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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Breakthrough Collaborative Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Secondary & High Schools, Youth Development, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Breakthrough pursues a dual mission to 1) Increase academic opportunity for highly motivated, underserved students and get them into college ready to succeed; and 2) Inspire and develop the next generation of teachers and educational leaders.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 10,000 Breakthrough students and more than 1,000 teaching fellows

Programs: Breakthrough operates summer and school-year programming to partner with students from under-resourced communities on their paths to college, and we offer a challenging teaching residency for college undergraduates under the guidance of professional teachers. Together, we are helping to reverse educational inequities. In our tuition-free, academically intense programs, students learn the academic and leadership skills they will need to succeed in college-preparatory high schools, in college, and throughout life. The core of the Breakthrough model is an intensive six-week summer program which includes rigorous academics, creative arts, and spirit-filled group activities. During the school year, students attend after-school and/or Saturday sessions. Like the summer sessions, the school-year activities complement and expand upon what the students are learning in their regular schools, with a particular emphasis on skill-building and enrichment.

Community Stories

99 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I taught seventh grade social studies at Breakthrough! It was an incredibly amazing and meaningful experience!

Nicole C.7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I’m a Breakthrough/Summerbridge alum and I am a 3rd time returning teaching fellow.

My experiences as both allow me to say that with complete confidence, this program is effective in its goal to provide equitable support and resources to students and families like my own and so many more.

When I think about Summerbridge, I think family. The experience and support that my mom and I have received for 7+ years and continue to receive is a privilege and as cheesy as this sounds, had it not been for Summerbridge, I would not have had the opportunities to attend a rigorous high school and college. Had it not been for Summerbridge, I would not have learned that my passions are with working in education with youth, especially students of color. Had it not been for Summerbridge, I wouldn’t have the friends and mentors that I call family today.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I taught with Breakthrough in Philadelphia a few summers ago. What an experience, and what an incredible organization. The students I met have so much promise and I can't wait to see where they end up. The teachers and staff I worked with were all so passionate about Breakthrough's mission and made deep personal investments to make Breakthrough the best program they could for the students. These days I'm pursuing a career outside of education, but my time with Breakthrough will always stick with me as one of the most significant experiences I've had.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program is one of the best things that I have done with my summer. As someone who is very passionate about education and seeing students grow this program does this in spectacular fashion. It aims to close the opportunity gap between those students who come from lower resourced communities and those who may already have opportunities that others do not. This gives the students a head start on their next school year as the majority of the curriculum is directly related to state's standards. I would not trade that summer in for anything and only wish the best for this program, its students, its admin, and those behind the scenes that make it function in the extraordinary fashion that it does.

Mallory G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough was the best part of my summer! This organization has changed my life, and the lives of others!

Mark B.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a fantastic time working for Breakthrough Santa Fe. This program is deeply inspiring for students and fantastic at preparing future teachers.The professional staff holds everyone to a high standard, yet the programming and support make each activity and class so fun. It is the quintessential summer job for anyone interested in education and any student who dreams of graduating college when the odds are stacked against them.

Ali K.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The first day I stepped into a Breakthrough classroom, I had no idea what to expect from the summer. Once I jumped in all at once, I realized my deep love for teaching, collaborating with co-teachers, and most importantly, my kids. Despite long hours and tons of preparation, it was never something I dreaded doing because I loved my kids so dearly and would do anything to ensure their quality education. Because of Breakthrough, my professional goals and the things that are important to me personally have changed. Rather than pursing a MD or PhD right out of college, I am moving to DC to work for Urban Teachers with one of my co-teachers from Houston, Courtney (pictured right).

