About us

One Breakthrough Can Change Everything

In Central Texas, only 8% of middle school students from underserved communities go on to earn a college degree. To combat this inequity, Breakthrough makes a radical 12-year commitment to help children become the first in their families to graduate from college. Through a combination of extended learning, comprehensive advising, and leadership experiences, Breakthrough helps students from underserved communities prepare for, persist through, and ultimately, graduate from college at SEVEN times the rate of their peers.

The Hard Reality

The Situation in Central Texas

  • Central Texas has the lowest college graduation rate in the state of Texas for low-income students.
  • Just 8% or 632 middle school students from low-income communities in the Central Texas region go on to earn post-secondary degrees.
  • Low parental educational attainment predicts persistent poverty for children more than any other factor, including single parenthood or unemployment.
  • Nine in 10 of the new jobs created last year in the U.S. have gone to college graduates.
  • Austin is ranked as the 1 city in America for job seekers. Yet, one out of five adults in Central Texas cannot read or write well enough to fill out a job application.

Our Solution

A proven, three-dimensional model for academic success and personal success

To help students overcome the unfair systemic barriers to post-secondary educational achievement, we use a customized and comprehensive approach that includes coaching and mentoring, out-of-school learning experiences, and a long-term commitment. From middle school to high school to college through college graduation, we are there every step of the way. Along the way, our students gain the leadership skills needed to navigate an increasingly complex world and the confidence to lead productive and meaningful lives.

Breakthrough extends the amount of learning each student receives outside of school by offering academically challenging summer programs, after-school tutoring, Saturday enrichment programs and SAT/ACT preparation. We also offer college-financing counseling and individualized college guidance.
Breakthrough advisers serve each student, 24/7, as their go-to, knowledgeable, personal advocate and champion. Advisors are a special key to our model’s success. Our professional advisors, work one-on-one with students through middle school, high school, and college.
Breakthrough engages students in rich, meaningful experiences that develop leadership and instill confidence and a sense of real-life achievement. These experiences develop important non-cognitive skills such as motivation and perseverance that are crucial for college success and success in life.


The Foundation of Our Model

Our proven model continues to produce more and more graduates as we expand our partner network across the region with school districts, colleges, universities and employers. At the foundation of our model, you will find a driving motivation and achievement in the minds of our students as they pursue their college education – growth mindset. Carol Dweck’s concept of “Growth Mindset,” suggests the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and solve problems. When our students believe they can achieve something, they understand that effort makes them stronger; therefore putting in that extra effort and time leading to higher achievement.

The Breakthrough Experience Generates 7X the numbers of graduates

At every grade level, our students outpace their peers on critical milestones, including school attendance, grades and college entrance exams.

of our students graduate from high school on time, compared to 66% of their peers from low-income communities.

enroll directly into college, compared to 41% of similar peers in Central Texas

the rate of high school graduates go on to earn a college degree, compared to similar peers