Staff

Rebecca Asch

Development Officer

Rebecca grew up in the Bay Area and earned a B.A. in Political Communications from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She began her career in government and politics and later transitioned to the nonprofit world. Prior to joining Breakthrough in 2016, Rebecca led the Children’s Fund of San Mateo County. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her family, including her two young daughters.

Agnes Choi

Chinese Interpreter

Born and raised in San Francisco, Agnes has been a member of the Breakthrough team for the past four years. Agnes attended Alice Fong Yu, a bilingual immersion school, where she developed her love for learning languages. Her passion continued to develop when she served as an ad hoc interpreter for her parents. In college at the University of California, Berkeley, Agnes served as a translator and interpreter for multiple health care organizations, including San Francisco Hep B Free. Agnes left the Bay Area and attended the University of Rochester School of Nursing and currently works as an RN at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. In her free time, Agnes loves spending quality time with friends and family, running, and traveling.

Shiara Coleman

Program Assistant

Shiara is a first-generation college student in her first year at the University of San Francisco. She is currently working towards a B.A. in International Studies: Global Politics & Societies and a minor in African Studies. She was born and raised in Southern California, in Ventura, where she was an AVID student from seventh until twelfth grade. Shiara is also a College Advisor Intern for First Graduate at Everett Middle School. She is passionate about youth development and helping first-generation students on their journey to (and through) college. In the future she hopes to work in youth and community development in Africa.

Michael Duryee-Browner

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Michael was born and raised in San Francisco and attended SF Day School, where he got his start at Breakthrough (then known as Summerbridge) as an after-school tutor. Michael later served as a Teaching Fellow during the summers of 2010 and 2011, which is when he realized he wanted to be a teacher. After college, Michael spent a year teaching English in Italy. He then returned to San Francisco and taught at SF Day for six years, including two as a fourth grade teacher and four as the sixth grade History teacher. He also worked for Breakthrough as an Instructional Coach during the summers of 2016 and 2017. Michael holds a B.A. in History from Emory University and an M.A. in Teaching from the University of San Francisco. In his spare time, he enjoys Bay Area sports, playing chess, and learning about animals.

Jason Erdenebaatar

Program Assistant

Jason is a first-generation college student at the University of San Francisco, where he is working towards a B.A. in business. He was born and raised in San Francisco’s Richmond District and was a student at Breakthrough from the end of fourth grade until the end of twelfth grade; his class was the first to stay in the program all the way to college. In addition, Jason was a Volunteer Leadership Participant (VLP) during the summer of 2017. Jason has been a part of Breakthrough for the majority of his life, and has seen its impact on many families, including his own. He decided to return as a Program Assistant to give back to the program that got him into college, and to serve as an inspiration to other students to achieve the highest levels of education.

Shane Maldonado

Director of High School Programs

As a child of a military parent, Shane has lived throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Germany. After his family settled in the Monterey Bay Area, Shane was accepted into the Upward Bound program where he began volunteering as a peer tutor, eventually becoming Lead Tutor and Science Learning Manager. Shane later served as a Bilingual Teaching Assistant for first and fifth grades as an Americorps volunteer with the Urban Education League in Denver and taught seventh grade Math Skills for the YMCA of Greater Seattle. Outside of teaching, he is most passionate about college access pathways for urban high school youth, an area he has dedicated over 20 years of his career to through formal and informal roles within a variety of local and national education non-profits. Shane earned his B.A. in European History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his M.B.A/M.A. in Education Leadership from Mills College in Oakland. In his free time he rides his bike down steep hills, looks for whales along the coast, and dances to disco.

Jenee Palmer

College Persistence Coach

A native San Franciscan, Jenee‘s history with Breakthrough started as a student at the SF Day and University High School programs. After returning to Breakthrough as a volunteer, she spent the ensuing decade on staff, leading our transformation into a high-impact eight-year program in her role as Senior Program Director. Jenee is currently the Director of the High Potential Program at Saint Mary’s College of California. In her role, Jenee provides overall leadership and management of the grant-funded TRIO Student Support Services program, which provides comprehensive support to first-generation and/or low-income college students. In addition, Jenee serves as a trustee for The Bay School. Jenee received a BA from UC Berkeley and MA in Education (Equity and Social Justice) from San Francisco State University. Outside of work, Jenee enjoys running, reading, and rooting for Bay Area sports teams.

Ana Payes

Director of Middle School Programs

Born in El Salvador and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District, Ana understood early on the importance of education as well as the disparities in the available options. A first generation college student, Ana graduated from Lowell High School and later earned her B.A. in Speech and Communication from San Francisco State University. Ana is committed to using her education to give back to her community. Over 10 years at KIPP Bay Area Schools, Ana gained diverse perspectives working as Business Manager, 7th grade Spanish teacher, Dean of Students and, most recently, Operations Manager at KIPP SF Bay Academy in the Western Addition. She also completed the KIPP School Leadership Program in 2010-2011. In her free time, Ana enjoys spending time with her family including her dog, Baxter, checking out concerts and craft fairs with friends, or traveling to new places with her sister.

Andy Shin

Executive Director

Originally from New York, Andy was a Teaching Fellow at the Breakthrough sites in Long Island and Cambridge as an undergraduate and was immediately hooked. He subsequently taught sixth grade math and science in Oakland as a Teach For America corps member before returning to Breakthrough as Program Director at the Cambridge site. Andy has done short-term work for The Steppingstone Foundation, Aim High, and Summer Search, where he served as an Education Pioneers Fellow. He holds a B.A. in Public Policy from Brown University and was an Urban Scholars Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, receiving an Ed.M. in School Leadership. He lives in Berkeley with his wife and two daughters.