About Breakthrough Philadelphia

Our Mission

Founded in 1995, Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia is a ten-year academic enrichment program that builds a path from middle school to college graduation for low-income students from Philadelphia’s public schools. 

Breakthrough also inspires talented high school and college students to become educators and engaged citizens by giving them responsibility for teaching in its programs.


Core Values

Breakthrough believes in the power of education to radically change young peoples’ lives. We believe the middle school years are the critical crossroads where students make choices that will dramatically affect their futures. We are passionate in our belief that every child deserves access to an excellent education and the encouragement to succeed.

Breakthrough celebrates excellence. The spirit of celebration is energetic, enthusiastic, and contagious. Young people, who would ordinarily downplay their interest in academics, discover that not only is it “cool to be smart,” but that learning is fun. And, aspiring professionals realize the many rewards of teaching and mentoring a group of bright and lively young people.


The Breakthrough Difference

Breakthrough is unique in many ways:

  • It intervenes early, recruiting students in the sixth grade – a critical time for students academically, socially and emotionally
  • It makes a ten-year commitment to ensuring that students enroll in selective high schools, graduate from high school, attend college, and ultimately graduate
  • It delivers rigorous college-preparatory courses in an exciting and supportive learning environment
  • It operates on an average 10:1 student teacher ratio, allowing a level of individual attention impossible in most educational settings
  • It engages talented college and high school students from around the country to teach in the program – and to serve as role models and mentors to students
  • It employs master teachers as “instructional coaches,” who provide comprehensive, hands-on training and mentorship the young teachers