Our History

Breakthrough Houston (BTH) opened its doors in 1995 with a small class of 7th grade students and a handful of teachers. With its innovative students-teaching-students model, the program saw immediate success by pledging to serve its students for six years – from middle school through high school graduation. At first it was known as Summerbridge, but soon became part of the national Breakthrough Collaborative (which was founded in 1978).

Breakthrough’s original program began at St. John’s School (for the Summer Program) and Episcopal High School (for the School Year Program), recruiting students from HISD and various charter schools. The second BTH site opened in 2016 in conjunction with Connect Community, serving students in Gulfton and Sharpstown. We opened a 3rd site in Summer 2019 at Gregory Lincoln Education Center, serving students in the HISD Achieve 180 schools.

BTH is proud of our mission and historical achievements. The College Bound Program, which officially began in 2008, has now graduated 11 classes of seniors with a 99% college acceptance rate. Ten years ago, we trained 24 Teaching Fellows for careers in education; in 2020, we will train 96.

Here at Breakthrough, we’re excited to expand the access to quality education and look forward to providing equitable opportunities to more Houston students and future classroom teachers.