Breakthrough Silicon Valley

Rating: 4.8 stars   15 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: 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
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EIN 26-2168102
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Community Reviews

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.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been involved with the Breakthrough Collaborative since 1994 and am incredibly honored to be a part of BSV. This is a life-changing organization for young, ambitious students who are determined to go to college but may have obstacles or limited educational opportunities. Also, Breakthrough inspired college students to pursue teaching as a career. Many BSV teachers go on to serve in Teach for America and most pursue careers in education. I am impressed with the leadership of the staff and with the commitment to results -- highly prepared, college bound students.

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

knowing both students and teachers who have had transformational life experiences having participated in BSV.

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

Add several sites around the Silicon Valley.

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How did you learn about this organization?

I have working in the Breakthrough Collaborative in the past.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Enhancing the educational experiences of its students and paving the path to college for each of them.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Ensuring more motivated students from the SV public schools have access to a college education. And increasing the pool of quality teachers in the Valley and beyond.

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