D'Shay P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This past summer I had the extreme pleasure of working as a teaching fellow for Breakthrough Houston (KIPP Connect location). I can honestly say this program has and will continue to change lives. Over a period of 8 weeks I have seen myself grow tremendously! I came in believing I was going to change the lives of my students, but in actuality this program gave me an even better gift. It helped me develop life long skills, and those skills gave me the ability to always give my best efforts. When I first heard about this program's mission, to prepare high academic students, who may not have the necessary resources, for college admission, I knew immediately I had to be a part of this program. Where I am from we do not have many programs that strive on the pureness of wanting to better students in their community, and assist them in making their dreams become reality. That along demonstrates how much Breakthrough truly cares about their people. Becoming a part of the breakthrough family was one of the best decisions I have every made, and I will forever be grateful for it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Waking up at 6 a.m. every morning was a tough task, but it quickly became not only a habit but a joyful experience. Greeting my students with high-energy chants, high-fives, and inspirational words empowered me as much as it empowered them. In class, we became a small community dedicated to learning. During the remainder of each day, I grew closer to a vast majority of students inside and out of my classroom simply by being goofy and listening to whatever they had to say. I'll always look back warmly at how much those students inspired and brightened my life as much as I did the same for them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My whole life, I’ve been “good” at school. I was never afraid to raise my hand in class, I always participated, and attempted the assignments, even if I didn’t like them. I never really understood students who didn’t do this. Obviously, it was what the teachers wanted, and it was easy enough to give them. My biggest fear was disappointing an authority figure so I always did what was expected of me. I’ll admit that I thought students who didn’t participate in class were less intelligent, so I tried to distance myself from them. Obviously, this implicit bias needed to be challenged. This is why I am eternally grateful for a student I taught at Breakthrough this summer. For the sake of anonymity, I’ll call him “N.” This is the story of how N changed my mind, impacted my life, and challenged my views on the world of education.
N is a very quiet student. He is always hesitant to participate, and he only engages when he is specifically called on. He’s also very soft spoken and mumbles through his answers. However quiet or jumbled his answers are, his intelligence shines through. He finds a way for every person in the room to hang on to every word he says. N was in my Block C class, which is one of the rowdier groups I’ve ever lead. I constantly felt like I had to be their disciplinarian rather than their friend. Because of this, I thought that I was failing their class. I wanted to find a way to fix the relationship I thought I was ruining, but I couldn’t see a way to do this. I was so worried that I had done these students an injustice and would be a reminder of the failings of the system. I was heartbroken at the thought.
However, at the end of the program, every student in Block C improved their post-test score. N improved by almost 20%. Numerically, I hadn’t failed these students. I was worried about the rest of their experience until the very last day of programming. During our final gratitude activity, N came up and gave me a big hug. He said that I was the best English teacher he’s ever had.
The whole summer, I tried to meet these students where they’re at. I knew that I couldn’t counteract every aspect of the system that has failed them, but I could at least provide a constant source of unconditional positive regard in their lives. This, I learned, is not something that the world of education values. The world of education often fails these students by penalizing them, or writing them off as lesser students. N taught me that a student may be quiet and learning. He reminded me why I love working with students, and that everyone needs a source of positivity. Because of this student, I now know that teaching is the career for me, and that the best way to revolutionize the world of education is within. I hope to do N justice by carrying these lessons forward into my future classrooms and showing every student that I care for them as individuals, regardless of their volume level.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Breakthrough Collaborative gave me one of the best summers of my life. As a teaching fellow, I spent my summer teaching science to a deserving group of seventh graders. I could tell that my students improved not only academically, but also in terms of personal development. It was so rewarding to see them develop the confidence and leadership abilities they will need to succeed in high school and beyond. Breakthrough creates a positive, collaborative learning environment that all schools should seek to emulate.

