Increase academic opportunity for highly motivated, underserved students and get them into college ready to succeed; and
Inspire and develop the next generation of teachers and educational leaders.
To create an empowering educational experience that results in equitable access to higher education for our students and prepares our teaching fellows for education sector roles, enabling all of our students, teaching fellows, and instructional coaches to achieve their full potential as learners, teachers, leaders, and agents of change in their communities.
We believe that Breakthrough Pittsburgh students deserve the same opportunities as their more affluent peers, and that our country deserves to have our students well-educated and ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.
History -Breakthrough Pittsburgh at Sewickley Academy
Summerbridge Pittsburgh draws on the “student-teaching-students” model of educational empowerment first established in 1978 by Summerbridge Founder Lois Loofbourrow. The success of this innovative program model led to the creation of more than 24 similar programs in cities throughout the nation, including the Pittsburgh site. In 1991, Summerbridge National, now known as the Breakthrough Collaborative, was founded to oversee the growth and integrity of the regional sites.
In 1993, recognizing the needs of under-resourced youth in the Greater Pittsburgh Region and desiring to share the resources of his school with the Greater Pittsburgh Community, then-Sewickley Academy Headmaster Hamilton Clark launched the Summerbridge Pittsburgh program with Jennifer Dulski in the executive director position. Prior to the start of the first summer in 1994, Jen brought Steve Morris on board and together they started an organization that to date has helped over 2,000 under-resourced students in the Greater Pittsburgh Region. Summerbridge Pittsburgh started out as a middle school program servicing students in grades 6-8. We eventually expanded and developed our model into a six-year program where we onboard students going into the 7th grade and provide support, resources and programming until high school graduation. In 2017, Summberbridge Pittsburgh changed its name to Breakthrough Pittsburgh to re affiliate with the national collaborative, which has 24 affiliate sites around the country.