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Off to College!

On June 6, Breakthrough Silicon Valley honored the Class of 2019 at Senior Celebration. The evening gave us the opportunity to celebrate their amazing 6-year journey, and reflect on their transformations from wide-eyed 7th graders, to mature, accomplished young adults off to college.

We are so proud to have 67 seniors graduate high school--the largest graduating class in Breakthrough Silicon Valley's history! Guests at the event, including family members, supporters, staff and students, heard from 2 of our seniors about their Breakthrough experience, and the lessons they learned along the way. 

"I am proud to say that this coming fall, I will be studying sociology. I am working towards a career that will enable me to empower youth in the foster care system, where I will continue to grow and flourish because I am forever a Breakthrough student." - Ashley, going to Sacramento State University

"I feel there are 2 lessons - learned over our years in this program - that can help us navigate whatever lies ahead. Lesson 1--never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. And Lesson 2, when we reach failure, change the approach, not the goal." - Derek, going to UC Riverside

Did you know that 100% of BTSV's Class of 2019 intend to enroll in college this fall? This is a testament to the students' hard work and commitment to the Breakthrough program, and would not be possible without the support of friends like you. Some of the fantastic schools our students will be going to include UC Berkeley, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Georgetown University, San Francisco State University, University of Redlands, and University of Wisconsin-Madison, among many others. Congratulations Class of 2019!

What are you looking forward to most this summer?

Come see our summer program in action! We can tell you all about it, but this is an opportunity to see the students going through the transformative six-week experience firsthand. We are hosting two Visitors Days this month. RSVP below:

Summer fun (and learning) has begun!

"As I reflect back on that first summer, I am grateful because I learned so much. It pushed me academically in a way that I had not been pushed before. When I got back to my regular school my classes seemed easier." - Ashley

Breakthrough's transformational summer program, for our rising 7th, 8th and 9th graders, began last week. We welcomed nearly 300 students to our three pop-up sites at Yerba Buena High School, Evergreen Valley High School and Burnett Middle School.

For 6 weeks, our middle school students build academic skills through hands-on activities in math, science, literature, and writing, and are engaged in electives like dance and speech and debate. Other fun activities include a Pool Day, Olympics, and a field trip to San Francisco or UC Berkley.

The rising 9th graders also have instruction in math, science, and English, but a major focus of their 4-week program is the transition to high school. Starting high school is a period of adjustment as students need to learn how to balance new extracurricular activities with home responsibilities and school work. 

The summer program helps students create friendships, build confidence, and have fun, and. by the end of the 6 weeks, students will have started developing important college-going mindsets and behaviors such as collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. We've seen it happen every time, students come in a little shy and unsure, but at the end of summer, they've gained confidence and are ready to take on the challenges of the school year!

The students are supported by 58 Teaching Fellows - high school or college-aged young adults - who are instrumental in making our powerful "students-teaching-students" model such a success. Guided by Instructional Coaches who are professional teachers, Teaching Fellows learn how to develop lesson plans and motivate students and instruct students. All of this plus creating powerful mentor relationships with their students.

College Camp #1

It may be summer, but our rising seniors are thinking about college. At College Camp last month, our rising seniors spent 5 days learning about the college application process and got a head start on researching colleges and drafting their college essays.

Working in small groups, students wrote and shared their life experiences under the guidance of 7 volunteer counselors who offered their time and expertise by providing feedback on their college essays.

By the end of camp, each student created a 10-school college list, and wrote solid first drafts for the UC, CSU, and Common Application essays. We had fun along the way too, engaging in a spirit competition complete with games and dress-up days.

As a result of this first college camp, BTSV students are well ahead of their peers in developing their college-going toolkit. They will reconvene in August for a second camp where they will learn to navigate the college application process.
Make a gift today and be a Summer Hero!
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Happy 4th of July
from everyone at Breakthrough Silicon Valley!
Copyright © 2019 Breakthrough Silicon Valley, All rights reserved.

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