Maria Cortez Lopez is coming from St. Louis to teach Literature for 7th and 8th graders at our Germantown Friends site this summer! 

Where do you go to school and when do you plan to graduate?

I am a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis and expect to graduate Spring 2020.

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

I’ve played the trumpet for over 9 years, and play in WashU’s Mariachi. I’m very involved with the Latinx community on my campus, as I’m a part of the executive board for the Association of Latin American Students, and was part of the founding line of Alpha Psi Lambda, the first multicultural Greek organization at WashU.

What sparked your interest in education?

I’m part of a club that tutors Latinx middle schoolers in the South St. Louis region. The one semester that I was unable to participate in the program I felt like there was something missing from my life and I realized that it was this club. I missed being able to make connections with students outside of my university “bubble” and I missed seeing their progress week to week. I firmly believe that educators, especially at the middle school level, have the capacity to make a lifelong impact in the life of a student and I want to be a part of that profession.

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

I’m so excited to be teaching literature for grades 7 and 8. Literature was my first choice because it has always been something that I’m passionate about and I want to help other students discover that same love of literature while helping them hone their literary skills.

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

I hope to learn more about the teaching profession-the good, the bad, and the unexpected- while also learning about the community that I will be a part of this summer in Philadelphia. I hope to learn and grow from my peers and from the students that I will serve this summer.

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

I would describe myself as a someone who is empathetic, so I hope to the students in the program by name and by story, and be someone that they learn from but also someone that they trust. I’m coming from a similar background of a high achieving, underserved student that will be a first-generation college student, that many of the Breakthrough students are also coming from.  With that, I want the students to know that I understand the challenges that they are facing and that, for them, I will be the person, mentor, teacher that I wish I had when I was their age.

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

I’m a fan of most music, but I really like older stuff, like The Beatles, Elvis, and Stevie Wonder.

 

A student at University of Texas at Austin, Priya Mehti is joining Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia this summer to teach 7th and 8th grade Science!

Where do you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate?

I currently attend the University of Texas at Austin. I will graduate in May 2019 with a BA in Government, a BSA in Human Development, a teaching certificate in Social Studies, and a minor in Business Foundations! Hook ‘em!

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

In my spare time, I love to hike, read and cook! I dance and ride horses, as well. I volunteer at a hippotherapy clinic when I can.

What sparked your interest in education?

Good education is something everyone should have access to. I believe education opens doors and minds. In the future, I hope to work in the Peace and Conflict field with organizations such as UNICEF.

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

7th and 8th grade science. I love science! I hope to spread my love for science this summer.

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

I’m excited to learn different teaching styles and to meet new people!

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

I am very friendly and enthusiastic. I’m looking forward to meeting all the students!

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

I’ve been classically trained in several Indian art forms: Bharatnatyam, Hindustani vocal, and Carnatic vocal. I also have a black belt in Kuk Sool Won, a Korean form of martial arts!

Kaitlyn Zorilla, a rising senior at UCLA, will be teaching writing for 9th grade this summer!

Where do/did you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate?

I am a rising senior at UCLA. I’ll graduate in June 2019.

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

I love reading, hiking, listening to live music, and going to the beach.

What sparked your interest in education?

Growing up, I loved school and always talked about wanting to be a teacher. I would make my little sister play school with me during the summer. Once I got to UCLA, however, I started to learn more about the huge educational disparities that effect the youth in this country. My childhood dream of being a teacher began to take on a much more powerful meaning and purpose.

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

I’m teaching writing for 9th graders! Going into college, I thought I was a great writer. I quickly realized that, with a skill like writing, there is always plenty of room to grow. I’m excited to share this process of growth with my students and hopefully pass along some of the wisdom I have been given.

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

I’m excited to grow in my abilities as an educator. In the past, I’ve had positions that required me to teach but I’ve never been in a classroom of my own before. I’m looking forward to the challenges and lessons that this experience will bring.

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

I absolutely love studying English and I am excited to share that love with my students. Writing can be a boring subject for many students so I hope that my enthusiasm will help them enjoy this experience more.

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

I really enjoy collecting vinyl records!

 

Pennsylvania native and rising junior at Bryn Mawr College, Samara Jones will be joining Breakthrough this summer to teach 8th grade writing!

Where do/did you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate?

I grew up in Wyndmoor and went to school at Springfield Township High School. I currently am a rising junior at Bryn Mawr College and plan to graduate in 2020.

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

Creative writing is a big part of my life. I love to write poetry, short stories and novels in my free time. I also love reading, photography, and gardening.

What sparked your interest in education?

