In 2018, the first class of students graduated from our new eight-year program. Three more classes have now joined them. Overall, 100% are enrolled in college, including 88% at four-year schools – from campuses of the University of California and Cal State to historically black colleges and universities to small liberal arts schools to the Ivy League.
To position students for college success, we start early, developing their academic and study skills beginning the summer after fourth grade, while instilling our core values: collaboration, excellence, gratitude, perseverance, and responsibility.
By the time they start eighth grade, roughly two-thirds of our students are ready for algebra. This compares with just 23% of potential first-generation college students nationwide.
“Because of tremendous support from Breakthrough, I feel like I can go to any college I want,” one of our students wrote recently. “Breakthrough has impacted my life in so many ways. It has been a second family to me.”
Teaching Fellows grow tremendously during their time at Breakthrough. At the end of our 2021 residency, 88% of Teaching Fellows reported increased interest in an education career, while 100% felt better prepared to pursue a teaching career, if they so choose.
After the summer, Breakthrough supports our Teaching Fellows as they consider if and how to enter the education sector. 47% of Teaching Fellows who graduated from college in the past decade (106 of 227) are currently working in the education field, most as classroom teachers in urban public schools.
The opportunity to begin learning the craft of teaching while simultaneously making an impact makes our summer teacher residency a gratifying experience. “Breakthrough is incredibly difficult yet rewarding,” one Teaching Fellow wrote. “It exposes you to the grittiness of teaching and the amazing, inspiring resilience and joy of students. It made me realize how I want to impact the world: by improving the quality of American students’ education, one classroom at a time.” Another Teaching Fellow wrote, “My experience at Breakthrough was nothing short of life-changing. My incredible students affirmed that education, and specifically, teaching was my calling in life. I was excited to wake up each and every day to engage, educate and learn from my students.”