Summer recap: 1,100 students, one step closer to college dreams
"I would rather be at Breakthrough than watching TV all day. I'm excited to go back to school in the fall, because I've learned a lot this summer." - Ryianna, rising 7th grader
Corporate Partners put their time and money where their heart is
Our Summer Program is only possible because of the incredible, generous support of the Central Texas community. And now, at the end of our biggest summer yet, we need to give a special shout out to our Corporate Council, a group of Austin-area businesses who are committed to helping Breakthrough students succeed.
The support of our Corporate Council enabled nearly 1,000 middle and high school students to spend this summer engaged in learning. More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income students can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. But thanks to our partners, Breakthrough students spent the summer studying hard while having fun.
In addition to financial resources, our corporate partners gave the invaluable gift of time and expertise. Eighty-three employees from companies including 3M, Applied Materials, Austin Startup Games, Bazaarvoice, Durbin Bennett, Farm Credit Bank of Texas, Freescale Semiconductor, JP Morgan Chase, National Instruments, Raymond JamesSamsung Austin Semiconductor, Silicon Labs, and SolarWinds spent more than 150 hours volunteering with our students this summer. Personal interactions with professionals from many fields help our students learn about different careers and dream big for their own futures.
Now, during the first week of school, our students are returning to the classroom well-prepared for a successful school year and equipped with good study habits. It's no exaggeration to say that the summer program - and our students' academic progress - would be impossible without our corporate partners.
Breakthrough internships set the stage for college and career success
This summer, 33 Breakthrough students participated in the Future Focus internship program. During paid internships at companies in the Austin area, our students learned about business, explored potential career paths, and began building their professional networks. 
Future Focus is a collaborative program for high school graduates from Breakthrough and KIPP Collegiate. Unlike more affluent peers, our students cannot afford to take unpaid internships, so the Future Focus program is a unique opportunity for them to gain essential work experience, while earning money for college. In return, host companies receive hardworking employees, eager to contribute and learn, and the chance to invest in Austin talent, making the community stronger.
If your company is interested in hiring a Future Focus intern next summer, please contact Daniel Jackson at
Breakthrough summer culminates with Presentations of Learning
Breakthrough students of all ages worked hard over the summer. They learned a lot, had new experiences, and participated in interesting projects. At the end of the summer, instead of final exams, students prepared presentations to share their new knowledge with the community.
These Presentations of Learning are an invaluable opportunity for students to practice their communication skills and learn from community role models. We owe many thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who shared their time with our students to review their presentations. From 6th graders who showed off their marble roller coasters and explained the physics behind them, to current college students who presented on their summer internships, everyone learned something and benefitted from the opportunity to practice speaking in front of a professional audience.
Save the Date - Breakthrough's 2nd Annual Beat the Odds Benefit
Honorary Chairs: Shaka and Maya Smart
Event Co-Chairs: MariBen Ramsey and Karen Kahan
We are thrilled to announce that our second annual Beat the Odds Benefit, presented by Corridor Title, will be held on Tuesday, November 3, at Headliner's Club. Shaka and Maya Smart will serve as Honorary Chairs. Maya Smart will also be our featured speaker to share her passion for education equality.
The event celebrates our students who are beating the odds to become the first in their families to graduate from college, and raises much needed funds to support Breakthrough's mission and program. We hope you can join us!
Sagra profitshare benefitting Breakthrough on Monday, August 31
Ask anyone on the Breakthrough staff - our downstairs neighbor, Sagra, is the place to go for delicious Italian food in East Austin. That's why we're excited to partner with Sagra to support our students on Monday, August 31, 5pm-10pm, when Sagra will donate 20 percent of all profits to Breakthrough!
Click here for more information, and we hope to see you there!
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