2024 Summer Teacher Applications Now Open. Apply Today.

During our 20th Anniversary Celebration, our speakers took us through a 20 year journey through their own perspectives. Follow along as we go down memory lane!

“As if Breakthrough didn’t have enough to celebrate – the next four years were landmark years, when all the hard work, the sacrifices, the community investment – everything came together and culminated in our first cohort of Breakthrough college graduates! 

Hello everyone. My name is Arianna Jones, and I was one of those first Breakthrough grads.

After attending the Liberal Arts and Science Academy here in Austin ISD, I went on to study Fashion Design and Mexican American Studies at the University of North Texas. Now during my four years at UNT, I honestly didn’t think too much about my respective path to college or being one of Breakthrough’s first graduates. It wasn’t until my graduation ceremony that it all hit me in waves: graduating was my accomplishment, but it was the support of my mother, my sister, and even my advisors at Breakthrough that helped make that path just a little easier and less daunting.

Whether it was the conversations I had with my mentors or the events I would attend, what I cherish about Breakthrough to this day is that they always treated me like a whole person. I was never just a student to them. 

They could have easily steered me to a more traditional educational or professional path forward, but they never once insinuated that “they know best.” They empowered me to choose for myself. They worked with me throughout my time at UNT. And when my fellow graduates and I challenged them to better support their college students, they stepped up and launched their College and Career Success team. They not only listened to us, they literally followed our advice, the very students they served years ago. 

Since my graduation, I’ve worked in commercial photography and have led an outside the box life that I truly, truly love. I thank this community for supporting me all those years ago, and most importantly, for helping me realize dreams are always worth pursuing. Thank you.”

– Arianna Jones, Breakthrough Alumni


Since 2002, Breakthrough has been inspired by students and their families to reshape the future of Central Texas: A place and time where all students can experience the life-changing power of a college degree. As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, we also celebrate you! We are grateful for each member of the  Breakthrough family who has played a role in  advancing our mission, and we invite you to follow us throughout the year as we highlight inspiring examples of determination and accomplishment.