students are required to attend Breakthrough’s after-school tutoring and homework support program twice per week at San Francisco Day School.

High School Commitment:

  • Students continue to receive support from one of Breakthrough’s partner organizations.
  • Students participate in SAT prep, college visits, admissions counseling, and personal enrichment from Breakthrough or a partner organization.

2019 Mandatory Program Dates (for students who are accepted):

  • Pre-Summer Orientation & Assessments: Saturday, May 11, 2019 (9:00am-3:00pm). All accepted students must attend the mandatory pre-summer orientation and assessment day.  A parent, guardian, or older family member must attend the day with the student to learn about upcoming Breakthrough programming.
  • 2019 Summer Program: June 24, 2019 - August 2, 2019. Programming takes place 8:00am-3:30pm Monday through Fridays.  After-school is available each day until 5:30pm. Students have an average of two hours of homework each night. Daily attendance is mandatory.  
  • 2019 End of Summer Celebration: The evening of Thursday, August 1 is our mandatory, end of summer Celebration.
  • 2019-2020 School Year Program: All students are expected to attend two days a week throughout the school year, and one Saturday per semester. 5th and 6th graders attend Breakthrough Mondays and Wednesdays, 7th graders attend Tuesdays and Thursdays. 8th graders attend twice per week (specifics TBA).
  • Future Summer and School Year Programs: Dates are TBA, but attendance is mandatory at both the summer and after-school program until graduation from middle school.