From Summerbridge to Breakthrough
Navigate below for a brief, interactive history of Breakthrough’s origins from Summerbrige in 1978 to a national network of 25 affiliates today.
Lois Loofburrow founded the first Breakthrough program under the name Summerbridge. Summerbridge was designed as a six-week summer program for middle schoolers at University High School in San Francisco. The multi-year program was tuition-free—the cost of participation was the student’s full commitment.
Summerbridge staffed its math department entirely with high school teachers, with professional teachers as mentors. The students-teaching-students and teachers-coaching-teachers model was born.
Summerbridge hired its first college-aged teachers.
Summerbridge New Orleans was founded with support from the directors of Summerbridge San Francisco and the affiliate model was created.
Summerbridge National was founded with the intent of launching more independently-run programs across the country. A new program in Manchester, New Hampshire, and a second site in San Francisco, opened for the summer.
Ten new programs opened for the summer.
Twenty-six Summerbridge programs operating across the country.
Summerbridge National became the Breakthrough Collaborative national office.
Breakthrough currently supports more than 10,000 middle and high school students and 1,100 college-aged teaching fellows throughout 24 communities nationwide!