Emma A.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a teaching fellow at Breakthrough Greater Boston this past summer and was blown away by the organization! I have worked at a few non-profits with kids, and Breakthrough has given me the best training and classroom experience I have ever received. The leadership was incredible and always set an example of kindness and excellence, which trickled down to the teaching fellows and students. With everyone putting forth their best in a welcoming space, the students were able to learn so much and feel truly accepted.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Had an amazing experience over the summer as a teaching fellow! I grew as a person and knew for sure that I wanted to be a teacher in the future

Darrica M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working with Breakthrough was absolutely life-changing! Being able to impact so many lives and have fun was very fulfilling. Breakthrough has given me so much and given so much to all the scholars, nationwide. I had the opportunity to instruct 6th grade English this past summer and I had an absolute blast! The scholars were great, my coworkers were wonderful and my supervisors were incredible! Summer 2019 is a summer I’ll never forget!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough provided me with an unforgettable experience. I was able to teach chemistry to rising eighth grade students in the San Jose district. I went in thinking that the impact I have on them as a teacher will be tremendous and nothing could compare to it. Little did I know that the impact they would have on me would be much more. This nonprofit connects future teachers and students early on with a wholesome experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I taught 7th Grade Writing at Breakthrough New Orleans and it was a truly life-changing experience for me. I had the opportunity to build relationships with so many incredible people (students and teachers alike), and appreciate both the rewards and challenges of teaching. However, the most important benefit of Breakthrough is not to its teachers, but rather the students we served every day. I look back at my summer as a Breakthrough teacher knowing we made differences in the lives of many amazing children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I taught 7th-grade math at Breakthrough Miami and it was a life-changing summer. Breakthrough does amazing work. Breakthrough serves kids that, through no fault of their own, are not being adequately served by their schools. It provides them with the support they need to excel. It also provides future educators, like me, with the opportunity to develop as educators while using our unique position as college students to connect with students. Breakthrough is doing invaluable work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teaching with Breakthrough Miami this summer was a profoundly transformative experience for me. I am so thankful to have spent eight weeks learning and growing in an environment that pushed me out of my comfort zone, surrounded by a community of other hardworking and dedicated individuals, of all backgrounds and interests, but brought together by our shared commitment to and passion for equal access to educational opportunities. I want for everyone my age, regardless of whether or not they plan to pursue a career in the field of education, to have the opportunity to experience the joys and challenges of teaching and mentoring middle schoolers--students who are in a critical stage of development that many of us often try to forget we ever went through.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a teaching fellow at Breakthrough Collaborative at the Cincinnati site this past year, I can say first-hand that this program exceeded my expectations in every sense. I had the opportunity to work as a full-time history and German teacher to seventh graders and the knowledge it gave me is unparalleled to any other opportunity I've had. As a future educator this program gave me a true glimpse into the planning and carrying-out of classroom teaching. Beyond the sheer experience, the relationships I built were incredible. From the dean team, to my fellow teachers, to the students and their families, Breakthrough is truly a family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I taught 9th grade literature this past summer at Breakthrough Boston. It was the happiest summer of my life, and also the most tiring. The happiness came largely from the people I was around: my fellow teachers, the professional staff, and my students. Every individual in each of those groups made me laugh, pushed me, and supported me, and each one of them demonstrated incredible drive. Days at Breakthrough are long, but my time at Breakthrough was too short. Working as part of such an industrious and committed team just felt great. Our commitment was to our students' academic and personal growth, to our own professional and personal growth, and to the pursuit of educational equity and wider social justice. Each of those areas supported all of the others. Every moment at Breakthrough, even difficult or unpredictable situations, was handled with warmth and positivity. I feel proud and lucky to be a part of Breakthrough, but mostly I feel committed to fighting for its goals . This organization mobilizes those inside it--students and teachers--to bring more of their good into the world, in a way that I can only imagine is unparalleled.

