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 Follow BTNY on social media: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter @BreakthroughNY


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