Bridget Anderson, Engagement Manager
Bridget Anderson joins Breakthrough from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. There, she served as the events coordinator and was responsible for managing local and international conferences and travel. Bridget has also spent significant time in community outreach, fostering and building relationships across the state as a legislative assistant, staffer, and intern for the Indiana Senate and statewide political campaigns. Her volunteer work with Girls Inc. inspired her to return to the nonprofit space to better leverage her passion for public engagement and reduce the gap in access to quality education. Bridget graduated from Indiana University with a degree in political science. She lives in Indiana with her husband.

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Phyllis Elick, Director of High School and College Bound Programming
Phyllis comes to the national office after nearly seven years of experience at Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia facilitating high-school programming and college counseling. Phyllis has extensive experience in student service as well as program development. She has been a teacher in an independent school and worked with other college access organizations serving under-resourced schools and students in the Philadelphia area. Phyllis has her BA from Smith College and her MS Ed. in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Holly Havelka, Salesforce Administrator
Holly Havelka joins Breakthrough Collaborative with a strong background in education, business, and technology. Holly started her career as a middle school language arts teacher. Holly connected her passion for education and technology when she co-founded MusicMuse, an online learning site for musicians. She then transitioned back into public service by taking a position at the Department of Veterans Affairs. During her time with the VA, she helped to modernize the organization by working with the SalesForce deployment team. Holly then went on to work for a SalesForce Strategic Alliance Partner, where she obtained multiple SalesForce certifications. Holly attended Kent State University to receive her Bachelors of Science in Education, specializing in Mathematics and Language Arts. Holly lives in Northeastern Ohio with her husband and daughter.

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Hanna Levin, Manager of Impact and Evaluation
Hanna Levin joins Breakthrough from Blue Engine, one of Breakthrough’s pipeline partners, where she taught high school geometry in the South Bronx. As a Blue Engine teacher, Hanna worked in a multiple-educator classroom model that relied on daily metric data to orient instructional decisions. This model spurred Hanna’s interest in other innovative education organizations. Prior to teaching, Hanna served as a New Sector Alliance Summer Fellow in the Bay Area, and held internships with the U.S. Department of Education and The After-School Corporation (TASC). She holds a B.A. in sociology from Pomona College.

Rachel Martinez de Canada, Chief People Officer

Rachel Martinez de Canada brings extensive recruiting, admissions, and outreach experience to Breakthrough Collaborative. Prior to joining Breakthrough, she worked as the associate director of admissions at the University of Minnesota Law School where she was responsible for recruitment, administered the school’s scholarship program, and designed a summer admissions preparation program for underrepresented students. Rachel also worked in undergraduate admissions where she served as the Chicano/Latino outreach coordinator and admissions counselor and has also worked in corporate recruiting. A proud Gopher, Rachel graduated from the University of Minnesota with Distinction with a B.A. in sociology and Chicano studies. Outside of the office, Rachel spends her time with her husband and young daughters.


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Alex Miller, Recruitment Manager
Alex Miller came to Breakthrough Collaborative from Teach For America. There, she began working in finance and operations before moving on to recruit at universities in the Bay Area. She is a proud Sun Devil and graduated summa cum laude with her B.S. in nonprofit leadership and management from Arizona State University. As a first-generation college graduate, Alex is passionate about expanding educational opportunities for all kids. She was recognized by the Clinton Foundation in 2014 for her work on increasing library access in under-resourced communities.

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Nicole Noga, Managing Director of Operations
Nicole Noga joined Breakthrough Collaborative with a background in psychological research and lab management. At The University of Chicago, she assisted in conducting a randomized clinical trial of eating disorder treatments as well as several studies examining the effects of psychoactive drugs. Originally from the Chicago area, she earned her A.B. in psychology from The University of Chicago and was a “Graduate-Student-at-Large” at The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Elissa Vanaver, Executive Director

An award-winning newspaper editor and media executive, Elissa Vanaver was vice president of human resources and assistant to the publisher for the Miami Herald Media Co (MHMC). MHMC publishes both print and online editions of The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, in addition to websites such as Miami.com and MomsMiami.com, and an array of niche publications. Her 25-year journalism career also has included management and editing stints at the Dallas Times Herald and the San Jose Mercury News. Elissa is the founding chair of the Board of Directors for Breakthrough Miami and former CEO of Breakthrough Miami. She has recently joined the national office as executive director.

Meredith Zackey, Director of Middle School Program
Meredith Zackey joins Breakthrough Collaborative with nearly ten years of experience in the education field. She brings her experience as program director for Breakthrough Manchester in New Hampshire and her work with Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia as a dean of students, program assistant, and dean of faculty to her new role. Outside of Breakthrough, Meredith served two years as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Greater Philadelphia and supported the Principal Effectiveness Team at DCPS. She holds an M.P.P. in public policy from Georgetown University and currently resides in Philadelphia.

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