Back To Press


April 1, 2013


Contact:  Jeff Simmons, (917) 673-0024, [email protected]

    Zac Roy, (718) 793-2211, ext. 102, [email protected]

- Nonprofit launches ad campaign – including Tony Award-winner Lillias White  - to promote stronger involvement in its 6-year college access program-

(New York, N.Y.) – Breakthrough New York, a unique college-prep educational program shepherding low-income, high-potential students from middle school to college, today launched a public service campaign, “The world needs me to be successful.”

Public service announcements – narrated by Tony Award-winner and Brooklyn native Lillias White – are being shown on 169 screens at 15 movie theaters in Brooklyn and Manhattan to generate broader awareness – and contributions – by highlighting the non-profit’s dynamic work improving the lives of students.

“The heart of this campaign is the heart of our program – to elevate the promise of students who have the brains but don’t always get the chance to succeed,” said Rhea Wong, Breakthrough New York’s Executive Director. “With the help of volunteers and donors, we can give these students a better opportunity to prosper in the world.”

Since its founding (as Summerbridge at The Town School) in 1999, Breakthrough New York has grown in size, and became an independent not-for-profit organization in New York State in 2009.

The nonprofit makes a six-year commitment to assist students through high school graduation, providing everything from tutoring and SAT prep to organized college visits and interview coaching. Upon entry into a four-year college, students become Breakthrough alumni and continue to access resources such as internship and job opportunities.

Additionally, all of Breakthrough’s teachers are high-performing high school and college students interested in pursuing careers in education. And, in fact, 83% of its teachers have gone onto teaching or public service.

The public service announcements are being shown to audiences in the two boroughs because Breakthrough New York’s twin programs operate at The Town School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and at Bishop Loughlin High School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

There are three spots – 30 second, 75 second and 2 minute versions – that feature Brandon Providence, an 8th grader from Brooklyn who hopes to be the first in his family to attend college. Brandon has been part of Breakthrough since 2011.

“I need you Brandon. I need you to rise above your limitations. I need you to be brave and to be humble. I need your brilliance, your heart and your vision. I need you to put your potential first,” one spot announces. “Even though you have to give up some things.

I need you to believe... though it's long and twice the work. I need your courage and your determination. Because I need your help. I am the world and I need you to be successful.”

The spot continues: “The kids of Breakthrough New York are listening... they hear the world calling and are working so very hard to get a higher education. But they need you to be successful. Donate now.”

The campaign, “The world needs me to be successful”, also includes a strengthened website and new logo showcasing the vibrancy and goals of the organization. You can view the website and videos at

The campaign was created by Jayne Whitmer and Dallas Itzen at Pool inc. The spots were directed and produced by Peter Sorcher, Bodega Studios and SuperExploder.

The public service announcements will be at the center of Breakthrough New York’s upcoming gala celebrating 14 years of success on April 18th. The event will be held at Capitale at 130 Bowery from 6 PM to 9 PM. To purchase tickets, visit or email [email protected].