Breakthrough Greater Boston (BTBG) transforms urban education for students and teachers through its unique Students Teaching Students model. Serving traditionally underserved middle and high school students in both Cambridge and Dorchester, BTBG changes students’ academic trajectories and supports them on the path to college. They key is six years of intensive, tuition free out-of-school time programming.
Below is a reflection from Elmer, one of BTBG’s recent high school graduates, who is currently a freshman at Harvard University.
“One of the first lessons my Breakthrough teachers taught me was that I did not have to choose between learning and having fun. Dan’s social studies class focused on the history of baseball. This became one of my favorite classes ever as Dan combined the passions of baseball with a high standard for every student. He took the idea of an agonizing research project and gave us, the students, the opportunity to turn it into something exciting where we pushed ourselves. Who would have thought I could take someone like Barry Bonds and write an entire research paper as my final project?
Breakthrough is an experience, one that stays with you for the rest of your life. I now have long term goals of great heights and I feel capable of reaching them because I have the confidence, leadership skills, and the willingness to do so. I want to obtain a degree and make myself and especially my family proud because they have worked so hard to give me all the opportunities they didn’t have. I have become the driven, optimistic individual I am today because of the teachers in the program.”