Esther Wong

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had two summers working with Breakthrough Collaborative (New York 2016 and San Francisco 2017) and I am thoroughly convinced that Breakthrough is one of the leading, if not THE leading, undergraduate teaching programs that exist. The program is structured to not only support college students in gaining hands-on, authentic teaching experience, but also to equip amazingly ambitious elementary, middle, and high school students for their upcoming educational endeavors. As teaching fellows we have the opportunity to write lesson plans and execute them each day, just as a full-time teacher would. One of the aspects of Breakthrough that helped me grow the most was its use of instructional coaches. Our coach would observe our classes multiple times a week and meet one-on-one with us to discuss how we could improve in the classroom. Their feedback was very constructive and I could see myself growing incredibly as a teacher through their close work with us. My favorite part about Breakthrough, however, are the students we work with. These bright, young individuals are high-achieving students from underserved backgrounds. Their joy and motivation to learn and the dedication they have to the program is unparalleled to anything I've seen before. They definitely make the whole experience worth the hard work we put into the program. Lastly, we are supported tirelessly by our wonderful administration team and fellow teachers. The admin take special care to hire individuals who are encouraging and enthusiastic about teaching and social change. Working alongside individuals who are passionate about the same issues I am helped further my love for education.

Zeke R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer, I had the opportunity to join Breakthrough Greater Boston as a Teaching Fellow. Although I had worked with young students before in volunteer organizations, this was my first experience leading my own classroom. It was a very satisfying summer and it showed me two things: 1) I want to be an Educator after I graduate, and 2) I want to empower young students in urban settings. I went into Breakthrough believing that I would set my students on the path to success and “save” them, but I was completely wrong. The students that I connected with were already bright, ambitious, and hard-working; Breakthrough was only a means to give them Opportunity to improve themselves. They taught me so much about what it means to be a leader, and I miss them everyday.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My summer as a teaching fellow has been a rewarding experience. I built bonds within this inclusive and diverse Breakthrough community that I will cherish forever. I helped students grow while growing alongside them. Your time management, communication and leadership skills are enhanced within this program. The skills one acquires are easily transferable to another organization, activity or internship. I will continue advocating for educational equity and I have Breakthrough to be grateful to for giving me the opportunity firsthand to advance this lifelong goal.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely loved my summer with Breakthrough Central Texas! I spent the summer building life-changing relationships with other teachers, employees of Breakthrough, and students. It was evident that Breakthrough cared for every student that walked through their doors and that they would do everything possible to make their dream of attending college a reality.

Danielle W.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My summer at Breakthrough Cincinnati changed my life. I was a teaching fellow at my site. I met so many wonderful people dedicated to the advancement of our students and staff. I grew both personally and professionally during my time at Breakthrough. Before the summer I was looking forward to gaining professional development, learning how to lesson plan and getting experience teaching. During my time in the program I received everything I was looking for and more. It was a lot of work but it was the most rewarding things I have done yet. The program offered the kids, my coworkers and me an invaluable experience and I'm sure every site in the collaborative offers the same thing.

Hallie P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While I was never a Breakthrough student myself, I started as a Teaching Fellow at Breakthrough Miami when I was 15 years old, and returned 4 years later to Breakthrough New York. Now that I am 20, I have begun to try and extricate Breakthrough from who I am. I don't think it's possible. Breakthrough is home. I grew up clapping the spirit check and internalizing the BREAKY values. I returned both in high school and college to that community having applied the Breakthrough lessons of empathy, excitement, and excellence, ready to soak in more and give back my own version of what I had already taken. I have built some of my most valuable relationships within the Breakthrough collaborative and I have always felt supported by the organization as a whole.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My two summers teaching and leading at Breakthrough Boston have been the absolute best summers of my existence. I have grown to know and understand the magical and transformative work of an educator, the complexity of professionalism and leadership and the power and impact of a single interaction. Because of my summer at Breakthrough, I now feel more equipped to enter a classroom knowing I have gained the tools that are needed to promote a environment that ensures the success of all students.

