Meet Kamryn D.

A student spends a good 18 years, 216 months, 939 weeks, and 6,574 days of their childhood life in a school like setting and hates nearly every minute of it. I’ve spent about 3 years, 6 weeks per summer and school year program (fall and spring) and 42 days in a school like setting wrapped up in a supportive community and loved every second. Hello to everyone sitting before me today, my name is Kamryn and this fall I will be a freshman in high school. This is my Breakthrough experience.

I’ve always been a very determined and passionate student, getting straight A’s and refusing a simple B, nothing weird. Yet my classmates didn’t appreciate my love of learning and would always undermine my confidence and make me believe that I was dumb for wanting the best for myself. A drive home from a girl’s science convention with my sixth grade teacher introduced me to a program that would soon show me my love of education was shared. He recommended I apply for a 6 year program named Breakthrough that helped prepare students to be college bound. Yes I joined the program to advance my education, yes I joined to be challenged, and yes I joined to ensure being the first generation college graduate in my family. Ultimately, my true reason for applying was to be around kids who value education as much as I do. To no longer feel like an outsider because there are kids here who understand my situation.

Breakthrough has honestly become my family. In sixth grade it was my safe haven besides home and now it’s like my home away from home. Not only have I learned skills in subjects that further my learning capability, but I learned to be proud of my voice, talents, knowledge and to stray away from my comfort zone. I’ve overcome shyness, disempowerment, and bullying with the support of my Breakthrough communities. The teachers’ play as much of a role in the community as the students do. They are young so they understand what kids in our generation are going through, but they also expect the best out of you and nothing below it. One of my favorite teachers inspired me to be open with my poetry. She saw the potential in me and me realize it in myself and because of her I was a published writer at 13. (Read one of Kamryn's poems here)

The time I’ve spent at Breakthrough will be some of the greatest moments of my life. I’m thankful for all the opportunities this program has provided me with and has opened me up too. I’m grateful to not only be supported by these wonderful people, but also inspired to be something great. So after I’ve graduated from Central, studied and practiced law at Duke University, become the owner of multiple degrees, and become a successful social justice lawyer, I can look back at this moment today. I will be proud to say that after 18 years, 216 months, 939 weeks, and 6,574 days I’ve spent in school that the 6 years, 72 months, 313 weeks, and 2,191 days I’ve spent being a part of the Breakthrough community will always be my most cherished.