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!


“My name is Barry Aidman and I had the good fortune to follow Jessica as Executive of Breakthrough from 2007 to 2013. I am honored to be up here tonight. Part of a community that so successfully supports our youth. As I get older, it becomes more clear to me every single day that young people are literally the future. It is a demographic fact and makes the narrative that you heard tonight, about Breakthrough’s founding and development and growth, so important.

Michael Griffith used to tell me that one of the reasons he loves working at Breakthrough is because he is emotionally moved so deeply and so frequently. Every week when I worked at Breakthrough, something would happen that made me laugh until my stomach hurt; and then something else would happen that made me cry tears of joy. Being a part of this community is meaningful.

As you heard, for Breakthrough to have thrived the past 20 years took collective commitment and action: leaders and followers; students, parents, families, and teachers; the collaboration of board members and staff, schools, and districts; as well as corporate and foundation partners, individual donors, and volunteers.

In short, it takes all of us together believing that every young person in central Texas deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams; and have access and preparation to receive the education needed to make those dreams a reality.
As I look around, I am more optimistic than ever about the future, not just because of what Breakthrough has accomplished over the last 20 years, but because of the possibilities and potential, with your continued support, for the next 20, 30 or 40 years.


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.