Aidan C.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough is such a powerful and impactful organization. The teaching fellowship program was a phenomenal experience, connecting me with my students, fellow teaching fellows and instructional coaches. It really reinforced my interest in pursuing a career in education. I would recommend Breakthrough to anyone who has any interest not only in education, but any political or public policy student as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a teaching fellow at Breakthrough Collaborative in Austin this past summer. It was an valuable summer experience for personal growth, but also for relationship building and on-the-job training as an educator. Now that the summer is over, I feel confident in my abilities as a leader, an advocator, and a lifelong learner, and I encourage others to join this loving community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough is a life-changing experience that brings you closer to your students, colleagues, and supervisors. I have grown exponentially through Breakthrough as a teacher and as a person. My experience with Breakthrough reminded me of my goals and helped me follow through with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Breakthrough for two summers already and I have had a blast! Breakthrough is amazing! The community is so supportive and helpful, the learning experience is wonderful. i would recommend to anyone!

Sydney M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked at Breakthrough at Norfolk Academy this summer and loved it! Each Breakthrough site has something special to offer, which is great. The organization is very professional, yet every aspect is also so fun. Breakthrough Collaborative really makes an impact on kids' lives, and ensures that they will be prepared for the the rest of their educational careers.

Marc V.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My summer teaching experience at Breakthrough of San Francisco (BTSF) was life-changing, exceeding all of my expectations coming into the program. Initially, I only expected to be challenged as a growing teacher; I envisioned myself studying and applying best teaching practices in a classroom on a daily basis. This expectation was obviously met through excellent teacher training, pre-summer and throughout the program, from BTSF's directors and my instructional coach. However, the teaching fellowship pushed me in ways that I had never been pushed before: in addition to academic planning, I contributed to event planning, collaborative grade-level meetings, student advising, elective planning, and most of all, community building. The greatest lesson that I learned from Breakthrough is the importance of community. Through all of the rigor and stress, I always felt supported by the entire BTSF community. The various kinds of support that flowed from the admins and my fellow teachers--from individual check-ins to random acts of kindness--were as relentless as my academic and extracurricular responsibilities. Breakthrough has given me the tools to succeed as a beginning educator, while also allowing me to build life-changing relationships with a diverse cohort of passionate and gifted individuals. Breakthrough has empowered me to fight for educational equity alongside other social justice educators, within and beyond the classroom. I will always cherish my Breakthrough experience, and above all, I look forward to spreading the word about Breakthrough as a 2017-2018 campus ambassador and life-long alumnus.

Henry L.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This summer at Breakthrough has been one of the most rewarding and memorable summers of my life. I developed such positive relationships with coworkers and staff members because everyone was so dedicated to teaching Breakthrough students and working to overcome the education gap. All of my coworkers were approachable, encouraging, and willing to help me with my teaching in any way. As a teacher, I was so glad to see students grow academically throughout the summer. The students at Breakthrough were intelligent and dedicated, and it was so inspiring to witness their hard work and drive to succeed. Breakthrough has convinced me to pursue a future career in either education, and I plan on either teaching at or staying in touch with the program well into my future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This last summer, I worked at Breakthrough New York as a Teaching Fellow. I was completely transformed by the program and was just constantly amazed. It's already such a difficult task to find a place that are willing to let undergraduates teach. But on top of that, the community you create there is just mind blowing. We are all such different and diverse people, yet a passion for education is all we need to bond and create close friendships. The students we serve are also extremely motivated to work hard and try. So if teaching seems a bit daunting to you, do not fear, because half the work is already done! If you have any remote chance of wanting to teach, come here! It taught me many useful technical and professional skills and confirmed my teaching career path.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a teaching fellow with Breakthrough Collaborative this past summer. This organization, from the directors to the students, had a tremendous impact on my personal and professional growth. It gave me the opportunity to try, first-hand, teaching in a classroom as well as opened my eyes as to what the field of education encompasses. At Breakthrough I worked on my organization skills, communication techniques, and really learned the value of patience and hard work. This experience is one that I would recommend to all undergrads, both those interested in teaching and not, as Breakthrough has something to offer everyone.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I had the honor of working at the Fort Worth site. I was a seventh grade literature teacher.
The relationships that I made outweighed the lessons I learned. Not to discredit the lessons that I learned, or the lessons that I taught, but the people I met and worked alongside made my entire summer worth it. From supportive administration to able fellows, from enthusiastic students to experienced instructional coaches, every person I interacted with helped me this summer in one way or another.
This summer taught me the importance of expectations and classroom culture, and reminded me the value in having fun too. When thinking about my summer it's hard to pick one great day because they all compete for that top spot.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing experience! The program, support, and community are all wonderful! I volunteered at Breakthrough Miami for 4 years and was a teaching fellow there in 2016. As an aspiring teacher, this was an invaluable experience. I highly recommend Breakthrough Collaborative for anyone interested in teaching or supporting educational equity!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a Teaching Fellow with Breakthrough Collaborative, in their Greater Boston region this summer. Working for Breakthrough was by far one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. I had the honor of teaching rising eighth graders both how to write Document Based Question essays (DBQs) as well as how to engage in writing memoirs. However, in working with my students, I learned more about myself than expected. The work was challenging, but Breakthrough provided me with the tools and resources I needed to succeed. We had instructional coaches helping us throughout the way, and the professional staff was diligent, hardworking, caring, and fun. The Breakthrough team made it a joy to come into work every morning at 7AM, and that is saying a lot given that I love my sleep. Breakthrough Collaborative is a wonderful nonprofit with an incredible mission, and I am so grateful to have been a part of their story.

