By: Randi Avery 

Breakthrough Houston Teaching Fellow, SJS Summer 2021

The very first time that I heard the name Breakthrough Collaborative, I was a sophomore in college sitting in my Educational Psychology class. Even then, I was so fueled by my passions for educational equity and social change that I was absolutely elated when a representative from Breakthrough came to speak to that class and told me that there was an internship opportunity that embodied every single one of my career goals – education reform, equitable opportunity, and social change. Now, after two summers with Breakthrough, I have gotten to connect with an entire network of passionate individuals who share the same goals as I and have gained access to a number of resources that will guide me through achieving my goals of invoking system-level change within the American education system. Currently, I plan to pursue a Doctor of Education Leadership and Policy Degree, and because of Breakthrough, I now have access to the professional support I need to achieve this. 

One of the most admirable outcomes of Breakthrough programs is that they amplify the voices of the underserved. It is no secret that Breakthrough students are the epitome of intelligence, resilience, and grit. For our scholars, Breakthrough is such a one of a kind program because it gives them the opportunity to shine in ways that their normal classroom settings may not allow them to. Additionally, our program model maximizes educational resources for students by bringing together educational institutions and encouraging community involvement. At Breakthrough, the ideas and opinions of young students are valued and encouraged so that our scholars will be the next generation of change-makers in the world. The sheer love for learning of our scholars paired with the support of passionately inspired educators makes for the extraordinarily unmatched experience that is Breakthrough.

Historically within the education system, educational leaders and advocates have been met with the difficult issue of whether to place focus on those most promising or those that are most in need. However, Breakthrough challenges these circumstances by serving both. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has put its most vulnerable groups of people in a place of great learning loss, but Breakthrough Houston has remained resilient by continuing to provide resources to those most at risk. This program has gone above and beyond to showcase its exceptionality by continuing to serve its scholars in the midst of a global pandemic while the rest of the world was brought to a halt. Education is a right, not a privilege, and I wholeheartedly believe that through reevaluation, collaboration, and reform, the public education system can one day follow in the footsteps of Breakthrough Collaborative for a better future.

Preparing effective, skilled teachers is a defining strategy in Breakthrough Houston’s approach to closing the opportunity gap. Support this and critically needed student programs by:

Houston students need our support more than ever before. We are grateful for your partnerships in bringing equitable education and life-changing opportunities to under-resourced Houston students.