Middle SchoolCoordinator (Brooklyn)
Those that have been part of the Breakthrough New York family for years might recognize Channy Kitt.
Channy joined the Breakthrough New York as a student in 2003, and as a teacher intern in 2010
She received her B.A. in African-American Studies and Sociology from Wesleyan University in 2013 - the first in her family to graduate from college.
And now she has returned to Breakthrough. In June, just before the start of the intensive summer session, Channy stepped into the role as the Middle School Coordinator for Brooklyn.
“Starting work without any sort of slow transition into what is the most intense part of the Breakthrough program was interesting, to say the least,” she said. “I appreciated that I got the hard part out of the way already!”
Channy, who spoke at Breakthrough’s 10-year anniversary event in 2009, said Breakthrough New York had been a guiding force during difficult years. Her experience “came at a crucial point in my life.”
“I was in one of the worst middle schools in New York City at that time,” she said. “Had Breakthrough not pushed me further than my school, I probably wouldn’t have made it to college prep high school and then to Wesleyan. It was a community where I felt supported.”
After college, she originally planned to take part in Teach for America, but reconsidered after realizing she would feel more comfortable developing other professional skills first.
“I wanted to develop these skills from such a dynamic and engaging organization that I’d been part of for so long, so it was natural to come back to Breakthrough – a place where I could grow as an individual and as an intellectual,” she said.
“Everyone is very engaged and likes each other, and this is a growing family. Everyone is growing and at the same time helping each other to grow. And I think that’s what’s special about Breakthrough.”
She now hopes to translate the lessons she learned through Breakthrough as a student to ones that bring success to her students.
“I am always trying to figure out how this position can help these kids the most,” she said.
For one, she said, Brooklyn’s classes are only in their infancy – unlike at Breakthrough’s Manhattan site – so she hopes that her experience as an alum helps to set a tone of giving back.
“Having an alumni there, someone who made it all the way through, helps our students to realize that this is something that has benefits. Right now it may be difficult to see yourself down the road, but here I am, and this is where you can be eventually. The biggest part for me is being a presence, being a voice, and letting them know it may be tough right now but in the end it’s all worth it.”