Lyndsey R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer I worked as a teaching fellow for Breakthrough Houston. It absolutely changed my life. I have never grown so much so quickly. The leaders of the program are brilliant role models who truly value educational equality and truly want this program and everyone in it to succeed. Everyone was dedicated to the work and dedicated to the community. The students and teachers truly love being there and this makes every moment of every day an opportunity to grow. When it comes to helping students succeed, this program is doing some of the best work possible. Breakthrough will close the opportunity gap in education, and every student will prosper!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a teaching fellow with breakthrough this summer has helped me in more was than one. I can honestly say that the program has helped me grow as a person and future educator. The I chose to work with breakthrough this summer because I wanted experience in the classroom. I had no idea I would be making life long bonds with the students and other teaching fellows. There were many good times that I will cherish forever. I never knew that two months teaching and working with complete strangers would have such an impact on my life, but I promise with Breakthrough all things are possible!

-A.K.M

Julianna M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough showed me what a well run organization could be. The sense of the community at my site as well as within the national organization is unlike anything I have ever experienced. As a teaching fellow I was able to get critical teaching practice with the support and challenging environment of Breakthrough. I also had deeper and more vulnerable relationships with my coworkers thanks to the strong Breakthrough culture.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough introduced me to a family and a community that I could not be more grateful for. Working in Breakthrough Austin opened me up to new experiences and taught me lessons that I will never forgot. It taught me how to truly care, how to be a leader and a mentor in and out of the classroom, and the importance of having a community and people to turn to. It has made me think differently about a plethora of topics, and I am so thankful that I was giving this opportunity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not only does Breakthrough Collaborative provide excellent logistical and relational skills to aspiring teachers, but it does so while putting amazing underserved children on the path to college. This organization is a glowing gem in the education world.

Daisy J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer I served as a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow in Austin, TX. It was the summer of a lifetime. As a first-generation student myself, it was empowering to assist other first generation students make college a reality. The program went above and beyond to make sure children felt welcomed into the Breakthrough family. The curriculum remained fun and adaptive, which helped the children not feel like they were in school.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I taught at Breakthrough Silicon Valley this summer and it was fantastic! The staff is smart and hard working and the students are upbeat and fun. My favorite part was leading the summer camp activities that make up a large part of a Breakthrough day. I learned some really valuable skills that I will be able to apply outside of the classroom including leadership, risk taking, and time management.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked for Breakthrough as a teaching fellow in the summer of 2017. It was a life-changing summer experience for me. Beyond learning about lesson-planning techniques, classroom management, and many other aspects of the teaching profession, I grew enormously as a person. My patience with myself and others increased. I became more personally responsible and took responsibility for everything in and out of my classroom. My communication skills and confidence grew as well. Breakthrough provided me, as well as other teaching fellows, with the support and resources for our own growth, and as a result, the growth of our students. As an organization, they were incredibly student oriented and all of their actions were driven through the lens of students.

