(May 23, 2015) – Breakthrough New York enrolls high-achieving, low-income students starting the moment they finish 6th grade, and this summer some of the country’s top college students will be stepping to the head of the class to instruct the enterprising middle schoolers.
This season, an unprecedented number – 650 – of college students from across the country applied for the 64 coveted internships as Breakthrough New York Teaching Fellows.
The nonprofit organization, which shepherds high-potential, low-income middle schools students to and through four-year colleges, will provide three weeks of intensive training in mid-June, and then the Teaching Fellows will step into classrooms at BTNY’s three sites in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan for the six-week summer session.
“This surge of applications is a testament to the success of Breakthrough New York as we celebrate our 17th year,” says Executive Director Rhea Wong. “While the focus this summer is intensely academic, our Teaching Fellows help to develop students’ character, sense of responsibility and cultural exposure through a positive learning environment. At the same time, this experience is life-changing for the Teaching Fellows: 90% of them go on to pursue careers in education.”
Consistently named a Princeton Review Top Ten internship, Breakthrough New York’s Summer Teaching Fellowship program gives college students a chance to help enterprising middle school students refine their skills mastery in math, science, writing and literature.
More than half – 36 – of this year’s applicants are African American, Latino or Asian, and 16 are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) majors. And, this year, one Teaching Fellow is a former Breakthrough New York student, and four are returning for the second summer.
This year’s Teaching Fellows hail from colleges and prestigious academic support programs from across the country, including: Brown University; Barnard College; Berkeley College; Binghamton University; Colgate University; Columbia University; Cornell University; Dartmouth University; George Washington University; Grinnell College; Hamilton College; Harvard University; Macalester College; Morehouse College; Northwestern University; Pace University; Pomona College; Spelman College; Vanderbilt University; Wellesley College; and Yale University; as well as The Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation (known as the Bonner Foundation), Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), The Posse Foundation, The TEAK Fellowship, and The Gates Millennium Scholars Foundation.
During the summer, each Teaching Fellow teaches one academic class in literature, math, science or writing; teaches one elective class such as basketball, soccer, choir, drama, or karate; and participates in weekly special events with students. Instructional coaches support the Teaching Fellows with content and lesson planning, and feedback, throughout the summer.
The Teaching Fellows are selected based on academic accomplishment, leadership experience and ability to learn teaching techniques as demonstrated during the interview process. An impressive 90% of the program’s past summer instructors have gone on to pursue careers in education, with many citing their experience at Breakthrough New York as their inspiration.
Breakthrough New York’s three programs operate at The Town School on the Upper East Side, Manhattan, Bishop Loughlin High School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in Crotona Park in the Bronx.
Breakthrough New York was founded as Summerbridge at The Town School in 1999. Since then, Breakthrough New York has grown in size, and in 2009, Breakthrough New York became an independent not-for-profit organization in New York State.
The organization makes a 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.
About Breakthrough New York
Breakthrough New York transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college into careers and inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through our students-teaching-students model. The nonprofit’s goal is to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and affect positive change in their communities. Learn more at www.btny.org.