Announcing our new Director: Dieu Ho

(Sigue deslizando para la carta en español)

Dieu Ho, Breakthrough Santa Fe’s New Director to start in June

Letter from Allie Cooper:

May 27, 2021

Dear Breakthrough Santa Fe Families and Community,

Over my decade at Breakthrough, the students have taught me innumerable lessons. It seems fitting that now, in my final season, I can return to one of the first lessons they taught me as a Teaching Fellow so many years ago: that the Breakthrough community welcomes new people with love and gratitude.

It is in this spirit that I am excited to announce that Dieu Ho will be joining Breakthrough Santa Fe as our new Executive Director. Dieu, a first-generation college graduate who grew up in the Southwest, is coming from a position as Dean of College and Career Advising at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, Massachusetts. After several years spent working in admissions at Bowdoin College, and subsequently graduating with her master’s degree in Higher Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Dieu feels “giddy” to come back to the Southwest this June and work as the leader of our close-knit community.

We are grateful to have found a new Executive Director who understands that families lie central to Breakthrough’s mission. She recognizes that, while Breakthrough helps students get to college, it is an organization that does so much more. Dieu was drawn to Breakthrough’s six-year model that concentrates on building a cohort and helping each student explore their sense of self. Our focus on students’ socio-emotional health and their spirited curiosity, rather than just the nuts and bolts of getting to college, is what makes Breakthrough special.

As we approach our summer program, which will be the first full in-person programing we have held in over a year, I am grateful for the trust our families have held in us. After a year of creating virtual connections, our parents are excited to send their children to campus, and for many students to experience their first foray into in-person learning since the pandemic began. Despite the difficulties of the past year, our graduating class continued to live up to Breakthrough’s expectations of community, intellectual curiosity, and personal growth—19 out of our 35 graduating seniors will be adventuring out-of-state, 15 of whom will attend college at no cost to themselves with the support of the Davis New Mexico Scholarship, and four others who will be attending Amherst College, Johns Hopkins University, Middlebury College, and Beloit College. Despite this difficult year, our Breakthrough students’ desire to learn and work together as a community has been untamed.

After this summer, I will be leaving Breakthrough Santa Fe to attend graduate school at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain for a master’s degree in Global Studies, Nationalism, and Conflict Management. Another lesson from that first summer over a decade ago: Breakthrough has taught me to take risks and explore my own love of learning. I am honored to be carrying out the “Breakthrough Way” in my own life’s journey. 


Allie Cooper

27 de mayo, 2021

Estimadas familias y comunidad de Breakthrough Santa Fe,

Tras una década en Breakthrough, los estudiantes me enseñaron innumerables lecciones. Es poético que en mis últimos meses pueda regresar a una de las primeras lecciones que me enseñaron cuando yo era maestra de verano: la comunidad de Breakthrough acepta a nueva gente con cariño y gratitud.

Con este sentimiento, me emociona anunciar que Dieu Ho llega a Breakthrough como nuestra nueva directora. Dieu, una graduada universitaria de primera generación que creció en el suroeste, viene de su posición como Directora de Planes Universitarios y de Carrera en Codman Academy Charter Public School en Boston, Massachusetts. Después de unos años trabajando en la oficina de admisiones en Bowdoin College, y después de acabar su maestría en Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Dieu expresa emoción por volver al suroeste este junio para trabajar como el líder de esta comunidad cercana.

Estamos tan agradecidos por haber encontrado a una nueva directora ejecutiva quien entienda que nuestras familias están al centro de la misión de Breakthrough. Ella también reconoce que, aunque la meta de Breakthrough sea que lleguen los estudiantes a la universidad, esta organización hace mucho más que eso. El modelo de seis años atrajo a Dieu a este programa que se enfoca en crear compañerismo y en ayudar a cada estudiante desarrollar su propia identidad. Nuestro enfoque en la salud socioemocional y su curiosidad, más que simplemente saber el proceso de solicitud universitario, es lo que hace a este programa tan especial.

