Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

Breakthrough Silicon Valley

Rating: 4.8 stars   15 reviews 2,396

Nonprofit Issues:

Education

Address:

1635 Park Avenue San Jose CA 95126 USA

Mission:

Breakthrough Silicon Valley prepares motivated middle school students with limited educational opportunities for success in college preparatory high school programs and entry into four-year colleges. BSV also prepares outstanding college and high school students to enter careers in education.

Results:

•100% of our high school students take high level college prep courses including APs 88% of our high school students maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher 100% of our students attend college and 96% of them are attending four-year universities. 98% of our alumni that participated in our program from grades 7-12 are thriving in college! Colleges Attending: Brandeis University Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Georgetown University Gonzaga University Macalester College San Jose State University Santa Clara University Stanford University UC Berkeley UC Irvine UC Riverside UC Santa Cruz University of Pennsylvania

Target demographics:

Breakthrough students are hard working, motivated, and have hopes for their futures. However, they are also confronting obstacles that challenge their college dreams.• 86% will be first in family to attend college• 70% receive free or reduced lunch• 92% are students of color• 73% live in gang-impacted neighborhoodsOur 45 teaching interns are high achieving students, many from similar backgrounds as our students. They serve not only as teachers, but also as powerful role-models for the middle schoolers.• 72% are students of color• 20% are Breakthrough student alumni• 3.5 is their average GPA at top schools such as Bellarmine College Preparatory, Leland High School, Cornell, Stanford, Brown, and UC Berkeley.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

365 students and over 60 high school- and college-aged teaching fellows.

Geographic areas served:

the Bay Area's Silicon Valley

Programs:

Middle School Program: Middle school students participate in three six-week academic summer sessions (after 6th, 7th, and 8th grade) studying Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Writing, Literature, and academic electives in classrooms of no more than eight students. The summer also features field trips, career development events, and enrichment classes in art, sports, and music. During the school year students meet twice per week in our Math-based After School Program designed to address math skill gaps and prepare them for Geometry by the 9th grade. All the teaching is done by high achieving high school and college students who under the training and guidance of professional, experienced teachers learn how to teach. In addition, BSV advises and assists all 8th grade parents and students as they select and/or apply to the most competitive and best suited college preparatory high schools in the area. College Bound High School Program: Once in high school we continue to work with the students to ensure that they remain on a college prep track and enroll in four-year colleges. Students participate in monthly college readiness workshops, a two-year financial literacy course, an ACT prep course, and college tours. In addition, students receive semester grade monitoring and tutoring if needed, academic advising and course selection for the following school year, advising on summer opportunities and internships, and laptops if needed. During the junior and senior years there is intensive college and financial aid counseling. Teaching Internships: To fulfill the second half of BSV’s mission, we provide 40 teaching internships. After school teaching is a 75-hour internship while the summer teaching is a 300-hour internship. Under the support and guidance of professional, experienced teachers, our young teachers learn how to write lesson plans, manage classrooms, develop curriculum and teach. It is a hands-on teaching internship that has been rated by The Princeton Review as one of the top 10 internships in the USA!

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review
Donate
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

See How 3Hrs Can Help

More Info

408-287-6357
www.breakthroughsv.org

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Reviews for Breakthrough Silicon Valley

Rating: 5 stars  

Our company has been involved with breakthrough for the last three years and we are continually impressed by their students as well as their staff- we work with many non-profits in Silicon Valley and breakthrough sets the bar with a clear mission and measurable results. The staff & chaperones (volunteers) are incredible mentors to the students and their care is evident in the success of each student. The youth exit the program with confidence and real world experience through the immersive curriculum that breakthrough offers which includes exposure to a variety of careers. Breakthrough ensures that the youth in our valley become the brightest minds and leaders of tomorrow.

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

This is a wonderful non-profit both to work for and for the kids who are served. No program I know of makes a greater attempt to curb the education inequities in this country.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

This is my 20th year in education serving as a non-profit administrator, a teacher or a consultant. Breakthrough gave me my start as a teacher all those years ago. It honors the skill, commitment, will, and passion of high school and college undergraduates to teach students. Many programs use the older students as assistants but Breakthrough understands the value of relationships in academics.
On the student side, it is the best program that I have experience with that positively changes the lives of young people. It gives them a sense of themselves as future high school and college students. It deepens their belief in their own dreams and the commitment of their families in them.
It is a special program that anyone interested in schools and children should investigate. There should be no question that Breakthrough is worth your investment.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

person as a teacher, a site director, a mentor teacher and a volunteer.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

work to diversify the student-aged teaching staff to racially and culturally match the student population. It would require that individuals invest in the program and that the program have the finances to recruit such a staff. Your investment can make that happen.

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I attended BSV's summer Visitor's Day, and was VERY impressed with the design and implementation of their program. The students and the teachers were all engaged and enthusiastic, and the testimonials were moving. A special bonus was hearing the founder, Lois Loofbourrow, speak about the history and results of the Breakthrough Collaborative. She gave me goosebumps!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

hearing the students and teachers speak about how Breakthrough changed their lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't make any changes.

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have taught with Breakthrough the past three years and have seen first-hand how it changes the lives of both the middle school students and the high school and college teachers.

I am currently working toward my elementary teaching credential, and am so thankful for the first-hand experience I gained at BSV. I certainly learned more there than I have in any class!

BSV is everything a non-profit should be. The leaders truly care about the students and teachers and work relentlessly for the cause. They use the resources they have available to make a meaningful and visual impact on the populations they serve. They are introspective, and, consequentially, BSV is continuously changing and improving.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

preparing and motivating me to become a lifelong teacher.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire more administrators and full-time employees.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

Breakthrough Silicon Valley is impressive in the breadth and depth of support they provide for students across 5 or 6 years of high school. The enormous array of educational and academic services provided to students has real results -- most of the students indeed get accepted at colleges (and in almost all instances are the first of their family to do so).

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The results are solid and real. Students apply to college, are accepted at colleges (many at good 4-year colleges) and actually enroll in colleges.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

open more programs and offer the services to more motivated students.

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Breakthrough students' achievements are stunning, and their graduation rate amazing. We spent part of a day attending some of the classes and saw for ourselves the innovative small classrooms and clever teaching ideas. Their financial management is sound and rational, and they deserve a closer look by all possible funders.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...watching their excellent graduation rates over the last 2-3 years.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...give them more money (someone else's hopefully).

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Their focus on programs for girls and not just unisex programs.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

They need it!

What would you tell others about this organization?

Come see for yourselves how well Breakthrough students are doing.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
Flag review
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I commend Breakthrough's innovative, positive approach at offering support to children with high academic ability and readiness to engage in higher education. A program such as this is helpful and appealing to students with an intellectual appreciation for learning beyond the normal spectrum of California standards.
It is exciting to see such dedication in the educators that have bestowed their time to helping the young people of Silicon Valley to thrive and to meet their true potential.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Reading about their results

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope that more corporations contribute to this worthy cause.

 
Flag review
Rating: 4 stars  

Looking forward to more events with BREAKTHROUGH. They're highly organized, positive, and serve a great cause. Wish they were around when I was growing up, to learn about the variety of opportunities that lay before us when we're young.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Receiving a letter from students who've benefitted.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

Breakthrough has inspired young girls in middle and high school stay focused on education and build confidence. Their work has greatly benefited San Jose schools and will be valuable to be adopted in other school districts

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When I saw young girls who had been through the program and had gained confidence as they reached High school

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add a holistic development component to help young girls cope up with stress, pressures from school, peer group etc.

 
Flag review