I have always had a passion for teaching ever since I was a 7 year old girl writing, taking and grading quizzes for my class of stuffed animals. I have always held a deep appreciation for the specific teachers who greatly impacted my life and I strive to be like them one day, making a difference in a student’s life, teaching them not just an academic subject, but about the bigger things of life.

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

I am teaching 8th grade Writing, and I see this as a good fit as writing is a massive part of my life. As an English Major, I take lots of writing-intensive courses where my persuasive-writing skills have grown immensely. Essay writing is an important skill that I believe all students approaching high school need to have..

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

I hope to get that valuable hands-on experience of teaching that I have been longing to have. I hope that Breakthrough will help build my confidence as a future educator and equip me with a strengthened sense of self and newly developed techniques that I can carry with me throughout the rest of my career journey.

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

I’m excited to bring my enthusiasm, spirit, and energy along with my hard work and limitless love for children.

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

I sometimes surprise people with my level of nerdiness and love for Star Wars and all things sci-fi (and anime).

Sienna Coleman, a rising junior at Ursinus College, will be teaching writing for 7th grade this summer!

Where do/did you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate?

I am a sophomore at Ursinus College, in Collegeville, PA. I am studying English and education, with a minor in Spanish. I will graduate in 2020!

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

At Ursinus, I am one of the copyeditors for the newspaper. I was also elected to be the Education Director for my sorority, Tri Sigma. Plus, I always try to be involved with the theater productions at Ursinus, whether that is backstage or onstage!

What sparked your interest in education?

One of my friends got me a job at a tutoring center near our school. I loved working with the students, seeing them learn and seeing them become more confident.

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

I am teaching 7th grade writing. This is a good fit because I want to show my students how writing can be a powerful way to express yourself.

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

I hope to be an English teacher when I graduate from Ursinus, so I am hoping that Breakthrough will give me some insight into how teachers can create classrooms where students feel excited to learn!

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

I am excited to bring my determination to learn and my compassion for others to Breakthrough this summer.

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

I hate driving, but I did pass my driver’s test the first time.

A rising junior at Temple University, Ian Henshaw will be joining Breakthrough this summer to teach 7th grade science!

Where do/did you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate?

I go to school at Temple University where I study Urban Education and I will be graduating in 2020.

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

Some of my hobbies and interests are playing/listening to music, sports, and playing video games with my friends. 

What sparked your interest in education?

My interest in education was sparked by my 5th grade teacher who was the first male teacher I had in a classroom setting. At some point during that year I decided that I was going to become a teacher so here I am.

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

I am teaching 7th grade science this summer and I think this is a good fit because I am a very curious person and science is all about curiosity… also, Bill Nye is a hero of mine.

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

This summer with Breakthrough I hope to gain experience in the classroom, connections with my students and other teaching fellows, and an opportunity to have a great summer!

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

The quality that I am excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer is my energy. I’m excited to share my energy with my students so that we are all looking forward to coming into Breakthrough every day.

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

Something about myself that people wouldn’t expect is that I am an Eggo waffle addict. In a calendar year I consume an inhumane amount of those golden frozen disks.

A rising junior at Brown University, Emily Fryer will be joining Breakthrough this summer to teach 7th grade math!

Where do/did you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate?

Brown University, Class of 2020

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

I enjoy playing lacrosse and soccer – and almost any sport!

What sparked your interest in education?

I have always been interested in mentoring/teaching students throughout my schooling experiences.  I have been a coach most of my adolescent life and that has really sparked my interest in working with kids.

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

I am teaching 7th grade mathematics. I’ve recently taken a deep interest in math; however, it was my least favorite subject throughout middle school, so I can see the point of view of many different sides of the spectrum involving interests in math!

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

I hope to gain a better knowledge of what it takes to teach in front of a classroom and I’m very excited to get to know new people (students and co-workers).

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

I think I have a positive perspective on life, which I will bring with me everyday this summer!

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

I love to cook.

Lindsay Guinta, a rising senoir at the University of Pittsburgh, will be teaching science for 7th grade this summer!

Where do/did you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate?

I currently attend the University of Pittsburgh where I am studying history and art history with a minor in education. I will be graduating this December!

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

I love reading and watching sports. I am a huge Flyers fan so living in Pittsburgh is a little tough during hockey season. I recently finished an awesome book called “The Boys of Summer” by Roger Kahn, which is about the Brooklyn Dodgers’ last season in NY before moving to LA. I highly recommend it!

What sparked your interest in education?

I had a teacher in high school tell me that he thought I would make a great teacher. I brushed him off because I thought I wanted to be a museum curator (very specific right?). However, I ended up taking a couple education classes at Pitt and completely falling in love. I will always credit that high school teacher with giving me the idea though!

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

I will be teaching 7th grade science this summer! Although I am an arts major, I have taken quite a few science classes and really have enjoyed them. This class will be discussing global disease and water scarcity, which are two very important topics in the world right now.

