Breakthrough Central Texas, a nonprofit helping students become the first in their families to graduate from college, recently celebrated the program’s first graduating class of Manor ISD students.
All 38 Manor seniors, who began the program in the sixth grade, have been accepted to college and plan to enroll in the fall.
“Manor ISD is extremely proud of its first 2018 Breakthrough Central Texas Graduating Class,” said Becky Lott, Student and Family Support Services Director for Manor ISD. “Breakthrough’s program and dedicated staff have transformed the lives of these graduates by providing year-round academic support and by making each student feel cared for, inspired and confident about achieving their higher education goals.”
Founded in 2001, Breakthrough Central Texas makes a 12-year commitment to students beginning in middle school, providing a comprehensive program that integrates academics, enrichment activities, character education, and dedicated advisor-advocates to help students overcome obstacles—academic, financial, or personal—and stay on track through their entire educational career.
The organization believes that education is the best way to break the cycle of poverty and bridge the growing economic divide in our community. Currently, only eight percent of low-income middle school students in Central Texas go on to graduate from college while nearly two-thirds of new jobs created in the Austin area require a college degree.
Breakthrough expanded its program to serve students in Manor ISD in 2011 with generous financial contributions from founding supporter Applied Materials Foundation and from Samsung Austin Semiconductor.
Today more than 600 Manor students in grades 6 – 12 are enrolled in the Breakthrough program.
“We’re extremely proud of all of our graduating seniors who have worked so hard and overcome many obstacles to finish high school and enroll in college,” said Breakthrough Central Texas Executive Director Michael Griffith. “This is a major milestone for our Manor program, and we hope that our graduating classes will continue to expand each year.”
Middle school students at Decker and Manor Middle School are engaged through after school programming, where students participate in project-based academic activities and community service while learning valuable skills. Ninth grade students at Manor High School and Manor New Tech High School participate in cultural capital building experiences and writing instruction through Breakthrough’s 9th grade writing program. 11th grade students receive ACT/SAT test preparation, as they begin their process of applying to colleges around the country.
Unlike similar programs in Central Texas, Breakthrough continues to support students through college, resulting in a college graduation rate within six years that is nearly seven times higher than the general graduation rate for low-income students and more than twice as high as the graduation rate for all Central Texas students regardless of income.
More than 100 Breakthrough Central Texas students have now gone on to graduate from college as of this May.
About Breakthrough Central Texas
Breakthrough Central Texas builds a path to and through college for students in low-income communities who will be the first in their families to earn a degree. Breakthrough provides extended learning, comprehensive advising and leadership experiences starting in 6th grade through college graduation to make students nearly seven times more likely to graduate from college than similar peers in Central Texas. Breakthrough currently serves more than 1,600 students and plans to serve more than 2,000 students by 2020.