Ya que nos acercamos al programa de verano, el cual será nuestra primera programación completa presencial en más de un año, estoy agradecida por la confianza y fe que guardan nuestras familias en nosotros. Después de un año de crear conexiones virtuales, nuestras familias están emocionados por poder mandar a sus hijos al campus, y varios estudiantes tendrán sus primeras experiencias en el aprendizaje presencial desde que empezó la pandemia. A pesar de las dificultades de este último año, nuestra clase graduada llegó a colmar a las expectativas de Breakthrough: la comunidad, la curiosidad intelectual y el desarrollo personal—19 de nuestros 35 graduados empiezan sus aventuras fuera de Nuevo México, 15 de quienes no asistirán sin un costo directo a ellos con el apoyo de la beca Davis-New Mexico, y 4 más quienes asistirán a Amherst College, Johns Hopkins University, Middlebury College, y Beloit College. Es claro que el deseo por aprender y apoyarse el uno al otro es un rasgo indómito que les sirvió en navegar este año.

A fines de este verano, me despido de Breakthrough Santa Fe para empezar una maestría en la Universidad de Salamanca en estudios globales, nacionalismo, y el manejo de conflictos. Otra lección que llevo conmigo desde que empecé con Breakthrough hace más de una década: Breakthrough me mostró como tomar un salto y explorar mi propio amor por el aprendizaje. Es un honor seguir realizando el “Breakthrough Way” en mi propia vida. 


Allie Cooper

Prospective Student Application Workshops / Talleres de ayuda extra en las solicitudes para Breakthrough

Dates: February 16th, 17th and 18th 

Time: 5:30-6:30 pm each day (these events are optional for students or parents who would like more support on their applications)

Place: Breakthrough Application Workshop (video call)

                       Meeting ID: 816 0552 9834
                       Passcode: 278436
                       Dial by your location:  +1 346 248 7799 US


Fechas: El 16, 17 y 18 de febrero

Hora: de 5:30-6:30 pm cada día (estos eventos son opcionales para estudiantes o padres quienes desean más apoyo en sus solicitudes)

Lugar:  Breakthrough Application Workshop (videollamada)
                       Meeting ID: 816 0552 9834
                       Passcode: 278436
                       Para entrar por teléfono:  +1 346 248 7799 US

A Breakthrough Summer to Remember: Summer 2020 Update

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!

COVID-19 and Breakthrough Santa Fe

Dear Breakthrough Students and Families:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Breakthrough Santa Fe will be cancelling our March 28 Super Saturday and postponing Class of 2021’s college visit to Colorado. All Breakthrough staff will be working from home but will be reachable by phone and email as usual. 

For those of you in tutoring, Marvin will contact you the week of March 23 to inform you of our digital tutoring plan.

As of now, our April and May Super Saturdays, Orientation, and our Summer Program are still on. We will be following the guidelines and closures of the CDC, NM Health Department, Santa Fe Public Schools, and Santa Fe Prep. 

Estimados estudiantes y familias de Breakthrough:

Por causa de la pandemia COVID-19, Breakthrough Santa Fe está cancelando nuestro súper sábado del 28 de marzo y posponiendo la visita a Colorado para los estudiantes de clase 2021. Todos los empleados de Breakthrough trabajarán en casa pero se nos puede contactar por teléfono o correo electrónico.

Para alumnos en el programa de tutoría, Marvin les contactará la semana del 23 de marzo para informarles sobre un plan para continuar las tutorías por la red.

En este momento, no tenemos planeado cancelar ni los súper sábados de abril y mayo, la orientación, ni nuestro programa del verano. Vamos a seguir las reglas y recomendaciones del CDC, el departamento de salud de NM, SFPS, y la Santa Fe Prep.   

Breakthrough Student Recruitment Presentations/Presentaciones para nuestras futuras familias

6th grade families, come learn about Breakthrough and how to apply. Familias con estudiantes en el grado sexto, venga para aprender más sobre Breakthrough y cómo solicitar al programa.

All presentations start at 5:30pm. Todas las presentaciones empiezan a las 5:30 de la tarde.

January 23/23 de enero – Ortiz
January 27/27 de enero – Piñon
January 28/28 de enero – Nina Otero
January 29/29 de enero – EJ Martinez
January 30/30 de enero – Nava
February 3/3 de febrero – Chaparral
February 4/4 de febrero – Turquoise Trail
February 5/5 de febrero – Gonzales