Sophia M.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Breakthrough Collaborative is an incredible organization that genuinely strives to produce positive change in America. As a college student, I worked this summer as a Teaching Fellow at Breakthrough Cincinnati. My experience taught me teaching skills, leadership skills, conflict-management skills, and much more, and I received a stipend for my work. This summer was a wonderful experience, and I hope to continue my involvement with Breakthrough in the future.

Soham B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Amazing summer teaching at Breakthrough Collaborative. It was transformative- it was the most impactful 10 weeks I have spent and it changed how I view my role in this world!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to be a teaching fellow at the silicon valley location! It was such a great hands on experience for any one whose interested in education! I am an education major and this program just reaffirmed my love for teaching! It was great planning lessons and getting feedback from mentor teachers. I learned so much from how to create great relationship with students to what to do if your lesson is not going well during class. Breakthrough really supported me in any way they could by making sure I had all the tools necessary to teach a class before the program even began. Highly recommend this program to anyone who has any interest at all in education. It will change your life and make you a great teacher in six short weeks.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as a teaching fellow for Breakthrough and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. It allowed me to touch base with the local community and really understand what education is about.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I taught at the Summerbridge San Francisco site this summer and can say, without a doubt, that this was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Breakthrough allows college students to get as close to a real teaching experience as possible at this age, while also maintaining all the fun aspects of a summer program. The skills I learned, as an educator and as an individual, will stick with me for the rest of my life, no matter what path I take!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked two summers as a Summer Teaching Fellow with Breakthrough Collaborative. My first placement was at Breakthrough Miami, and the following year I worked at Learning Works at Blake in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I can confidently state that Breakthrough Collaborative had an immense impact on both my career and personal development. I am an aspiring teacher, and truly believe that Breakthrough provided me with an experience that I would not have received through my college education alone. It allowed me to apply my summer classroom experience to my learning during the school year in a meaningful and valuable way. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to live, work, and help students in an environment very different from my home community. This opportunity was valuable to me as a teacher and as a person beyond measure. I am so inspired by my time with Breakthrough Collaborative and I recommend it to others whenever I have the opportunity. It gives hardworking students an opportunity to receive the education they deserve from staff who are dedicated to the success of their scholars. It reaches out to students who may otherwise never have access to such resources. In the future, I hope to have the chance to be involved with Breakthrough whether it be through career, volunteer, or donation. If you are looking to contribute to a community of aspiring leaders and learners, Breakthrough Collaborative is a great organization to support.

Suzette W.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My summer working as a Biology teacher at Breakthrough Austin prepared me in real-world ways that I couldn't have imagined. Two years later, I'm gainfully employed at Google, and whenever I'm speaking with clients I use the skills learned from teaching at Breakthrough!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as a Teaching Fellow, both learning how to teach, and teaching some 7th grade science over a summer. I learned so much about how to teach, but also about the communities my kids came from, and the challenges they face. Breakthrough does a great job with its dual mission, squeezing as much impact as possible out of every dollar!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I had a wonderful time working for Breakthrough Birmingham! Not only did I learn how to teach, but I realized that teachers are superheroes!! They have so many different responsibilities, but their number one priority is their students! Breakthrough gave me the chance to get me out of my comfort zone and lead three classes of students in subjects that I absolutely love! If anyone has a chance to do this program, I would definitely recommend it! Thank you Breakthrough for this memorable experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teaching at Breakthrough was without a doubt the most worthwhile -- and the most challenging -- work I've ever done: I learned so much about why great teaching and great learning matters so much, and was incredibly humbled to work alongside some outstanding middle school students who already knew this to be true. Breakthrough offers a meaningful, time- and skill-appropriate role for college students hoping to do something of value with their summer, and they provide tons of training and support, both before school begins and while it is in session, to ensure a successful summer. Breakthrough has really honed in on their students-teaching-students model, making Breakthrough an incredibly positive, productive, and uplifting community to be in, both for students and for teaching fellows.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I applied to Breakthrough Fort Worth last summer not knowing what to expect. I thought of it as an opportunity to explore a career in education and as something to be more productive during the summer. Not only did Breakthrough solidify my desire to be a teacher, but it helped me learn more about myself, the students, and the educational inequity our nation faces. The work was hard, but seeing the students grow and learn really made me feel like a direct part of the students' lives. I have absolutely no regrets in working with Breakthrough, and I wouldn't want anything else. If there is anyone with a remote interest in directly impacting student lives, Breakthrough is the place to be!

