StaffWho We Are
Breakthrough Central Texas is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its relations with its applicants, staff members, and families, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. People of diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
Michael joined Breakthrough as the Director of Programs in 2008. During his six-year tenure as Director of Programs, Michael managed a three-fold increase in students served, the organization’s expansions in Manor ISD and Austin ISD, the buildout of its college completion programs, and the creation of a customized Salesforce database to monitor the progress of students on their path to college graduation. In 2011, Michael was honored by Bank of America with the distinction of Emerging Leader.
In 2014, Michael took on the role of Executive Director at Breakthrough. Since that time, he has supported Breakthrough as it has expanded extensively to serve more students in multiple school districts in Central Texas and at colleges and universities across the country. Michael has expertise in educational best practices, partnership development, research and reporting, project planning, strategy formation, organizational leadership, and nonprofit governance. Michael is a founding member of the Austin College Access Network and is widely respected in the Central Texas nonprofit community.
DEVELOPMENT, COMMUNICATIONS, OPERATIONS, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Meredith Ware Morrow, Ph.D. has more than twelve years of experience in grant writing and fundraising in Central Texas. Prior to joining the team at Breakthrough Central Texas, Meredith served as the Foundation and Corporate Relations Manager for Meals on Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX), where she worked on their fundraising team for more than eight years to raise support for homebound seniors. Before joining the fundraising team at MOWCTX in 2014, she served the Institutional Gifts Manager at Austin Opera for more than three years. Meredith graduated from Texas Tech University with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Fine Arts Administration and a Master of Music degree. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Houston. Meredith is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Austin Chapter, and the Austin-Central Texas Chapter of the Grant Professionals Association (GPA).
Alicia is a first-generation college graduate and brings more than 13 years of nonprofit experience. Alicia most recently served as the Program Director for 4H Capital where she managed their AmeriCorps program. 4H Capital is a partner organization with AmeriCorps Central Texas, and Alicia served as the liaison for 4H Capital. Alicia also brings experience from her time as a Club Director at the Boys & Girls Club.
POLICY & DATA
NORTH EAST AUSTIN
Brittney holds a Bachelor’s in English Literature and a minor in Spanish from the University of North Texas. She’s passionate about youth education and development and has served in various educational positions in Texas, as an after-school tutor and summer mentor in Texas. Brittney has served as an AmeriCorps Member at Breakthrough Central Texas, after having served two summers as an ELA Middle School Summer Teacher at Breakthrough. Brittney is a part of our Northeast Austin middle school team, which works directly with our Breakthrough students in various middle schools throughout the northeast areas of Austin.
CENTRAL SOUTH AUSTIN
Alicia Flores is an Austin Native, with firsthand experience of Austin’s schools. In addition, she is part of Breakthrough’s alumni network, having joined the program as a student in 2003. Alicia rejoins the Breakthrough community, with several years of experience as a full-time educator in the Las Vegas school district. She holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Alicia is excited to bring her ten-plus years of working with students, inside and outside the classroom, back to her Austin community.
AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOLS
MANOR HIGH SCHOOLS
DEL VALLE HIGH SCHOOLS
COLLEGE & CAREER SUCCESS
Daniel holds degrees in Linguistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and in School Counseling from New York University. After three years with the Early Academic Outreach Program at the University of California helping first-generation students enter college, Daniel spent eight years as a school counselor at an Early College high school in the Bronx, an international school in Mexico City and Webb Middle School in Austin, where he was the lead counselor. He joined Breakthrough in 2014.
Associate Director of College & Career Success
Breakthrough is a non-profit organization with the mission of providing a path through college for first-generation college graduates. Beginning in sixth grade, AmeriCorps members provide essential support to students who are on this path. Members provide mentoring, academic support, coaching, program planning, and implementation, and other activities to contribute to the success of Breakthrough students. Members will receive extensive training in a variety of areas to prepare them for a rewarding and successful placement with Breakthrough.
MEET OUR AMERICORPS MEMBERS BELOW!
Central South Austin Middle School Team
St. Edward’s 2024 BA Spanish 1st Gen, 2x Summer Fellow
“As a first-generation college student, I am really passionate about access to higher education. Having been a Teaching Fellow in 2019 and 2020, I witnessed Breakthrough’s efforts to bridge the gap for students like me. I loved being a part of the team then, and I would love to join the cause one more time.”
Manor Middle School Team
Texas State Grad 2022 BA Applied Sociology 1st Gen, 2022 CSA Summer Teacher
“I want to grow within the company, because of its values and how it aligns with mine. The community and its vision are what inspire me to give back and be a leader for the youth. As a first-generation college graduate, I can relate to many other students who want to achieve their goals. It would be an honor to help them reach that.”
Manor High School Team
Soon to be Huston-Tillotson Grad 2022
BA Business Administration, BT Student, 2x Summer Fellow
“Working as a teaching fellow this summer I discovered a strong passion for working with kids. I am looking forward to being a full-time member of the organization that has shaped and prepared me into the man I am today.”
College & Career Success Team University of North Texas Grad 2020 BA International Studies, 1st Gen!
” I desire to play a hand in helping the next generation of students pursue their dreams and I feel this organization would be a great stepping stone for me to make that happen. I’d love to share my story of overcoming obstacles on the path to academic success, in order to inspire students to do the same in their own lives.”
College & Career Success Team, Texas State Grad 2022, 2020 MM Latin Music Studies, BA Music
“I believe I have the ability to help students realize their full potential. I understand the time, patience, and energy required by both students and advisors to reach the end goal of academic success. My life has revolved around music and I have learned how to connect with students over a shared passion”
North East Austin Middle School Team
Texas A&M Grad 2022 BA Anthropology 1st Gen!
