At Breakthrough Collaborative, affiliates all over the country are welcoming their new cohort of students and Teaching Fellows and gearing up for another impactful Breakthrough summer. While every Breakthrough site offers enriching summer programs to middle school students, the growing need for college access and success support across all affiliates has become increasingly urgent. From unprecedented delays in the 2024-2025 FAFSA process to the ever-shifting college admissions landscape post-pandemic and critical SCOTUS decisions, supporting students in accessing and persisting through college is critical now more than ever. Across the Collaborative, 23 out of 25 Breakthrough sites are offering college access services, and eight sites are providing college success programming this summer.

We asked Sam Geary, Breakthrough’s College Access and Success Manager, here’s a look at some exciting initiatives for Breakthrough’s high school and college programming:

  • Breakthrough Atlanta: After collaborating with Breakthrough Twin Cities and Breakthrough Central Texas, Breakthrough Atlanta is excited to pilot a groundbreaking 10th-grade summer program. Notably, Teaching Fellows are stepping into leadership roles to drive this initiative forward, embodying the spirit of innovation and mentorship.
  • Breakthrough San Francisco: With newfound support from the Department of Education’s Student Support Strategy funding, Breakthrough San Francisco will offer a leadership program where roughly 30 high school students (of which nearly two-thirds are Breakthrough student alumni) will help run the site’s summer program for rising fifth to eighth graders. They will focus on teaching elective classes, supervising free time, running afternoon activities, etc. 
  • Breakthrough Santa Fe: In a dedicated effort to better support high school students preparing for college, Breakthrough Santa Fe is innovating on their pre-12th grade program, called iSearch. This streamlined curriculum aims to create a more robust pathway to success for students, balancing self-reflection and identity exploration with core elements of the college admissions process. 
  • Breakthrough Miami: Rising to the occasion, Breakthrough Miami is transforming their rising 12th-grade program with an earlier start in the summer and a reimagined structure, ensuring students receive the guidance and support they need at a critical time in their educational journey.
  • Breakthrough Greater Boston: To combat “the summer melt,” a common problem where many high-school graduates who have been accepted to college but face challenges like obtaining sufficient financial aid, Breakthrough Greater Boston has enhanced their Summerbridge program by prioritizing support for rising college freshmen. This initiative will provide individualized intrusive/proactive advising to help each student complete all of the many tasks required for their post-secondary pathway, which may include accepting/declining financial aid, attending orientation, registering for housing, taking placement exams, etc. 

Click here to find a Breakthrough program near you this summer, and see the magic of Breakthrough for yourself!