Change Lives by leading under-served and under-represented youth across the academic achievement gap, nurturing their capabilities as bright and academically motivated youth, and helping them identify their path to success in college.


Our teachers are the backbone of the Breakthrough programs. Every summer talented, enthusiastic college and high school students become Breakthrough Sacramento’s Teaching Fellows, teaching our middle school students courses in Literature, Writing, Math, or Science. Training and support for our Teaching Fellows is extensive; two weeks (80 hours) of training before the summer classes start, and continuous professional development from staff, mentors, and peers throughout the summer session.

During the school year local college and high school students provide Weekly Breakthroughs for our middle school students; tutoring and get-ahead sessions that take place at several local sites.

Breakthrough Sacramento’s Teaching Fellows and school year tutors are a diverse group from all academic majors, backgrounds, and professional interests. While many go on to become teachers, all develop leadership skills useful in whatever future they want for themselves.

the Teaching fellow experience

Breakthrough Sacramento Teaching Fellows become an integral part of a positive community of students and staff focused on the betterment of all community members.

Breakthrough Summer Teaching Fellows:

  • Experience 6 weeks of hands-on teaching of math, science, literature, or writing for motivated and talented 7th, 8th, or 9th grade students

  • Receive 80 hours of training before classes begin

  • Work in small, manageable classes of 10 or less

  • Obtain continuous guidance and support throughout the summer from an assigned mentor teacher, BSAC staff, volunteers, and peers.

  • Find personal growth via public speaking, leadership, classroom management, time management, and academic lesson planning and execution.

  • Are provided a stipend for the summer’s work.

Breakthrough Teachers in Their Own Words

"Breakthrough is a sanctuary where everyone involved can retreat from a world full of problems and turmoil to an idealized paradise of learning, growth, and smiles."

"Breakthrough is about reaching out to motivated students, showing them the path to success, and encouraging them to choose their path."

"Breakthrough is setting high expectations for our kids – and supporting them so they can reach that level of excellence."

"Breakthrough has always been free of the condescending, pitying sentiment that lowers expectations for people with different backgrounds and challenging lives. Breakthrough is a ‘Workshop in Education’ and mediocrity is never acceptable.”

“My time as a Teaching Fellow was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I grew up as a Breakthrough student, surrounded by positive influences and mentors that pushed me towards success. I wanted to give back to a program that had given me so much: a family, an education, even academic supporters that I never had until this point of my life. I applied to be a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow to become a positive influence on the future generation of Breakthrough students.”

“BSAC is providing students with the skills and resources that they may not be getting in their schools and it's helping them along the path to get to college. It's a great program to better their future! It has been a fulfilling opportunity, and I cannot thank BSAC enough for allowing me to be a part of this program! I want to let you know that as an orientation leader at Cal, I have been extremely successful because of what I learned this summer!”

“It changed my life. I never would have wanted to be a teacher. Then I realized what kind of impact I had.” former teaching fellow, now an English teacher in Chicago