Volunteer with Our Programs

Become a Volunteer Teaching Fellow

Practice Your Learning

Breakthrough’s School Year Program Teachers are responsible and dynamic college and graduate school students with diverse backgrounds, skills, and academic interests.  They instill a love of learning in our students, and teach them the skills necessary to thrive in their schools and get on the path to college. 

School Year Program teachers work on an internship basis instructing one academic subject, assisting students with school assignments and projects, and supporting the overall program during special trips and workshops.  The School Year Program is held 10 am – 2 pm, two Saturdays per month, October through May.

Since 2013, we have partnered with Arcadia University as a fieldwork placement option at our Germantown Friends School location.  School Year Interns/Field Work Teachers work under supervision of our Dean of Faculty.  Interns are expected to be present for all Saturdays of their instructional term.

For 2021 – 2022, Curricula Include:

  • Literature
  • Writing
  • Public Speaking
  • Financial Literacy

Breakthrough is open to developing partnerships with area colleges and universities for pre-service teachers.  If you are interested in considering Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia for a pre-service instructional experience for your school, please contact our offices.

   Before this fieldwork, I had almost no experience in the classroom . . . I now have a much better understanding of what it is like to teach in a classroom. I don’t believe that any other fieldwork could have immersed me in the classroom so effectively.

Pre-Service Teacher Arcadia University



Complete Our Volunteer Application

Become a Guest Speaker

Share Your Experiences

Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia has a commitment to provide our students with enriching experiences and interactions that open them to a world of possibilities.  In order to provide exposure, we hold panels and speed networking events throughout the year, providing opportunities for people to share their professions, studies, and interests with our students.

Become an Application Advocate

Impact College Trajectories

Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia students will produce a great deal of written work over the course of their first two years, but among the most important work in impacting their college pathway are their applications to high schools, and scholarships.  Our students benefit from strong writers and editors to help them secure funding and develop a critical eye to their personal stories.

Volunteer Requirements

Federal and State Compliance

In order to comply with state requirements for working with minors and ensure the safety of our students and our community, Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia requires all volunteers to obtain clearances.  There is a cost associated with the FBI Criminal History Check, which is typically $18.

FBI Criminal History Check

Volunteer will need to register with the link above, pay the $24.50 registration fee, and go to a fingerprinting site at their convenience.  Approximately two weeks later, the FBI clearance will come back to you in USPS mail, at which time you will submit a copy to the Breakthrough office.

Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance

You can complete this application online for free by selecting “volunteer”.  You must create an individual account login with the Child Welfare portal and then apply for a volunteer clearance for free.  Typically within a week, the Child Abuse Clearance will come back to you through the online portal, at which time you will submit a copy to the Breakthrough office.

Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check

You will submit this clearance entirely online.  There is a free “volunteer option”.  When you complete the registration and submission information, a screen will come up with a PDF to save and print.  You should save the PDF to your computer and print a copy for the Breakthrough staff.

Please contact us if you have questions about volunteering with Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia.

Breakthrough Collaborative

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