rallen00

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I worked at Breakthrough Houston in the summer of 2016. I absolutely loved the experience and can say that Breakthrough significantly impacted my life. It was a challenge and I was pushed harder than ever before, but it was definitely worthwhile. I was a 7th-grade writing teacher, a creative writing teacher, and a dance teacher and my students meant the world to me. I would recommend the program to anyone even minorly interested in working with children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with the Breakthrough program since I was a Breakthrough student. I truly believe that Breakthrough made the difference that it states in it's mission. It helped set me on a college trajectory, invested in me, and enriched my life through education. It was because of Breakthrough that I discovered my passion for education and knew that I wanted to be an educator!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer, I worked for Breakthrough New York at the Manhattan site and found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences. Breakthrough offers a unique opportunity for college students to assume the role and responsibilities of a teacher. In addition to teaching two 7th grade math classes, I taught a dance class, and led an advisory group, allowing me to work and form relationships with students of many ages and backgrounds.

The Breakthrough community is extremely supportive, constantly seeking to help one another succeed and achieve individual goals. I feel so lucky to have met so many incredible college students who are just as dedicated to education reform and equality as I am. The relationships I formed through Breakthrough, with both students and fellow teachers, will continue to impact me as I pursue my interest and passion for education.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved my time with Breakthrough. Going in, I had never seriously considered working with kids and being a teacher; however, the kids I worked with were simply incredible. Even though every day felt long and it was a lot of work, I was really excited to go into class every day. Both my kids and my coworkers were some of the hardest working people I have ever met. Breakthrough made me think about education inequality, what it means to impact the lives of others, and what being a teacher truly is. I spent my summer learning how to write lesson plans, thinking of how to break down information, and finding innovative ways to speak to others and present ideas to both students and coworkers.
I wouldn't trade my summer at Breakthrough for anything, and I would love to work with Breakthrough again in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Breakthrough Miami was the most transformative experience of my life. I spent every single day working harder than ever, having more fun than ever, and finding more meaning in life than ever. I taught eighth grade physical science and a meditation/mindfulness/nutrition elective, but more importantly, I was able to mentor students and encourage them to formulate dreams that they can achieve. I loved working in small classroom environments and see each student understand different concepts at their own paces. I watched girls show their true, best selves--whether through my physics course, or by their leadership on the volleyball court at PE class, or by performing at our talent show, or by supporting their friends in their endeavors. I learned so much about myself in teaching--my strengths as a leader and mentor figure and weaknesses. I also worked with an incredible staff of teaching fellows, site directors, and curriculum coordinators in which I built connections and a network that will last forever. I wish everyone could have the opportunity to work for Breakthrough. Not only does it give you hands on experience teaching in the classroom but also life skills more valuable than at any other job, internship, or volunteer work I've experienced.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My favorite part of Breakthrough Collaborative is how both the students and the teaching fellows gain so much from this unique experience. I have built lifelong relationships with my students and mentors and I have learned so much that I can carry into college and beyond into my career. This past year, I taught writing to an incredibly motivated and mature group of 9th graders in Houston and I could not imagine having spent my summer in a better way!