Kyle Paradis Second Year BKD Teacher Senior at University of So. Carolina-Columbia
"I'd never taught a class before my first summer with Breakthrough, so the first two weeks of our training was crucial to my growth. Before the students arrive, we have four teaching practice lessons, which simulate a class and then we get feedback from our peers and from our Master Teachers. I felt so much more confident going into the classroom with our kids, I don't know what I would have done without our training weeks. As a returner in my second summer, I was able to focus on my lessons and also connect with my students in an intentional and profound way. The best way I can describe this program is that everyone is here to grow. From students to teachers, we're working every day to improve who we are and Breakthrough provides us the space to do that."
Israa Hussein Second Year BKD Teacher
“I remember struggling in math every year as a middle school student. But once I returned to school after my first summer as a Breakthrough student, the teacher was going over brand new material that we hadn’t learned yet. I remember raising my hand and giving an answer to a problem that hadn’t even been taught yet. The feeling of seeing the surprised look on the teacher’s face and having other students turn around to look at me with respect and admiration was incredible. It was the first time I realized the true power of education. More than anything, that’s what Breakthrough has given me as a student and a teacher.”
Bemnet Dechasa Graduate of Emory University
Bemnet's family emigrated from Ethiopia and she soon became a Breakthrough student during middle school. Later she graduated from George Washington high school, and went on to attend Emory University where she became the first in her family to graduate college. After finishing her second summer as a Teaching Fellow, Breakthrough's motto, 'students teaching students' suddenly meant much more. "When you first start teaching it's easy to think that students constantly look up to you and expect you to be an incredible teacher. But what I learned most this summer, was to look up to the students because if you find out who they are, you realize that THEY are the incredible teachers."