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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Breakthrough Silicon Valley

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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

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 4

BSV has been in my life since I was 11 years old. The program coordinators watched me grow from a kid in middle school to a young woman graduating high school and moving onto college. They're not just my community; they've become my family. I still talk to my friends I met in the program. I still keep in contact with some of my teachers and program coordinators. They pushed me to succeed and helped me surpass many obstacles. For that, I am very grateful to have been a BSV student.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Breakthrough Silicon Valley is achieving outstanding results in terms of college access and success for kids in San Jose. The staff is incredibly passionate about their work. The level of support given to program participants is extensive and covers 6! years from middle school through high school, and the middle school summer enrichment experience is unrivaled in the Bay. Kids exit BSV with not only academic but social-emotional, life skills that are so important to positive outcomes in adulthood. In addition, BSV prioritizes family engagement as a key component of the program. The teaching fellows program is also unique and transformational! So many great things happening at Breakthrough.

Previous Stories
1

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.

1 Luis M.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been with Breakthrough Silicon Valley since 2006. Originally as a middle school student with the program, then as a member of the high school program and finally, full circle as a summer teaching fellow intern. Breakthrough Silicon Valley is the reason I went to and graduated from college. They also gave me my first experience as a teacher and proved to me that it would be the right career choice.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Breakthrough has grown 20% year on year for the past 5 years to the point that it now serves 550 students in San Jose. This remarkable organization helps motivated first generation low income students in the San Jose school district achieve their dreams of attending a 4 year college. The staff is dedicated and this program makes a huge difference in the valley.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Breakthrough supported my academic endevours and gave me the ability and confidence to apply for and attend a top tier four year university.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am an alumni of Breakthrough Silicon Valley and I have been so fortunate to receive tremendous amount of assistance. I was about to get a counselor to help me with applying to college and assist me with the process of graduating. I was able to go to my dream university and was able to excel with the amazing support and networks that I received from Breakthrough Silicon Valley.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A phenomenal organization that's changing the future for kids in the Bay Area!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Breakthrough as done so much for me to get me to where I am now and has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people.

Writer

Client Served

Rating: 5

Breakthrough has such an amazing support system and I know I wouldn’t be where I am without it!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are wonderful team, been supporting my daughter since middle school. As a parent I feel really gretful whit this organization, because They guide us about the education of our children and how they can graduate from 4 years university

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is because of Breakthrough that I was able to find worth in who I am and what I have to offer the world. Being brought up in a community that is predominated by first generation students, it becomes a repetitive pattern to feel like you don’t have the support to dream high. Through breakthrough and the people I met in the organization when I began my journey as a sixth grader, I was able to find strength in the obstacles that crossed me. It is because of organizations like Breakthrough that I am not fearful of striving for a 4 year college degree. As a junior in high school, it is very powerful for me to be able to say that I feel like I am college ready and a competitive applicant for my senior year. It goes without having to say it, but Breakthrough takes a large portion of the credit for that because they instilled the confidence necessary in a 6th grade first generation latina 5 summers ago that I will forever carry with me for the rest of my life.

1 Melissa C.10

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started as a 6th grader at BSV until I graduated high school. It’s thanks to Breakthrough’s amazing support, help, and community that I became first generation in my family to graduate from university. In college I went back to Breakthrough to teach multiple summers and serve as a leadership intern because I couldn’t leave this amazing organization. Even as a college graduate and working professional, I am actively involved and will continue to be for many more years. Breakthrough will forever hold a very special place in my family’s heart, because their impact was felt through me and my parents.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Breakthrough’s encouraging and understanding staff have supported me academically throughout these past 7 years. I would not have been on track to apply to college without their enriching summer camps. When I have a particular concern, whether that’s having a mock interview to prepare for an internship or requesting an AP science tutor, Breakthrough has always found a way to help me reach my goal.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I became familiar with BSV when my son worked there as a teacher. I saw the dedication of the teachers and the organization in helping level the playing field for kids from under-served communities . My son and his colleagues put in at least 60 hours per week, if not more over the summer preparing these kids for the next year.

There could be few things better than helping kids from under-served communities get on par with kids whose families are better off. I have met some of them and they become very confident in their capabilities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am in college and this experience helped grow me as a teacher more than any other summer school program! I was pushed to create great lesson plans with a great instructional coach and even got to teach things I was passionate about for elective classes for students! All around amazing program!

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!