A Message from the Breakthrough Sacramento Working Group

Dear Friends of Breakthrough Sacramento,

There is good news to report in the effort to reassemble the Breakthrough Sacramento program. As you may have heard, a group of supporters with ties to both Sacramento Country Day School and Breakthrough Sacramento has been actively working and good progress has been made in assessing the status of the original program, meeting with the Executive Committee of the Country Day Board of Trustees to better understand their position, and formulating a strategy for moving forward. Below is a summary of what we have learned, and the initial steps being taken to restore Breakthrough Sacramento.

In September, for many of the past 24 years, Breakthrough Sacramento has provided school-year tutoring services to its six classes of students (seventh through twelfth grades), as well as college and financial aid counseling to its high school seniors. At the moment, these services have ceased, and while it is a priority to resume them quickly, establishing an active fundraising program will be essential to this effort.

Additionally, while the Country Day Board has expressed ongoing interest in making the campus available for the Breakthrough summer program, they have indicated that the school will no longer host either the program or staff during the school year. The school has also stated that it cannot provide critical support services such as accounting, development, and administrative oversight, all of which were being graciously offered to the program at no cost. Thus, going forward, Breakthrough Sacramento will need to become its own entity. Creating that entity is the primary focus of the Working Group at this time. We envision that the Breakthrough Sacramento program will be reestablished as quickly as possible, providing its unique and highly effective college preparation for academically motivated students from under-resourced schools.

Since the announcements in August, many of you have generously stepped forward to offer your time, talents, and financial support to keep the program going. This is sincerely appreciated and the hope is that the program soon can benefit from this generosity. However, the Working Group has been faced with the challenge of replacing the necessary organizational infrastructure so that it can both properly accept contributions and also restart the financial functions required for the proper accounting and use of these funds. In addition, there have been many questions and issues (not the least of which are timing issues) surrounding development of the entity structure and achieving tax-exempt status for the benefit of future donors.

To that end, the Working Group is pleased to announce that it will be forging a relationship with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) (foundationccc.org). The work of this non-profit organization includes the fiscal sponsorship of educationally-oriented programs like Breakthrough Sacramento. Thus FCCC will perform many of the services previously offered by Country Day School. Moreover, their tax-exempt status will allow contributions earmarked exclusively for Breakthrough to be tax-deductible. Perhaps best of all, these services and their experience are available to Breakthrough almost immediately.

Finally, the Group can confirm that Ying Lo-Khang, who has served as Breakthrough Sacramento’s Program Director for the last four years, will remain actively involved with program and assist in maintaining operational continuity as student and program services come online. Additionally, Adolfo Mercado, the former Executive Director, will return in an advisory capacity, but no longer lead the program as he had already chosen to pursue other opportunities following the closure. The Group expects that a process will soon be underway to identify a new Executive Director in advance of the Summer 2017 session and welcomes your recommendations of known, qualified candidates for consideration.

Please understand that the path travelled has been far from linear, and many different options and avenues have been considered and explored. However, the expectation is that the current opportunities will allow Breakthrough Sacramento to restart quickly and offer considerable future flexibility as the program and organization develop.

Of course, there is still much work to be done and you should expect that the request for financial and non-financial (program execution, grant writing, advisory board work, etc.) assistance soon will be made.

In the meantime, the need to reach out and communicate with the Breakthrough community is critical, and to best accomplish this, we intend to use the Breakthrough Sacramento website (breakthroughsac.org). Please visit the site regularly to get up-to-date information and, in the near future, make donations to the Breakthrough program. Also, consider friending Breakthrough Sacramento on Facebook (facebook.com/BreakthroughSac). This is another excellent way to remain connected and see some of the wonderful accomplishments of the program. Finally, if you would simply like to reach out or have a specific question or comment, email to helpbreakthroughsac@gmail.com.

Again, thank you for the outpouring of support from friends and alumni of the program. We intend to be as open and inclusive as possible while we work to quickly restore this vital program. The voices and energy of our Breakthrough and Country Day communities have encouraged the resurgence of Breakthrough Sacramento and ultimately will ensure its ongoing success.


The Breakthrough Sacramento Working Group

Toran Brown (’82)
Michael Covey
Richard Mancina (’73)
Laura Monahan
Sue Nellis
Jamie Nelson
Ross Siragusa
Pat Talamantes