“There are a few things I am passionate about in life. One thing I know for sure is that I am passionate about helping others. I can’t think of a better group to start with than students who seek a bright future.”
Austin High School Team
UT San Antonio Grad 2021, BS Psychology BT Alum, Former Summer Teacher
“As a former Breakthrough student and Breakthrough summer teacher, I have applied my knowledge to my current job as a high school advisor with the Breakthrough program. Despite joining the Breakthrough Austin High School Team midway through the school year, I successfully mentored students in Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus during After School Hours, helped students submit college applications, and helped guide their decisions for their post-secondary education.”
College & Career Success Team Southwestern Grad 2022 BA Kinesiology, 1st Gen, Former Student Athlete
“As a first-generation college graduate, I understand the struggles of getting to college. I had no one to guide me through the process of choosing colleges and applying, how to study for the SAT, etc., which is why I want to give back and help students in the same position.”
Manor Middle School Team
Texas A&M Corpus Grad 2020
BA Health Sciences 1st Gen, 2x Summer Fellow
“I’m interested in this opportunity because I know what Breakthrough Central Texas
means to these kids/teens. For these students to have someone who they can talk to about problems and college-related issues goes a long way. This is more than a job, it’s about having the ability to make a change in the community where I grew up.”
Del Valle Middle School Team
Spelman College Grad, BA Educational Studies, 2x Summer Teacher
Taylor Cox was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education Studies from Spelman College. During her studies she encountered obstacles and she took time off from her college career, twice. Taylor hopes to share her story and shows others why it is so important to never give up and always believe in yourself. Taylor joins Breakthrough as an AmeriCorps member on the Del Valle Middle School and Dailey Middle School teams. She previously worked as a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow in the summer of 2020 and 2021. She is honored to continue working with Breakthrough students and their families this year.
Manor High School Team
University of North Texas, BA Psychology Former BT Summer Teacher!
Savannah recently graduated from the University of North Texas in 2021, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Before starting college Savannah served as an AmeriCorps teaching fellow with Breakthrough in the summer of 2019. She is now a full-term AmeriCorps member and is excited about the opportunity to help guide first-generation high school students to the path of college. In her off time, Savannah enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family. Savannah is delighted to be working with Breakthrough students as an AmeriCorps member.
Austin High School Team
Southwestern Grad 2022 BA in Poli Sci & Comms 1st Gen!
“I want to be able to make a meaningful impact on the community and help those who were in similar positions to mine. When I was in high school, I didn’t start seriously thinking about college until my junior year when I met with my school’s college counselor who helped me every step of the way. Because of her, I know the importance of having someone help with the process and how important it can be to have someone who understands and is devoted to providing support.”
College & Career Success Team
UT Austin Grad 2020 BA Psychology Former Student Mentor for CIS
“I am interested in the opportunity to build upon what I have learned while serving as a student mentor with Communities in Schools of Central Texas and to utilize the skills I have developed to help first-generation college students obtain the resources they need to succeed in higher education.”
Manor Middle School Team
St. Edward’s Grad 2017 BA Psychology
“My parents encouraged me and I developed a drive to end the patterns of my family. I became the first person in my family to attend and graduate from college. In addition to breaking the cycle within my own life, I have wanted to aid in assisting others in their own success.”
Austin High Team
UT Austin Grad 2022 BA Sociology
“I was in a program in high school that was much like Breakthrough. This program is one of the many I can thank for my acceptance into the University of Texas including all of the names and faces I met along the way. Having the opportunity from Breakthrough to participate with younger peers, conversate, and facilitate information to them was an experience I never had, and have never forgotten.”
Austin High School Team
BT Alumni, Bennington College Grad, BA Anthropology
Stevie is a proud first-generation college graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Latin American studies from Bennington College. A former Breakthrough alumna, Stevie served as a summer teaching fellow for 2 years before returning as a current AmeriCorps Member on the high school team! Being involved with the program as a former student, teacher, and now advisor, they are excited to be able to serve their students and community by offering personal guidance, advocating for education equity, and making genuine connections with first-generation students to help achieve their goals in life.
College & Career Success Team
Sam Houston Grad 2018 BA Food Science and Nutrition
Maya is a native Austinite and proud alum of Sam Houston State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Food Science & Nutrition. Having graduated in 2018, she is an “almost first-generation” college student whose mom returned to school for her undergrad degree and graduated in 2016. She was a student in College Forward for six years and knew not long after graduation, and a few odd jobs here and there, she wanted to do a term of service for an organization that makes a difference in the community that she grew up in. She worked as a chemistry lab instructor in college and has a great passion for encouraging STEAM learning and careers to underserved youth. Her passion for helping others coupled with her love for knowledge and bettering its accessibility drew her into the direction of Breakthrough. Maya hopes to return to school and earn a Masters in a food science-related field to pursue a research career in food allergens and product development. In her free time, Maya enjoys cooking and baking new recipes for her friends and family, doing puzzles, watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Facetiming her older sister and nephew.
Johana Ortiz Suchil
Johana recently graduated in the spring of 2021 from St. Edward’s University with a double Bachelor’s in Spanish and Criminal Justice with an emphasis in law enforcement. She has mentored college freshmen from her scholarship group at her university over the past two years and has helped them navigate their journey during their first year at college. When Johana isn’t thinking about school or working, she enjoys taking pictures of nature and landscapes, traveling whenever she can, cooking, baking, reading, and spending time with family and friends. This will be Johana’s first time as an AmeriCorps member with Breakthrough and a part of the Postsecondary Advising Program. Johana is honored to work alongside our students and families and cannot wait to see her growth as well as her students at Breakthrough.