In May, we made the difficult choice to plan for a virtual Breakthrough summer program; for the first time, our young, college-aged teachers would be working from their homes all over the country. For Breakthrough, like for many of us, 2020 has been both a challenging and creative time. Admittedly, we were worried about whether we could replicate the culture and warmth of Breakthrough in an online format. But after watching our students and teachers run around their houses to find objects for a virtual scavenger hunt during our first week Olympics, and seeing our 8th grade students don their lab goggles to perform at-home chemistry experiments, we know that, even virtually, Breakthrough’s joy and spirit continues.
Each morning, our students started their days with Breakfast with Breakthrough, where they met on Zoom with their advisors and other students in their advisories to play online ice breaker games before heading to their academics. In class, our students still raced to finish math problems and hold up whiteboards with their answers, wrote historical essays, read novels, and gained or fostered their varied interests in their elective classes such as Ancient Greek, Korean Culture, and Activism Throughout History. Breakthrough students continued to learn, take risks, and have fun this summer, even in “cyberspace.” Check out some of what our students had to say about their summer at Breakthrough:
- Ana Karen, 8th grade: “Breakthrough is important to me because it gives you countless opportunities to meet incredible new people that you can learn from.”
- Angie, 7th grade: “Breakthrough is a place where I can learn and connect with my classmates, and it is like a second family to me.”
- Jazzy, 7th grade: “Breakthrough is a place where I can be myself and celebrate my differences with others and have fun learning, and that’s to say the least. At Breakthrough, I pushed myself to learn and do new things that I didn’t think I could do.”
- Giselle, 8th grade: “A risk that I took this summer is studying through the computer. At first it was really hard, but now I am able to do it perfectly fine, and it will help in the future when we enter school.”
- Josue, 8th grade: “This summer, I opened up to my teachers and advisory, and I was able to do that because I felt safe and comfortable.”
Because Breakthrough was virtual this summer, we were able to capture and curate footage from our program and summer Celebration. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to peek inside the world of Breakthrough that is usually closed off to the camera!