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 with the opportunities, resources, and relationships to succeed in rigorous schools and careers.


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Teaching Fellows & Mentors



The Breakthrough Model

Our model is grounded in three educational “breakthroughs” that accelerate students’ academic and personal success.


Through summer and afterschool programming, Breakthrough students build their academic and social-emotional skills. This prepares them for the rigor of selective high schools and colleges.



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.


We use a students-teaching-students model. We train over 130 college students to teach programming and serve as mentors. Breakthrough students receive personalized support, and college students explore careers in education.

Our Students

New York City needs diverse and talented leadership, but too few students have access to high-quality educational experiences that equip them to succeed in college and beyond. The Breakthrough community 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


Attend College Prep High Schools


Seniors Enrolling into 2- or 4-Year Colleges


On Track to Graduate from College in 4 - 6 Years


Alumni Secure Jobs Within 6 Months of Graduation

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Breakthrough New York Names New Executive Director Nikki Thompson

Breakthrough New York announced today that Nikki Thompson will be its new Executive Director.  Nikki started in her new role on May 15, 2024 and brings with her an extensive background in the social sector in NYC, with a focus on K-16 education. She started her career...

Student Spotlight: Penuela Kumi-Damoah

Penuela Kumi-Damoah, a Breakthrough New York student, will be attending Yale and majoring in neuroscience. Penuela shared some of her reasons for choosing Yale and her passion for neuroscience.   Penuela's interest in medicine stemmed from a childhood experience where...

Student Spotlight: Prapty Dey

Prapty Dey, a Breakthrough New York student, will be attending City College of New York and majoring in biomedical engineering. Prapty shared some of her reasons for choosing City College of New York and what makes her passionate about biomedical engineering.   Prapty...

Olivia Njoh-Mbengue Wins the Susan Blum Teaching Excellence Award

Olivia Njoh-Mbengue is a recipient of this year’s Susan Blum Teaching Excellence Award, which is an award given to a Teaching Fellow who demonstrates a wholehearted commitment to and love of teaching. She is a junior at Tulane University who is double majoring in...
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New York, NY 10006
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