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

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Breakthrough Silicon Valley

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services

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: 400 students and more than 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!

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Breakthrough Silicon Valley is a high impact organization that touches the lives of college bound children at a crucial inflection point of their growth and development. The challenges that many children in the public from homes where there are no parents with advanced degrees compared to their peers that have the benefit of parents that are at a minimum college educated are steep. Breakthrough provides children that have the willingness and desire resources and support to make help them achieve their goals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While I was volunteering as a tutor for Breakthrough Silicon Valley, I had the opportunity to teach math to two different students. Breakthrough did a great job pairing me with students - they made sure I was comfortable with the material and that the student was motivated and eager to learn. The staff was also extremely responsive and treated me like a member of their team. They tried their best to work with my schedule - for example, I was in high school at the time, and they offered to give me finals week off. They also made sure the student was keeping up with the material and helped him or her think about what topics they want to focus on during the tutoring session. Breakthrough is doing a great job, and I think they really make a difference.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough is amazing; they're so dedicated to their students' growth and success and it shows in everything that they do. The kids are engaged, their programs are organized and well-run, and the staff is exceptional.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough is an inspiring organization that teaches students to rise above their circumstance so that they can accomplish what they put their mind to. As a student and teacher in the program, it has changed my life forever.

2

Former staff

Rating: 5

Breakthrough Silicon Valley is a powerful experience for students, teachers, and instructional coaches alike. For their annual summer school program, BSV teaches high school and college students how to be educators, and then helps them offer a rich, engaging curriculum to middle school students. I was amazed at how committed all BSV staff and volunteers were to their work -- it is truly an incredible community!

Vyoma P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was definitely the best organization that I volunteered at for 2 years in high school. I wish I could have found it earlier. Dora Breyer at the SAN JOSE site is AMAZING!!! She is super nice, easy to talk to, and very accommodating. The students there are also super dedicated and you really do get to form a bond with them over time. Definitely WORTH IT!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough is committed to helping kids succeed. The children in the program and staff are smart and motivated and a pleasure to work with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I tutored AP Statistics to a High school senior through Breakthrough Silicon Valley and was thoroughly impressed by the commitment the staff had to ensuring the students were taken care of both academically and emotionally.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough Silicon Valley is an amazing institution that truly fosters a sense of achievement and family within its community. As a volunteer, I see the impact it makes on my students as well as the impact it has made on me. The students are so motivated to learn and Breakthrough helps them reach their maximum potential to pursue their dreams. As for the volunteers, the experience is extremely rewarding, and the bonds formed with the students go beyond just academics. Breakthrough Silicon Valley is truly a miracle and I recommend it to anybody planning on getting involved.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to Breakthrough SV, have interacted with the kids they mentor and have experienced the passion that they inspire in the students they work with. I have also directly seen the impact they can have through one of my daughter's friends who will be the first in her family to attend college after working with Breakthrough SV. It is a well run organization with a noble mission and a dedicated staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as an after school math tutor at Breakthrough, and I was so touched by the genuine nature of all of the Breakthrough staff and students. The Breakthrough staff were incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated, and they inspired me to be the same! This organization has made such a profound impact on the lives of innumerable students, and will continue to do so in the future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with this nonprofit has been an amazing one. I have met kids that are extremely intelligent and motivated to learn. During my time with this nonprofit I have learned how to speak publicly and how to be more assertive.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently working as a math coach at breakthrough Silicon Valley. So far, breakthrough has been extremely organized, and all of their staff extremely nice. Their tutoring focused on problem solving which will serve the highly motivated students well into their future. Overall, I think they have done an excellent job of cultivating a positive and highly stimulating learning environment, while being extremely helpful and kind!

Former staff

Rating: 5

I worked as a Teaching Fellow at Breakthrough Silicon Valley in the summer of 2015. All the staff here, from my Instructional Coach, to the staff and board members were extremely friendly and supportive. All the staff are heavily invested in both the students' growth as well as the teachers' growth. My co-workers, the other teaching fellows, were amazing; everyone was super driven to teach their students, and inspired me to even greater heights. The students here are some of the most inspiring people I've ever had the honor to teach. Despite their circumstances, their tenaciousness to succeed is phenomenal. I would highly recommend Breakthrough Silicon Valley to everyone. It has contributed to my growth as a person greatly.

Jenna26

Former staff

Rating: 5

Breakthrough Silicon Valley is an impeccable organization overall. As a summer teacher, Breakthrough gave me the skills that I needed to be a teacher in the future. I was able to actually teach and mentor kids, which was an incredible opportunity for me as that is my intended career path. Before working with Breakthrough, I could 100% back up BSV's mission. After working with Breakthrough, I too am united in their mission to help the academically motivated kids to make it to college. I could not have imagined my summer (or current school year working with BSV) doing anything else, because the skills and experiences I gained from Breakthrough are invaluable. They are an incredible nonprofit!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

They are awesome. I helped volunteer at one of their events.

Pranav J.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I am a former writing teacher for Breakthrough Silicon Valley. I will always remember the rewarding experiences I had while working towards a goal that is so meaningful to me: educational equality. This program helped me understand the importance of education and helped me appreciate the opportunities that I have. More than that, it inspired me. As a senior in high school, I now know that what I want to do in this world will be directed at helping others in unfortunate economic situations, specifically in the realm of education policy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Breakthrough Silicon Valley for 3 years as a volunteer. I have met many Breakthrough students and I've heard their stories. I love this organization because it not only provides them with the academic support to succeed in high school and the college application process., it also gives them skills and confidence to succeed in college. Many of these students have challenging "home" environments where not everyone around them places a high value on education, and many of them need help building a strong support system needed for success. Breakthrough has an outstanding and incredibly committed staff. It's been a privilege working with and contributing to this organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

Breakthrough SV does a fantastic job preparing low-income, high-potential kids for college. The staff is extremely dedicated, professional, and lean; this is absolutely a top nonprofit.

1 Abe L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough is a nonprofit with inspiring young people and a tremendously talented staff. Since moving to California from Denver, I have been blown away by the amount of time, energy and strategy that is put into this program. The students who are a part of Breakthrough truly leave changed, inspired and well-educated. This organization is life-changing for young people who wouldn't otherwise graduate high school, let alone go on to a 4-year university.