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

I really want to form a great relationship with both the students and staff here at Breakthrough. I want to have an open dialogue with my students, and have them be comfortable asking questions and challenging ideas.

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

I am excited to bring my energy and enthusiasm to Breakthrough this summer. Being able to think creatively with lesson planning and in the classroom is something I am looking forward to. I am also extremely excited about the elective course I am designing and think it will be something fun and different that the kids will really enjoy.

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

Something that is unexpected about me is that I love dogs beyond reason. When I was in elementary school, I was able to recite every dog breed in the world and their origin. I think I still have about 75% of all breeds memorized and I will point them out on the street all the time. I currently have one dog named Otis, but I would love to foster dogs one day!

Noah Michaud, a student at Tufts University, will be teaching 7th grade Literature this summer!

Where do/did you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate?

I went to Moorestown High School in New Jersey and graduated in 2017. I am now studying at Tufts University near Boston, Ma. I am planning on graduating in 2021.

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

I play soccer and basketball pretty often, and I love to read and listen to music in my free time. I also enjoy watching Netflix and Philly sports teams.

What sparked your interest in education?

I always loved working with kids, and I think education is a very important part of our society. I want to help support the future generations that will hopefully be able to improve society.

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

I am teaching seventh grade literature and I think that is a good fit because I really do love to read and I think literature and reading is a great way to learn about different perspectives. Learning about different points of view is one of the most important parts of the human experience because it allows you to connect with others.

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

I want to get a better understanding of what it is like to teach. I would also like to learn more about the Philadelphia public school system and how it is serving the families of Philly.

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

I’m a pretty high-energy person and I am always ready to do stuff so I’m looking forward to bringing that to the program. I also really enjoy facilitating conversation and that is something I would really like to use in the program.

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

I used to have really long hair, like past my shoulders. I was also really shy and introverted for a while when I was younger.

Political Science major, Alette Kligman, will be teaching Literature for 8th graders this summer!

Where do/did you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate?

I attend Dickinson College, which is nearby Harrisburg, PA. In 2020, I will graduate with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Educational Studies.

What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours?

I love baking! My favorite treats to make are ricotta cookies.

What sparked your interest in education?

I love learning and have been blessed with amazing teachers. I hope to pay forward the support and strength they gave me.

Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit?

I am teaching the 8th grade literature class! This is a great fit because I love all things reading and writing.

What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer?

I look forward to developing new skill-sets and building new relationships.

What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer?

My enthusiasm! I am very excited to get to know the Breakthrough community, engage with my students, and develop as an educator.

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

I’m a twin!

Kelsey Holloway, a student at Temple University, will be teaching 9th grade Math this summer! Where do/did you go to school, and when do you plan to graduate? I am currently studying Math and Secondary Education at Temple University. I hope to graduate in May 2020. What are some hobbies and/or interests of yours? I love exercising and participating in sports. I swam all through high school and did Crossfit, and I walked onto the Rowing Team at Temple during my freshman year (I decided to quit after a year because of a nagging back injury and because I wanted to focus more on my academics). I also love yoga, lifting weights, walking on the beach, and spin classes. What sparked your interest in education?   During my junior year of high school, my Calculus teacher asked if I would be interested in tutoring a couple of students in math. I realized during that job that I had a knack for simplifying complex math concepts and explaining them to others, and I found the work extremely rewarding. I actually did not enter college as an Education major, but I recently switched to Math and Secondary Education to follow my passion of teaching others. Which subject(s) and grade(s) are you teaching, and why do you think this is a good fit? I will be teaching 9th grade math this summer! I want to teach high school math one day, so I am excited that I will get the opportunity to work with the older students at Breakthrough. This subject is also a perfect fit for me, because most of my experience in tutoring is with 8th-9th grade math. What are some things you hope to get out of your experience with Breakthrough this summer? I hope to use this summer to see if teaching is really the best career for me. It’s one thing to take education classes and teach a few lessons, but working at Breakthrough will allow me to experience what daily life as a teacher is like. I also can’t wait to learn and grow with my fellow teachers and students. What are some qualities about yourself you’re excited to bring to Breakthrough this summer? I have a lot of experience tutoring, and I am also excited to apply all of the theoretical knowledge I have learned in college to a real classroom setting. I also have love math and I hope to inspire my students and instill this passion in them as well.

What is something about yourself people wouldn’t expect?

I love to knit! Most of my free time during the winter is spent curled up in a blanket with hot cocoa and knitting Christmas gifts for friends and family.

More profiles coming soon!

Breakthrough Collaborative

180 Grand Ave #1225, Oakland, CA 94612, USA