Breakthrough New York Appoints Daniel Botoff to Board of Directors

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(New York, N.Y.) — New York City education nonprofit Breakthrough New York (BTNY) has announced the appointment of Daniel Botoff to its board of directors. BTNY transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing comprehensive support from middle school through college and into careers.

Mr. Botoff brings extensive experience in finance and management to the BTNY board. Since 2014 he has been the head of RBC Capital Markets’ U.S. investment-grade syndicate. Previously he worked at UBS and Citigroup in a variety of positions over the last 24 years. He graduated from Rutgers College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Daniel Botoff to Breakthrough New York’s board of directors. Dan has proven his deep commitment to our mission, as a supporter and a volunteer working closely with our students. His expertise in finance will be a tremendous asset in helping us continue to grow responsibly and bring life-changing educational and career support to more students in need throughout New York City,” said Bonnie Litt, BTNY’s Board Chair.

"I am honored to join Breakthrough New York's board of directors. For years I have admired the organization's ability to help low-income students overcome barriers and achieve exceptional educational outcomes. I look forward to contributing to Breakthrough New York's continued growth and mission success,” said Mr. Botoff.

A native of Hopkinton, MA, Mr. Botoff now resides in Greenwich, CT with his family. 

BTNY was founded as Summerbridge at The Town School in Manhattan in 1999 and has since expanded in size and scope, now serving 629 students and providing a full 10 years of support for every student.  Services include rigorous summer academic programming, after-school tutoring, test prep, high school and college admissions guidance, financial advisement, internship placements, and more. 

The organization boasts a stellar track record of preparing students for college. In 2018, all of the program’s rising 9th grade students matriculated to college prep high schools and 100% of its graduating seniors matriculated to four-year colleges. In 2015, BTNY expanded services beyond high school, to help students all the way through college graduation.

With three program sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, BTNY draws students from across New York City. The organization strives to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities. It also inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through its unique students-teaching-students model.

Demand is steep for the organization’s services. A record 476 sixth graders have applied for approximately 90 spots in BTNY’s next incoming class, which will start its 10-year journey to college graduation with summer classes in June 2019.

For the full list of BTNY’s board of directors, visit www.btny.org/our-board.

About Breakthrough New York

Breakthrough New York (BTNY) transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college and into careers. BTNY also inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through its students-teaching-students model. The organization’s goal is to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities. Learn more at www.btny.org. Follow BTNY on social media: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter @BreakthroughNY

 

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Breakthrough New York Response to New York City Public High School Graduation Rate

The New York City public high school graduation rate is up to an all-time high of 76%, according to new education department data. Late last year the city also announced progress in two related areas: the percent of students meeting college readiness standards increased three points to 49%, and a record 59% of graduating seniors enrolled in college, vocational or public service programs.

While the City should be commended, it’s important to consider these gains in the context of a larger goal: students’ ultimate success in college and careers. Such perspective is particularly important when thinking about students from low-income backgrounds, for whom college success—not just college admission—can help break the cycle of poverty in families and communities.

The odds that a student from a low-income background will thrive in college hinges greatly on whether the school they choose is aligned with their interests and needs, academically, personally, and financially. Since most New York City high schools have hundreds of students for each guidance counselor, it’s difficult for counselors to provide the individualized assistance that students need in order to make a well-informed college choice. With more students than ever heading to college, what better time than now for the City to invest in more guidance counselors?

In the meantime, the City’s limited progress underscores the importance of the college advising work we do at Breakthrough New York. Among the many services we provide to each of our students over 10 years is individualized guidance during the college selection process to ensure they go to a school where they will thrive.

Starting the summer before students’ senior year of high school, they meet one-on-one with our staff to determine what colleges they should consider and create target school lists—complete with “safety,” “best fit,” and “reach” schools.

Then the application process begins. Each student gets a college access mentor who helps them with every step, including personal statements, essays, interview prep, and the applications themselves. We also hold financial aid seminars for students and parents, where they fill out the FAFSA and learn how they can make their college education as affordable as possible.

Additionally, at our annual college fairs our high school students meet with representatives from many different types of colleges, and on the college visits we organize each semester they get to experience what it’s like to be on various campuses, including historically black colleges and women’s colleges.

We’re proud that 100% of our students enroll in four-year colleges, but we don’t stop there. We provide support throughout college—including monthly check-in calls with mentors and internship placements—to ensure our students graduate and are prepared to enter careers.

New York Jets Commit $160,000 to Breakthrough New York for its Work to Provide Educational Support to Low-Income Students

Donation is part of Jets’ new $800,000 commitment to combatting social inequality

(New York, N.Y.) – The New York Jets announced that the team is committing $160,000 each to Breakthrough New York (BTNY) and four other social justice organizations that aim to combat social inequality and reduce barriers to opportunity.

BTNY is a nonprofit organization that transforms the lives of talented students from low-income backgrounds with comprehensive support from middle school through college and into careers, including summer and afterschool academic programming, mentoring, test prep, and high school and college application guidance. The organization strives to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities.

“We are honored to receive this generous donation from the New York Jets players and ownership, along with the NFL Foundation, and we applaud their commitment to combatting social inequality,” said BTNY Executive Director Beth Onofry. “Breakthrough New York is lucky to work with some of the most inspiring and dedicated students in New York City, and we are proud that their hard work is being recognized and supported by the Jets.”

