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Hello everyone my name is Mercedes Moore and I am a rising 6th grader. I live with my Aunt Joyce, and next  year I will attend Del Valle Middle School. My goals in middle school are to join more extracurricular activities like dance and cheer, and to continue to make the best grades I can in school. I like dance and cheer because of the special bond, trust and connection I feel with the people in my squad. At Del Valle Elementary, I was in the Honor Society, and I want to be a part of the Honor Society in middle school too.

I joined Breakthrough because I wanted to look back on this summer and see that I actually did something important, something that not everyone in my community could do – be the first in their family to graduate from college.  When I saw the Breakthrough presentation at my school I was interested because personally, I want to be more involved in things, make new friends, and try out things I’ve never tried before. I was also excited about getting ready for middle school next year, and eventually working towards my college applications.

When I came home with the application, my Aunt Joyce was supportive of my decision to apply to Breakthrough. She trusts me to make good decisions and believes that I am mature and talented, and that I’ll ask for help when I need it. I was so excited when I got in!

On the first day of Breakthrough I felt kind of strange and a little awkward, because I didn’t know a lot of the kids. After a couple of days, I got used to morning cheers and meeting new friends.  And I have to say that the people here, the students, teachers and instructional coaches, are unbelievably talented; I have made a lot of new friends here and they’re incredible. I met 2 new people here at Breakthrough and they are so smart it’s like they swallowed a dictionary. Their names are Joshua and Aida.  I consider Aida to be a great friend because she is bright, bubbly and doesn’t get embarrassed. Joshua is very witty and can make you feel like you fit in with his words.

So let me talk about summers at Breakthrough. At the beginning of the day we have attendance in the cafeteria and, like you saw earlier, it’s the time that everyone can say their cheers together; we’re all together and we say our names out loud and proud by teams. Then we go to our first class of the day, which for me is Math with Ms. Grecia. Then we have two more academic periods in social studies, ELA, or Science  before lunch. After lunch, we have Breakthrough Habits or do exercises in Breakthrough gets fit. Breakthrough Habits is where we try to break bad habits, and we also talk about what’s happening in the world and how that affects each of us. After this, we have one more class before Explorations, our elective class, and our All School Meeting when we dismiss for the day.

Breakthrough is also important to me because it will help me to achieve my goal of attending Harvard or Yale were I will eventually become a successful lawyer and a donor to non-profit organizations like Breakthrough. In the meantime, I hope to get good grades in school, and start babysitting because I love kids.

I want to close with some words of encouragement and inspiration. I want you all to know there is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs. You can’t start the next chapter in life if you keep re-reading the last one; move forward and conquer. And there may come a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t jump puddles for you; I believe that my Breakthrough community would cross miles of oceans for me.

Thank you so much for your time. I hope that you enjoy visiting Breakthrough’s first summer program in Del Valle.