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Student Admissions

How Our Program Works

Breakthrough New York is a free program that prepares students to succeed in middle school, high school, and college. It is a ten-year program that starts the summer before 7th grade.

7th – 9th Grade: We offer summer and after-school programs for enrichment, and help students apply to excellent high schools

9th – 12th Grade: We hold workshops focused on wellness, professional skills, and applying to top colleges

College: We provide mentors to help students succeed in their academic, finances, wellness, and career readiness

 Submit your application by Friday, January 13, 2023!

Contact Us

Daisy Salas, Admissions Coordinator

Languages: English and Spanish




Is My Student Eligible?

Your student is eligible to apply if:

  • They are in the 6th grade during the 2022-2023 school year
  • They have an 83% or above in ELA, Math, Science, and Social Stduies as of their first 6th grade report card
  • They come from a low-income household (see chart)
  • The student and at least one guardian have been vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 1, 2023

How to Apply

Step 1

Attend an information session over Zoom (sign up here!)

Step 2

Submit Part 1 of the application by January 13, 2023 (contact, academic, and self-reported financial information). Start an application here

Step 3

Submit Part 2 of the application by March 3, 2023 (short responses, essay, teacher recommendations, and proof of income)

Step 4

Participate in student & family interview in April

Step 5

Receive admissions offer on May 5, 2023!

For Schools & Community Partners

Middle schools and community-based organizations can nominate 6th graders to our program by December 2, 2022. Use the resources below to refer students or schedule a partnership call!

Hear From Our Students

Breakthrough Voices


“If I could use one word to describe Breakthrough, it would be ‘community.’ As cliche as it may sound, nowhere else have I found a group of people as supportive as my peers at Breakthrough. Breakthrough enabled my initiative by helping me realize my potential.”


“What’s so special about us Breakthrough students is that we have an astounding sense of curiosity and passion for learning that is only amplified once attending the program. Without Breakthrough, I know that I would not be the strong, independent, Black woman that I am today.”


“Breakthrough is helpful. That’s the ultimate word that I can use to summarize my experience. The experience of applying for college in high school – I would have been so lost without [Breakthrough].”

Frequently Asked Questions

When are information sessions?

6th graders and their families can sign up for a virtual information session here. They will be held weekly from October to January in English and Spanish.

If I'm accepted, do I have to attend all ten years of programming?

Yes, students who enroll in Breakthrough New York commit to participating in our programs for ten years – from middle school through college graduation.

Does Breakthrough New York cost anything?

Breakthrough New York’s programs are completely free!

Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate?

Breakthrough New York requires vaccination for all students participating in our program starting in 2022. Both the 6th grade applicant and at least one guardian will need to be vaccinated by April 1, 2023 to participate in our final round interviews (if selected), which will take place in-person in April 2023. In your application, you will have the option to request a medical exemption (proof from a medical provider required), but no other exemptions will be made.

You can find more information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines here, and schedule your appointment to be vaccinated here.

Does Breakthrough New York provide transportation to their summer and afterschool program?

Our students attend over 100 different schools across the city, so we do not provide busing to our programs. Students are responsible for commuting to our after-school and summer programs, whether through public transportation, car pool, or parent transportation. We will provide free MetroCards during the summer and after-school program – if students don’t already have one from their school – so students can travel to program. When possible, we will connect students to others at their site so they can travel together.

Where do I attend the middle school summer and afterschool programming?

Our students attend the middle school program (summer and afterschool) at one of the following 3 sites, based on their preference:

Students must attend the same site for their summer and school year programming. In order to get to the after-school program on time, we recommend students apply to the site closest to their school.

I am not able to attend all of the program dates. Can I still participate?

Students must be able to attend 100% of our programming once they are admitted. It is important that your family can support this commitment before you choose to apply.

How do I nominate a student to apply to Breakthrough New York?

Middle schools and community-based organizations are encouraged to nominate their 6th graders with an 83% or above for Breakthrough New York. Please use our Nomination Form to submit your eligible students by December 2nd, 2022.

I don't meet all of the requirements for Breakthrough New York. Is there another program I can apply to?

Yes. Check out this list of other out-of-school programming in New York City.

39 Broadway, Suite 820
New York, NY 10006
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