“Breakthrough changed my life.
Breakthrough is the reason I am a teacher today.” – Jasmine Lane
Growing up in the Twin Cities area, Jasmine Lane was a first-generation college student. When she joined Breakthrough as a teaching fellow and started speaking to her students, she immediately recognized many similarities. “I was from the same neighborhood that those kids were from, and so I knew what was at stake. I saw their genius and their desire to go after what they wanted, and that reinforced my own drive.”
“Not every student has to go to college,” Jasmine says, “but every student should have the opportunity to do so. They should have the necessary skills, knowledge, and framework to make that decision, and I think Breakthrough was really good at bridging those gaps to make sure they were supported and successful as they moved through that decision process.”
At Breakthrough, Jasmine found inspiration from her students, and she found a career path in teaching. “When I first started Breakthrough, I wasn’t quite sure of my career path. I’d tutored and participated in afterschool programs before and during college. I also changed my major from chemistry to cultural studies & comparative literature. So when I joined Breakthrough, I took the official plunge into teaching, and it solidified my decision to become an educator.”
Breakthrough provided a space for Jasmine to connect with students and flourish as a teacher. After finishing Breakthrough, Jasmine went into her teacher training program equipped with a unique teaching experience that few of her colleagues possessed. “I was able to feel confident in the classroom because I already had experience planning curriculum, managing behavior, leading discussion – and I knew what a good lesson should look like.”
Now reflecting on her time with Breakthrough, she recalls, “When I was teaching Breakthrough students, I remember thinking, ‘I wonder what my life would have been like if I had a program like this.’ The most empowering part of Breakthrough is that it introduces students who may never have had a family member go to college to so many people who look like them, who are pursuing great things, and it shows these kids that they can be what they want to be. It’s just amazing.”
Listen to Jasmine’s full story below: