A letter from our Executive Director, Michael Griffith

Dear Friend of Breakthrough,

As I reflect on Breakthrough’s journey, I think about how the community has grown from the first 41 students in 2002 to the nearly 2,000 students we serve today.  I admire and applaud the hard work and dedication of each of those students and I am filled with gratitude for their many supporters including their families and the Breakthrough staff, board of trustees, volunteers, donors, and partners.

Only 8 percent of students from low-income communities across the region are graduating from college. As a society, we are not doing enough to support our most vulnerable children. This is a tremendous loss of opportunity and talent for Central Texas. Breakthrough is poised to offer a solution and be a leader in creating a prosperous Central Texas for all.

That is why this morning at the LBJ Presidential Library, we proudly announced our vision and path to create an even larger impact in our region: The Breakthrough Challenge.

The Breakthrough Challenge is a $10 million campaign to propel this organization toward our new north star: To double the number of children from our low-income communities who will graduate from college.

Three tremendous families have already boldly accepted this Challenge: Cheryl and Walt Penn, Neil Webber and Carolyn and Jack Long have collectively pledged $3.75 million. With their leadership gifts and the support of other early investors, to date we have raised $7 million toward our goal. As Senator Watson told us at the Breakthrough Challenge Kickoff event, this campaign can change everything for not only students and their families but our entire region, making us a stronger Central Texas for generations to come.

I hope you will accept the Breakthrough Challenge and help make this vision a reality. Visit TheBreakthroughChallenge.Org to learn how you can get involved.

With gratitude,
Michael Griffith
Executive Director

“The Breakthrough Challenge is about changing educational inequity in Austin. I’m excited that more students will find a home in the Breakthrough community. That more will be able to envision themselves going to college. That more will be able to defy expectations and realize their dreams.”

Joe Anthony Cruz

Breakthrough College Graduate


Over the next five years, Breakthrough will:

  • Enroll 1,400 more students, building our pipeline of students to more than 3,000
  • Launch The Promise Fund, an endowment that will ensure Breakthrough can always fulfill the 12-year promise we make to our students
  • Invest in capacity building to multiply our future impact on the Central Texas region

“This is a community that has unlimited potential. Central Texas is a knowledgable place with an educated workforce capable of attracting and retaining the best in the world. So why wouldn’t we turn that internally? To help educate and create the best and the brightest with the people we already have here. “

Senator Kirk Watson
Breakthrough Challenge Honorary Co-Chair