Breaking the Chains : What does Breakthrough Mean to Me?

“These are not only my hands, but the hands of every other Breakthrough student that, like me, is working toward their dreams of a college degree and becoming a voice and a symbol of justice. The colorful lines represent a world full of color once those hands are set free…I love my color, I love my people and I would love a world full of color.” 


– Maria, Breakthrough Student High School Class of 2022

Like Maria, Breakthrough envisions a world full of color in which everyone has the opportunity to pursue their dreams and build a life of their own choosing. This holiday season, you can help make this vision a reality by supporting our students’ journey to become the first in their families to earn a college degree. 

In 2021, we will face the biggest educational challenge in recent history. Students from lower-income communities may lose more than a year of learning due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, students in more affluent communities may receive additional tutoring, increasing the opportunity gap for education in this country even further. 

Breakthrough students and families have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic—facing unemployment and food and housing insecurity. School closures meant not only social isolation but losing access to needed learning supports, computers, school supplies, and quiet spaces to complete schoolwork. These setbacks add to the inequities already faced by communities who are more likely to attend economically segregated schools with fewer resources.

For our students in college, the upheaval of systems and safety nets our students rely on—campus support systems, financial aid offices, access to work study and service industry jobs that helped pay for school–threaten to derail students’ college plans. Nationally, we can already see the impact of these events, with a 16% decrease in college enrollment. 

Make a donation today in support of Breakthrough’s radical, 12-year program and your gift will be generously matched, dollar-for-dollar, by the Topfer Family Foundation. Together we can create a world full of opportunity and color for incredible young people, like Maria!   

Your gift is eligible for a 100% tax deduction under the CARES Act legislation.

The CARES Act included a new above-the-line deduction for total charitable contributions up to $300 for individuals who do not itemize deductions. For itemizers, existing cap on annual contributions has been raised to 100% of adjusted gross income. Please consult your tax advisor concerning the application of this law to your particular situation. Learn more.