Inspiring Students. Developing Teachers. Together we are Breakthrough Manchester.
Breakthrough Manchester prides itself in launching promising Manchester middle school students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities, on their path to college while inspiring high school and college students to pursue careers in education. We do this by:
- Recruiting high-potential sixth graders from Manchester middle schools for a tuition-free, three-year program hosted on The Derryfield School campus.
- Providing three rigorous, joyful academic summers and school year supports to admitted students.
- Recruiting, training, mentoring, and inspiring college students, and high-achieving high school students, as effective teachers.
- Supporting workforce development by encouraging our Teaching Fellows to pursue careers in education.
- Connecting our ninth graders with the Breakthrough College-Bound program at Southern New Hampshire University to create a seamless pipeline of opportunity through high school and on to college matriculation.
- Providing ongoing professional development to help close the opportunity gap by focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion in all subject areas.
All Breakthrough Manchester programming, including transportation and meals, is provided tuition-free to students and funded by foundations, businesses, and individuals who believe in our mission.
Breakthrough Manchester was founded in 1991 as Summerbridge to fill the need for academic enrichment and support for motivated Manchester students with limited opportunities. The program originally served sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in the Manchester school district offering an intensive 6-week summer program and school year Saturday enrichment programming.
High school and college students were recruited and mentored to teach in a Students Teaching Students model. Today, we work closely with 44 school year and summer teachers who serve as educators and role models for Breakthrough students. This model not only provides wonderful mentors for our students but supports workforce development by encouraging our Teaching Fellows to pursue careers in education.
In conjunction with Breakthrough’s 25th anniversary, a partnership agreement was signed with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in 2016 to provide programming for Breakthrough students through the high school years to college matriculation – thus creating a seamless six-year, tuition-free college access pipeline under the Breakthrough Manchester umbrella. Students are recruited in sixth grade for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade summer programming before joining the College-Bound high school program.
The Derryfield School hosts the Breakthrough program on their campus providing generous in-kind support of benefits, facilities, and administrative needs, as well as legal counsel and governance. The School serves as Breakthrough’s fiscal agent and Breakthrough falls under the School’s 501(c)(3) umbrella. However, Breakthrough has a separate budget and is responsible for raising the revenue dollars to support their programs.