Home to our first program site, Germantown Friends School (GFS) has been an integral part of Breakthrough Philadelphia's success since its inception in 1995. Richard Wade, Head of School at GFS, is co-founder of Breakthrough Philadelphia and continues to serve as an ex-officio member of our Board of Directors. In addition to hosting one of our middle school programs, GFS is home to our program and executive offices.
Breakthrough's students, teachers and staff benefit tremendously from resources offered by GFS including classroom space, access to state of the art technologies, educational expertise, along with technical and financial support. Germantown Friends School is an independent Quaker day school for grades K-12.
Breakthrough began its partnership with Saint Joseph's University (SJU) in 2000, when we opened a second middle school program site on campus. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University advances the professional and personal ambitions of men and women by providing a demanding, yet supportive educational experience. As a Jesuit institution guided by a faith that promotes justice, Saint Joseph's University educates for a higher purpose: students are expected to improve the common good by utilizing their skills and knowledge to promote tolerance, compassion and social justice. The partnership with Breakthrough fits well into the University’s mission. SJU students serve as teachers, tutors and mentors for Breakthrough students, often in conjunction with a service-learning course. SJU generously donates space and resources to sustain the middle school program site. In addition, Breakthrough students participate in SJU’s Ignation College Connection Program, which helps prepare high school students for success in higher education and offers scholarships to SJU for select high school graduates. Our profound thanks go to Father Daniel Joyce, Assistant Vice President for Mission, member of the Breakthrough Board of Directors and coordinator or our programs at SJU.
Breakthrough's newest partner, Drexel University, sponsors Breakthrough’s high school program. Drexel donates space, facilities, and resources to support our six-week summer program for rising 9th graders and to help us provide a wide range of school-year supports for our 9th – 12th graders. Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel is a top-ranked, comprehensive university recognized for its focus on experiential learning through co-operative education, its commitment to cutting-edge academic technology and its growing enterprise of use-inspired research. With more than 23,500 students, Drexel is the nation's 14th largest private university. Breakthrough compliments existing community partnerships initiatives at Drexel including its the Philip B. Lindy lnner-City Public School Program (“Lindy Scholars Program”), which provides enhanced educational services to students and their families living in West Philadelphia and attending public schools. Drexel has also established the Liberty Scholars Program, which provides full tuition for 50 high-potential students living within the City of Philadelphia. Our profound thanks go out to Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Greenawalt, President John Fry, and Dean of the Goodwin College William Lynch, for making this exciting new partnership possible.
Breakthrough partners with approximately 25 schools in the School District of Philadelphia that support our enrollment efforts by allowing us into their sixth grade classrooms to recruit students for the program. Counselors and teachers from the schools play an important role in recommending students and assisting them with their applications. The School District also provides valuable outcomes data including PSSA scores, and high school entrance and graduation information. Educators from both public and private schools serve as Breakthrough teacher coaches, and provide support in program and curriculum development.