The University of Texas at Austin BBA in Marketing and Management Information Systems

After graduation, Brenda spent time giving back as a Breakthrough AmeriCorps member. This summer she made the move to Seattle, WA to work as a Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft — a job she secured before graduation. In the future, Brenda plans to further her learning by going back to school to receive her MBA.

“Breakthrough’s passion and advocacy means so much to me and many other Breakthrough students. I wake up every day and get to live out my dreams thanks to this amazing organization.”

I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am to say that I am a first-generation college graduate. I owe my parents and Breakthrough for pushing me and believing in me. Breakthrough is such a special program, and I will always feel eternally grateful towards the staff and volunteers that dedicate their time to open doors for students. From a young age, Breakthrough taught me that the sky’s the limit and they would help me get to and through college. As a young kid, I didn’t understand how serious that promise was. From tutoring to giving me vouchers to be able to afford my SAT and ACT exams, to helping me with financial aid, the college application process, scholarships, and everything in between— I don’t know where I would be right now if it weren’t for this beautiful support system helping me and students like me navigate a system that was foreign to me and my family. Breakthrough also helped my sister get to and graduate from a private engineering school on a full ride, and she is now a mechanical engineer in Austin. My parents moved here to the US in search of the American dream, and once here, they realized that their dream of seeing their children be first-generation college graduates would be difficult, especially with their lack of resources. Breakthrough took us under their wing and believed in my family. Thank you to the entire Breakthrough community for believing in students like me and for sticking by our side for the long haul.