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Meet Arianna Jones, Breakthrough College Graduate

“To me, Breakthrough means community.”

Name: Arianna Jones
Location: Dallas, TX
College: University of North Texas, 2013
Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Merchandising with a minor in Mexican-American Studies
Current job: Photo Stylist , Creative Consultant, and Handbag Designer

What was it like to be the first person in your family to go to college?
The magnitude of being the first in my family to earn a college degree didn’t fully hit me until college graduation. The day of graduation I had all of my family together in one place for the first time ever. It was

moving to have them all there to support me in achieving this milestone. It was also when I realized that I was starting a tradition for my family. I was giving my younger sisters who were in the process of applying to schools and my nephews who were attending their first graduation someone to look up to. It was really touching.

What do you think the future holds for you?
If the sky is the limit, I want to be Oprah! But really, I want to do more of what I’m currently doing – pursuing my creative endeavors while building a platform to share the work of people that I think are incredibly talented and wonderful. I hope to be able to help other makers and creatives figure out their path and truly shine. And do all of this while living in Lyon, France!

What does a college degree mean to you and your family?
My college degree is a manifestation of all of my mom’s hard work and everyone who has supported and believed in her and by extension of me. It’s a validation of the efforts of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity who helped build our house in East Austin when I was a child. It’s a product of all of my teachers who funneled me into programs to help me be successful and foster my creativity. And as a result of everyone at Breakthrough who supported me to help me achieve my goals. They all serve as a motivation for me to continue trying to do as much as I can.

Arianna is one of the 110 Breakthrough students who have realized their dream of graduating from college! This holiday season, help more students say “I Am One." Our goal is to raise $60,000 to help 60 more Breakthrough students go to college. This campaign supports the expansion of Breakthrough’s College Success Program, which is set to triple in size to serve more than 520 students.