Our Mission

We empower motivated students from low-income backgrounds to graduate from college and pursue a fulfilling career. Our ten-year, tuition-free program provides students from low-income backgrounds with the opportunities, resources, and relationships to succeed in rigorous schools and careers.

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The Breakthrough Model

Breakthrough New York is a community for motivated students who aspire to graduate from college. Our model is grounded in three educational “breakthroughs” that accelerate students’ academic and personal success.


Through summer and after-school programming, Breakthrough students build their academic and social-emotional knowledge, skills, and mindsets – preparing for the rigor of selective high schools and colleges and cultivating their own love of learning.



Access to high-quality schools matters. We coach students and their families through the complex admissions processes for high school and college. We also connect students to internships, study abroad programs, and other out-of-school opportunities that expand their learning.


Through a students-teaching-students model, we train over 130 college students to teach programming and serve as mentors and admissions coaches. Breakthrough students receive personalized support, and college students spark their own education careers.

Our Students

New York City needs diverse and talented leadership; yet too few students have access to high-quality educational experiences that equip them to succeed in college and beyond. Each year, we admit 70 6th grade students from public middle schools who demonstrate the motivation to achieve a college degree. The Breakthrough community currently serves over 500 students from 7th grade through college.


Identify as Black, Latinx, or Asian American


Are the First in Their Families to Pursue College


Are English Language Learners

Our Results

The Breakthrough model works. Every year, Breakthrough students achieve their ambitions of a college degree and a fulfulling career.


Accepted into College Prep High Schools


Seniors Accepted into 2- or 4-Year Colleges


Graduate from College in 4 - 6 Years


Alumni Secure Jobs Within 6 Months of Graduation

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Meringoff Scholarship Winner Shadi

The Meringoff Family Foundation offered its seventh-annual Meringoff Valedictory Prize, a scholarship essay competition for college-bound high school seniors. Breakthrough New York senior Shadi (Class of 2026) wrote an essay describing her journey to NYC and how...

Breakthrough New York Celebrates Class of 2026 College Picks

Breakthrough New York congratulates the Class of 2026 on their college acceptances! These high school seniors submitted 428 applications to over 170 different colleges with the assistance of their college access mentors. They will continue with Breakthrough New York's...

Breakthrough New York Honored Macquarie Group and Melody Rollins at Annual Gala

Breakthrough New York Honored Macquarie Group and Melody Rollins at Annual Gala The organization raised over $900,000 at first in-person benefit since 2019 Breakthrough New York honored Macquarie Group and Melody Rollins at its 2022 Gala: Dream Big, Aim High on May...

What is Mental Health?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. With schools and businesses focusing more than ever on mental health, we spoke with Bushra Shaheen, Student Support Director at Breakthrough New York, on understanding mental health and how to support those who are struggling....
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