For the average child, the summer holidays consist of relaxing, sun-soaked days and respite from the grind of the classroom. Textbooks, calculators and backpacks are carefully stored away and school is, for the time being, merely a blip on the horizon.
For the students of Breakthrough Silicon Valley, however, summer serves as an essential time to put these supplies into overdrive and prepare for the upcoming school year. Catered to ambitious Santa Clara County youth, Breakthrough pulls middle school students from low-income communities into a six-year college-preparatory program. Breakthrough’s summer sessions, designed to help participants excel during the regular school year, are crucial to the students’ success.
Sharks Foundation board members and staff recently had the unique opportunity to observe the summer session taking place at Evergreen High School. Funds from the Sharks Foundation’s 2012-13 grant cycle helped Breakthrough expand to this new location and amplify their educational impact within the local community.
Walking the halls of Evergreen High, the significantly reduced class sizes and lack of wandering eyes or dozing heads was a testament to the children enrolled in the program; here by their own accord, it was clear that the students recognize Breakthrough as a valuable opportunity and are dedicated to taking full advantage of its offerings. The students are taught by passionate, hands-on college students, many of whom are returning Breakthrough alumni. These hand-picked college students collaborate daily to ensure that the educational impacts of their classroom curriculums are maximized. After observing the students correctly solve high school-level geometry questions and speak more eloquently than many professional adults, it was easy to see why 96% of Breakthrough students go on to attend four-year universities.
The Sharks Foundation was inspired to see children utilizing their summer breaks for the advancement of their educational careers, actively combating their socio-economic circumstances and creating a bright future for themselves, their family and their community.
For more information on Breakthrough Silicon Valley, please click here.