Founded in 1991, Breakthrough Miami aims to inspire and encourage talented, motivated middle-school students to enter and thrive in top college-preparatory high school programs and become college/post-secondary education & career ready. Its students-teaching-students model empowers Breakthrough to serve over 1,300 Breakthrough Scholars who attend middle and high schools across Miami-Dade County. The scholars are engaged in an intensive summer institute and Saturday school year programming hosted at Palmer Trinity and five other sites. Breakthrough Miami gives its Scholars a network, skills, and support to help them achieve their most ambitious goals. The program also promotes careers in education for outstanding high school and college students who teach, tutor, and mentor in Breakthrough Miami’s Summer Institute and School Year Programs. Now in its seventh year, Palmer Trinity School's partnership with Breakthrough Miami gave way to Breakthrough's first expansion site into Southwest Miami-Dade County. Each summer, Palmer Trinity School welcomes 100 rising 5th-, 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-grade students for Breakthrough's Summer Institute at PTS.
“We look forward to providing an opportunity for our own students who seek a career in the teaching arts. Given our shared vision of learning, leadership, and community, we are looking forward to our continued long and fruitful relationship with Breakthrough Miami,” says Palmer Trinity’s Suzanne Calleja. Jonah Stevens, the Senior Site Director at Palmer Trinity School, had previously served as a Director at the Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Coconut Grove, Breakthrough’s only all-girl site nationwide. He loved every moment contributing to the betterment of his Carrollton girls but looks forward to continuing his leadership role and impacting the scholars here at Palmer Trinity. With Teach For America, the earning of his Master’s Degree in Education and several years of classroom experience under his belt, Jonah’s passion remains the education and uplifting of the inner city youth to become fierce future leaders for positive change and self-advocacy. “I am thrilled to kick off the 7th year of Breakthrough Miami’s partnership at Palmer Trinity and proud to celebrate the many ways the Palmer Trinity community have embraced Breakthrough Miami! Both the PTS Breakthrough Club and the PTPA Breakthrough Committee have over 35 members each and are rapidly growing, and each year we have a handful of PTS juniors and seniors who get hired for our paid summer institute as well as BTM scholars who get accepted and join PTS school. I am always seeking ways to further integrate into the Palmer Trinity community and support all of our students.”
Breakthrough Miami is modeled after the nationally recognized “Summerbridge” program founded in San Francisco, CA, by Louis Loufbourrow, in 1978. Over the past three decades, Breakthrough Collaborative has changed the trajectories of more than 10,000 disadvantaged students and inspired over 4,000 young people to pursue a career in education. Founded as a small program in a liberal haven across the country, Breakthrough has expanded incredibly, now operating in 33 sites nationwide, with a program as far as Hong Kong.