BTNY boasts a stellar track record of preparing students for college. In 2018, all of the program’s rising 9th grade students matriculated to college prep high schools and 100% of its graduating seniors matriculated to four-year colleges. With three program sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, BTNY draws students from across New York City.

The organization was founded as Summerbridge at The Town School in 1999 and has since expanded in size and scope, now serving 629 students and providing a full 10 years of support for every student it serves.

The New York Jets leadership committee was formed in 2017 and includes players Kelvin Beachum, Ben Ijalana, Steve McClendon and Josh McCown. In addition to BTNY, the committee selected the The Black Alliance for Just Immigration, JustLeadershipUSA, The Legal Aid Society’s Decarceration Project, and The New York Foundling to receive a $160,000 grant, for a total investment of $800,000. Each organization focuses on education, community and police relations, criminal justice reform or other initiatives including reducing poverty, racial equality, and workforce development.

“Inadequate access to resources for education, poverty reduction or racial equality has effected every member of our locker room,” said Kelvin Beachum. “From the communities we came from, to the one we now call home–it is abundantly clear that these organizations are not only needed but are causing direct change in the fight against social inequality.”

About Breakthrough New York

Breakthrough New York (BTNY) transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college and into careers. BTNY also inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through its students-teaching-students model. The organization’s goal is to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities. Learn more at www.btny.org. Follow BTNY on social media: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter @BreakthroughNY

BTNY Students excel, despite the devastating effects poverty can have on educational outcomes

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More than ever, young people need the kind of programming we provide

Breakthrough New York students closely mirror the New York City public school population as a whole socioeconomically, with 79 percent of our students qualifying for free or reduced-priced lunch. Yet, despite the poverty-related challenges the students face, BTNY students excel.

The number of students living in poverty in New York City public schools is growing.

The latest Department of Education data shows city schools currently enroll 39,000 more poor students than last year, and a whopping 74 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch, a common measure of poverty levels.

One of many reasons this news is alarming is that poverty can have devastating effects on educational outcomes. According to the US Department of Education, by the end of the 4th grade, low-income students are already two years behind grade level. By the time they reach the 12th grade, they are four years behind. And, students from low-income families are five times more likely to drop out than those from families with higher incomes.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Breakthrough New York students closely mirror the New York City public school population as a whole socioeconomically, with 79 percent of our students qualifying for free or reduced-priced lunch. Yet, despite the poverty-related challenges the students face, BTNY students excel.

After our middle school summer sessions, students demonstrate up to a semester of academic growth in math and reading. In 2018, 100% of our rising 9th grade students enrolled in a high-performing high school, and 100% of our graduating high school seniors matriculated to a four-year college.

We’re able to help our students succeed by providing them with support—including rigorous academic support, test prep, and high school and college admissions guidance—that are too often only available to affluent families who attend schools with a lot of resources.

With so many New York City students living in poverty, more young people than ever need the kind of programming that we provide. By donating to Breakthrough New York, you will help us address this growing need and create more leaders who will break the cycle of poverty in their families.

Thank you for your continued support of our students!

Breakthrough New York Begins 20th Year of Supporting Talented Students from Low-Income Backgrounds

News Release

(New York, N.Y.) – Breakthrough New York (BTNY), the 10-year college success program that transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college and into careers, begins its 20th program year this month.

This year BTNY is serving 557 students, from 7th graders who began the program in July with an intensive summer academic session, to college seniors in their tenth and final year of the program.

“We are thrilled to be entering our 20th year of supporting talented students to and through college and into careers,” says BTNY Executive Director Beth Onofry. “The inspiring young people who participate in the BTNY program help to bring positive change to their own lives, their families and their communities through their hard work and success.”

After school on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, BTNY’s 168 7th- and 8th-graders will travel to one of the organization’s three program sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or the Bronx for tutoring, mentorship, test prep, and high school admissions guidance. On average BTNY middle school students attend 300 hours of programming per year after school and during the summer.

Meanwhile, the program’s high school students will attend six daylong BTNY skill- and knowledge-building sessions to help them overcome academic and social challenges that students from low-income backgrounds often face. Topics will include college applications and essays, financial aid, internship preparation, and adjusting to college life.

BTNY boasts a stellar track record for preparing students for college. In 2018, 100% of the program’s rising 9th grade students enrolled in a high-performing public or private high school, and 100% of its graduating high school seniors matriculated to a four-year college. As a result, the program is more popular than ever, with more than 300 6th  graders vying for only 86 seats in this year’s new class. 

Additional program services for middle and high school students include standardized test preparation, academic counseling, service learning, interview coaching, and organized college visits. Upon entry into a four-year college, BTNY students continue to receive holistic support in the form of internship and career guidance, help navigating the financial aid process, and social and emotional support.

Breakthrough New York serves students who have demonstrated academic performance and motivation, but lack opportunity to reach their full potential. Seventy-nine percent qualify for federal free or reduced lunch, and 74% are the first in their families to go to college.

BTNY was founded in 1999 at the Town School on the Upper East Side, beginning on a small scale as a program called Summerbridge. BTNY has expanded over the years, opening a second site in Brooklyn in 2012 and a third site in the South Bronx in 2015. In 2014, it expanded to a ten- year commitment, helping students from the day after they finish 6th grade through college graduation.

About Breakthrough New York

Breakthrough New York (BTNY) transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college and into careers. BTNY also inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through its students-teaching-students model. The organization’s goal is to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities. Learn more at www.btny.org. Follow BTNY on social media: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter @BreakthroughNY

 

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