Miles Borowsky

Vanderbilt University
Hometown: Yardley, PA

Why Breakthrough?

Middle school is such a crucial time in children’s lives: it can either make or break their entire schooling experience. If a student is told they “can’t,” they will carry this with them for the rest of their learning careers. It is vital that we as teachers uplift students, showing each student that they indeed can do whatever they set their mind to. I’ve been so incredibly lucky to have teachers that have told me I “can,” and I want to be that teacher for my students at Breakthrough! For many students, this may be their first experience where they realize that they are indeed smart, creative, innovative humans – and I’m so excited to see them develop as both learners and people. As excited as I am to teach at Breakthrough, though, I’m even more excited to learn. As a Secondary Education and Mathematics major, I hope to become a teacher after graduating. At Breakthrough I know that I’ll be learning every day from my students, fellow TFs, and coaches and I intend to take full advantage of this invaluable experience.

Summer 2021 Goal

My goal for the summer of 2021 is to push myself outside my comfort zone in all aspects of my life. At Breakthrough, I hope to build relationships with each and every one of my students, regardless of how much or little we have in common. I also hope to have vulnerable conversations with both my amazing students and fellow TFs, forming bonds that stretch far beyond the classroom. Outside of Breakthrough, I’m excited to step outside my comfort zone as well! I signed up for my first Triathlon at the end of June, which I will be training for during Breakthrough. And, living in the city of Philadelphia for the first time, I can’t wait to explore the city and (most importantly) try new food!

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Lainey Solomon

Brandeis University
Hometown: Lower Merion, PA

Why Breakthrough?

I was a teaching fellow with Breakthrough last summer and I had such an amazing experience. I met so many passionate, creative, and intelligent students and I am looking forward to doing the same this year. After graduation, I want to become a high school chemistry teacher, and I am so lucky that Breakthrough gives me the opportunity to experience life as a classroom teacher and to develop leadership skills that I will take with me in the future.

Summer 2021 Goal

Since Breakthrough is in-person this year (yay!!), my goal for the summer is to create many interactive and engaging lessons for my students that I wasn’t able to do last year.

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Azure Lintulahti

Temple University 
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Why Breakthrough?

Going into my senior year at Temple I wondered if becoming a teacher was my ultimate career goal, or if there may be a different career for me in other areas of the education field. And what better way to figure it out than to get in a classroom? Breakthrough stood out to me because I felt like their mission embraced some of that uncertainty, and encouraged fellows not just to teach their students, but to learn from their students as well. 

Summer 2021 Goal

My biggest goal this summer is to make new friends with my coworkers and make lasting, quality connections with my students.

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Sarah Ansah

University of Chicago
Hometown: Downers Grove, IL

Why Breakthrough?

I want to become a teacher after I graduate college and a career advisor of mine suggested I apply to Breakthrough as a way to gain more insight into the responsibilities of a teacher. I am constantly looking for any opportunity to learn more about the profession and to gain more experience and skills before I graduate so I am very excited for this summer!

Summer 2021 Goal

My goal for Summer 2021 is to try new things! I have never been to Philadelphia before so I am extremely excited to get to know all of the different places in the city and try new foods!

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Chelsea Puckett

Bowdoin College
Hometown: San Antonio/Dallas, TX

Why Breakthrough?

My high school cross country coach, mentor, and now friend worked as a teaching fellow with Breakthrough when he was beginning his teaching career. He has always talked about it as the best and most formative experience he has had as both a teacher and a learner!

Summer 2021 Goal

This summer I am excited to learn from master teachers, teaching fellows, and students, and apply what I have learned in the classroom to my teaching practice at Breakthrough. At Bowdoin, I major in the Education and English departments and am part of the Teacher Scholars program. I will spend my last semester of college teaching full-time in the local high school classroom and become a certified secondary education teacher in the state of Maine. I am deeply interested in culturally sustaining pedagogy, Universal Design for Learning, and teaching students to care about the common good.

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Jordan Kaplan

University of Pennsylvania
Hometown: Media, PA

Why Breakthrough?

I wanted to teach with Breakthrough because of its commitment to creating opportunities for both students and teaching fellows to grow. As an aspiring high school history teacher, I am eager to gain practical experience leading a classroom, writing lesson plans, and tailoring my instruction to students’ personal learning styles. Breakthrough will enable me to contribute to students’ intellectual and personal growth while forming friendships and learning from the people around me

Summer 2021 Goal

My goal for this summer is to encourage students to embrace their curiosity, actively participate in lessons, and develop a sense of self-efficacy.

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Olivia Wong 

Haverford College
Hometown: Danville, CA

Why Breakthrough?

Let’s face it–most of school isn’t fun and you don’t get to learn what you actually want or need to learn. What I love about Breakthrough is that there’s a big focus on making learning fun, just like it should be, especially for students who don’t get the resources they deserve from public schools. One of the reasons I am an educator is because being an educator means constantly learning how to be a better teacher, adapting to students as individuals, and forming healthy relationships. As an educator, my goal is to help young learners progress towards their own goals, whether those are self-improvement, improving relationships with others, or career/education goals. Learning should be fun, interesting, thought-provoking, and useful for what you want to do with your life!

Summer 2021 Goal

Learn, learn, learn! There are so many things I want to learn this summer–how to be a better educator, how to draw, how to play guitar, how to identify plants…

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Ava Sinai

University of Chicago
Hometown: Merion Station, PA

Why Breakthrough?

I chose Breakthrough because I am interested in education policy and I wanted to learn more about running a classroom while getting work with students, which I love.!

