Breakthrough Collaborative announces that it has received a generous gift of $500,000 from The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation to create the Diana King Memorial Fund, which will support college-bound programming for middle and high school students whose backgrounds are underrepresented in higher education. Funding comes at a critical moment in education, as the needs of students across the country are more urgent and acute than ever.

The investment will build Breakthrough’s capacity to: recruit and train more than 1,000 undergraduate Teaching Fellows annually to work with middle and high school students; develop and maintain instructional resources and lessons, and college-bound resources and support; and conduct critical research and evaluation to measure impact and continuously improve programming for Breakthrough’s community of 24 sites nationwide.

The Diana King Memorial Fund will be catalytic for Breakthrough, as the organization will put half of the $500,000 grant toward a matching challenge for donors this year, effectively turning the value of the award into $750,000.

“Breakthrough Collaborative is grateful for the opportunity to partner with The Charles & Lucille King Foundation to increase educational equity for students across the country and further the legacy of Diana King,” said Jeremy Gough, Breakthrough Collaborative Chief Development Officer. “Funds will be critical as we go from a primarily summer-learning model to year-round programming to support students’ social and emotional needs as they transition into the regular school year, and offer enrichment opportunities to expand their horizons.” 

“We are thrilled to create more opportunities for students from underrepresented communities to achieve their full potential”, said Deborah Sole, Trustee and Secretary of the Foundation. “Breakthrough Collaborative has a long history of addressing opportunity gaps and improving educational outcomes for students. We are thrilled to honor Diana King’s legacy by strengthening their capacity to advance education equity.” 

The Diana King Memorial Fund honors the memory of Diana King, founder, and longtime president and chair of The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation, and an outstanding philanthropist recognized for her commitment to educational opportunities in television, film, and other media. In addition to hundreds of college scholarships awarded, the Foundation has acted as a longtime sponsor of programs at several leading cultural and educational institutions around the country.