Summer 2021 Goal

A personal goal of mine this summer is to form meaningful connections with the students since my relationship with my teachers was the most impactful part of my middle school experience.

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Arlene Bukasa

Germantown Friends School (Class of 2022)
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Why Breakthrough?

I developed an interest in being a teaching fellow while I was a student at Breakthrough myself. While I was a student at Breakthrough, I learned a tremendous amount, and I built unique relationships with those teaching fellows. Breakthrough set me on the path to achieving my academic goals while also opening doors for me to achieve things that I did not think I could. My experience at Breakthrough was nothing short of amazing, and I hope to have an impact just as significant as the teaching fellows before had on me

Summer 2021 Goal

Ultimately, my goal for this summer is to grow my leadership skills and to create meaningful relationships with the students.

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Gabriela Martinez Hernandez

Swarthmore College
Hometown: Wilmington, NC

Why Breakthrough?

I chose to be a teaching fellow with Breakthrough because I am an English and Education major and I would like to be a future educator. I am passionate about education and helping to work towards one that is accessible and supports students in learning about their passions and histories especially through literary texts. Moreover, I also appreciate that Breakthrough will support us in the classroom and help us grow to be better teachers.

Summer 2021 Goal

One of the goals that I have for this summer is bridging student’s interdisciplinary passions into the literary curriculum as well as learning from and with them while having fun.

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Ruby Guerrero

Swarthmore College
Hometown: Romeoville, Ill

Why Breakthrough?

 Ever since I was a child, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I don’t think I knew exactly what that entailed, but I definitely felt it was the right choice. Now that I am studying to be an English teacher, I always hope to learn more from students and other educators in order to one day be a better educator myself. Breakthrough is definitely where I am excited to learn from students and teachers doing exactly what I love!

Summer 2021 Goal

My goal is to build strong connections and have lots of fun with the students and the other teaching fellows!

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Georgena M. Williams

Harvard University
Hometown: Havertown, PA

Why Breakthrough?

 I chose to return as TF at Breakthrough this summer because I loved my previous internship and didn’t want to say goodbye to my Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia community. I teach with Breakthrough because I believe that a student’s zip code, race or income status should NEVER be the determining factor in receiving a quality education. As someone who comes from a low-income, first-generation, immigrant background, I am who I am because of the people, communities, and organizations who have educated and empowered me to pursue my dreams. I want to be that source of education and empowerment for my students so they know that one day their dreams can turn into reality.

Summer 2021 Goal

 By the end of Summer 2021, I want to expand my knowledge on how to connect various math concepts to real-world scenarios so that I can increase the quality of my lessons.

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Andrea Maghacot

Cornell University
Hometown: Allentown, PA

Why Breakthrough?

I have loved teaching since 2nd grade, but I never realized how impactful the teacher-student relationship is until I watched renowned educator Rita Pierson’s TED Talk “Every kid needs a champion.” As a queer person of color, I seldom saw myself represented in elementary, middle, and high school. I felt like I lacked a place in education because many of my classmates and my teachers neither looked like me nor acknowledged how important being me is. I now want to become that representation for kids in similar circumstances. Students as young as 5 and as old as 18 need culturally responsive support – explicitly seeing themselves in education is crucial for both their retention in and graduation from school. Most importantly, this representation needs to be empowering because kids from different backgrounds with different social identities deserve to be celebrated for being themselves. Transforming education into a more accessible, equitable, and diverse system is my goal, and Breakthrough will provide me with the necessary support and tools to do so. Teaching is undeniably difficult, but being a Summer Teaching Fellow is an opportunity for me to further develop my skills as a future teacher, receive mentorship from professional educators, and experience being in a family-like community.

Summer 2021 Goal

My Summer 2021 goal is to improve in public speaking – I tend to get flustered when I speak in front of many people for a long period of time! Teaching multiple classes for multiple hours will definitely build my endurance, and I am beyond excited to challenge myself. I want to become a better speaker not only for my students but for myself as well.

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Drew Bukasa

Friends Central School (Class of 2022)
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Why Breakthrough?

I was looking for something interesting to do this summer, and I have always been interested in teaching. I was a breakthrough student and looked back at the wonderful teaching I had during my time at Breakthrough. I decided I wanted to influence someone’s life as much as other teacher fellow had done for me, so I decided breakthrough was the best way to spend my summer.

Summer 2021 Goal

My goal for this summer is to learn how to lesson plan and how to run a classroom.

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Madeleine Riley

University of Pennsylvania
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Why Breakthrough?

I chose Breakthrough because I love to teach. I love sharing my knowledge and interests with students and encouraging their passion for learning. Even more than that, I love learning from my students about their interests, experiences, and their way of seeing the world. I’m interested in pursuing a career as a science educator, and I think that teaching at Breakthrough will be a valuable learning opportunity for me. As a teacher at Breakthrough, I hope to grow and improve my teaching skills so that I can provide my students with the positive and inspiring educational experiences that they deserve.
I’m also excited about teaching at Breakthrough because I want to do what I can to help shrink the education opportunity gap in Philadelphia. I grew up in Philadelphia, witnessing how Philly public schools and charter schools are underfunded and under-resourced, and the youth of Philadelphia are suffering for it. I wanted to teach at Breakthrough because I want to provide those missing educational opportunities and help students build both their love of learning and their confidence in themselves and their futures.

Summer 2021 Goal

 My goal for this summer is to improve and expand my teaching skills and to have fun getting to know my students and fellow teachers. I am also looking forward to getting outside to hike and enjoy the outdoors as much as I can.

Breakthrough Collaborative

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